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  • Created by: Lottie
  • Created on: 30-05-12 13:42

The Problem of Evil


1.       God is wholly benevolent

2.       God is omnipotent

3.       There is evil and suffering in the world


This is an inconsistent triad.




In order to solve the problem of evil, it must be shown that the triad is in fact consistent (theodicy), or 1. / 2. / 3. Is not true.  This problem only requires a solution is God actually exists.



·         We have fallen from grace, everything was created good (God is wholly good so creates good)

·         God giving us free will has resulted in moral evil.

·         Natural evil is created due to fallen angels operating with Satan etc.

·         The world is like a piece of art some parts that look blotches close up are required overall


o    Modern logicians have suggested we could have free will and never do evil

o    Angels are finitely perfect, although free to sin they will never do so. If they do then they were not flawless to start with and God must share some responsibility for this

o    Modern science suggests a development through evolution not a fall from perfection

o    God would have foreseen that evil would become in his creation

o    Morally unacceptable that evil is balanced by good

o    If everything depends on God for existence, God must be involved in free human actions!



·         Evil is necessary to bring about some good – ‘soul-making’ theodicy

o    Acts as a growth of understand

o    Proper development of human beings to mature and become morally good


·         We were not created perfect, we were created in God’s image and we must move toward perfection


o    Pointless evil (****, paedophiles etc.)

o    The experience of evil is not equally spread amongst all

o    The suffering could not justify the ultimate joy (Concentration camps etc.)

o    What happens if we never reach the end? How will we justify the evil?

o    Could God have not helped us become properly related and good from day 1?


God is not omnipotent

·         Modern Process Theology – God is not omnipotent, physical matter must obey certain laws once created, that even God cannot change.

o    This is not the God of classical theism


·         Evil may well be necessary, without it we could not have any physical laws or any failure – the world would be completely non functional without some form of suffering. The real question is why so much (pointless) suffering?


Evil is an illusion


·         Regardless, the illusion STILL IS BAD! If I am actually in pain or not is irrelevant if I think I am in pain


·         Not merely an intellectual problem, could you ever tell those of Auschwitz it was for a ‘greater good’? -


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