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The Problem of Evil - Essay Example

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The Problem of Evil

However, this world is filled with things beyond evil and people do feel pain and suffering, which contradicts the claims of orthodox theist that God is perfectly good. This conflict is called problem of evil. Is God 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) In an attempt to unravel the complexities of this predicament, few queries must be made. Evil goes beyond what we do not want other people to do to us. According to Hick, there are two classifications of evil. First, the moral evil which includes those acts an individual or group may be responsible of such as the seven deadly sins and more. Second type is the natural evil. Pain and suffering brought by natural calamities which people has no control over. Although the line which separates the two is still blurry, since some natural evil are consequences of human actions or lack of action. Nevertheless, we cannot deny the fact that there are things beyond our control ----- accidents and natural disasters. Evil is often associated with suffering which highlights an individual’s sense of pain or loss that focuses on a particular kind of evil: one which is considered as a consequence of an act rather than a more abstract concept. Thus arise another confusion which is the existence of hell ----- a place where God put those who have failed Him to rot and suffer; because this very notion contradicts the idea of a loving God. Augustinian theodicy argues that God is wholly good, thus He’s not responsible for the existence of evil in the world. It claims that evil is not the opposite; rather it is the absence of good. According to this theodicy, evil happens as a result of people’s misuse of their free will, therefore exonerating God and putting the blame of all evil and suffering to people who abuse their free will. This particular claim of Augustinian theodicy makes the subject more baffling, for it puts all the blame to the ‘finitely perfect’ being, that is us humans, who fails to choose perfection, hence shifting the blame back to the Creator. Moreover, the term ‘privation’ is inadequate justification for the apparent effects of evil in its truest sense. Then comes the knowledge of evolution ---- a process by which humans, being the most complex creatures, learn to adapt and grow in accordance with its environment. This is the claim of Irenaean theodicy which is restated by John Hick on his Soul-making theodicy. Hick defines soul-making as the existence of evil and suffering which allows flawed creatures to outgrow their imperfections and develop to a more perfect state. It emphasizes on the development by practicing free will, people are able to overcome temptations and suffering hence bringing them closer to perfection and to God. Unlike that of the Augustinians which give much stress on the negativity of the existence of evil, Irenaean theodicy puts God in an epistemic distance from us. It explains that this distance is meant for us to learn to love God on our own free-will by prevailing over all the difficulties He places on our path as we journey through life. Evil is created by God to hone the inner values we have, for some ideals need to go through some difficulties to develop like that of courage and forgiveness amidst suffering. This theodicy believes that individuals evolve towards a higher state by ...Show more


The Problem of Evil If God is perfectly good, then He must want to prevent evil. If God is all-powerful, then He can prevent evil. Evil does exist. Hence, it’s either God is not almighty or He is not morally perfect, or He’s neither both. The existence of evil in our world challenges people’s belief in the existence of a perfect God…
Author : bernhardmaude
The Problem of Evil essay example
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