The Problem of Evil

Revision notes for the problem of Evil. AQA Unit 3B

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  • Created by: Will
  • Created on: 08-06-11 12:57
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The Problem of Evil
Natural Evil Suffering by natural disasters
Moral Evil Suffering cause by human actions
The Judeo-Xian God would try and eliminate evil as far as possible (assumption)
God is incapable of preventing evil ( not omnipotent) or unwilling to prevent it ( not benevolent).
Logical Problem of Evil (LPOE)
Argues that evil makes the existence of God IMPOSSIBLE (analytic)
Epicurus (and then Hume) came up with the Inconsistent triad (ICT)
It suggest than either God is not omnipotent/benevolent OR he does not exist.
Looked at the ICT and concluded:
Too much direct evidence of evil for the 3rd option
God must be either impotent or malicious
Either way Judeo-Xian God is redundant
J L Mackie (1917-1981)
o God alone created the universe has total responsibility for it

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If he is omnipotent, he can do anything logically possible
o Can have created world free from evil
o Also, if he allowed it, he can stop it
o God is omniicient knows evil exists
No all-loving creator would allow his creation to suffer ad to no avail
Can both evil and God exist?
Mackie on Aquinas (theist)
o Concept of infinite goodness is part of Gods definition anything against this infinite good is proof God does not exist
o Thus existence of any evil…read more

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If the girl's death was needed to bring about the greater good ­ she did not have be raped and beaten first
A fawn trapped and horribly burned after a forest fire who dies later after days of agony
o The same result would have happened if the fawn had dead quickly instead of suffering over a period of time
These examples are evidence of pointless suffering, and the non-existence of God
Responses to the Problem of Evil
Monism ­ Denial that evil exists
Monism…read more

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Everyone is guilty because we were "seminally present in loins of Adam"
Natural evil came about because of the imbalance of natural order after the fall
Moral evil is a result of choice of humans (Free Will)
As evil came about due to free will, God is right not to intervne
By saving some, it shows he is merciful as well as just.…read more

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This has ties to the FREE WILL DEFENCE
Free Will Defence (FWD)
Based on Agustines idea that evil comes from Human free will
Free will is part of being Human otherwise we would be robots
Genuine free will requires genuine possibiltly of evil
As evil that is happened is part of our free will and God is right not to have intervened
For Humans to have a genuine relationship with God, they must have free will
Humans have a choice of Good or Evil
As…read more

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Humans were created in "the image of God" and were able to achieve perfection in the future to become "the likeness of God"
If this "likeness" is to be achieved, Hick admits that God is partly responsible for evil, but that he has enough reason for it.
EG if God wanted us to love him, he could just create us this way but instead allows us to develop this for ourselves.…read more

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Griffin argues that the universe is eternal and so has beginning
"When God began to create the heavens and the earth, the earth was without form and void"
Process Theologians such as Griffin have two types of good and evil. Good is harmony and intensity and evil is discord and triviality
By denying God's omnipotence, PT solves the problem of evil. Evil exists because God cannot stop it. He cannot directly intervene to reduce it.…read more



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