Theodicy – from (theos = God) and
(dike = righteous)
A justification of the righteousness of God, which
attempts to solve the theological problem of the
existence of evil.
Augustine’s theodicy is a collection of his beliefs
about good and evil.
God the creator, is
omnipotent and all good.
Creation is good and in the
beginning was harmonious.
Hierarchy of beings:
God, realm of Angels,
human world, natural
Evil is a privation or lack
of goodness in
fall through their
giving in to
enters the world
Disharmony in the world
follows the fall of Angels
leading to natural evil.
Free will is
valuable so God
sustains a world
The existence of evil highlights the goodness of creation
because of the contrast between good and evil.
Augustine had a traditional view of God.
God’s attributes are omnipotent, omnibenevolent and
omniscient. Because God is all good and perfect, his
creation is all good and perfect, therefore harmonious as
presented in Genesis 3.
If God is good and he is omnipotent, and he created the
world, why is evil in it?
If God created the universe and continues to sustain it in
existence for every moment of every day, it means that is
people commit acts of evil, God is sustaining and keeping
alive those very people while they do those acts.
Privation of good is an absence or lack of good, therefore
evil is a privation.
e.g. Blindness – you are unable to see therefore you
are lacking in ‘sight’.
Evil came about as a result of the misuse of free will.
Moral evil and natural evil comes from moral choice –
people choose what they do (free will). People’s response
to evil decides their destiny (soul-deciding).
Evil was brought into the world by fallen Angels and then
Adam and Eve, tempted by the snake, disobeyed God.
The fall of Adam and Eve is when they choose to eat the
fruit of the tree of knowledge. They used their free will to
choose to do something they were told not to do.
This is the first sin (original sin) so the rest of the sins in
the world, enter through Adam and Eve (as written in
Roman 5:12-20). God planned the fall (planned
redemption) so that he could be present on Earth as an
incarnation of Jesus Christ to free people and guide them
on the right path.
At the end of time, there will be judgement so the good will
be rewarded and be sent to heaven, the bad will be
punished and sent to hell.
Because evil exists, it highlights the goodness of
creation because of the contrast between good
It makes it easier to see what is regarded as a
good action and what is an evil action. The
difference between the two allows them to be
easily distinguished from each other.
1. God – at the top of the hierarchy because God created
everything. Because God is perfect, it means he cannot
be lacking anything and can be no different or better.
2. The realm of Angels – fallen Angels who chose to
turn away from God, brought this evil into the human
3. The human world – God created a perfect world but
due to original sin, the human world has been punished
with natural disasters and suffering.
4. The natural world – God created this world to also be
perfect but as a punishment, natural disasters and
other consequences are a result of evil.