Theodicy or Fallacy (TiS Version)
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Theodicy or Fallacy (TiS Version)

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Suffering in a world of a loving God.

Suffering in a world of a loving God.

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  • 1. “Is he willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?” - David Hume "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion"
  • 2. A picture of suffering in our world
  • 3. • He is the image of the • For the wrath of God is • Then the Lord answered Colossians 1:15-18 Romans 1:18–20 Job 38:1–4 invisible God, the firstborn revealed from heaven Job out of the whirlwind of all creation. For by him all against all ungodliness and and said: “Who is this that things were created, in unrighteousness of men, darkens counsel by words heaven and on earth, visible who by their without knowledge? Dress and invisible, whether unrighteousness suppress for action like a man; I will thrones or dominions or the truth. For what can be question you, and you rulers or authorities—all known about God is plain to make it known to me. things were created through them, because God has “Where were you when I him and for him. And he is shown it to them. For his laid the foundation of the before all things, and in him invisible attributes, namely, earth? Tell me, if you have all things hold together. And his eternal power and divine understanding. he is the head of the body, nature, have been clearly the church. He is the perceived, ever since the beginning, the firstborn creation of the world, in the from the dead, that in things that have been made. everything he might be So they are without excuse. preeminent.
  • 4. • “For agnostics, including me, the tsunami has highlighted just how unpalatable the idea of an interventionist God ultimately is. Of the thousands killed in the disaster, probably about one- third were children, too young to have a fully considered view on the existence of God. Did they deserve to die?” • “The truth is, the random destruction wreaked upon our earth by one tectonic shift fits uneasily with prevailing visions of an all-powerful, philosophically benevolent God. Sunday's tsunami broke countless lives, hearts, communities. It would be little wonder if it ended up breaking many people's faith too.” http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2004/12/29/1103996609356.html
  • 5. • Karma – Merit in previous life dictates occurrences in the next life • Yin / Yang – Opposing forces are required and interconnected • Dualism – 2 non-omnipotent opposing forces • Illusory – Suffering is due to a mis-calibrated mind. Evil is a delusion. • No God – We cause our own pain. No such thing as “evil” • Modified Dualism – All powerful God permits suffering for a purpose
  • 6. Choice 1 1. Hume’s argument – “Is he willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?” (Hume, David “Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion”) “Epicurean paradox” or “riddle of Epicurus” “Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, but does not want to, he is wicked. If God can abolish evil, and God really wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?” (Epicurus, as quoted in “2000 Years of Disbelief”)
  • 7. Choice 1 1. Hume’s argument – “Is he willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Whence then is evil?” Hume/Epicurean argument = (Hume, David “Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion”) Logical Fallacy “Epicurean paradox” or “riddle of Epicurus” God is not good or “Either God wants to abolish evil, and cannot; or he can, but does not want to. If he wants to, but cannot, he is impotent. If he can, but does not wantGod is notGod can abolish evil, and God really to, he is wicked. If powerful? wants to do it, why is there evil in the world?” (Epicurus, as quoted in “2000 Years of Disbelief”)
  • 8. • Why? 1. Helps us understand the motivation behind our actions 2. Challenges us to be good without idea of benefit or punishment 3. Explores the concept of “innocent suffering” 4. Delivers the rationale for injustice 5. Presents us with the appropriate reaction to suffering
  • 9. • We seem to desire to judge God John Howard Yoder asks: 1. Where do you get the criteria by which you evaluate God? Why are the criteria you use the right ones? 2. Why do you think you are qualified for the business of accrediting God? 3. If you think you are qualified for that business, how does the adjudication proceed?
  • 10. • Complaining is illogical in the world of a sovereign God “And the people complained in the hearing of the Lord about their misfortunes, and when the Lord heard it, his anger was kindled, and the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed some outlying parts of the camp.” (Numbers 11:1, ESV)
  • 11. • Complaining is illogical in the world of a sovereign God “Therefore I will not restrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit; I will complain in the bitterness of my soul. Am I the sea, or a sea monster, that you set a guard over me? When I say, ‘My bed will comfort me, my couch will ease my complaint,’ then you scare me with dreams and terrify me with visions, ” (Job 7:11–14, ESV)
  • 12. • Complaining is illogical in the world of a sovereign God “Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come? Why should a living man complain, a man, about the punishment of his sins? Let us test and examine our ways, and return to the Lord! ” (Lamentations 3:38–40, ESV)
  • 13. • Worrying is illogical in the world of a sovereign God “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. ” (Matthew 6:33–34, ESV)
  • 14. • Worrying is illogical in the world of a sovereign God “And he said to his disciples, “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!” (Luke 12:22–28, ESV)
  • 15. Worrying or Complaining or Questioning God = Epic Logic Fail (discounts that God is good and all powerful) = Epic Faith Fail
  • 16. Choice 2 2. Theodicy - from Gk. theos *“god”+ and dikē *“justice”+ • a vindication of the divine attributes, particularly holiness and justice, in establishing or allowing the existence of physical and moral evil. • Life’s harsh enigmas render belief in a benevolent deity difficult. Theodicy is the attempt to defend divine justice in the face of aberrant phenomena that appear to indicate the deity’s indifference or hostility toward virtuous people. (David Noel Freedman, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1996). 444.)
  • 17. A picture of suffering in our world
  • 18. This photograph showing a starving Sudanese child being stalked by a vulture won Kevin Carter the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography.
  • 19. ‘“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”’ (Revelation 21:4–5, ESV) “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. ” (Romans 8:18, ESV)
  • 20. • He is the image of the • For the wrath of God is • Then the Lord answered Colossians 1:15-18 Romans 1:18–20 Job 38:1–4 invisible God, the firstborn revealed from heaven Job out of the whirlwind of all creation. For by him all against all ungodliness and and said: “Who is this that things were created, in unrighteousness of men, darkens counsel by words heaven and on earth, visible who by their without knowledge? Dress and invisible, whether unrighteousness suppress for action like a man; I will thrones or dominions or the truth. For what can be question you, and you rulers or authorities—all known about God is plain make it known to me. things were created through to them, because God has “Where were you when I him and for him. And he is shown it to them. For his laid the foundation of the before all things, and in him invisible attributes, namely, earth? Tell me, if you have all things hold together. And his eternal power and divine understanding. he is the head of the body, nature, have been clearly the church. He is the perceived, ever since the beginning, the firstborn creation of the world, in the from the dead, that in things that have been made. everything he might be So they are without excuse. preeminent.
  • 21. • He is the image of the • For the wrath of God is • Then the Lord answered We are to recognize He is Creator We are to submit invisible God, the firstborn revealed from heaven Job out of the whirlwind of all creation. For by him against all ungodliness and and said: “Who is this that all things were created, in unrighteousness of men, darkens counsel by words heaven and on earth, visible who by their without knowledge? Dress and invisible, whether unrighteousness suppress for action like a man; I will thrones or dominions or the truth. For what can be question you, and you rulers or authorities—all known about God is plain make it known to me. things were created through to them, because God has “Where were you when I him and for him. And he is shown it to them. For his laid the foundation of the before all things, and in him invisible attributes, namely, earth? Tell me, if you have all things hold together. And his eternal power and divine understanding. he is the head of the body, nature, have been clearly the church. He is the perceived, ever since the beginning, the firstborn creation of the world, in the from the dead, that in things that have been made. everything he might be So they are without excuse. preeminent.