• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

discuss the claim that any belief in life after death is a theodicy in itself

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Discuss the claim that any belief in life after death is a theodicy in itself. The purpose of a theodicy is to explain why an all-powerful and all loving God allows evil and suffering. All theodicies accept that in order to justify this evil and suffering there must be a future life in which all the injustices, inequalities and tragedies of this life will be compensated for. This is why some philosophers regard belief in life after death as the greatest of all theodicies. Christians believe that through Jesus? death and resurrection (the Atonement) sin and evil was defeated and we all have the chance of eternal life. As a consequence of the Atonement Christians believe that people can go on to a next life where they will be compensated for all the suffering they have experienced. It is unclear what form Jesus was resurrected in, in the New Testament there is evidence of full body resurrection, like Jesus raising Lazarus in a full bodily resurrection and also the risen Jesus claimed to be flesh and bones. There is also evidence of spiritually transformed bodily resurrection, Jesus was able to materialise and localise at will. Paul described the resurrection body as a ?spiritual body? inhabiting a spiritual world. Without life after death, a life of eternal happiness in the presence of God, nothing can justify the existence of evil and suffering in the world. ...read more.


If the replica is not the same as the original this would also raise the issue of the appropriateness of divine judgement of such a being, is it fair to judge a replica on the actions of the original person if this then means the replica is to spend forever in hell for things which they have not done or is it right for a replica to gain the reward of heaven if they did not do such actions worthy of heaven. If a replica cannot be held responsible for the actions of the original person then any idea of life after death as a theodicy collapses. Christians have traditionally believed that when people die they go either to heaven or hell. Heaven is seen as a place of eternal happiness where people are continually in the presence of God. It is seen as the ultimate goal of human existence, life after death in heaven is something people have to achieve through their actions in life. Hell is seen as a place of separation from God involving eternal punishment for all sins we made throughout our life. However belief in heaven and hell raises a number of questions with regard to the problem of evil. Can the existence of hell, with eternal punishment be compatible with a perfectly loving and perfectly just God? It is hard to imagine any sin where eternal punishment with no chance of parole would be a fair punishment. ...read more.


They argue that it is unjust for someone to suffer bad consequences as a result of crimes or faults they cannot remember committing. Also if someone is to learn from their past lives to make a better present life how is that to happen if they cannot recall events from their previous lives which caused them to have the life they have now. Even in the space of one lifetime, many argue that it is unjust to punish people for wrongs that were committed long in their past, when they are different people now and have learned a lot since then. Belief in life after death is central to the problem of evil on the grounds that if beyond this life there was no hope of ?reward? or no judgement there would appear to be little point to all the suffering in the world. However, the whole idea of life after death as a theodicy or solution to the problem of evil only works if you are prepared to accept that innocent suffering is a worthwhile price to pay for our reward later. Dostoyevsky was one person not willing to accept this, he claimed that there is no relationship between any theodicy and a possible next life, no future happiness in a next life can justify the suffering of even one innocent person in this life. If like Dostoyevsky we do not accept that we have to suffer in order to reap the benefits then life after death fails as an answer to the problem of evil. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. Compare and contrast arguments for and against belief in life after death.

    Therefore a human will have a human soul. Aristotle defines the body and soul as being inseparable. The soul develops the person's skills, character or temper, but it cannot survive death. When the body dies, the soul ceases to exist, as they are one. This would appear to be materialistic at first but Aristotle believed that the body and soul were different.

  2. Augustine's theodicy

    Theodicies such as those of Augustine and Irenaeaus were not accounting for evil; they were simply trying to explain how evil and God can coexist. Augustine's theodicy claims that all evil roots from the Fall of Adam and Eve. This is a hefty weight to be laid on to mankind

  1. Theories of Resurrection of the body are logically coherent - Discuss

    Hindu's believe that the atman or soul is in 'samsara' - the cycle of life and death, being reborn in different bodies depending on the law of Karma i.e. how their life was lived. Hindu's believed that Brahman is the true reality, and it's the goal of life to reunite our atman with him: this is called Moksha.

  2. An embodied life in heaven is entirely possible. Discuss.

    People who have ignored Allah's teachings will go to hell where they will be punished. Christians and Hindus accept different realisations about what the afterlife entails. The Christian belief in an afterlife is based on a linear view of time.

  1. Assess the claim 'Our lives are determined'

    This is not to say that God has already set out our future; that is evident in the semantics, pre meaning 'before', therefore 'before destiny'.

  2. Explain and evaluate Augustine's Theodicy

    showing that God must've already expected the world to grow wrong, accepting what would happen, raising a range, can God's creating still be regarded as perfect, if God knew the world was going to go wrong? With God being omnipotent, why didn't he simply create a better world where things

  1. The Concept of Life After Death is Incoherent - Discuss.

    This argument is extremely weak as Hick's concept will only work if there is some sort of cognitive presence to experience death. To what extent is the concept of life after death coherent? John Locke proposed an argument that would suggest that the concept of life after death is coherent.

  2. Examine the key concepts associated with two of the following: Immortality of the ...

    When one life ends, the next life continues on from the stage reached by the previous life. While rebirth is often identified with reincarnation, reincarnation depends upon belief in an unchanging self, or atman, which Buddhists, disagree with. Within Buddhism there is a variety of different understandings of rebirth, all views emphasise the process of constant change.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work