Problem of Evil

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  • Problem of Evil
    • Hick’s development of the Irenaean Theodicy (SOUL –MAKING)
      • Irenaeus (c.135 – c.202) John Hick Evil and the God of Love (1968)
      • Stage 1 – ‘image’  capacity for development
      • Stage 2 – ‘likeness’
        • becoming like children of God through developing virtues.This is the realm of soul-making. We have the freedom to make choices. We can choose to grow into the likeness or not. God is at an epistemic distance.
        • Evil has a teleological function. It is necessary forus to grow into the likeness of God. If we don’t achieve it in this life, we go to purgatory. Irenaeusbelieved that we can go to heaven or hell.
          • Irenaeus also suggested that we should follow Jesus’ example. Hick also believed this but NO HELL. We will all be saved.
      • Hick: Evolution  humans are conscious of a relationship with God (image) & must develop into his likeness.
      • Humans take responsibility to encounter God (at an epistemic distance). This is a learning process. Natural evil creates an environment for moral growth.
      • Universal Salvation: We are all going to heaven & so God is justified.
      • The Potter and the clay: We are anongoing creation, being moulded.
      • Jonah and the whale: Evil developed himand led to good things.
    • The Augustinian Theodicy (SOUL-DECIDING)
      • The Argument Augustine (354 – 430) City of God: “all evil is either sin or punishment for sin”.
      • Genesis 1: God created the world out of nothing; creation is good; God did not create evil. Evil is not a thing. Evil is a lack of goodness which should be in all things. This is the privatio bon. Therefore God is NOT responsible for creating evil.
      • Genesis 3: The Fall: Angels and humans have free will. They choose to fall short and do evil – This is Moral Evil. The world was in harmony & when Eve and Adam sinned they were cast out and the world was no longer in harmony (capable of natural evil).
      • Natural Evils are also punishment for sin therefore God is justified in not intervening. Fallen angels are capable of causing natural evil too. Moral evil & natural evil are therefore caused by US.
      • (Seminally Present: Therefore we DESERVE to be punished) Jesus’ work on the cross redeems us. In the final judgement some will enter eternal life while others will be condemned. If we follow Jesus then we will likely not be condemned.
    • The Problem of Evil
      • God is Omnipotent
        • If God is omnipotent He must be able to prevent or eliminate suffering from the world.
      • God is Omniscient
        • If God is omniscient surely He knows that by creating the world we would suffer. Likewise, you would think that He would also know how to stop us from suffering now.
      • God is benevolent
        • If God is benevolent surely this means he must want to eliminate suffering?
      • Moral Evil
        • Moral evil: acts caused by human beings choosing freely to do the action in question.
      • Natural Evil
        • Natural Evil: events that have bad or evil consequences when experienced by human beings.
      • Theodicy
        • Theos – God Dike – Justice
          • Theodicy: a justification of the ways of God to man.
    • Conclusion
      • Either
        • God cannot be all-loving
        • God cannot be all-knowing
        • God cannot be all-powerful
        • OrGod does not exist


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