Problem of Evil

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The problem of Evil:

A God who is OMNIBENEVOLENT and OMNIPOTENT has the motive and ability to get rid of evil.


HOWEVER:  Evil exists in the world.


Thus, either God cannot exist or is neither of the forementioned attributes.

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Augustine's answer

AUGUSTINE argued that the Bible shows that God is wholly good, created a world free from evil and suffering and perfectly good.

"He saw all that he had made and it was good." (Genesis 1:31)


  • God created all things good.
  • Evil is not good.
  • Therefore, God did not create evil.


  • God created all things good.
  • Evil is not good.
  • Therefore, evil is not a thing.
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Augustine's answer

Evil is the PRIVATION of good. (Like darkness is the absence of light)

Augstine said that evil came not from God, whom is all-good but from those entities who had FREE WILL. They turned their backs on the SUPREME GOOD (God) and settled for LESSER GOODS.

State of perfection ruined by HUMAN SIN, balance of the world DESTROYED.

 "Evil has no positive nature; but the loss of good has

recieved the name 'evil'."

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Augustine's answer to moral and natural evil

He believed NATURAL EVIL (tsunami's, earthquakes etc) came about through the loss of order in nature, due to HUMAN SIN.



He believed MORAL EVIL (murder, stealing) came from the knowledge of good and evil which humanity discovered through their DISOBEDIENCE.

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Why God does not intervene

It would not be right for God to intervene to put a stop to suffering.


God is JUST- he has to allow for us to face the punishment of sin, which is DEATH.


Augustine concludes that if this was the case then everyone would get their full and rightful punishment in hell.

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However, in his infinite love and grace, he sent his one and only son, Jesus Christ, to take the punishment for all of our sin and to die on the cross so that all those who believe and accept can be saved.

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Problem's with Augustine's argument

Augustine’s view that the world was made perfect and damaged by humans is contrary to the theory of evolution, which asserts that the universe began as chaos and has been developing continually.

A God who cannot get rid of evil cannot be called omnipotent, because he is not powerful enough to make free-will and a perfect world work hand in hand.

Schliermacher (1768-1834) argued that it was a logical contradiction to say that a perfectly created world had gone wrong. Either the world was not perfect to start with, or God made it go wrong. If so, then it is God, and not humanity, who is to blame.

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