Good and Evil

my own notes when I did the GCSE last year... hope you find it useful

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  • Created on: 04-06-11 13:24
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Christine Hui
Unit 5: Good and Evil
Beliefs about God
God has many perfect qualities:
Omnipresence ­ present all the time
Omnipotent ­ all-powerful "Nothing is impossible with God" Luke 1:37
Omniscient ­all knowing "Nothing is too hard for you" Jeremiah 32:17
Benevolent ­ all-loving "God is love" 1 John 4:8
Transcendent ­ over time, beyond space
Beliefs about Devil
Many believe that Devil is one of the origins of sin. He is one of the archangels being thrown out of
heaven because of guilty of pride to God. He fell to hell and became the tempter of humans to disobey
Not all Christians believe that Devil is a real person. Some think that it is just a poetic way of explaining
how people feel pulled in different directions & why they often want to do things they know are wrong.
"He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth in him. When he lies he speaks his
native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." John 8:44
What is evil/suffering?
Suffering: consequence of evil (caused by 2 different types of evil)
Moral evil: suffering caused by the actions of people
E.g. war [Iraq], terrorism [Russia, 2010], murder, rape, genocide (Holocaust WWII)
Natural evil: suffering caused by natural events, not human's fault
E.g. earthquakes [Sichuan, 2008], tsunamis [Indonesia, 2004], volcanic eruption
[Mt. Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland, 2010], Hurricane Katrina, 2006
Many argue that natural disasters are caused by the incompetence and
thoughtlessness of mankind/human interference of nature
The Problem of Evil
The God of Classical Theism: God is both omnipotent and benevolent
The problem of evil might lead us to question the God of Classical Theism.
Some people question their faith over this.
Epicurus (ancient Greek philosopher) ­ The Inconsistent Triad: omnipotent, benevolent, evil exists
If God is all-loving, how can He allow people to suffer or allow evil to happen?
If God is all-powerful and present everywhere, does he not have the ability to stop evil?
David Hume (modern philosopher): Agree with Epicurus, God is either weak or wicked
"Either God wants to abolish evil and cannot; or he can but does not want to.
If he wants to but cannot, He is impotent (weak). If he can but does not want to, he is wicked."

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Christine Hui
Is religion an answer to suffering?
YES, it does explain suffering & comforts believers.
Jesus suffered with humanity on the cross encourages Christians to persevere
Religion motivates people to act on suffering, be a Good Samaritan to friends AND foes
"Love your enemies and pray for those who prosecute you..." Matthew 5:44-45
NO, it doesn't offer any solution; it just tries to explain it.…read more

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Christine Hui
The Origin of Evil (Where does evil come from? How might Christian explain evil?)
1. Human given free will to choose. Obedience from the heart is more meaningful than forced
obedience. It's the Devil who tempted humans and it is HUMANS who gave in to them.
Eve chose to disobey God while Job chose to remain faithful in suffering.
(St.…read more

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Christine Hui
People should accept their own limitation and recognize that God does not make mistakes.
God is omniscient and benevolent. Sometimes, suffering offers us a chance to do good for
others and it brings people together.
The best way to cope with suffering is to pray and trust.
Why do Christians follow a moral code?
Christian moral code aims to make life better for everyone.
1. To please God with one's goodness can go to Heaven.…read more

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Christine Hui
How should Christian's respond to evil and suffering?
1. Follow examples in the Bible.
A. The Fall (Genesis 2-3)
Disobedience to God punishment/suffering
Humans are given free will to choose between right and wrong
Willing obedience from the heart is more meaningful than forced obedience
B. The Book of Job
Christians should persist with our faith in God under all circumstances.…read more

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Christine Hui
"Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good" Romans 12:21
Christians should help people in need (E.g. Jesus helped people in difficulties/Fed 5000 with
5 bread 2 fish, Raised the dead.) E.g. Donate money to charity. Parables of Good
B. Jesus taught us to forgive:
a) Turn the other cheek
b) Forgive "seventy-seven times" Matthew 18:22
c) Jesus held no grudges towards his enemies.…read more

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Christine Hui
Prayers may not be answered in a desirable/understandable way; no questioning God
knows what is best for us.…read more


Izzy Hammond

Very useful, nice and detailed. I added lots of new stuff to my notes!

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