What is moral evil?
Evil that is result of human actions.
What is natural evil?
Evil that is naturally occuring in the world and cause suffering.
E.G Earthquakes and Diseases.
What is Original Sin?
The first sin committed by Adam and Eve.
How is the Original Sin commited?
- In Genesis God says Adam and Eve may eat from any tree in the garden but the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
- In Genesis 3 Eve is tempted by a snake into eating fruit from the tree and shares it with Adam.
- God punishes them for this.
What is another name for the story of Original Sin?
- ‘The Fall’
- Genesis 3
- It is when humans ‘fell’ from God’s grace.
What is the problem of evil?
If God is all-loving, all-powerful and created a good world, why does evil and suffering occur?
Does God exist or is he not who we think he is?
How would Catholics respond to the problem of evil?
- Free Will
- Original Sin
How does free will help Catholics respond to the problem of evil?
- Free-will is a gift from God
- Humans can choose between good and evil.
- When we choose evil, it causes suffering.
- Humans are to blame as they abuse their free will.
Problem with this - it doesn’t give a reason for natural evil.
How does Original Sin help Catholics respond to the problem of evil?
- As a result of Original Sin pain and suffering and natural suffering were introduced into a perfect world.
- Since Adam and Eve all humans have original sin and the tendency to go against God.
- Original Sin reminds us we all share a responsibility for the evil and suffering in the world.
What Catholic scholar did we look at for evil and suffering?
What does Augustine say about evil and suffering?
- Evil in the world helps us appreciate the good in the world.
- Evil is just an absence of good. A privation. - God does not cause or permit evil as evil isn’t even a thing.
- God created everything good - original sin is to blame for evil in the world.
What is the Inconsistent Triad?
Evil exists so God cannot be omnipotent or omnibenevolent.
Therefore God does not exist or is not who we think he is.
Who came up with the idea of the Inconsistent Triad?
David Hume and Mackie
What arguments would Christians usually put forward for the reason evil exists in the world?
- Evil is necessary as an opposite of good
- Evil helps us to be better people
- Evil is a consequence of free will
Why would Mackie reject the Christian idea that evil is necessary as an opposite of good?
Mackie says that even if it was the case that we need some evil to appreciate the good, why do we need so much evil? There is far more evil than needed in the world.
Why would Mackie reject the Christian idea that evil helps us to become better people?
- Why didn’t God make us perfect in the first place? Why make us so that we had to become better people?
- Sometimes going through suffering makes people worse people. They could become bitter for sample.
Why would Mackie reject the Christian idea that evil is a consequence of free will?
- Why didn’t God create humans that always did good instead of choosing evil?
- free will is too high a price for humans to have free will and God would have known this.
What do Hick and St Iranaeus think about why evil exists in the world?
- Humans were made in the image of God, but are not perfect.
- they need to grow to become spiritually perfect. They do this through suffering- as a way to develop.
- Through free will we can make the right choices.
- This is called soul making and explains why God allows natural evil, it helps people grow and become better people.
What do Jews believe about the nature and Origin of evil?
- Jews do not believe people are born evil.
- evil and suffering is a consequence for human beings’ wrong choices.
- People are born free with the inclination to do good or to do evil.
- God has given humans a choice and they must choose and struggle against their inclination to do evil.
What do Catholics believe about the goodness of God?
- God is good and Gods creation is good.
- We can see Gods goodness in the created world, in the beauty of a flower or in the forgiveness or compassion of another person.
- We know God is good as we see it reflected in his creation.
What do Jews believe about the goodness of God?
- They are similar to the Catholic views.
- God is the source of all life and the only creator.
- we see Gods goodness in his creation.
What do Catholics learn from the story of Job?
- Humans are not capable of understanding the reasons why God chooses to do or not do certain things.
- Catholics must trust that God understand the reasons for suffering.
- Gods plan.
What do Catholics believe about the positive effect suffering can have?
- Suffering is a way to bring them closer. To Jesus and an understanding of salvation.
- Suffering is a mystery that God uses to bring about good.
- Catholics share their suffering with God through prayer.
What do Jews believe about suffering?
- Suffering comes from either natural evil or human made evil and it often comes from free-will.
- It is a consequence for human’s wrongdoing.
- God is the sole creator and the goodness of God is shown in his creation and in the giving of the Torah.
What solutions would Jews offer to the problem of evil and suffering?
- The story of Job shows that it is pointless for humans to work out why people suffer - Its part of Gods plan which we cannot understand.
- We suffer in order to redeem humanity.
- Some Jews take the holocaust to mean that ‘God is hiding’ or ‘God is dead’.
Who is the Trinity?
- God the Father
- God the Son
- God the Holy Spirit
What do Catholics believe about the Trinity?
- There is only one God (monotheism)
- God exists as three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
- Each of these three are distinct from one and other, but each is wholly God.
- There are NOT three Gods.
