The Augustinian Theodicy

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  • The Augustinian Theodicy
    • Put forward by St Augustine in the 4th century
    • Ideas based on the Bible (creation story)
    • God's creation was perfect-freefrom evil and so God is not responsible for the evil in the world
    • Evil came into existence when humans misused their freewill from God and turned away from him
    • Moral evil is due to humans using their freewill and choosing evil rather than good, therefore God is not responsible for this
    • The Fall, shows us the example of original sin
    • Evil is not a substance but a privation - an absence of something
    • Human perception of evil is due to our limited existence and inability to see the whole picture
    • The presence of the colour black in a picture, on it's own it is boring and dull, but it completes a picture, without it the picture would not be complete
    • Natural evil is described as the breakdown of the natural order due to the amount of moral evil in the world
    • We were all seminally present in Adam during the fall of man and so we are all responsible for the evil in the world.
    • Augustine though that God thought it was better to bring good out of evil than not permit any evil to exist.  God would not have needed to send jesus to redeem the world otherwise
    • God foresaw the fall of man and sent jesus to die for us to abolish evil and sin in the world
    • Those who freely choose to accept Jesus as there saviour would be redeemed and after this life be reunited with God in heaven
    • This chance of redemption through Jesus demonstrates that God is merciful and just


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