Irenaeus' Theodicy Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Irenaeus' Theodicy Deck (12):

What did Irenaeus say about evil?

It serves a purpose. God chooses to sustain a world where natural and moral evil flourish.


What did Irenaeus say that would happen if evil did not exist?

We would not be able to develop true virtues such as courage and compassion and we would never know what good is, so we would have no real choice. We would not truly have free will.


Humans are created...?

In the image of God but need to grow in to his likeness (i.e we have the potential to do good)


What kind of state are humans in?

An immature state and throughout life learn through suffering and experience to become “children of God”.


What does Irenaeus say about Adam and Eve?

They made a mistake through immaturity just as a child may disobey its parents


What does Irenaeus say about Jesus?

He was sent by God as part of the learning process and also suffered


What is Irenaeus' example and what does it mean?

The potter moulding the clay. It means that there is a balance between human free choice and the work of God. Humans cooperate with God, allowing him to mould them


What does Irenaeus say about the afterlife?

He said humans continue to develop in the afterlife but still held on to the traditional concept that humans are judged at the end of time and separated into the people that reject God and those who make peace with God


How did Irenaeus explain natural evil?

The world runs to a series of natural laws which are predictable and constant. Natural evil happens when these laws come into contact with our own perceived needs.


What is Irenaeus example about natural evil?

Without gravity there would be no planets and no life on earth. However if I mistakenly fall off a ladder then I am also subject to the laws of gravity!


What are the weaknesses of Irenaeus' theodicy?

it seems unfair that everybody ends up in Heaven. e.g.Mother Teresa and Hitler, Hume said “could not our world be a little more hospitable and still teach us what we need to know?”, D.Z Phillips said true love does not use evil as a means to an end or for a purpose. God is omnibenevolent and thus does not create or use evil. Suffering can never be an expression of Gods love


What are the strengths of Irenaeus' theodicy?

It values free will: Swinburne argues that if God limited suffering then it would be a “toy world where things matter, but not very much”. God would be like an over protective parent not allowing his child out of his sight for a moment., aesthetic argument: evil is necessary to appreciate good, accepts the idea that God is not responsible for humans evil choices