Why do Catholics believe in the Trinity?
- The way the Trinity works is supposed to be a mystery, but it helps with the understanding of Gods qualities.
- It is how God makes himself known in the world.
- It is called ‘the doctrine of the Trinity’
- It is a fundamental belief for all Catholics.
What does the Nicene Creed say about the Trinity?
The Trinity works as one - yet each of the three persons has a special role.
a. God the Father created heaven and earth,
b. God the Son, Jesus, is the saviour of the world.
c. God the Holy Spirit guides, helps and inspires human beings.
Why is the Trinity important for Catholics?
Without the Trinity it is not possible to believe that Jesus is God. - This is one of the most important Catholic beliefs.
How do Catholics show the importance of the Trinity?
- Through saying the sign of the cross which is central to the Catholic faith.
- The Nicene Creed is also recited during prayer and worship and at baptisms.
Why do Catholics recite the Nicene Creed?
- It reminds worshippers of the main points of Christianity.
- The worshippers are declaring publicly that this is what they truly believe.
- The Creed is said together by everyone - a sign they share these beliefs.
- It binds them together as a group who share common beliefs.
What do Jews believe about the Trinity?
- They do not believe in the Trinity.
- Jews agree that there is one God.
- God has many different attributes such as ‘judge’ or ‘creator’ but these are characteristics, not persons.
- The belief in one God is stated in the ‘Shema’ the most important prayer for Jews.
What support for the doctrine of the Trinity is there in the Bible?
- The ‘Trinity’ is never specifically mentioned in the Bible, but people began to realise that they experienced one God in three ways.
- The idea of three persons is found many times in the New Testament, but never called the Trinity.
- ‘Go and baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ (Matthew)
- At Jesus’ baptism the Trinity appear together. God calls Jesus his Son and the Spirit ascends on him in the form of a dove.
What does Augustine say about the Trinity?
- Augustine uses a metaphor to explain the Trinity centred around the ‘God is love’ (John) idea.
- Love needs three things:
a. the person doing the loving
b. the person being loved
c. love itself.
- The Trinity is like this. All three of these things are present in God even before he created the world - so the Trinity is like
What is the incarnation?
- This means ‘made flesh’
- The Christian belief that Jesus was both fully human and fully divine.
What does the Kenosis hymn say about the incarnation?
- Kenosis means ‘emptying’
- This refers to the idea Jesus gave up some of his divine attributes when he became human.
- Jesus became a slave for us.
What do Jews believe about the incarnation?
- Jewish people do not accept that Jesus was God.
- They believe he was a Historical figure.
How does the Incarnation help people respond to the problem of evil?
- It means that God can identify with human beings.
- Christians believe that the incarnation is a demonstration of Gods’ love for human beings.
- Jesus is with us in our suffering because he experienced it and bore it out of love.
- Christians may not know why God allows suffering to happen but should trust that he knows what they are going through.
What does Pope John Paul II say about suffering in Salvifici Doloris?
- it means ‘the saving power of suffering’
- Suffering is not easy to understand.
- The only way we can try and understand it is by understanding the depth of Gods’ love for us which Jesus showed through his dying on the cross.
- We must offer up our own suffering through prayer for the sake of others.
What are some of Jesus’ teachings and examples of moral behaviour?
- The Golden Rule - ‘do to others what you would have them do to you’
- To love everyone ‘a new commandment I give you, to love one another as I have loved you’
- Jesus healed the sick - E.G Jesus heals the leper, Jesus heals the blind man.
- Jesus forgave those who crucified him - ‘I tell you solemnly today you will be with me in paradise’
- Jesus explained how his followers should behave in the Sermon on the Mount.
What are the Beatitudes?
Jesus gave clear teachings on how we should live our lives during the Sermon on the Mount.
- The Beatitudes are a list of blessings.
- The key messages are that those who are closest to God are often those who the world does not recognise or value E.G ‘Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted’
What is the fulfilment of the law at the Sermon on the Mount?
Jesus came and taught that following the 10 Commandments wasn’t enough. It wasn’t just about the action, but the intention and reason behind the action.
What are the new teachings at the Sermon on the Mount?
- Do not Murder - Don’t be angry and settle arguments quickly.
- An eye for an eye - Turn the other cheek
- Give to the needy - Give in secret
- Pray and Fast - Don’t fast and pray for show.
What is Natural Law?
A key part of Catholic teaching
What is the conscience?
- St Thomas Aquinas says it is ‘the mind of human beings making moral decisions’
- Catholics have their obligation to follow their conscience.
- Their conscience is informed by the Bible and the Church.
- If people followed their conscience more often there would be far less moral evil in the world.
- Catholics have the ability to discover natural law through their conscience.
Why do Catholics use scupltures and statues in worship?
- Catholics do not worship or pray to the statues.
- The statues are reminders of God and Jesus and these help them to focus their prayer on what really matters.
