Problem of Evil

  • Created by: Chantal
  • Created on: 24-04-13 21:29

Problem of Evil

  • The Problem (Inconsistent Triad)
  • Augustine’s Theodicy (Soul Deciding)
  • Irenaeus’ Theodicy (Hick) (Soul Making)
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The Problem

  • God of classical theism:
    • Omniscience
    • Omnipotent
    • Omnipresent
    • Omni benevolent
  • BUT evil exists
  • Logical contradiction
  • Inconsistent triad
  • Moral evil= evil caused by humans (eg murder)
  • Natural Evil= evil caused by nature (eg earthquake)
  • Solutions include:
    • God is not omni benevolent (Mill)
    • God is not omnipotent
    • God does not exist (atheist)
    • Theodicy (attempts to maintain the classic theistic God and explain evil)
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Augustine's Theodicy

  • Soul deciding theodicy (choose to turn- decision)          
  • Free will defence
  • God created the world good
  • All creatures ordered in a hierarchy, given their place by God
  • Turning from there place leads to evil
  • The act of turning is evil= Pride (may not have bad motive)
  • Pride= rather lie with oneself than with God
  • Evil is a privation of good (privation boni)
  • Evil is not an entity in itself therefore evil is not God’s fault
  • Evil comes about due to free will
  • Humans choose to misuse free will
  • Satan and his cohorts exercise free will causing natural evil
  • Saw genesis 3 (the fall) as first example of turning and misuse of free will- catastrophe, major event
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Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Strengths:
    • Relatable- everyone has experienced some form of evil
    • Biblical basis
    • Other examples of privation (eg dark is a lack of light)
    • Includes classical theistic God
    • Most Christians support
  • Weaknesses:
    • How can we excuse god from evident flaws in the world
    • Human ability to turn away- are we really created good?
    • A hierarchy can foster problems between beings
    • How can hell and Satan exist?- did God know we’d mess up?
    • Logical problems
    • Is free will right?
    • Where does our ability to do evil come from?
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  • Soul making theodicy
  • Man was not made good from the beginning they are made in the image of God but not yet possess the likeness of God
  • Humans are created in an infantile state, state of immaturity
  • Hick’s development…
  • Trials and difficulties= testing grounds for us to develop
  • A world that is only good does not allow growth (God’s relationship with humans more like parent to child than owner to animal)
  • Humans have free will allowing them to develop, mans free choices lead to growth in power, freedom and wealth, so their souls become closer to God
  • God keeps himself hidden (epistemic distance) he does exist but we have to make our own choices and rely on each other
  • Dysteleological suffering= problem (Hick says we cannot here and now understand its purpose)
  • Eschatological: If all souls are to be perfected soul making will continue after death
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Stengths and Weaknesses

  • Strengths:
    • Values freewill as means by which man can develop- God not cause  for evil
    • Includes classical theistic God
    • Evil is teleological (has a purpose)
    • Relatable- everyone has experienced some form of evil
    • Evolutionary rather than biblical
    • Answers question why God does not intervene
  • Weaknesses
    • Does the end justify the means?
    • Is the answer that there is a reward in the afterlife really satisfactory
    •  Suggests God is letting us purposefully suffer- omni benevolent?
    • God’s creation is imperfect- omnipotent?
    • Where is the incentive if everyone is rewarded with heaven?
    • Mans free choices don't always lead to growth in power, freedom and wealth
    • Why suffer in this life if we are to suffer in the afterlife (eschatological)
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