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Flashcards in Problem of Evil Deck (28)
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Define evil ?

Contrary to Gods will and the cause of suffering

Mere absence of good, anything physically or morally wrong


Natural evil ?

Causes of suffering within natural world


Moral evil ?

Intentional human action

Commission or omission (not getting children vaccinated)


Why is there a grey area between moral and natural evil ?

Human actions combined with natural evil can exacerbate suffering e.g building on a fault line


What is surd evil ?

Type of natural evil that’s unexplainable


John Stuart mill what did he say ?

Evil alone is enough to prove God does or does not exist, if he does exist then he is not all loving

Argument in response to design argument and used same logic (evil in the world can be used as proof of a malevolent creator)


What paper did JL Mackie make ?

‘Evil In omnipotence’


Back ground on the inconsistent triad

Epicuruss idea- developed by Augustine- then developed by Mackie

It said;
- Abrahamic monotheistic God’s require belief in them being omnipotent, benevolent and omniscient
- theists believe there are no limits to what a God can do but Mackie elites the presence of evil contradicts this view


Inconsistent triad ?

Made by Mackie

- if God we’re all loving there would be no evil
- if he is omnipotent then there is nothing he cannot do so can overcome evil
- but there is evil and suffering in the world

Triad states all three omni qualities can’t be present at the same time as only two can in conjunction with the existence of evil
‘ the conjunction of any two propositions means a negation of the third’

A wholly good omnipotent being would eliminate evil completely


What type of argument is the logical problem of evil ?

A priori deductive as long as premises are true, the conclusion is true, conclusion arrived from reasoning not experimentation


Three modern developers of the logical POE?

Mackie, GS Paul and W Rowe


What is evidential problem of evil ?

- amount of suffering in the world makes it improbable that God exists, pointless suffering counts against gods suffering


What did William Rowe do ?

Developed evidential POE
- reasonable to allow limited suffering and to allow humans to grow and develop

- couldn’t accept intense and animal suffering
- loving God would prevent intense animal suffering as it’s pointless so God probably doesn’t exist


What did Gregory S Paul say ?

Argued death of so many innocent children challenges Gods existence

- millions of children die a year from evil causes , all loving Gods wouldnt permit such suffering so God doesn’t exist


What did Hume do ?

Developed Eoicurean paradox into trilemma staring only 2 of the statements can exist

- god doesn’t exist
- omnipresent but malicious
- all loving but not omnipotent

Accepting any of them leads to the Gods of classical theism


Solutions to POE?

Deny existence of God so there is no problem

Deny evil so there is no problem e.g monists think evil is an illusion


What is a theodicy ?

An attempt to show God is classical theistic in the face of evil and suffering


Deism ?

Idea God created the world and after has no ongoing influence on it


Privation of good ?

Augustine’s way of defining evil


Sections of Augustine theodicy ?

Biblically based

Evil is a product of moral agents not god (humans and angels who he gave free will)

We deserve punishment


Aesthetics argument

Principle of plentitude


Augustine’s theodicy ?

Biblically based

Based on genesis story and fall, also Romans 5

Evil is product of moral agents not God
- G created world ex-nihilo and perfectly with no evil
- gave us the gift of FW to have true faith in God
- FW allows for faith but misuse free will e.g A&E = suffering
- evil lies within man

We deserve punishment;
- we are seminally present in the looks of Adam
- we inherit their sin and suffering is a product of sin
- people who use FW to inflict suffering deserve punishment in hell
- just God punishes wrong doing so there is a need for hell

- fair and just God offers salvation to redeem ourselves by using FW to do good
- can use FW to seek salvation through JC and get into heaven (Romans 5, Jesus died and atoned for Adam and Eves sin

Aesthetics argument
- world when viewed as a whole is perfect
- world and after life viewed together is just and fair (something may look evil to us but as God sees it, it may be good as he sees the bigger picture)

Principle of plentitude
- world needs to be as diverse as possible to be perfect


What was Aquinas’s development of Augustinian theodicy ?

- V similar to Augustine
- sin is a privation
- sin needs punishment
- punishment is justice
- existence of sin enhances perfection in the world
- suffering helps develop qualities such as patients


Religious responses to Augustinian theodicy ?

What is free will ?
Ability given by God to freely chose

Advantage of it ?
- ability to choose to do Good and follow God and ability to experience Gods mercy and go to heaven

- gives humans ability to choose evil
- to sin


Weaknesses/ criticisms of Augustinian theodicy ?

- Big Bang contradicts theory as it replaces Garden of Eden and evolutions explains we evolved from chaos to order rather the visa Vera

Inadequate justification
- places apple there knowing A and E would eat it

Perfect world
- how can a perfect world go wrong

Natural disaster
- they predate humans so how could we have caused them

- God would forgive and not punish for something so small

- judged on our own merit not predecessors

Existence of hell
- contradicts all loving God


Hick and Indian type theodicies ?

(Vale of soul making theodicies)

Humans created imperfect ;
(Immature beings need to develop... Gen 1:26 let us make human kind in our own image, according to our likeness)
- suffering allows growth and development
- given free will to have true faith in God that requires willing cooperation in God
- some misuse FW
- compatible with science (Hick) 2 star evolutionary process, biological then spiritual

Development of second order goods;
- suffering allows development of qualities mor valuable then qualities given to use e.g bravery and empathy

Role of evil
- natural and moral evil are essential for soul making
- moral evil= resist temptation for evil and do good
- natural evil allows us to help others and develop

Counterfactual hypothesis
- world without suffering is not suitable for development, Hick says we would be morally static without

Epistemically distance
- G created humans st this distance so he’s not immediately knowable to us
- G needed us to have FW

god justified
- doesn’t intervene as part of his plan

Eschatological verification (parable of celestial city)
- most require afterlife to complete development as there is salvation for all which allows allows for Gods omnibenevolence


Strengths of Augustinian theodicy ?

Biblically based= strengthens idea for some Christians

Biblically compatible
- uses notions of final judgement and began and hell which upholds a just and fair God in comparison to a God who lets everyone into heaven e.g Iranian type theodicies

Places blame on man eager than God
- therefore absolves God of the responsibility of evil

Explains moral and natural evil


Conclude ?

May have been satisfactory at the time but now seems outdated


Do Iranian type theodicies provide an acceptable justification for evil ?

No- focuses on Genesis which has been countered by science and even Hick said Genesis is a myth rather than history

- accepts theory of evolution e.g Hicks 2 stage evolutionary process (explain)

- why would classical theistic God allow evolution to take so long and for so much suffering to take place

- accepts evolution which is scientifically and religiously compatible

- heaven to all is contradictory to account in the Bible which mean Jesus is reduced from saviour to a role model leads to some saying theodicy is unsuccessful, universal salvation for some is unfair e.g Hitler which removes the value from our actions

- others say it’s a clear strength of the theodicy and demonstrates Gods love, theodicy gives evil purpose (soul development) justifies evil in the world

- DZ Phillips would argue no amount of suffering is a sign of Gods love, some say the theory fails as some e.g mental retardation becomes desensitised to suffering and can’t develop souls making purpose of suffering become redundant

Hicks attempts to justify this by saying only salvation for all can make evil seem justified