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What is moral evil?

Evil that is result of human actions.

E.G Murder.


What is natural evil?

Evil that is naturally occuring in the world and cause suffering.

E.G Earthquakes and Diseases. 


What is Original Sin?

  1. The first sin committed by Adam and Eve.


How is the Original Sin commited?

  1. In Genesis God says Adam and Eve may eat from any tree in the garden but the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
  2. In Genesis 3 Eve is tempted by a snake into eating fruit from the tree and shares it with Adam.
  3. God punishes them for this. 


What is another name for the story of Original Sin?

  1. 'The Fall'
  2. Genesis 3
  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?

  1. Free Will
  2. Original Sin


How does free will help Catholics respond to the problem of evil?

  1. Free-will is a gift from God
  2. Humans can choose between good and evil.
  3. When we choose evil, it causes suffering.
  4. 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?

  1. As a result of Original Sin pain and suffering and natural suffering were introduced into a perfect world.
  2. Since Adam and Eve all humans have original sin and the tendency to go against God.
  3. 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?

St. Augustine


What does Augustine say about evil and suffering?

  1. Evil in the world helps us appreciate the good in the world. 
  2. Evil is just an absence of good. A privation. - God does not cause or permit evil as evil isn’t even a thing.
  3. 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?

  1. Evil is necessary as an opposite of good
  2. Evil helps us to be better people
  3. 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?

  1. Why didn't God make us perfect in the first place? Why make us so that we had to become better people?
  2. 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?

  1. Why didn't God create humans that always did good instead of choosing evil?
  2. 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?

  1. Humans were made in the image of God, but are not perfect.
  2. they need to grow to become spiritually perfect. They do this through suffering- as a way to develop.
  3. Through free will we can make the right choices. 
  4. 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?

  1. Jews do not believe people are born evil.
  2. evil and suffering is a consequence for human beings' wrong choices. 
  3. People are born free with the inclination to do good or to do evil. 
  4. 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?

  1. God is good and Gods creation is good.
  2. We can see Gods goodness in the created world, in the beauty of a flower or in the forgiveness or compassion of another person.
  3. We know God is good as we see it reflected in his creation.


What do Jews believe about the goodness of God?

  1. They are similar to the Catholic views.
  2. God is the source of all life and the only creator.
  3. we see Gods goodness in his creation.


What do Catholics learn from the story of Job?

  1. Humans are not capable of understanding the reasons why God chooses to do or not do certain things.
  2. Catholics must trust that God understand the reasons for suffering.
  3. Gods plan.


What do Catholics believe about the positive effect suffering can have?

  1. Suffering is a way to bring them closer. To Jesus and an understanding of salvation. 
  2. Suffering is a mystery that God uses to bring about good.
  3. Catholics share their suffering with God through prayer. 


What do Jews believe about suffering?

  1. Suffering comes from either natural evil or human made evil and it often comes from free-will.
  2. It is a consequence for human's wrongdoing.
  3. 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?

  1. 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.
  2. We suffer in order to redeem humanity.
  3. Some Jews take the holocaust to mean that 'God is hiding' or 'God is dead'. 


Who is the Trinity?

  1. God the Father
  2. God the Son
  3. God the Holy Spirit


What do Catholics believe about the Trinity?

  1. There is only one God (monotheism)
  2. God exists as three persons - Father, Son and Holy Spirit. 
  3. Each of these three are distinct from one and other, but each is wholly God.
  4. There are NOT three Gods. 


Why do Catholics believe in the Trinity?

  1. The way the Trinity works is supposed to be a mystery, but it helps with the understanding of Gods qualities. 
  2. It is how God makes himself known in the world.
  3. It is called 'the doctrine of the Trinity'
  4. It is a fundamental belief for all Catholics. 


What does the Nicene Creed say about the Trinity?

  1. 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?

  1. Without the Trinity it is not possible to believe that Jesus is God. - This is one of the most important Catholic beliefs.