Philosophy 5

Good and Evil

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  • Created by: Nikki
  • Created on: 12-05-10 20:04

Beliefs about God and the Devil/Satan

Most Christian traditions dictate that the Devil was the most powerful and beautiful angel in heaven who led worship, and is not God's equal. His name is 'Satan' or 'Lucifer', and became too proud so chose to rebel against God. When he and a third of the angels who chose to fight with him lost, they were thrown into a lake of fire for rebelling against God.

These 'demons' now try to tempt people into sin, and many Christians see the evils in the world as Satan's fault. Some Christians believe that it was Satan who tempted Eve to disobey God and eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

The image of the Devil with horns and a forked tail, red in colour, most likely comes from Greek mythology.

Many Christians do not believe in the literal Devil, but see him as a metaphor to explain the presence of evil in the world.

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The Problem of Evil and Suffering

Moral evil- actions done by a person that causes others to suffer.

Natural evil- things that cause suffering but are not resulted from some one's actions.

If God is all good -Benevolent- and all powerful -Omnipotent-, why doesn't He stop suffering? Either he isn't benevolent, doesn't want to, or He can't be omnipotent, isn't able to, or He doesn't exist.

  • Some suffering may be God's punishment for our sins.
  • Evil as a principle is in the world as a result of mankind's sin (rejection/ disobedience of God).
  • God does help us. He uses people to help each other.
  • He has dealt with all suffering ultimately by sending Jesus to win complete healing for us, victory over death and eternal life. The suffering of this short life is nothing compared to eternity.
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Coping with Suffering

Some Christians say that the existence of evil is a mystery, but God they believe in God because He cares and suffers with them. Jesus suffered, so He too can understand our suffering.

Although God does not always prevent our suffering, he enables us to pass through it through acceptance and prayer; trusting God to carry us through brings us closer to Him, as we have to rely on Him.

Our proper response to suffering should not be to question God but to pray for the strength to get through it.

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Using the Bible to Find the Right Way to Behave

Mostly, we feel guilt when we do something bad or wrong, and seem to know instinctively what is right and wrong. We only have to imagine doing something to know how we would feel after doing it; this intuitive sense is what people call conscience.

The Bible is the word of God, and teaches Christians the 'right behaviour'. Teachings such as the Ten Commandments show us clearly how to behave.

Matther 7:12 'In everything do to others as you would have them do to you'

Chrisians follow a moral code, because they believe that out one God is interested in how we behave and wants us to be good. Therefore, we should try to be as good as we can.

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