The problem of evil


  • Created by: Kasey
  • Created on: 19-05-11 19:57

The Problem of Evil-AS Philosophy

The Problem of Evil

 To begin with, we have the inconsistent triad:


(Evil exists can be replaced with 'Omniscience'-Does he not know evil is occurring?)

There are various answers to this problem:

 We have free will

We deserve it

It's all part of God's mysterious plan

The Eschatalogical justification-Suffer unjustly now and you'll be rewarded in the after-life (Will look into this further on...)

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The problem of Evil in more depth...

The problem of Evil in more depth...

So what is evil? Moral depravity; something physically or morally harmful

2 Types: Natural (E.g. Tsunamis) and Moral (Us, basically)

"The life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short"-Thomas Hobbes (1599-1679)

Okay, now besides the obvious, why is evil a problem? Yep, that's right! It challenges God's divine attributes. Not to mention that natural evil challenges the design argument.

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Beginning on philosophers

  • Epicurus

 Is God willing but not able to prevent evil? ... Is God able but not willing? ...Is he both able and willing? Then why do we suffer?! He is either not omnipotent, nor omni benevolent or non-existent.

  • David Hume

 Evil exists. God is impotent or malicious. The classical definition of God appears redundant

  • Aquinas

 Evil/Sin is evidence of 'not achieving'-Virtue Ethical Theory. It challenges the nature of humanity.


1. God is all powerful

2. Evil exists

3. Surely, a holy and good being could eliminate evil?

4. You would have to change God's attributes to hold these aspects to a minimum and even then suppose that statement 3 is true.

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THE EVIDENTIAL PROBLEM  There is evidence that suggests no God (moral and natural evil)       -William Rowe: This doesn't prove God's non-existence!  The free-will defense argues that evil is the result of OUR choices; so justified by free will, which is good! Natural evil can also be covered by this if caused by human beings or the Devil.      -Charles Darwin: But there is unnecessary pain and suffering!

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Augustine's theodicy.

The justification of God.

God's creation was faultless and perfect.

Evil came from within the world: Disobedience, disharmony morally and in nature, original sin.

God is justified in not intervening because the suffering is a consequence of human action-God is perfect and Evil is a privation.

All suffering is a human abuse of free will.

If God was simply just, everybody would be punished. 

God's grace-Reconciliation through Jesus Christ.

'Soul-deciding' judgement

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sylvia allen


I thought it was helpful and the language accessible.

I hit the button too soon I meant to rate it as 4

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