A2 The Problem Of Evil

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  • The problem of evil is not a challenge to God, rather, it is a challenge to man's obedience to God. We have been given the intellect to know what is good and what is evil as it is written in the Holy Bible.
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  • thanks - really useful for revision!
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  • Thanks for this,
    I'm trying to write an essay about Irenaeus theodicy and your slideshow seems to have the most information about him and his Ideas.

    Thanks.
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A2 The Problem Of Evil

  1. 1. The Problem of Evil A challenge to God’s existence?
  2. 2. What you need to know… <ul><li>Evil and its challenge to faith. </li></ul><ul><li>Responses to the problem of evil. </li></ul><ul><li>The Augustinian and Irenaean Theodicies (including Hick’s vale of soul making theodicy); process thought. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Past Papers <ul><li>June 02 </li></ul><ul><li>2 (a) Explain the view that there should be no evil in a world created by an all loving and all powerful God. (20 marks) </li></ul><ul><li>(b) Outline the Augustinian theodicy, and assess how successful it is as an explanation of the existence of evil in the world. (30 marks) </li></ul><ul><li>June 03 </li></ul><ul><li>2 (a) Explain how Evil presents a challenge to religious faith. (20 marks) </li></ul><ul><li>(b) Summarise the Irenaean Theodicy and discuss how far it meets the challenges posed by evil and suffering in the world. (30 marks) </li></ul><ul><li>June 04 </li></ul><ul><li>2 (a) Explain how natural evil may be seen as a challenge to belief in God and how the Irenaean theodicy deals with this challenge. (20 marks) </li></ul><ul><li>(b) Explain how the Augustinian theodicy deals with the problem of natural evil, and assess how far the Irenaean and Augustinian theodicies succeed in dealing with this problem. (30 marks) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Introduction <ul><li>Challenge to classic theism </li></ul><ul><li>Nature of God </li></ul><ul><li>Inconsistent triangle </li></ul><ul><li>Natural – definition and examples </li></ul><ul><li>Moral – definition and examples </li></ul><ul><li>Theodicies </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is Evil? <ul><li>Evil: an act or person that is corrupt or wicked </li></ul><ul><li>Suffering: having to undergo unpleasant or traumatic experiences </li></ul><ul><li>Natural Evil </li></ul><ul><li>Moral Evil </li></ul><ul><li>Sin </li></ul><ul><li>Original Sin </li></ul><ul><li>The Fall </li></ul><ul><li>Freewill </li></ul>
  6. 6. A Problem for Theists? <ul><li>Some assumptions: </li></ul><ul><li>God made the universe and is therefore… </li></ul><ul><li>God is interested and active in the world </li></ul><ul><li>God is good </li></ul><ul><li>God is powerful </li></ul><ul><li>God does not want people to suffer </li></ul>
  7. 7. Evil is… Satan All in the mind - Mental illness A force – Ying / yang The Absence of good – We CHOOSE to do wrong Original Sin
  8. 8. The Fall <ul><li>God made Adam and Eve and placed them in a perfect garden </li></ul><ul><li>God told them not to eat the forbidden fruit </li></ul><ul><li>Satan, the snake, tempted them. They ate the fruit </li></ul><ul><li>God threw them out the garden – evil and suffering had entered the world </li></ul>
  9. 10. WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT SUFFERING: <ul><li>Romans 8:18: &quot;For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us!&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Romans 8:17: &quot;We must also share in his suffering, if we are to share in his glory.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>John 16:33: &quot;In this world you will have tribulation. But be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world.&quot; (Or as another translations puts it: &quot;Take courage, I've deprived it of its power to harm and conquer you.&quot;) </li></ul><ul><li>James 5:13: &quot;Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>1 Peter 4:12: &quot;Do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you. But to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing.&quot; And verse 19 says: &quot;Let those who suffer ... entrust their souls to a faithful Creator. . .&quot; </li></ul>
