The Problem of Evil and Suffering (The problem of evil (Logical problem of…
The Problem of Evil and Suffering
There are 3 types of evil
The problem of evil
Logical problem of evil
Evidential problem of evil
3 responses to the problem of evil and suffering
The Free Will Defence
The Free Will Defence aims to show that humans cannot have free will without the existence of moral evil. Having free will is worth the cost of suffering.
Mackies Free Will Defence:
Mackie proposes the idea of a
as experiancing a life of either happiness or pain, such as enjoying a nice meal or getting stung by a bee -it is at the baisc level of human experiance.
are more valuble as we can respond to these life experiances in different ways. It exits to maximise first-order good and minimise first-order evil (likewise, second-order evil maximises first-order evil).
How Mackie uses this to disproove God
Mackie said that it is logically impossible for someone to freely choose good at every point of choice. Because God didn't make people have true free choice and always choose, God must either lack power, love or simply doesn't exist.
How Plantinga uses this to proove Gods exsitence
In the context of
Platigna gives 3 possible worlds. One world as it is with 'morally significant free will' (one with evil and suffering ebcuase there is no causal determination from God), another without 'morally significant free will' but with God's cuasual determination so that people would always choose good and there is no evil. And finally, a world with both 'morally significant free will' and God's causal determination which would make people choose good meaning that there would be no evil.
Plantinga believes that the first and second worlds are logically possible, but the second would make us into robots. The third world is logically impossible as the two cannot coniside. The libertarian understanding of free will is incompatible with causul determinism. This means that Mackie's argument fails.
In the context of
Platigna states taht this is our punsihemn for teh Fall and so it is logically possibel for God to create/ allow natural evil because of human sin.
Irenaeus and Hicks tehodicy argument.
God is perfect and his created a perfect world- 'it was good'.
God does not create evil because it is not a substance, just an absence of good or 'privation'.
Evil initially came from angels and humans that turned away from God deliberately.
The possibility of evil in our world is necessary becuase only God is perfect and created things can change.
Everyone is guilty becuase they were seminally 'peresent in the loins of Adam'.
Natural evil came about when humans destyoed the natural order (and started the created order).
God is seen as merciful and just becuase he saves some through Christ.
How Augustine defends God
Evil was not initially part of creation.
Evil is not a substance but the absence of good (privatio boni), that arises from the voluntary actions or the wrong moral choices of free and rational beings. Creation was in fact meant to be good to reflect the goodness of the creator, and evil was initially created when finitkey perfet angel stopped doing good, or when Adam turned away from God. Augustine wrote in Enchiridion that
"the cuase of evil is the defection of the will of a being who is mutably good from the Good which is immutable"
Augustine uses the free will defence.
Humans are contingent beings that are 'mutable' (changeable) because we are created out of nothing. Therefore, humans have the possibility of becoming evil. Free will must contain the possibility of turning away from God -that's what free will is all about!
Evil is privative and parasitic
God couldn't have created evil as it is the absence of good (privative).Aquinas wrote in Enchiridion
"There can be no evil where there is no good
"unless they are parasitic on something good, they are nothing at all"
Evil is caused by Gods creatures, not God.
Aquinas acknowledges sin as the wilful turning of oneself from the highest good (God), to some lesser good. This can happen when a self seeks to replace God in terms of authority. Aquinas calls this 'self-creation evil'. Humans are to blame because they where seminal present in the loins of Adam.
Weaknessess of AQugustin's argument
Augustine contradicts religious belief.
He does not give a satisfying explanation of human free will. Augustine claims that humans have 'finite perfection'. But because the first human beings did sin, we question weather they actually were perfect. This conflicts scripture. Another point is that Augustine contradicts his belief in predestination. If God has predestined that some humans will be saved, this means that the rest will be damned. If God knew this and still proceeded with creation then God is responsible for evil. Mackie calls this omnificence (becuase God is all knowking/ powerfull he takes responisbilty for everything that takes place.
In defence some people state that God has foreknowledge of who will recieve salvation, and only perdestines on the baisi of his foreknowldge. This can also be used to defend the argument taht God knew that Adam would sin when He created him, but Augitsine would reply that God foresaw a greater good of redeption and salvation.
Why would God create imperfect creatures?
Each creature has its own variations which means they compete (eg race), which could mean that ecah createure is imperfect in some way.
Augustine proposes the principil of plentitude (from Greek philospher Plotinus). This states taht all possible forms of existance should exist. Some creatures are also imperfect due to the ehirtvhy of beings. Another response is that the world is created to be an appropiate ennviornment for humans as moral beings. People claim that Aquinas is insensitive to animal pain.