WHAT IS THEPROBLEM OF EVIL?Aims: • Describe what the problem of evil and suffering • Explain why there is evil and suffering is a problem for religious believers
HOW IS EVIL UNDERSTOOD?• Wickedness! The worst kind of badness or nastiness which causes people to suffer pain and sorrow both physical and non-physical.
WHAT TYPES OF SUFFERING ARE THERE? war terrorism poverty crime sickness bereavement Illness rejectiondepression Holocaust Twin Towers Tsunami
TWO TYPES OF EVIL• Moral evil – evil actions deliberately carried out by people that brings suffering to others e.g. murder, rape, war, theft• Natural evil – suffering beyond people’s control, caused by nature, e.g. famine, disease, natural disasters• Sometimes these overlap, or they do not fit into these categories
SOME EXAMPLES:• War (a moral evil) may lead to famine because the agricultural system breaks down (a natural evil)• Cancer (a natural evil) can be caused by smoking or poor diet, which is an individual choice, so is it actually a moral evil?• Is death an evil? If people never died would that be worse than death?• If animals are abused by people, that must be a moral evil, but what about the suffering of an animal killed by a lion?
LOOKING AT TODAYS PAPERS1. Have a look at one of todays papers and list all of the news stories that involve suffering2. Identify whether that are examples of moral or natural evil3. What caused each event and how it might have been prevented
DIAGRAM OF THE PROBLEM OF EVILGod is thought to be omni-benevolent, omnipotent and omniscient If God is omni- If God is omniscient he If God is omnipotent hebenevolent he would would know how to would be able towant to remove evil 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
QUESTIONS1. Does evil always lead to suffering?2. Is suffering always wrong?3. Imagine that you were having a conversation with God a) What questions would you like to ask God about the problem of evil? b) What answers do you think that God would give?
SUMMARY• Evil and suffering occur in many forms and can cause serious problems for those who believe in an all-loving, all-powerful and all- knowing God