  10. 11. Attempts to reconcile Questioning an Attribute of God <ul><li>Process Theodicy A.N. Whitehead (1861-1947) </li></ul><ul><li>Denies omnipotence </li></ul><ul><li>God is co-sufferer – sparrows! </li></ul><ul><li>Protest Theodicy </li></ul><ul><li>Jewish theology – holocaust </li></ul><ul><li>Denies omni-benevolence </li></ul><ul><li>Evil in Bible – holy wars, beyond understanding </li></ul><ul><li>Monism </li></ul><ul><li>Denies the existence of Evil – illusion </li></ul><ul><li>Christian Scientist Movement </li></ul><ul><li>Dualism (Manichaeism) Mani 215-276CE </li></ul><ul><li>Good and Evil powers in the world – equal strength (not devil) </li></ul><ul><li>Modern version – Ying/Yang Chinese/Buddhist </li></ul><ul><li>St Augustine put his efforts into defeating this heresy </li></ul>
  11. 12. <ul><li>“ The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” </li></ul><ul><li>Edmund Burke (1729-1797) </li></ul>
  12. 13. Augustine of Hippo Refuting Heretic,” c. thirteenth century
  13. 14. Augustinian Theodicy – Freewill Defence <ul><li>St Augustine of Hippo (354-430) </li></ul><ul><li>2 assumptions 1. Evil is not from God (Gen 3 – The Fall) 2. Evil is a privation – examples </li></ul><ul><li>- God made perfect world </li></ul><ul><li>- The Fall ruined it all </li></ul><ul><li>- We have a “fallen nature” </li></ul><ul><li>- God would be justified to punish us </li></ul><ul><li>- BUT he provides a way out – Sacrifice of Jesus </li></ul><ul><li>Natural evil – Effects of Fall on nature </li></ul><ul><li>Moral evil – misuse of Freewill </li></ul>
  14. 15. Problems with Augustine <ul><li>Perfect world gone wrong? Evolution </li></ul><ul><li>Omniscient – still went ahead – indirectly responsible? </li></ul><ul><li>Why should we suffer for Adam & Eve’s mistakes? </li></ul><ul><li>Who made hell? </li></ul>
  15. 16. Irenaean Theodicy
  16. 17. From potential to actual
  17. 18. Irenaean Theodicy <ul><li>St Irenaeus (130-202) “Soul Making” </li></ul><ul><li>The Fall - Human development not judgement </li></ul><ul><li>Life is a test - example </li></ul><ul><li>Humans made in God’s image (potential) </li></ul><ul><li>Embracing suffering, learning from it </li></ul><ul><li>Process = Potential (image) to Actual (likeness) </li></ul><ul><li>God must keep a distance – glimpse of love, grace. Hick calls this “epistemic distance”. Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Hick called this process a “vale of soul making” </li></ul>
  18. 19. Problems with Irenaeus <ul><li>Universalism – everyone makes it in the end. Orthodox Christianity disagrees </li></ul><ul><li>If we’ll all be saved, why not sin? </li></ul><ul><li>Unjust if evil goes unpunished? Examples </li></ul><ul><li>What benefit is the holocaust? Motive </li></ul><ul><li>Hume – why not learn from pleasure as well as pain? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the end justify the means? </li></ul>
  19. 20. Concluding Thoughts… <ul><li>Guess what? Faith v’s Reason </li></ul><ul><li>Do the theodicies work? May help, but won’t convert anybody </li></ul><ul><li>Use ideas for proving God’s existence </li></ul><ul><li>Use this in problems with God’s existence </li></ul><ul><li>Miracles and charity? </li></ul><ul><li>Science – suffering is good </li></ul><ul><li>evolution </li></ul>
  20. 21. Practice Question <ul><li>2 (a) Explain the challenge to classical theism of the existence of evil. (20 marks) </li></ul><ul><li>(b) Explain how the Irenaeus and Hick’s theodicy deals with the problem of moral evil, and assess how far the theodicies succeed in dealing with this problem. (30 marks) </li></ul>

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