1.1.1 questions how God could
exist in a world with ANY evil
126.96.36.199 2. A wholly good
evil as far as it can.
188.8.131.52.1 REJECT THIS: normally
favoured by theists, argue
that there may be a good
reason for God to allow evil
(e.g. moral lessons, test
faith, free will...)
184.108.40.206 3. Evil exists.
220.127.116.11.1 REJECT THIS: some
argue that evil doesn't
really exist as a
substance but is
really just an illusion.
18.104.22.168 1. God is an all-powerful, wholly good
and all-knowing creator of the universe.
22.214.171.124.1 REJECT THIS: favoured by atheists,
would argue either God is not all-powerful
and maybe lacks power or knowledge, or
completely rejects God's existence.
1.1.2 These three statements can't all work together,
since a wholly good and powerful being like God
should be able to eliminate evil completely, but as
number 3 points out, there is evil. So one of these
statements met be rejected...
1.2 EVIDENTIAL PROBLEM
1.2.1 questions how God could
exist in a world in which the
AMOUNT of evil is so much.
126.96.36.199 As theists would respond to
the logical problem of evil by
rejecting the second
statements and suggesting
good can come out of keeping
evil, the evidential problem
188.8.131.52.1 Even if there are goods that can
come from evil, there seems to be
too much evil to justify those
goods, some that even seem like
no good comes from it at all.
184.108.40.206.1.1 William Rowe
220.127.116.11.1.1.1 There exists examples of intense suffering where
an omnipotent, omniscient being could have
prevented without losing out on the greater good.
18.104.22.168.22.214.171.124 e.g. How is the premature/col seat of a baby justifiable?
126.96.36.199.188.8.131.52 Why do animals suffer?
2 AUGUSTINE'S THEODICY
2.1 Augustine converted to christianity
from Manichaeism, where it
teaches that 2 opposing natures
existed from the beginning: light
(good) and darkness (evil)
2.1.1 He rejected the dualism
of Manichaeism in
favour of the God of
184.108.40.206 However, the Gnosticism
influenced his theology
by taking the good as
God's creation and
darkness as the vil that
disrupts the good.
2.2 The Origin of Evil
2.2.1 Augustine traced the origin to
those with free will within the
world: angels & human beings.
220.127.116.11 The fallen angels led by Lucifer
firstly chose to rebel against God
and so were cast out of Heaven.
18.104.22.168 Then Adam & Eve disobeyed God by eating the
forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge from
the Garden of Eden, and so were cast out.
22.214.171.124 These misuses of
free will unbalanced
the harmony of God's
creation, leading to
the privation of
goodness in the world
which we call evil.
2.3 Explanation for the
Existence of Evil &
2.3.1 All suffering is a fully deserved
consequence of human sin.
126.96.36.199 The first sin cause humans to be
distanced from God, and in this new
and damaged environment, moral evil
flourished and spread.
2.3.2 MORAL EVIL
188.8.131.52 Occurs because of the
wrong choices that
humans make when they
disobey God's commands
184.108.40.206 e.g. when people ignore
God's commands in the Bible
of "You shall not kill" or "You
shall not commit adultery",
suffering occurs as a result.
2.3.3 NATURAL EVIL
220.127.116.11 Result of MORAL EVIL as the
rebellion of the fallen angels and first
humans disrupted the pure and natural
order of God's creation and prevented
it from achieving its true nature.
18.104.22.168 e.g. tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis...
2.3.4 Both natural and moral evil are
interpreted as punishment
22.214.171.124 "All evil is either sin or punishment for sin"
2.3.5 ALL humans deserve to suffer (even
supposedly innocent babies!) because
ALL humans were "seminally present" in
Adam's loins and so inherit the original sin
and guilt though every generation.
126.96.36.199 Modern science contradicts idea of
inheriting anything from Adam or being
"seminally present" in his loins.
188.8.131.52 It is unfair for us to be punished for
original sin and held responsible for
the actions of Adam and Eve.
184.108.40.206.1 WE didn't actually perform the act of rebellion.
2.3.6 Can't explain the
reason why there is so
much suffering in the
2.4 Nature of Evil
2.4.1 As a perfect being, God
originally created the world
perfect, free from flaws out
of nothing (ex nihilo)
220.127.116.11 Evil came later and not from God
so he is not to blame for it existing.