- Catholics would say that they do not pray to Mary and the saints but they ask Mary and the saints, to intercede on their behalf and pray to God for them.
What do some Protestants think about statues in Church?
They don’t use statues as they think it goes against the Commandment which forbids the making of any image as an object of worship.
‘You shall not worship false idols’
They might use a simple cross without a figure representing Jesus on it.
What do Jews think about statues?
Jews do not use statues as a focus for prayer as it goes against the 10 Commandments ‘You shall have no other Gods before me’/ They think statues are false idols.
Synagogues do not have any representation of God as he is above human understanding.
What is Michelangelo’s Pieta?
- Statues help Catholics reflect on the meaning of suffering.
- The Pieta is Mary holding the body of her son Jesus after the crucifixion.
What does the Pieta show us?
- Mary is shown as youthful and peaceful
- She seems at peace with what has happened to her son
- Marys left hand is an open palm - a sign she accepts what has happened.
- Marys figure is larger than Jesus - shows her as a mother cradling her baby in her arms.
- Mary’s hands do not come into direct contact with Jesus - showing Christ’s body is sacred.
- Christ is shown peaceful
This shows that suffering can somehow mirror love.
What is a pilgrimage?
- A pilgrimage is a journey to a holy place.
- Many Catholics still go on pilgrimages.
- Catholic Church recognises sites of pilgrimage as among the most appropriate places for prayer.
Why do people go on pilgrimage?
- To help strengthen their faith
- To pray for something special or the sick.
- To become closer to God and to thank God.
- To share the experience and their faith with others.
How is pilgrimage a response to suffering?
- Helps believers reflect on their life’s journey.
- People learn how to value the role of God in their lives in a new way.
- Sick people rarely get healed, but they may feel spiritually healed or at peace with their condition.
What is Lourdes and why do people go there?
- A popular shrine to Mary set up where a girl called Bernadette had visions of Mary.
- Mary told Bernadette to dig for a spring - the spring is supposed to have healing qualities and many pilgrims bathe there.
- Thousands of pilgrims go to pray at the grotto.
- Lots of young people go and help the sick and disabled pilgrims which can be a life changing experience.
- its a practical way that ordinary people can respond to the mystery of suffering.
What is popular piety?
- A form of devotion.
- It refers to forms of worship or prayer that are inspired by culture rather than the liturgical worship of the church E.G the rosary.
What is the rosary?
- series of beads used by Catholics to help them concentrate during prayers.
- It consists of; 1 Our Father, 10 Hail Marys and 1 Glory Be.
- They think about a mystery during each sequence (called a decade)
- There are 4 mysteries.
Why pray the rosary?
- It helps Catholics reflect on the important events of the life of Jesus and Mary.
- It helps Catholics think more deeply
- They can reflect on Jesus’ suffering and understand that God knows our suffering as he endured it as Jesus and as a suffering father.
What are the 5 Sorrowful Mysteries?
- The Agony in the Garden
- The Scourging at the Pillar
- The Crowning with Thorns
- Jesus is made to carry his cross
- Jesus is crucified on the cross.
How did God punish Adam and Eve for their sin?
- He banishes them from the Garden of Eden
- Women will have pain in childbirth
- Men will rule over women.
- You will work for all the days of your life.
What does John Hick suggest is the nature and origin of evil?
- God deliberately made an imperfect world.
- God wants us to learn and grow as humans
- Only through suffering can we grow to be more like God.
- Through pain and suffering our soul becomes healthier and closer to God.
Why is suffering not always evil for Catholics?
- God may use suffering to bring about great goods which could not have been possible without.
- Suffering could be a sign of love.
- Suffering is a proof of commitment to God.
- Suffering is a blessing (Gods way is not our way, so suffering could be a blessing)
- Through the suffering and death of Jesus, we are saved from our sins.
What does Isaiah 53 (The Suffering Servant) show us about evil and suffering?
- In the Old Testament Isaiah 53 talks about a ‘suffering servant’
- This is seen as a prophecy of Jesus and how his suffering would bring blessings for others.
- Isaiah says the sufferer bears the sufferings of others so that they do not have to.
- The acceptance of the suffering by the servant brings about their salvation.
What does the Bible say about the Son as part of the Trinity?
‘The Son is the image of the invisible God’
This shows the Son is equal to the Father.
What does the Bible say about the Holy Spirit as part of the Trinity?
As he was praying. heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him like a dove’
This is part of Jesus Baptism. This is the first bit in the Bible when we see the Trinity together.
What is a quote from the Bible which refers to the whole of the Trinity?
‘go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’
What do Christians think about Jesus as the incarnation?
He is both ‘fully God’ and ‘fully human’
What does it say in John 1:1 about Jesus as ‘the word’?
‘In the beginning there was the word…and the word became flesh and dwelled among us’
Jesus was there at creation and he became human. It is clear that ‘the word’ or Jesus is a separate person from God.