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

Explain the problem of evil (25 marks). Are the theodicies attempts to deal with moral and natural evil and suffering doomed, in the face of so much evil and suffering?

Extracts from this document...


The problem of evil A) Explain the problem of evil (25 marks) The fact that there is evil in the world is a problem for theists as they claim to worship a god who is all-knowing, all- powerful and completely good, the problem arises because surely such a being would be aware of evil and suffering in the world as they are all-knowing , would have the power to prevent it from happening as he is all-powerful and as he is supposedly completely good ,and he would not allow for such evil to ever even occur, as Christians believe him to bear all three of these divine attributes , the allowance of evil to persist on a daily basis throughout the world surely disproves the existence of God. There are two separate types of evil that affect the world, firstly there is moral evil. Moral evil defines the bad actions of us as humans such as: rape, theft and murder, where as Natural evil makes reference to the natural processes of the world such as: volcanoes, earthquakes and forest fires, it is said that as humans commit such atrocities as murder through moral evil , natural evil occurs as punishment. ...read more.


the fawn endures is pointless , yet it is nature , surely a wholly good God would end this suffering quickly as it is pointless. To conclude, the problem of evil lies in that devoted theists such as Christians and Muslims believe in a God who possesses all of the divine attributes and yet suffering is so prominent , they believe in such a God regardless of what evil may strike them in their lifetimes yet surely their God would protect the devotee from having to experience such pain. The problem of evil however is only a challenge for the religious, for atheists this is not an issue as they do not believe in a God who should be responsible for it, the existence of evil is the biggest destroyer of the belief in God. B) Are the theodicies' attempts to deal with moral and natural evil and suffering doomed, in the face of so much evil and suffering? Each of the theodicies oppose atheism and attempt to prove that God holds all of the divine attributes he supposedly has , regardless of the evil in the world. Firstly is Augustine's theodicy. ...read more.


A criticism to Leibniz's theodicy comes from Voltaire, a French writer. Voltaire published a novel named 'Candide' , in the novel a character named Dr Pangloss regularly announces that this is the best world possible, eventually Candid witnesses the hanging of Dr Pangloss and states " If this is the best possible world, what can the others be like?" , Voltaire contrasts the horrific pain and suffering in the world against Leibniz's theodicy. To conclude, the theodicies' attempts to deal with moral and natural evil in the face of so much evil and suffering are doomed, as each of the criticisms against them bring into question how a God who holds each of the divine attributes can justify such suffering in the world as a means to an end in the next life. In my opinions , the existence of Hell alone blows the theistic ideal of a God out of the water as it simply connotes that some humans will have to experience large amounts of pain infinitely to God's approval, thus God cannot justify suffering in this life as he has the power to inflict it on mortals forever should they rebel against the system in their life previous to the afterlife. ?? ?? ?? ?? Kate Verity Blueman ...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. problem of evil

    For believers in the God of Classical Theism, this 'problem of evil' as it is often referred to, creates a serious dilemma. Moral evil is an easier problem to tackle for a theist than that of Natural evil, as it can be said that it occurs from the misuse of

  2. 'A belief in the life after death solves the problem of evil' Discuss

    God cannot be blamed for created evil, since evil is not a substance but a deprivation, and it makes no sense to say that God created deprivation. John Hick would be an example of a soft materialist. He said that the soul and body are one.

  1. In what ways may suffering create philosophical problems for religious believers? Outline two solutions ...

    Christ, whose crucifixion saved a certain number from eternal punishment, as well as allowing their evil to be abolished. Another Theodicy that concerns the problem of evil and suffering is Irenaeus, who made his theodicy after Augustine, with it being very different indeed.

  2. Explain and describe Augustine and Irenaeus' Theodicies

    to demonstrate that we were simply not ready to accept God's grace and goodness. Humanity was lead astray by the devil, but chose to eat forbidden fruit by their free will. In other words, all moral evil is a consequence of our misuse of our autonomous nature.


    This means evil is not an entity, but a lack of goodness or righteousness therefore evil only happens when good goes wrong.

  2. Explain how the theodicy of Irenaeus differs from that of Augustine and Evil cannot ...

    In contrast to Augustine's theory, Irenaeus doesn't begin his theory with the Garden of Eden. Augustine believed that the garden of Eden constituted the peak of human perfection whereas Irenaeus would argue that as humans we develop closer to perfection all the time, we become more civilised and loving through each generation.

  1. What is meant by the problem of evil and suffering for religious believers? Examine ...

    Humans were created imperfectly because attaining the likeliness of God requires willing cooperation from individuals, for which God gave them freewill. The universe was created with the possibility of evil, and humans have freewill to do both good and evil.

  2. ) Explain the theodicies of Irenaeus and Augustine ?

    If nothing Bad ever happened we wouldnât feel compelled to help other people as having no experience in suffering we would therefore also feel no remorse. More over Irenaeus believed that suffering is useful as a means of knowledge. Hunger leads to pain, and causes a desire to feed.

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