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  • Created by: Lily
  • Created on: 23-04-13 09:30

Contradictions within the idea of God

OMNIBENEVOLENCE - Surely God would have a motive to get rid of evil?

OMNIPOTENCE - Surely he would have the ability to get rid of evil?

OMNISCIENCE - Surely he would be aware of evil and know how to get rid of it?


Can God then exist? And can he be omnipotent, omnibenevolent or omniscient?

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Bible shows that God is wholly good.

 "God saw all that he had made and it was very good" (Gensis 1:31)

1. God created all things good 2. Evil is not good 3. Therefore God did not create evil. 4. Evil is not a "thing"!

Evil came from entites which had FREE WILL. They turned their backs on the supreme God and settled for lesser Gods.



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result of the loss of the order of nature due to human sin.


came from the knowledge of good and evil which humanity had discovered through their disobdience.

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Would it be right for God to put a stop to sufferi


God is just!!! He has to allow us to face PUNISHMENT. (death)

"If God was simply just everyone would get their rightfull punishment in he ll" -Augustine.

JESUS CHRIST - took the punishment and died on the cross so all who believe can accept saviour.

"since there is happiness for those who do not sin, the universe is perfect" - Augstine.

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  • SCHLIERMACHER - Logical contradiction. Either the world was not perfect to begin with or God made it go wrong
  • "theory of evolution" - world was chaos?
  • SURVIVAL INSTINCT - suffering is essential, things must die in order for other things to eat (therefore survive)
  • HELL - if the world was made perfect then why would an omnibenevolent God create such a foul place?
  • God cannot be omnipotent if he couldn't stop humans from creating evil
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God did not create a perfect world, he created us imperfectly so we could develop ourselves. Therefore God had to give us free will to enable choice of good over evil.

"How if we had no knowledge of the contray could we have instruction of that which is good"

Evil and suffering will be overcome. Humanity will develop into Gods perfect likeness and then live forever in heaven where there will be no more suffering and gods plan is COMPLETE.

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John Hick

If humanity was perfect we would be like robots and automatically love God without thought. This love is valueless! Free will gives us the ability to DEVELOP LOVE.

Humanity was created at an EPISTEMIC DISTANCE (distance in knowledge and dimension). This allowed humanity to have freedom in choice rather than being overwhelmed by his power.

COUNTERFACTUAL HYPOTHESIS - without freedom we would never learn traits such as courage, genorosity, faith and love and therefore never develop into Gods likeness.


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  • Irenaeus "everyone goes to heaven"? So why should we be good?
  • Theres not always development from suffering. Sometimes it's just pointless cruelty. e.g Holocaust.
  • DZ PHILLIPS - If a child is dying from cancer, this is bad on it's own but if it is done for a purpose for eternity then that is the DEEPEST EVIL. If it is God that has done this there is no way he can justify his actions. He has an evil nature.
  • Love cannot be expressed through pain and suffering.
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David Griffin - Process Theodicy


Universe = uncreated process, therefore God did not create it. He is part of it and is bound by natural laws. "fellow sufferer who understands". His role was to simply BEGIN THE PROCESS OF EVOLUTION.

Humans are FREE to ignore him and God cannot stop evil as he lacks the power (bound by natural laws). He takes some responsiblility as he began the process of creation.

But any universe is better than none! So, it can't really be that bad. Cooperation is UP TO US. God cannot control us, he can only INFLUENCE us.

God = DIPOLAR: still developing through two poles (mental & physical). Physical = "gods body". God is partly distinct & partly immersed therefore suffering in creation is undergone by God and creation itself = cooperation between God and living beings.

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  • Denies the monopolistic idea of God. Is such a limited God worthy of worship?
  • An omnipotent being may be able to stop suffering but it isn't a direct cause. An omnipotent being can't guarantee whether it'll happen despite having infinite power, the actions of others are still important.
  • Evil doesn't disprove the existence of an omnipotent and omnibenevolent God.
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Alines Opinion

  • AGREE WITH AUGUSTINE - evil happens when we turn against the will of a supreme God, e.g Adam & Eve. Evil is necessary "the wages of sin is death" -Romans 6:23
  • However, God did not just "sit back". He did everything he could without interfering with free will!!! e.g Jesus on the cross - came to earth as a human being without his powers and chose to suffer instead. Pierced to a cross for being "innocent, pure, sinless. A perfect sacrifice". Suffering is there instead of justice therefore we do not suffer eternally.
  • Free will gives us the choice to embrace Gods love & power and use it to do good in the world.
  • DISAGREE WITH IRENAEUS - Is not compatible with Genisis. The world was created perfect! Close to God, walking beside him in his garden.
  • Does agree with the counterfactual hypothesis .
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