problem of evil

detailed notes of the Augustinian theodicy and Iranian theodicy and the process theodicy and free will defense

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  • Created on: 30-04-12 20:58
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Irenaeus 130202 ce
There are two types of evil:
· natural evil this is caused by the natural world, nothing to do with
mankind. e.g. floods,hurricanes etc.
· moral evil this evil is the result of mankind either by his action or
lack of action.
Perceptions of evil
· monists they don't believe evil exist that it is all just an illusion
· atheist evil is key to convincing them god does not exist. As they cant see how an allloving god
could allow it to exist.
· Hindu and Buddhist evil exist due to humans greed and selfishness. Any suffering is due to evil
committed in a previous life. Its not from god, he's not responsible. To overcome evil you must
achieve good karma.
· Monotheistic (belief in one god) evil is not an illusion, as it is portrayed in the bible.
· Zoroastrianism(dualism two gods) see universe as a battlefield of good and evil, god vs Satan.
The inconsistent triad
made by J.L.Mackie
evils purpose
· evil is a punishment some see it as a punishment for turning against god and his teachings. This
is criticised as some have not committed any sins e.g. animals or innocent children.
· Evil is a test it test humans qualities, and gives them an opportunity to show love, courage and
other noble traits. Test character and brings us closer to god. But this is criticised for some
don't benefit at all from evil.
· Evil is inevitable argues god is not responsible, that this world with its imperfections (evil) is the
best possible world. As without evil there cant be good.

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Augustine 324430 ce
Evil allows us to see gods love so we see god reveal himself and shows he cares and enables good to
come out of evil.
The Augustinian theodicy
The Augustinian theodicy is Augustine's attempt to justify the existence of evil and a loving god
He argued evil has nothing to do with God, it was created by the free will of human and angels.…read more

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God is not blamed, as evil was not · Hell is contradictory to God's
created God did not create and has no omnibenevolence
blame.…read more

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· innocent suffering is not very
Process theodicy.This theodicy is not an actual theodicy, as it does not attempt to prove the god of
classic theism. Instead it argues God is not actually omnipotent (allpowerful). This theodicy was put
forward by A.N.Whitehead. He argues the world was not created by God, he is actually part of it. God
is developing as the world is developing. This eliminates God from blames as any suffering in the
physical world is also undergone by God himself.…read more


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