These are theories that attempt to dismiss the problem of evil as a challenge to the idea of an omnibonevolent and omnpotent God.
- God created a perfect world with humans with free will.
- Evil entered the world due to Adam's Original Sin- an abuse of this free will.
- We are seminally preasant in Adam so we inherit this sin and all deserve punishment.
- Natural evil is a result of the 'disharmony' on earth caused by moral evil.
- God did not create evil, as he is all loving, it is merely the deprivation (lack) of good.
- God's mercy means that some will be saved and sent to heaven.
Criticisms of Augustine's Theodicy
- Evil cannot come out of a perfect world.
- Biologically there is no evidence that we can inherit sin.
- There is evidence that we were not created perfect (evolution).
- The existence of hell suggests evil was in God's plan.
- God created us in his image and through moral acts we acheive a 'likeness' of God.
- We were given free will because choosing to do a moral action has more moral value than being pre-programmed to do so.
- Goodness stems from suffering- when we experience hunger we know it is good to feed the hungry.
- Therefore, evil is justified in order for the world to develop further towards perfection.
- The afterlife is the place where one continues to acheive likeness to God, and also is a reward for choosing morality.
Criticisms of Iraneus' Theodicy
- Everyone going to heaven is unfair and makes obeying God pointless.
- Pointless suffering, such as the destruction caused by earthquakes, is still unexplained.
- An all loving God would not allow any kind of suffering.
- Is it really more loving for God to allow the innocent to suffer than to intervene with free will?
Mackie's Free Will Criticism
He stated that God could have created free beings that always choose to obey him and therefore the free will defence is moot as God could have created this differently, and more lovingly- God could have created 'good robots' that still posess free will.