The Problem of Evil

Mind Map by , created over 6 years ago

A-Levels Philosophy Mind Map on The Problem of Evil, created by jacksearle on 05/06/2013.

Created by jacksearle over 6 years ago
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The Problem of Evil
1 Overview
1.1 The problem of evil is the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with a God that is omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent
1.1.1 Evil is whatever is painful, malicious of disastrous Moral Evil The existence of suffering due to human activity alone murder holocaust rape Natural Evil Events in the world which bring about suffering due to natural disasters earthquakes Floods landslide
2 What is the classic theistic God like?
2.1 The Inconsistent Triad
2.1.1 God needs to be all 3 omnis or else it creates an inconsistent triad How can pain and suffering exist if God is all 3 omnis? If God is omnipotent He would've been able to create a world without suffering If God is omniscient He would've know that the suffering and evil would occur and put a stop to it If God is omnibenevolent He would not tolerate evil and suffering in the world
3 Philosophical Explanations
3.1 The Free will Defence
3.1.1 Summarised Evils are entirely due to the bad, free choices made by human beings It was good of God to create free beings, but bad of them to abuse this freedom God is not responsible for the evils of the world, humans are
3.1.2 Key Features God Created a perfect world Humans were created perfect and in the image of God Humans given free will God told them not to eat from tree of knowledge Humans were tempted by serpent to disobey God They eat the forbidden fruit God punishes serpent, the women and the ground Adam and eve cast out, changes God's relationships with humans forever
3.1.3 Strengths Allows the existence of classic theistic God Faithful to Bible narrative Evil not part of God's original plan God is not responsible for mans evil choices
3.1.4 Weaknesses Requires taking Genesis literally - unscientific and disproven by Evolution How could evil come about in the perfect world? If there was a possibility for evil then surely the world was not created perfect Why did God not create humans who always choose morally right actions Why did God not prevent fall of man if he foresaw it
3.2 Philosophical attempts to solve the problem of evil are known as theodicy
3.2.1 Augustine's Theodicy Soul deciding Concerned with judgement of human souls The classic biblical answer to Evil Starts from the idea that the world was created wholly good "God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good" Genesis World is a perfect place Humans created physically and morally good, but not perfect No natural evil, everything vegetarian and lives in harmony Evil Is the result of man's misuse of freewill resulting from eating the forbidden fruit Misuse of freewill caused the downfall from perfection Moral Evil - comes as a result of misuse of freewill Natural Evil- comes as a result of this misuse,it is the corruption of the order and harmony within nature Is Privatio Boni (Privation of Good) Believed that Evil is an absence of good, not a force in itself Rejects cosmic dualism, not two opposite forces in the world Natural Evil is a loss of order following the expulsion from Eden (Evil is nature corrupted) Natural and Moral Evil can be seen as a punishment from God For Augustine, this is justification for the fact that God does not put an end to suffering Strengths Privation of Good Supported by many modern philosophers Allows God to stay omnibenevolent Evil as a result of human abuse of free will Supported by many modern thinkers Seems clear that much of evil and suffering in world is caused by humans choosing to act in wrong ways Backed up by biblical evidence Considered strength by Christians Weaknesses Logical errors 'perfect world gone wrong' Moral errors Would omnibenevolent God punish people for Eve's sin? Scientific errors Challenged by evolutionary theory
3.2.2 Irenaeus' Theodicy Soul Making concerned with development of human souls Modern comparison "No pain, no gain" traced evil back to free will Said that people need to suffer and that people need to be made to choose between Good and Evil otherwise they'd be like obedient robots God Wants people to choose to worship him Taught key 3 ideas God did not make a perfect world God is partly responsible for evil God created humans imperfectly and made it their task to develop perfection His aim when he created the world was to make humans flawless, in his likeness. Evil has a valuable role to play in God's plans for humans Achieving likeness of God requires willing cooperation of humans Genuine perfection can't just be given by God - must be developed by humans themselves This requires free will - humans must choose to be willing God's plans required the genuine possibility that human actions might have produced evil The potential for evil was essential to God's plan for transforming humans into God's likeness Hick's version Humans Being created in God's image is about evolution of humans into rational, intelligent and religious animals Humans gain God's likeness when they grow into a relationship with him The Fall Used to describe the distance between God and humans Epistemic Distance God's presence is not obvious in our world Therefore humans have a choice whether to believe in God or not Soul Making We live in a world where we make free decisions Right choices enable us to develop good habits and virtuous qualities Natural Disasters The world has to have danger in order for us to develop into the Image of God The Afterlife Believes you can develop God's likeness in our world - helps you to get into heaven Different to Iranaeus Ideas Strengths can be reconciled with evolution No logical errors Helps to explain existence of moral/natural evil Weaknesses Quantity of suffering Soul-making requires some suffering But why is there so much suffering? Many would argue that the quantity of suffering in our world is unacceptable Suffering cannot be seen as an act of love God who is omnibenelovent would not allow suffering

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