The problem of evil

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  • The Problem of Evil
    • Irenaeus
      • God created us in his image and likeness and he included free will in this so humans can make good or bad choices - we are not puppets
        • "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness" Genesis 1:26
      • We grow as individuals through tackling problems, making mistakes, persevering and being patient - suffering is a part of God's original intention
        • "That which does not kill us makes us stronger" Friedrich Nietzsche
      • The world is deliberately created with a mixture of goodness and evil - this is so we can develop and grow as human beings into a mature and free relationship with God
      • There has to be evil in order for us to appreciate the good
        • How if we had no knowledge of the contrary could we have instruction in that what is good
    • Augustine - Confessions
      • Evil is not a substance in its own right but is merely the absence of good known as privation
      • When God created the world he created it perfectly and good
      • Believes in judgement ie heaven and hell
      • "All evil is either sin or punishment for sin"
      • Natural evil is because human actions have destroyed the natural order and God saves some through Christ
      • Everyone is guilty because they were present in Adam's loins so can be punished - original sin
        • "All of humanity is therefore implicated in his sin"
      • Only God is perfect as other things and beings are susceptible to change
      • Angels and humans deliberately chose to turn away from God using their free will
        • "The cause of evil is the defection of the will of a being who is mutually good" (mutually can change)
    • Evil
      • What is it?
        • Natural suffering - caused by natural events e.g. earthquakes, tsunami just a result of the way the earth developed and not much can be done about it
        • Moral suffering - people have free will to choose to behave in a way that hurts others so is as a result of how people act
      • Does suffering have a purpose?
        • Suffering is necessary to keep us alive and well as pain tells us when something is wrong
        • Suffering helps us to appreciate what we've got
        • Religious people may say suffering is a part of God's big plan which we can't yet understand
        • Religious people may be see suffering as a test of faith
        • Sometimes we suffer in order to achieve a goal making it worth it
        • Suffering can make us a stronger person if we show courage to get through a difficult time
    • J.S. Mill
      • Mill first came up with the inconsistent triad
        • Omni-benevolent would mean he doesn't love us enough to do anything about evil
        • Omniscient would mean he doesn't know anything is wrong
        • Omnipotent would mean he doesn't have the power to do anything about it
      • Any evil that humans can do nature can do better (or worse)
        • "Nature has no mercy or justice"
        • 'Nearly all the things which mean are hanged for or imprisoned for doing to one another are natures everyday performances'


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