18.104.22.168.1 God's creation was good but
when people make the wrong
choices, it becomes less good.
22.214.171.124 Evil is a privation of good
and unlike good, is not a
substance in itself.
126.96.36.199.1 e.g. blindness is an absence of sight.
188.8.131.52.2 Therefore it makes no sense to
blame God as he can't have
created a privation of something.
184.108.40.206.3 Evil is not just a
privation of good.
220.127.116.11.3.1 Evil can't have come out of a
perfect world because this would
suggest it came from nothing.
18.104.22.168.3.1.1 Therefore God must have
not created a perfect world
suggesting He isn't perfect
22.214.171.124.3.2 e.g. pain is not merely an
absence of pleasure but a form
of suffering in itself.
126.96.36.199 "And God saw everything that he had made,
and behold, it was very good" ~ Genesis 1:31
2.5 Principle of Plenitude
2.5.1 God has created a perfect world as
the diversity contributes to bringing
out the perfection of the whole.
2.6 Aesthetics Argument
2.6.1 Hell is a just punishment
188.8.131.52 However, God still sent Jesus to die
on the cross so some souls might be
saved and go to Heaven, showing
GOD IS MERCIFUL & JUST.
2.6.2 The world only seems
evil when parts of it are
considered in isolation
of the whole.
184.108.40.206 "The universe even with its sinister
aspects is perfect" ~Soliloquies, I, i, 2)
220.127.116.11.1 The problem of evil can therefore be
seen as a problem of perspective.
18.104.22.168.1.1 Humans by nature have a LIMITED
PERSPECTIVE, judging by self-centred
criteria, and from this view, evil is a reality.
22.214.171.124.1.2 From God's omniscience
however, evil has no reality
since what we consider evil
actually magnifies the
goodness of the whole and
only God can see it.
126.96.36.199.1.2.1 e.g. a scorpion's poison seems cruel and
fatal to the victim, but not from the scorpion's.
188.8.131.52.1.2.2 Also allows God
to exercise justice
2.6.3 Gottfried Liebniz
184.108.40.206 God created the "best of all possible worlds"
220.127.116.11.1 Because this world allows for the
greatest quantity and variety of beings.
18.104.22.168 Evil brings out the good.
22.214.171.124.1 e.g. without evil to challenge us, we
wouldn't have courage or selflessness.
126.96.36.199.1.1 So god created the
best world he could
188.8.131.52.1.2 Evidential Problem
184.108.40.206.1.2.1 does the amount
of good really
outweigh the evil?
220.127.116.11.2 Thomas Aquinas
18.104.22.168.2.1 Reinforces ides that the evil
we have allows goodness
22.214.171.124.2.1.1 "The life of a lion would not be
preserved unless an ass was killed"
126.96.36.199 Because of all the links
between good and evil,
God could not improve
the world in one way,
without making it worse in
188.8.131.52 Relates to Augustinian idea of
God's perspective as being
different to ours, and how He can
see the perfection of His creation.
2.7.1 God has predestined who will
be saved to go to Heaven and
who will go to Hell.
2.7.2 Not from foreknowledge,
but from God's wisdom
2.7.3 Number of the elect
(predestined for Heaven)
was a fixed number that
can't be changed.
184.108.40.206 If he is saving some but not all of
us then this suggests he is only
extending his mercy to a limited
extent, showing he is not all-loving.
220.127.116.11 If God knows
what we will do in
advance, then we
are not truly free
or have free will.
2.7.4 John Calvin
18.104.22.168 Puts more stress on the
idea that we are predestined,
mostly to go to Hell.
22.214.171.124 God foreknew that Adam &
Eve would sin and that they
would be punished after
126.96.36.199.1 Everything happens
according to God's plan
188.8.131.52 But God does't simply
allow sin to happen
184.108.40.206 Seems unfair: everything is
already planned (even sin) so how
can we be held responsible.
220.127.116.11.1 Calvin thought it represented
God's power and freedom.
3 HICK'S "VALE OF SOUL-MAKING THEODICY"
3.1 process by which we develop into moral & social
beings and then develop morally and spiritually from
the IMAGE OF GOD to the LIKENESS OF GOD.
