Theodicy, RS HW

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  • Created by: Dulcimer
  • Created on: 02-03-14 12:32
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  • Theodicy of St Augustine and St Irenaus
    • St Augustine
      • Based on the narratives of Genesis 1-3
        • Augustine’s theodicy argues that God created the world and it was perfect, without the existence of evil or suffering
      • Genesis 1:31: “God saw all that he had made and saw that it was very good”
      • Augustine defined evil as the privation of goodness, just as blindness is a privation of sight
        • Since evil is not an entity in itself, just like blindness is not an entity in itself
          • God could not have created it
      • The existence of evil originates from free will possessed by angels and humans, who turned their back on God and settled for a lesser form of goodness
        • thus creating a privation of goodness as the narrative of ‘the fall’ in Genesis 3 tries to explain
          • As a result the state of perfection was ruined by sin
      • Natural Evil
        • Occurred because of the loss of order in nature, defined by Augustine as the ‘penal consequences of sin’
      • Moral Evil
        • Derived from human free will and disobedience
      • Augustine reasoned that all humans are worthy of the punishment of evil and suffering because we are “seminally present in the loins of Adam”’
        • deserving of the punishment for original sin.
      • God has the right not to intervene and put a stop to evil and suffering since he is a just God and we are worthy of punishment
        • It is by his grace and infinite love however, that we are able to accept his offer of salvation and eternal life in heaven
    • St Iranaus
      • Like Augustine, Irenaeus argued that evil is the consequence of human free will and disobedience
        • However, unlike Augustine Irenaeus believed that God was partly responsible for evil and suffering
          • Irenaeus argued that God created the world imperfectly so that imperfect immature beings could develop through a soul-making process into a ‘child of God,’ in his perfect likeness
      • For Irenaeus, God could not have created humans in perfect likeness of himself because attaining the likeness of God requires the willing co-operation of humans
        • God thus had to give humans free will in order for them to be able to willingly co-operate
          • Since freedom requires the ability to choose good over evil, God had to permit evil and suffering to occur
      • Natural Evil
        • Has the divine purpose to develop qualities such as compassion through the soul-making process
      • Moral Evil
        • Derived from human free will and disobedience
      • Irenaeus concluded that eventually evil and suffering will be overcome
        • humans will develop into a perfect likeness of God
          • everyone will have eternal life in heaven


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