Evil and Suffering.
Moral evil - Evil that is caused by human actions, e.g. ****, murder
Natural evil - Evil that is caused by the breakdown of the natural world, e.g.earthquak
Attributes to God
1) Omnipotent - all powerful
2) Omniscient - all knowing
3) Omnibenevolent - all loving
Does Evil Exist?
There is no evil.
Monists-the universe is a single, harmonious unity that is good - eviil is a mere illusion in our minds. Mary Anne Baker - 'what we feel are false feelings'
Does Evil Exist cont.
There is no God.
- Atheists - evil is convincing evidence that God does not exist because a loving God would not have created a universe full of evil and suffering.
- David Hume - felt it was impossible to deny the existance of E + S since the effects are felt so widely.
Our view of evil is distored.
- Hindus and Buddhists - evil is an illusion brought about by human greed and selfishness.
- Suffering is not from God, nor is God responsible for it.
- Evil and suffering is overcome by a person achieving god karma.
The reality of evil.
- Monotheistic religions - evil is not an illusion of the human mind.
- Evil is utterly bad and entirely real.
Other responses : does evil exist?
Aquinas - Gods existance in the face of evil is logically impossible. However, Gods goodness is different from ours and he allows E + S because he has a divine master plan.
Swineburne - God is like a parent who allows a child freedom to grow up.
David Hume - the problem of evil is 'the rock of atheism'
Evil presents 4 distinctive problems:
- Theological problem - challanges Gods nature
- Philosophical Problem - requires the believer to accept conflicting claims
- Diverse problem - Evil comes in many forms that demand different explanations
- Challanging problem - the existance of evil and suffering is an objective reality
The Inconsistant Triad
J.L Mackie observed that these three proposistions constitute an 'Iconsistant Triad' - the conjuction of any 2 entails the negation of the 3rd.
So either God lacks omnipotence, or he lacks goodness, or evil does not exist, or God does not exist!
Does evil have a purpose?
Does evil have a purpose?
Test - Gos uses evil and suffering in order to test human qualities and give humans the oppitunity to show love, courage and other noble traits.
Punishment - Christian and muslim - ' the lord will send down on you curses, confusion and rebuke...until you are destroyed...because of the evil you have done in forsaking him!'
Inevitable - Gos is not responsible for E + S. The worls with all its imperfections is the best possible world. Without evil there would be no good.
Allows God's love to be displayed - Christian - God becomes incarnate and makes himself vulnerable to evil and suffering though Jesus Christ.
- Theodicy comes from the Greek word 'theos' meaning 'God' and 'dike' meaning righteous
- Theodicy means 'In defence of a righteous God' - an attempt to justify the existance of God in the face of evil and suffering.
- This term was first coined by Gottfried Liebniz
A theodicy has to obey 3 rules
- It does not deny the existance of evil
- It does not qualify the nature of God
- It does not advocate giving up faith when faced with evil and suffering
Classical Theodicies - Augustine and Irenaeus
Modern approaches - Process Theodicy and the Free Will Defence