Rel 101 session 11b 1
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  • Write down your own definition of evil. Define evil as opposed to just “bad” Is all suffering evil? When is it not evil? Where does evil come from?
  • The problem itself arises because of certain qualities which religious believers grant to God, and the consequences of these given certain observations about the world. To illustrate these consider three qualities that most religious believers would not want to deny to God: absolute goodness (omnibenevolence), absolute power (omnipotence) and absolute knowledge (omniscience). Now, add to this the observation that there is evil in the world. Setting aside for the moment the question of how a good God could create a world with evil in it, ask yourself why such a deity does not do something to help combat such evil.
  • The essential question in theodicy is “if God is good and he is all powerful (omnipotent) how can he allow evil to exist in the world?” Irenaius -- God does not necessarily intend evil to provide a means for spiritual growth. God does not intervene in human affairs to prevent evil because that would be to interfere with free will. Augustine -- for God to have created a being who could only have performed good actions would have been logically impossible. Process Theodicy - Process theology argues that the reality of God is not fixed and that God himself is still developing. From this point of view, God is "dipolar" - that is, has two "poles", one mental and one physical. The physical pole is the material world itself, which acts almost as God's "body".

Rel 101 session 11b 1 Rel 101 session 11b 1 Presentation Transcript

  • REL 101 Introduction to Religion Session 11b Evil
  • How are the following concepts dealt with in the book of Job
    • Dualism
    • Appeals to Sovereignty
    • The Promise of Hope
  • Approaches to Understanding Evil
    • Dualism
      • Is the belief in two supreme but opposed powers or god, or sets of divine or demonic beings, that caused the world to exist.
      • Zoroastrianism
        • Two competing spirits: Spenta Mainyu (good) and Angra Mainyu (bad)
  • Approaches to Understanding Evil
    • The Sovereignty of God
      • No punishment could ever match the evil done.
      • Since God is greater than man, there is no way that humans can understand evil.
    • The Promise of Hope
      • God will bring relief from evil through a Messiah or savior.
      • Generally there is an afterlife in which one is freed from the evil of this life.
    Approaches to Understanding Evil .
  • The Story of Job
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