The Problem of Evil

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GCSE Philosophy of Religion topic: The Problem of Evil

Created by jess99 almost 6 years ago
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The Problem of Evil
1 The basic problem - you can't have an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent God when evil exists in the world because he would know about evil, want to stop it and have the power to do so.
1.1 Therefore, God is either not all-powerful, not all loving, neither all knowing, or God does not exist.
2 An Argument against God
3 Types of Evil and Suffering
3.1 Moral Evil
3.1.1 drug addiction
3.1.2 terrorism
3.1.3 racism
3.1.4 malnutrition
3.1.5 neglect
3.2 Natural Evil
3.2.1 earthquakes
3.2.2 tsunamis
3.2.3 hurricanes
3.2.4 fires
3.3 Could be seen as both?
3.3.1 flooding - humans are the cause of global warming
3.3.2 Death can be caused by anything, for example war (moral evil) or an earthquake (natural evil)
3.3.3 Fires can be caused naturally or deliberately by humans
4 The Free Will Defence
4.1 Version 1 - Augustine
4.1.1 1. God creates the world as perfect
4.1.2 2. Adam and Eve eat the fruit they were instructed not to eat
4.1.3 3. Because of this, sin enters the world (known as the Fall)
4.1.4 4. As a result of The Fall, natural and moral evil enters the world and the whole of creation was affected But didn't Jesus die for our sins? If so, why should Adam and Eve's choice affect us?
4.1.5 He said that evil is a PRIVATION eg blindness is a lack of sight
4.2 Version 2a - Iranaeus
4.2.1 1. God didn't make us perfect
4.2.2 2. We learn through suffering
4.2.3 3. Suffering allows us to mature
4.3 Version 2b - John Hick
4.3.1 1. The world is a vale of soul making
4.3.2 2. This world is to develop and grow our souls
4.3.3 3. The only way to grow is to suffer
4.4.1 to have a world in which moral good has any value, moral evil has to exist, and we have to have free will.
4.5 CS Lewis
4.5.1 if evil actions and thought were impossible, free will would be void and meaningless
4.5.2 our actions have to have consequences
4.5.3 we choose our actions and god is not accountable
4.6 Alvin Plantinga
4.6.1 in order to make creatures who can perform morally good acts, they must have the freedom to commit evil acts
4.6.2 if God took away our free will then there would be no moral evil, but also no moral good
5 The Origins of Evil
5.1 Christian view
5.1.1 1. God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree
5.1.2 2. The serpent told Adam and Eve that God was lying to them
5.1.3 3. Eve ate the fruit, and gave it to Adam
5.1.4 4. After eating the fruit they became aware that they were naked
5.1.5 5. God was angry and punished Adam, Eve and the serpent
5.2 Islamic view
5.2.1 1. Allah created Adam and ordered all of the angels to bow down to him
5.2.2 2. Iblis refused to bow down so Allah banished him
5.2.3 3. Iblis vowed to draw humans away from the path to Allah, and convinces Adam and Eve to eat the fruit
6 Does suffering serve a purpose?
6.1 Delayed Gratification
6.1.1 i.e it can make us stronger in the long term
6.2 Learn how to manage bad things
6.2.1 eg. death of a relative
6.3 Gives an opportunity to reflect on our good fortune
6.3.1 eg. huge natural disaster
6.4 suffering from few can benefit many
6.4.1 eg. if one person has cancer and a cure is found, many will benefit from their suffering
6.5 in times of huge need, people can respond generously
6.5.1 eg. support for the Phillipenes
6.6 we need the bad to appreciate the good
7 Karma
7.1 Life is like a path/journey
7.2 Actions have consequences
7.3 Life is a perpetual circle
7.4 Good deeds move you up the scale in the next life, bad deeds move you down
7.5 Nirvana
7.5.1 Buddhism - to cease to exist
7.5.2 Hinduism - toj join your soul with God