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Flashcards in The Problem Of Evil Deck (22):

What is the main outline of the problem of evil?

How can an all loving, all powerful god allow evil and suffering to exist?


Who raised this problem?

Greek philosopher
He argued that god created the world ex nihilo and He’s all loving, all powerful, why did it go wrong?


What are the two types of POE?



What is the logical POE?

The inconsistent triad

Omnipotent, omnibenevolent, evil exists
Any two can be true but the third one can’t be


Who looked at the inconsistent triad?

JL Mackie
An atheist who decided you can’t overcome it so god can’t exists with those qualities


What is the evidential problem of evil?

The argument from personal experience
We experience evil and suffering
Why does god allow it?


Why would god allow evil and suffering?

Allows us to develop virtues, makes us better people, we can get to heaven
A test of faith, earn our place in heaven, job
Free will
For god to be perfect evil has to exist
Only appreciate and understand good if you experience bad


What is a theodicy?

The vindication of divine providence in view of the existence of evil.
Excuses for god
Solves problem of evil


What is soul-deciding?

Humans have the choice to turn back to god, through the salvation of Jesus.
How you respond to evil


What is soul-making?

Where the soul is developing towards spiritual perfection by gaining wisdom to make moral choices.


What is eschatological justification?

A proposition which can be verified after death. Eg there is an afterlife.
It’s verifiable if true but not falsifiable if untrue because the individual would have no state of being

Evil and suffering being justified by the eventual outcome


What is Augustine’s theodicy?

God created a perfect world. He didn’t create a world with evil. Evil is not a thing (because he would have to have made it) it is a privation, a lack of goodness.
Moral evil entered the world with human free will. Adam and Eve eating from the tree of knowledge, this disobedience created original sin
Original sin was passed down seminally from Adam
Natural evil is present because of angels having differing amounts of free will, falling out and creating disorder in the world

Even though it wasn’t his fault, as a benevolent god he sent his son for us to be forgiven.
A soul-deciding theodicy


Strengths of Augustine’s theodicy?

Covers both types of evil and fits with biblical teachings, good for theists
Our experience fits with his view of human choices causing suffering
A logical approach to think of evil being caused by free will


Weaknesses of Augustine’s theodicy?

Not fair to blame a new generation for the sins of the previous one. No proof that sin is genetically inherited
Why did god give angels different amounts of free will, didn’t he know it would cause problems?
How could god’s supposedly perfect world go wrong?
We don’t really have free will because it’s all god’s choices in the world, evil and suffering is god’s fault


What is the irenaean theodicy?

Irenaeus argued god deliberately put evil and suffering in the world.

2 stages of creation
He created us in his image
We develop into his likeness

Evil and suffering create second order goods like courage, kindness, bravery, these virtues develop our souls so we can go to heaven
Still believed in hell for sinners who didn’t choose to develop
Soul-making theodicy


How did John Hick develop irenaeus’ ideas?

Hick believed there wasn’t hell, if you die before your soul becomes fully good you can carry on developing in the afterlife
This makes Hick a universalist
He creates a counter factual hypothesis- what would a world be like if there was no evil? You wouldn’t have enough experience or challenge to make you the best person you can be


What is dystelogical evil?

Evil with no point
Hick recognises this


Strengths of irenaeus’ theodicy?

Works for all people as you can see we learn from disasters- boat design after the titanic
Optimistic as argues everyone can be better and go to heaven
Fits with scientific ideas of evolution and developing into humans, developing into a fully good person
Hick is a universalist so everyone gets to heaven, fits with a benevolent god


Weaknesses of irenaeus’ theodicy?

Surely an all loving, all powerful being can help us develop through better ways than suffering
Dystelogical evil has no point eg parasitic wasp
Hicks idea of everyone in heaven isn’t justice, bad must be punished
If we all need to develop why do some people suffer more than others? Children?


JL mackie’s view?

You can’t get over the POE unless you weaken the definition of omnipotence.
Us having free will requires god to give up some power
To live on the world requires god to stick to laws he created otherwise the world would keep changing


Rowe’s view?

Atheist, looks at evidential problem of evil

Argued god wouldn’t allow unnecessary suffering
Gives example of a fawn trapped in a forest fire


Gregory S Paul’s view?

Atheist, looks at evidential evil

Uses example of innocent children dying
Estimates over 50 billion children have died naturally and over 300 billion human beings in the womb