Flashcards in Evil And Suffering Deck (28):
Questions for believers, raised by the existence of suffering
If God is all good and wants the best for people, why does God allow suffering that is clearly not good?
If God is benevolent, why does God allow us to suffer?
If God is omniscient, he must realise that we suffer. How can he stand by and do nothing to stop our suffering?
If God is omnipotent, and can do anything, why does God not stop suffering?
Types of suffering
Reasons that suffering is good
Can make someone a stronger person
Can make us appreciate things we take for granted
A test of faith
All part of God's plan
Christian reasons for the existence of suffering
God gave us free will, which means we can choose how to behave. Some people use this freedom to choose actions that cause suffering (Adam & Eve)
It is a punishment for sin, enabling people to grow spiritually
The devil tempts people to do wrong
Christian responses to the existence of suffering in the world
Trusting in God helps Christians to accept and endure personal suffering as part of God's will, but they will try to help others who are suffering
Mathew 22:39 means that Christians should not only feel compassion for those who suffer, but also should take active steps to help them
Follow the example of Jesus
The problem of evil
God, who created the world and human beings, is benevolent, omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent. Yet evil exists. This means that God cannot be all of these things
Questions for believers, raised by the existence of evil
If God is all good, why did he create a world where evil is present?
If God is benevolent, surely he would want his creations to be good too?
If God is all powerful, why can he not stop someone before they do evil? And if God cannot stop them, does this mean that God is weak
If God is all knowing, he must know that people will sometimes choose evil over good. Why did he give people free will to make that choice?
Some answers to questions about evil
God gave people the freedom to make their own choices, which shows his goodness and love
God chooses not to use his power so people are forced to use their freedom wisely
If everything that happens is God's will, then we do not have free will. We do have free will, which means we go against his will
Types of evil
Explanations for where evil comes from
An impersonal force
A personal being or devil
A psychological phenomenon
A mental illness or instability
Christian reasons for the existence of evil
Adam and Eve sinning - 'original sin'
Story of Job - suffering is a test
Christian responses to the existence of evil in the world
Follow the teachings to love God and your neighbour
Love your enemies
When evil is done to you, "turn the other cheek"
Forgive others so God will forgive you
What is evil
The opposite of good. A force or the personification of a negative power that is seen many traditions as destructive and against God.
Deliberate cruelty done in the full knowledge that it is wrong
Why do people blame God for evil and suffering
He created people and gave them free will. This allows them to choose to do bad rather than good
Why do people blame ourselves for evil and suffering
Selfishness, anger and a lack of respect are simply alternatives to selflessness, generosity and respect. When we give in to the 'dark' side of our nature we do evil
The problem of suffering
God is all loving and all powerful. But suffering exists. How can God be these things and allow suffering
What is the Buddhist response to suffering
The Eight fold Path
Overcome attachment to material things
What are the 4 noble truths
Life means suffering
The origin of suffering is attachment
The end of suffering is possible
There is an eightfold path to the end of suffering
What is the Hindus response to evil
Gaining self control
What is the Sikhs response to evil
Practising Sewa (selfless service)
Practising 5 virtues
What is the Muslims response to evil
Following the 5 pillars of Islam
What is the Jews response to evil
Belief God made a covenant with them. Evil can be overcome by compete obedience
Islamic reasons for evil
Shaytan tries to turn people from Allah
They will be forgiven on the day of judgement if they repent
Buddhist beliefs about evil
The root causes of evil are 3 'poisons' - greed, hatred & ignorance
Hindu beliefs about evil
Evil is a part of birth, death & rebirth.
It is an absence of God
You can make up for it through good karma
Reasons that suffering is bad
It can cause people to become weak and suicidal
It disproves the idea that God is omnipotent, benevolent etc.
People should not need to be tested, its cruel
Does not explain why some suffer more than others
Definition of psychological phenomenon
An idea about the nature of evil that it is arising from the mind of a person