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

Explain the issues concerning the origins of natural and moral evil.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Transfer-Encoding: chunked ´╗┐Explain the issues concerning the origins of natural and moral evil. [35] Evil is a multifaceted term that can refer to moral evil (acts committed by human beings such as murder or rape) or natural evil (naturally occurring events such as famines, diseases and earthquakes). Both forms cause unimaginable human suffering. John Hick described evil as ?physical pain, mental suffering and moral wickedness.? It is not surprising, then, that the existence of evil is often brought up in debate between theists and atheists. In examining the origins of evil, a good place to start is the Christian view. In Christianity, evil entered the world after the fall of Genesis 3, when Adam and Eve sinned by eating from the Tree of Knowledge. They were in perfection, yet they gave into the temptation from the serpent. As a punishment they were cast out of the garden to work and suffer, and Satan was condemned. ...read more.

Middle

Irenaeus sees the presence of evil and suffering as an opportunity for redemption, and his soul making theodicy encourages the reform of beings through the challenges posed by suffering. Humans are made in God?s likeness but they are not fully formed as children of God. Suffering is used in the honing process. Another method of explaining the origin of evil and suffering is the Free Will Defence. Swinburne appreciates that the Fall demonstrates God?s goodness in allowing humans to be free to choose. Free beings cannot be forced to love, and God wishes his creation to respond in love just as he has responded to them ? but this cannot be demanded. Therefore suffering is the inevitable consequence of allowing such freedom and this is coupled with hope and abounding grace on the part of God. The theistic perspective confirms that suffering is not from God ? ?God is light, in Him there is not darkness at all.? (1 John 1:5) ...read more.

Conclusion

Nietzsche looked at the world and all its suffering and declared that there was no order. This led him to confirm that there was no God. Therefore, man is alone in a pointless universe and must make the best he can of this absurd reality. Suffering is the natural consequence of a random universe, a victim of the big bang and evolution which are disordered biological drives. Evil and suffering, as Russel put it bluntly, are ?a brute fact.? However, more commonly the atheistic view rests on the principles of humanism. They accept the reality of suffering but positively believe that it can be conquered by the human will and intellect. Ultimately, the question surrounding the origin of evil and suffering will never truly be solved with our fallible human understanding. To quote Joseph Conrad, "The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary; men alone are quite capable of every wickedness.? ...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. What are the principles of natural law? Every adult has the right to become ...

    However, there are times when we come across moral dilemmas in which good cannot be done without bringing about an evil consequence. How do you reconcile the bad effect with the desire for moral rightness? In response to this, the doctrine of double effect was devised for solving such moral disputes.

  2. problem of evil

    Augustine's views on evil being a product of freewill have also been upheld. Despite it's strengths, Augustine's theodicy has many holes in it to be addressed, it contains logical, scientific, and moral difficulties. Augustine's concept of Hell comes under scrutiny; Hell is part of God's design of the universe, so

  1. Plato and Nietzsche on Authority

    There are other examples of when a more metaphysical concept has been implemented by an authority. Religious people often hold God (rather than the Forms or the free thinkers of Nietzsche) as the ultimate authority, and although we have discussed briefly the problems with making this the law of a

  2. Compare and Contrast the Philisophical Contributions of Nietzsche and Mill to our understanding of ...

    The other philosopher in question, Frederic Nietzsche, German philosopher of the late 19th century challenged the foundations of traditional morality and Christianity. He believed in life, creativity, health, and the realities of the world we live in, rather than those situated in a world beyond.

  1. Can the problem of evil be solved

    Hick believes that God has arranged the world similarly so that human's can develop. This involves the world containing much more that seems to frustrate mans purposes and aims. Hick says that by facing some frustrations humans can develop souls, which can grow and move towards God.

  2. Examine and comment on a philosophical approach to the moral and religious issues raised ...

    But these criteria can then equally apply to the severely disabled, comatose patients or human infants, which assumes their life is of as little value as a foetus and can therefore, have their lives taken as well, but obviously this is not the case as defenders of the proposed criteria

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