The Problem of Evil


- Theodicy is an attempt to justify why God permits evil and suffering

The 4 Rules of Theodicy

- It musn't deny the existence of evil

- It mustn't qualify the nature of God

- It musn't advocate giving up faith

-  It must propose good reasons as to why God permits evil and suffering

Augustine's Theodicy - 354-430 AD

- Based on Genesis 3 and Romans 5:12-20, and the assumptions that evil is not from God as his creation was faultless and perfect, and that evil came from within the world

- Evil is not a substance, it is a deprivation. Augustine uses the analogy of blindness to explain this; blindness is not an entity, but the absense of sight

- Sin and death entered the world through Adam and Eve's disobedience, and the fallen angels

- This brought about disharmony in both our human nature and creation

- We all share in the evil nature brought about by Adam and Eve because evil in seminally present in us as their descendants. We therefore deserved to be punished

- Natural Evil is a consequence of the disharmony of nature brought about by the fall; Moral evil is caused because the world has become estranged from God, and immorality has been able to thrive

- God is justified in not intervening because the suffering is a consequence of human action, a result of our misuse of free will

 - However, God has not relinquished any responsibility for the world. God's grace sent Jesus down


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