The Problem of Evil Full Notes

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  • The Problem of Evil
    • The Epicurean Paradox
      • Epicurus
        • Greek Philosopher
        • 341-290 BCE
      • is God willing but not able?
        • Then he is not omnipotent
      • is God able, but not willing?
        • Then he is malevolent
      • is he both able and willing?
        • Then whence cometh evil?
      • is he neither able nor willing?
        • Then why call him God?
      • Earliest statement of the problem
    • The Inconsistent Triad
      • J.L. Mackie
        • 20th Century
        • Australian Philosopher
      • God is all good (benevolent)
        • Evil exists
          • God is all powerful (omnipotent)
            • God is all good (benevolent)
              • Evil exists
                • God is all powerful (omnipotent)
                  • God is able to get rid of evil
                • But yet..
              • God is willing to get rid of evil
            • God is able to get rid of evil
          • But yet..
        • God is willing to get rid of evil
    • Against the existence of God
      • existence of pain, death and distress are incompatible with an all loving, powerful God
    • The Logical Problem
      • P1. Evil & Suffering exists
        • P2. God is all loving & all powerful
          • P3. An all loving & powerful God would remove evil & suffering
            • C. God does not exist
            • Why wont God prevent evil & suffering?
              • Maybe there's a good reason, a plan
                • Theodicies
              • Maybe it's impossible
                • Theodicies
          • Is he all loving / powerful?
            • Not all loving
              • Deism: God is impersonal
            • Not all powerful
              • Zoroastrians believe this
        • Does evil actually exist?
          • Evil is...
            • absence of good
            • human illusion
              • brought on by greed
                • views in Hinduism
            • unhelpful human conduct
              • Nietzsche
      • Deductive Argument
        • true premises  = true conclusion
        • false premise = failed
    • Theodicies
    • Free Will
      • Augustinian and Irenaean
        • Include the roll of Free Will
          • Free Will Defence
        • Overtly Christian
      • Humans must be genuinely free to choose how they want to respond to God and therefore humans must have genuine free will
        • the consequence of this is a world with good and evil
      • In order for free will to be genuine, God cannot place limits or intervene
        • "The less (God) allows men to bring about large scale horrors, the less the freedom & responsibility he gives them"
          • Free Will is a good explanation for moral evil but the free will defense also claims to explain natural evil
      • a world with death is better than a world without it
        • It limits the suffering one person can take
        • A limited life focuses attention
        • Without death, a person cannot make the ultimate sacrifice
        • It stops the old dominating the young
        • "a situation of temptation with infinite chances is no situation of temptation at all. If there is always another chance there is no risk"
      • But how could God allow so much suffering?
        • "Our understanding of suffering is only relative to our own experience"
          • John Hick
        • if we ask for less suffering we are...
          • "asking that God should make a toy world, a world where things matter, but not very much; he would be like an over-protective parent who will not let his child out of sight for a moment"
            • Swinburne
        • If some evils are too much, where do we draw the line?
      • What's wrong with the Free Will Defense?
        • it claims that God has two options
          • Maximum Pleasure. Minimum Pain. But No Free Will
          • Pain and Suffering. A price worth paying for Free Will.
          • An Omnipotent God could have the best of both
        • Supporters of the FWD say that what Mackie says is logically impossible
        • J.L. Mackie
          • "God is not faced with a choice between making things who, in acting freely, would sometimes go wrong; there was an option for him, the obviously better possibility of making beings who act freely but always right. Clearly his failure to avail himself of this possibility is inconsistent with his being good & omnipotent."
    • Types of Evil
      • Yujin Nagasawa
        • A Japanese philosopher believes that the problem of evil causes more of an issue to the atheist than the theist.
          • This is because through theodicies, a theist can at least provide some sort of explanation for the existence of evil and through metaphysical / eschatological phenomena can suggest that the universe contains more good than evil.
      • Systemic Evil
        • "It is represented as natural selection, an atheist cannot hold an optimistic view about the nature of the universe"
      • Natural Evil
        • "This refers to events that have a bad/evil consequence when experienced by human beings. Most philosopher's would agree that natural evils are caused by the way the natural world works."
    • Challenges
      • Gods' Traits
        • Descartes
          • the Omni-words are incomprehensible to finite human minds
            • "You cannot wrap your arms around a mountain"
        • Zoroastrianism
          • God is not omnipotent
            • God suffers and grows with his creation
      • Suffering
        • Old Testament
          • Suffering is used as a 'correctional device'
        • Jesus
          • Suffered to emancipate mankind from original sin
      • Reality of Evil
  • God gave humans free will but they choose to disobey
    • They create an 'absence of good' within themselves
    • Evil is not a thing in itself, but the absence of God
      • "Privation of Good"
        • Privatio Boni
      • Absence of Good
  • Real Compassion
    • Real Pain
  • Real Generosity
    • Real Poverty
  • Real Selflessness
    • Real Corruption
  • Courage
    • Cowardly
  • Fairness
    • Unfair
  • Mercy
    • Cruel

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