Good and Evil with Judaism Notes

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Topics
1. Concept of good and evil
2. God and Satan
3. The problem of evil
4. Coping with suffering
5. Sources and reasons for moral behaviour
6. Possible questions
1. Concept of good and evil
The consequence of evil is suffering. Causes of evil could be: God, Satan,
freewill, nature. Examples: 9/11, Sudan Hussein, holocaust
Some types of suffering can be both natural and moral evil - eg. Disease is a
natural evil but often as a consequence of human action
Some suffering or pain can be seen as a good thing - an act of warning and
can help people be more human
2. God and Satan
Book of Lucifer - God makes humans the pinnacle of his work. The angelic being
reacted badly as when Adam was created to be perfect, he was the new focus
of worship. HaShatan refused to worship Adam and so he was ejected from
heaven and hurled to hell, with eternal hatred for humans.

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HaShatan is dependent on God for authority, he makes accusations, can only
act upon what God says, attempts to get others to disobey god and
essential works for God.
In the book of Chronicles, Satan influences King David:
"An Adversary (Satan) stood against Israel and enticed David to take a count of
Israel" Chronicles
3.…read more

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Non-religious arguments about the existence of evil
1. God of classical theism -
Theism says that God is the creator of the world and he has qualities such as
omnipotence, omniscience and omni-benevolence.
Omnipotence - Since God created the world "ex nihilo" (out of
nothing), he has total responsibility for everything in it.…read more

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Supported Hume. He wrote "summa Theologica", suggesting that the
existence of God with the existence of evil is logically impossible.
However Aquinas doesn't think this means that God doesn't exist, instead he
says that people assume God's goodness is the same as human goodness.
We cannot understand what it means for God to be good, and God's
goodness might allow him to tolerate what we consider to be evil so there
is no logical contradiction.
4.…read more

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Religious views about the existence of evil…read more

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Jewish people have had to cope with anti-Semitism throughout history -
about 600BCE Jews were taken into exile. In 70CE the temple was
destroyed again and Hews had to scatter again
"Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it." Psalms 34.…read more

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Jewish parent. The Jews figured in Nazi ideology as
the arch-enemy of the 'Aryan race', and were targeted not merely for terror
and repression but for complete extinction. Where was God when these
things happened?
"I believe today that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the almighty
creator" Adolf Hitler, Mein Campf
Richard Rubenstein - Disagrees with Jewish beliefs. As God didn't intervene,
even though there is a covenant between God and Jews to protect them,
then God is 'the ultimate nothing'.…read more

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Coping with suffering
Story of Job - Job is very contented but HaShatan wants to test his faith in God
by making him suffer. (Proving firstly that suffering is a test of faith). His animals
are killed, his children die and he is penniless and ill. However, Job does not
give up his faith in God or blame him.
God speaks to Job and explains that it was in his control, making Job satisfied,
but never explains why it happened.…read more

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Passover
The Jews suffered in Egypt and the festival is an example of how God had
saved his people. Even though they suffered terribly in Egypt, God rescued
his people and led them to the promise land.
Yom HaShoah
Yom Hashoah is a day set aside for Jews to remember the Holocaust. The
name comes from the Hebrew word 'shoah', which means 'whirlwind'. Yom
Hashoah ceremonies include the lighting of candles for Holocaust victims,
and listening to the stories of survivors.…read more

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Yom Kippur
Known as "The Day of Atonement" and is the most sacred and solemn day of
the Jewish year, brings the 'Days of Repentance' to a close
On Yom Kippur, God makes the final decision on what the next year will be
like for each person. The Book of Life is closed and sealed, and those who
have properly repented for their sins will be granted a happy New Year.…read more

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