Flashcards in Problem of Evil Deck (55)
What are the two types of evil?
- Natural evil e.g. disasters
- Moral evil e.g. humans
What is the logical problem of evil?
If God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent logically evil and suffering should not exist
Why is evil logically a problem for the religious believer?
It questions the nature of God and can be quite painful to know suffering exists with an all loving God
Any solutions to this logical problem?
- God is not omnipotent and can't control evil
- Evil is due
What are the key ideas of Augustine's theodicy (soul deciding) ?
1. God is omnipotent and all good
2. Creation good and perfect
3. Evil is not a substance/ a privation
4. Freewill- evil is with the agent
5. The Fall- hierarchy of beings: angels, humans and animals
6. Origin of moral evil
7. Original sin
8. Natural evil- disharmony in the world follows the fall of angels
9. Aesthetic value of evil
10. Planned redemption
What is privation?
Defines evil as privation which means when we sue words such as 'bad' and 'evil' we are saying that something does not meet our expectations of what, by nature, it should be like, Augustine wrote 'evil is not a substance' - Augustine confessions
What are the key criticisms of Augustine's theodicy?
1. The challenge from science
2. Logical problems- how could a perfect world go wrong
3. God's responsibility for natural evils
What is the challenge from science?
- Big Bang challenges God as a creator of universe
- 'Seminally present' in Adam. Biologically it is impossible for sin to b e passed on genetically
Explain how could a perfect world go wrong?
- Scheliermacher (German Philosopher). It is impossible for evil to create itself out of nothing. If God created the world then he must take full responsibility for his creation?
- If Adam & Eve were perfect, without any knowledge of good and evil. Any evil is from God
- John Hick- 'a flawless creation would never go wrong'- God takes full responsibility of evil
Explain God's responsibility for natural evils?
Augustine argues that God is responsible for everything and, second that suffering is punishment for the sin of Adam. Doesn't fit with the belief of a merciful God.
What is Irenaeus theodicy (soul-making)?
1. Attributes to God- is all good and omnipotent
2. The universe and the earth develop over time- creation is embryonic
3. Human beings are created in an imperfect state- evolve from 'image' into the 'likeliness' of God
5. Value of freewill
7. Suffering and the soul-making process- two key purposes of suffering
8. Epistemic distance
9. Universal salvation
What is the free will defence?
Since God has created humans who are free to make their own moral decisions
Why does Swinburne support the free will defence?
He argues that God can never intervene in human freedom, otherwise human responsibility and development would be compromised
What is Mackie's objection to the free will defence?
That free will entails the potential of evil. He argues that God cannot be omnipotent and all loving since he could have created a world in which humans are free but always choose good.
What is John Hick's response to Mackie's objection?
He argues that if God had designed humans so that they always choose good, not be truly free (like robots)
What is Peter Vardy's major criticism of the free will defence?
Fails to explain the natural evils in the world which is often independent of any actions of humans and cannot be controlled by them
How does Augustine account for the origins of evil?
All evil come from moral choices. 'Evil comes from God' because God causes us to exist and keeps us in existence
How does Augustine explain suffering in the world?
Original sin creates disharmony. The consequence of disharmony lead to suffering in the world. God created good, perfect world but moral choices lead to evil in the world
What is meant by 'seminally present' in Adam and how this is linked to the problem of evil?
Humans are worthy of the punishment of evil and suffering because we are "seminally present in the loins of Adam" deserving the punishment for original sin
What is the aesthetic principle in Augustine's theodicy?
The existence of evil highlights the goodness of creation because of the contrast between good and evil.
How does Irenaeus interpret the story of the Fall in the Garden of Eden?
According to Irenaeus, why and how does God punish Adam and Eve?
God punishes them like a parent punishes a child to help them grow and learn from their suffering
Why do people experience suffering? Irenaeus
Human beings can grow and learn from their suffering
How does Irenaeus view the incarnation of God as Jesus?
- Jesus' incarnation brings God's presence in human life, helps to unite humans with God.
How does Irenaeus view salvation of God?
Salvation from God is open to all, but he also states that God judges everyone at death
How does John Hick find Augustine's theodicy unconvincing?
- Taking the bible literally of the Fall is unconvincing
- Rejected the mythology of the garden of Eden story because role of mythology is to examine some of the great mysteries of human existence
Hick argues that they are two stages of development go human beings, what are they?
Image and Likeness
What is meant by "image"?
Evolution of human beings not from peaceful garden of eden but from struggle to survive
What is meant by "likeness"?
Need to develop the content of God; virtue and wisdom