The Problem of Evil - Coggle Diagram
The Problem of Evil
presentations of the problem of evil
The problem of evil is both a logical problem and an evidential problem. Theodicies are attempts to defend the existence of God despite the existence of evil and suffering in the world.
evil as a logical problem-the inconsistant triad is an argument against the concept of an all powerful and all loving God while evil persists. it states that these three beleifs cannot exist at the same time
-the logical form of the argument states an all powerful God would be able to stop evil and suffeering and an all loving God would want to stop evil and suffering. The argument concludes that God canot have these qualities given the fact that evil and suffering do exist
solving logical problem of evil-some scholars may choose to solve the logical problem of evil by stating that evil serves a good purpose despite the fact it appears to be bad
-in addition, some may suggest that God is not totally powerful or not totally loving
evil as an evidential problem-this argument states that there is too much evil and sufferring in the world for an all powerful and all loving God to exist
- The extent of evil and suffering throughout human history cannot be explained by the existance of God
-supporterd of this arguement state that the extent of evil and suffeering in teh world suggests a cruel, malevolent creator
Theodicies that Justify Divine Responses to Evil
Theodicies are attempts to defend the existence of God despite the existence of evil and suffering in the world.
augustine: perfection and the fall-augustine defined evil as a 'privatio boni' or absense of good. Augustine beleived that evil was not a substance or force. Ie moldy grape not up to expectations
-beleived that God created a perfect world which was full of variety and goodness. This variety meant that some things will have more capabilities than others
-As angls were created with variety, some recieved less grace from God and were less able to worship God. This meant that some angels fell into sin as a result of misusing their free will
Adam and Eves role (Augustine)
-adam and even chose to disobey God by misusing their free will. they were temted to disobey God by a fallen angel
-this act of disobedience corrupted the natural world and the human soul. as a result, natural and moral evil entered the world
Analysing Augustine and Iranaeus' Theories
Does Augustine's theory mean God is blameless? And does Iranaeus' ‘vale of soul-making’ theory justify the existence or extent of evils?
Augustine: inadequate theory-augustines understanding of evil as privation is inadeqquate
- eg of evil ie suffering of innocent children, genocude or natural disasters, cannot be understood as merely a lack of goodness
-augustine recognises the role of humanity and misuse of free will as the cause for a lot of evil and suffering which we see in the world today
augustine: genesis and qualities-augustine relies on a literal interpreatation of the genesis text
- this doesnt appeal to twenty first centuary beleifs about the origin of human beings
-augustines theodicy raises issues with Gods omniscience
- if God knows everything, why did God not anticipate the misuse of free will?
-Augustines theodicy undermines Gods omnipotence
- eg if God was all powerfl, he would be able to remove the damage caused by evil and suffering
positives of augustines theory-sucessful in preserving Gods omnibenevolence and traditional characteristics
- God does not want evil in the world and it was not part of his original creation
-augustines use of biblical text to support his understanding of the origin of evil appeals to a christian audience
Ireanaeus: view of suffering-irenaeus' theodicy fails to recognise the fact that some people suffer at lot more
- eg of evil- such as innocent people killed in terrorist attacks or childhood cancer- do nnot always allow for a 'vale of soul making'
-suffering can make people worse, rather than better or stronger. sufferingdoes not always lead to spiritual maturity. suffering can lead to a lack of faith, bitterness and resentment
dz phillips on irenaeus-it is wromg to sugget that God planned evil as part of his initial creation
- for phillips, this suggests an evil God wo was willing to let humans suffer so that free will is preserved
positives of irenaeus 'theory
-appealing as it provides comfort and purpose to those whom suffer. it allows us to recognise that evil and suffering allow us to develop as human beings
-the idea of 'soul making' appeals to our past experience that suffering enables us to grow as human beings
-Ireneaus' theodicy recognises free will as the means for which we can develop morally and spiritually
Analysing Logical vs Evidential Arguments & Monotheism
Do the logical or evidential arguments for the problem of evil create more significant challenges to belief? Is it possible to defend monotheism when evil exists?
-the beleif that an omnipotent God would be able to remove evil and suffering relies on the assumption that an all powerful God can do everything
-Richard Swinburne argues that omnipotence is misunderstood. God can only do what is logically possible. It is a logical contradiction for God to allow human freedom while also not allowing for evil and suffering to occur
evil may be necessary-the beleif that an omnibenevolent God would seek to remove evil and suffering relies on the assumption that it is always better to have no evil than to have evil in the world
-scholars such as hick and swinburne argue that evil is necessary for us to develop and intoa free relashionship with God
Evil for good and Gods uniqueness
-the logical version of the problem of evil recognises that evil and suffering may exist for good purposes. If evil and suffering allow for spiritual and moral development, then evil becomes good and necessary
-the evedintial problem of evil fails to recognise the uniqueness of God. We are finite human beings with limited capacities
-So it is difficult to understand how an omni God would respond to evil and suffering within the world
can we defend monotheism
-some people may argue that there is a far greater amount of good than ever in the world. The plentiful examples of goodness and beaty suggest that God may still exist.
-Human beings are finite with limited capacities. There may be a purpose and reason for evil and suffering which we still do not understand.
-Theism is about faith. A beleif in God is not based on the balance of evidence. God does not have to explain the existence of evil and suffering in his creation