(Irenaen) Comment on the view that there is a successful solution to the problem of suffering (9 marks)

This advantages and disadvantages table looks to the Irenaen theodicy and gives you all you need to know in order to gain full marks on the AO2 question for evil and suffering. Please note that the conclusion is expressed on my own opinion and you can edit that as you wish.

  • Created by: GeorgeB16
  • Created on: 25-04-16 21:10

(Irenaen) Comment on the view that there is a successful solution to the problem of suffering (9 marks)


  • Avoids the issue of a perfect creation turning away from God whilst allowing for God's onmi-characteristics
  • Allows humanity to recognise the value of a relationship with God
  • Provides recognisable and achievable goal for humanity that stresses value of life on Earth
  • Takes responsibility off humans making God responsible for evil
  • Vale of soul making is the "best possible universe" because a world without error would be one without free will
  • Many suffer badly through life so only a supreme life in heaven can justify the present suffering


  • It is argued the theodicy trivializes evil as it is not a sufficient explanation of evil to say that it will benefit us in the afterlife
  • How can God be just if everyone attains salvation?
  • Does not explain why a supposedly perfect God allows innocent people to suffer evil
  • There would be nothing to stop people committing crimes such as **** and murder if they knew they would get away with it and go to Heaven
  • Would it not be easier for God to give us longer earthly lives if we need an afterlife to achieve perfection?
  • D.Z. Phillips - What is the necessity in extensive suffering in order for God to make a point? Why did 6 million Jews have to die in the Holocaust and not 2 million? Does it really have to be so extreme before someone does something?
  • Challenges of this world do not always result in genuine human development, but normally bring nothing but great misery and suffering
  • Many apparently evil people are mentally disturbed and cannot be held totally responsible for their actions


There is clear evidence that the Irenaen theodicy is a successful solution to the problem of evil, however there are a number of disadvantages that appear to contradict these strengths. I personally disagree and believe that the Irenaen theodicy is not a successful solution to the problem of evil and suffering because the theodicy fails to explain why God allows such huge numbers to suffer such as the Holocaust and it is also dangerous to allow people to follow this theodicy because it appears to allow crimes to be committed as everyone attains salvation in Heaven, which surely would create more suffering for those living?




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