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Bottom: Haiti – January 2010Top: Charity workers helpingthe needy afterwards
Tuesday, 06 December 2011 How can Christians explain evil? Aims: • Recap the ‘problem of evil’ • Describe a variety of ways in which Christians attempt to solve the problem of evil and suffering lessons • Explain how the Bible teaches that evil and suffering were brought into the world through people’s sinful actions • Give your own opinions about the problem of evil and whether or not it disproves the existence of God
Unique to number 1 Shared by 1 and 2 Shared by 1 and 3 1. A hangover Shared by all2. Being hit by a car driven 3. Being killed by a tsunami by a drunk Unique to number 2 Unique to number 3 Shared by 2 and 3
The ‘problem of evil’ recapGod is thought to be omni-benevolent, omnipotent and omniscient If God is omni- If God is omniscient If God is omnipotentbenevolent he would he would know how he would be able towant to remove evil to remove evil and remove evil and and suffering suffering suffering Therefore, both God and evil cannot exist Evil and suffering do exist Therefore, God cannot exist
• Can you give an example of someone who you think is a shining example of how to cope with difficult times? What did/do they do?• Can you think of anyone who has been broken by suffering, who has gone through so much they have become bitter? Describe their experiences.• A four-year-old can create quite a scene from a cut knee, maybe because they know nothing worse (yet!) What if the world was less intense, and all our pains were less severe? Would that satisfy everyone? In other words, is suffering relative?
• ‘All that is best, most valued, and longest lasting is born out of pain and suffering.’ Would you agree? Can you give examples?• Not many people take their own lives, but a few do. What are we to make of this? Can we conclude that, for most people, life can’t be that bad after all? Or could it be the evolutionary struggle for survival has given us a tough approach: we seek survival come what may?• How is a persons religious beliefs reinforced or undermined by suffering?