3.1.1 Done by developing virtues like
kindness, courage, compassion.....
18.104.22.168 For it to be genuine it must be
undertaken FREELY and so must be
developed through our FREE ACTION.
3.1.2 Evolution shows how we improve
and develop over time.
22.214.171.124 Changes meaning of Jesus suffering on the
cross as a saviour as said in the Bible.
126.96.36.199.1 Bible should be taken
metaphorically, not literally.
3.2 God cannot continually intervene to prevent evil
3.2.1 If he did, we wouldn't be able to
develop a sense of moral responsibility.
188.8.131.52 Without consequences for our
actions we won't learn or develop.
3.2.2 His presence would also
overwhelm us and prevent
our actions being genuine.
184.108.40.206 e.g. a fan with a celebrity.
220.127.116.11 He must be at an
EPISTEMIC distance from us
(distant from our knowledge)
3.3 Natural evil is necessary since it gives
us a chance to develop virtues
3.3.1 e.g. helping someone with
disease, or after natural disasters.
3.3.2 Suffering does not express love
18.104.22.168 D.Z. Phillips
22.214.171.124.1 never justifiable to hurt someone to help them
126.96.36.199.1.1 Sometimes it is, e.g.
stopping a smoker from
3.4 Because of free will, this also means we are
free to commit moral evil and learn from it.
3.5 Nature of Evil
3.5.1 Evil is a substance
188.8.131.52 Contrast with augustine
3.6 Influenced by IRANAEAN theodicies
3.7 Process is rarely completed in the life of the individual.
3.7.1 Process is continued in the afterlife.
184.108.40.206 Why do some people reach
perfection sooner than others.
3.8 Many apparently "evil" people are just "victims of the system"
3.8.1 E.g. people with bad upbringings,
can't be held responsible for actions.
3.8.2 UNFAIR, if struggle results in more
spiritual development, some people are
getting more than others.
3.8.3 Distribution of suffering very uneven
220.127.116.11 e.g. Holocaust- was so many deaths necessary?
18.104.22.168 No suffering is pointless
3.9 EVERYONE WILL EVENTUALLY INHERIT ETERNAL LIFE IN HEAVEN.
3.9.1 Makes religion (Christianity) seem
pointless, no goal or target.
3.9.2 What about animals? Why do they suffer?
4 PROCESS THOUGHT
4.1 Liberal 20th century Christians
4.2 God is NOT seen as key creator of the
universe but instead a DEVELOPER of
what was already in existence (not ex
nihilo like traditional theism)
4.2.1 "When God began to create the Heavens and the
Earth, the earth was without form and void"
4.3 God is NOT omnipotent
because he too is also bound
by the laws of the universe
and so it is out of his control
4.3.1 This explains how evil is
beyond his control as we
22.214.171.124 Changed vital definition of God
126.96.36.199.1 Is a weaker God worthy of worship?
188.8.131.52.2 In Bible it pays attention to God's power.
184.108.40.206.2.1 "For nothing will be impossible with God"
4.3.2 He can only lure and persuade the world to
become more harmonious and complex.
4.3.3 As humans develop out of the complexity and
intensity of the world, they gain more control than
God and destruction and evil arises.
4.4 God and universe CO-CREATE
4.4.1 God develops universe,
universe develops and
4.5 GOD TOOK JUSTIFIED RISK
4.5.1 He knew he wouldn't be able to
control his creation eventually and
didn't know how it would turn out
4.5.2 But eventually the universe
produced enough quantity of
good to outweigh evil and given
a choice between the universe
we live in and none at all, our
universe is preferred.
220.127.116.11 " Should God, for the sake of avoiding 'man's
inhumanity to man', have avoided humanity
altogether?" ~David Griffin
18.104.22.168 Some who have only experienced
greater suffering may argue that
bad outweighs the good.
4.6 GOD SUFFERS TOO
4.6.1 He is affected by the universe,
but it is beyond his control.
22.214.171.124 Therefore no reason to condemn God
as he has suffered considerably more
than anyone from his choices.
4.6.2 Gets frustrated and is the
"fellow sufferer who
4.7 FROM EVIL AND DISCORD THERE ARE BENEFITS
4.7.1 recognition of perfection and generates
desire for a better world
4.7.2 We can't experience all values
if we don't have the opposites to