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"Aquinas for Armchair Theologians" by Timothy Renick
Religion and Theology
Pages 3 (753 words)
Reading Journal In “Why Is There Evil?,” Timothy Renick divulges into Thomas Aquinas’s views of the presence of evil in the world and its connection to the free will of human beings. After Christians had gotten themselves out of the Dark Ages of reasoned and logical suppression, Aquinas felt that they needed to start making sense out of their most basic beliefs and face the questions that had long since arisen about their faith.
If God is as powerful as we are led to believe, he should have the ability to eliminate Satan. However, saying that God cannot get rid of Satan brings into question a possible limitation of God’s power. Furthermore, if God is all good, he should want to terminate evil and injustice, and thus Satan. By continuing to allow Satan to wreak havoc on God’s marvelous creation, God’s goodness is being undermined. In an attempt to understand the presence of evil in the world, believers and skeptics alike are throwing God’s entire being into a circle of doubt and confusion. Aquinas steps in and tries to set the argument straight. Aquinas believes that God does not make evil; he is only capable of creating good. Evil is not a substance, a physical thing, but simply the removal of some of the good from a wholly good object. This still causes people to believe that God is the creator of evil. The Manichees believe that God is a co-creator with Satan; evil is a substance, and Satan is its source. Aquinas, as well as many others, refuse to accept this, as it puts Satan on the same level with God. Aquinas enforces the idea that evil is not created, but a subtraction of good. ...
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