Theodicies

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  • Created by: Beth
  • Created on: 24-05-15 16:25

Augustinian

- God created stuff out of nothing (ex nihilo)

- Evil is a privation of good

- Creation is good

- Human beings were created perfect

- Everybody was seminally present in Adam when he committed the original sin, therefore they are punishable.

- Human beings have free will

- Human beings use their free will to turn away from God (the Fall)

- The Fall brought natural and moral evil into the world

- God foresaw the fall of man and planned their Redemption through Christ

- God made repentance and salvation possible

** Emphasis is on soul-deciding; people's response to evil decides their destiny

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Free Will Defence

- Evil exists in the world due to Free Will

- John Hick: Soul Making => Humans are shaped through suffering, Human goodness comes through making free and responsible moral choices.

- Richard Swinburne: he addressed the sheer quantity of evil - he said a genuinely free person must be allowed to harm themselves and others.

- God could intervene or let them learn from the consequences: the latter allows them to express true moral freedom.

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Process Theodicy

- Creation was not ex nihilo (out of nothing) but it was the achievement of order out of pre existing chaos.

- God's power is limited as the pre existing material is not subject to God's will.

- God only attempts to persuade and influence things into being.

- God is in time and both affects and is affected by the world (God depends on us).

- God can't control finite beings but sets goals that he has to persuade them to do.

- Evil occurs when such goals are not realised.

** God suffers along with us.

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'Vale of Soul-Making'

- Irenaeus said humans develop towards perfection, he made a distinction between the image and the likeness of God => Adam and Eve had the form of God but not the likeness/content of God, Adam and Eve were immature and needed to develop into the likeness.

- John Hick developed this into a theodicy:

* 1st phase of God making humans in his image was the evolutionary process, creating humans who could essentially have relationships with God.

* 2nd phase = making beings that make moral, responsible choices in real life situations.

* God created a world in which its not immediately evident that there's a God.

* Human Goodness occuring through making free and responsible moral choices is more valuable than ready made goodness.

* Some moral goods are responses to evils and hence cannot exist without them.

** Evil = justified as it makes humans perfect.

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