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Flashcards in Evil and Suffering Deck (20):

Define suffering.

When a person experience pain or discomfort.


Define evil.

An action performed by someone that causes suffering. The opposite of good.


What is 'moral' evil/suffering?

Evil or suffering caused by a human's actions, eg. theft, murder, violence...


What is 'natural' evil/suffering?

Something caused by an external, uncontrollable force (nobody is to blame).


What is the problem of evil and suffering?

The issue that if God is omnipotent, omniscient, and benevolent, he would know about evil and suffering, have the power to stop it and be kind enough to want to, yet they still exist.


Where does evil come from? (3 ideas)

1- an impersonal force that compels people to do wrong
2- a personal being such as Satan that tempts people into sin.
3- a psychological phenomenon, influenced by genetics, upbringing or environment.


What is altruism?



Why do some people believe God might allow evil?

-Our happiness is not God's main concern, he is more focused on other qualities.
-We need suffering to appreciate good things in life
-God wants us to have free will to commit evil or good
-Evil doesn't exist, it is just the absence of good.


What good things can come from evil and suffering?

-People appreciate good things more
-People have a reason to help others
-People band together against common enemies
-Reformation of character under pressure
-The best can be brought out in people
-People learn from mistakes


What is the Buddhist explanation for suffering?

Buddhists believe that suffering is due to bad Karma, and that people's thoughts and actions have consequences. The four noble truths revolve around the understanding of greed and craving as the cause of suffering, and the idea of greed, ignorance and hatred as the cause of evil. The way to end suffering is to end desire.


What is the Christian explanation for suffering?

Suffering is believed to be the result of human freedom to cause it. The world was supposedly made 'perfect' and evil and suffering was brought into the world when Adam and Eve committed the original sin. Some believe suffering is a punishment for sin and that the devil still tempts people into sin. It is also believed that Jesus gave people hope of something after life on earth (a reward) when he sacrificed himself on the cross.


What is the Muslim explanation for evil and suffering?

In the Qur'an it states that Allah gave humans the world to care for, but also free will so we can choose to sin. Shaytan or Iblis (the source of evil) tests people's faith character through suffering, but no more than they can bear. It is believed that sinners are punished, but everyone is born with a clean slate and those who repent will be forgiven.


What is free will?

Having the ability to choose or determine one's own actions.


What is the idea of transcendence?

The idea that God is beyond and outside life on earth and the universe, and cannot interfere with our lives.


Describe the story of Job.

Job is a wealthy man living with his large family and extensive flocks. He is “blameless” and “upright,” always careful to avoid doing evil. God boasts to Satan about Job’s goodness, but Satan argues that Job is only good because God has blessed him abundantly. Satan challenges God that, if given permission to punish the man, Job will turn and curse God. God allows Satan to torment Job to test this bold claim, but he forbids Satan to take Job’s life in the process.
Job learns that his livestock, servants, and ten children have all died due to marauding invaders or natural catastrophes, but he still blesses God in his prayers. Then, Job is afflicted with horrible skin sores, but still remains faithful.
Job's friends agree that Job must have committed evil to offend God’s justice and argue that he should strive to exhibit more blameless behavior but he insists he has done nothing wrong.
Eventually, Job asks God what he has done to deserve his suffering, and God responds, reminding Job how little he knows about creation and how much power God alone has. Then he restores Job with double his original riches.


Describe 'The Fall'.

God commands Adam and Eve not to eat the apple's from a certain tree in the garden of Eden. Eve is tempted by the devil in the form of a snake, and eats and apple, convincing Adam to do the same. They become ashamed of their bodies and cover themselves with leaves. God returns, angered by the pair and punishes them, condemning Eve to a lifetime of subservience to her husband and pain in childbirth and Adam to hard work in farming food. He makes them both mortal, and curses the snake to forever crawl on its stomach.


Where does Satan appear in the Bible?

As the serpent who tempts Adam and Eve in Genesis 3, as a personal force who argues with God in the story of Job.


Buddhist quote on karma.

'If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him.' - Buddha


What is morality?

A system of ethics which distinguishes right from wrong.


Define transcendence.

The idea that God is beyond or outside life on earth, and therefore does not intervene when it comes to human suffering.