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

Explain the theodicy of Irenaeus. Irenaeus theodicy is the response to the problem of evil, which like Augustines traces back to the idea of humans free will being the source of evil.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explain the theodicy of Irenaeus. (25 Marks) The Irenaeus Theodicy, often called Soul Making, is a counterpart to Augustine's Theodicy, yet it is also and opposing argument. Irenaeus' theodicy is the response to the problem of evil, which like Augustine's traces back to the idea of human's free will being the source of evil. While Augustine stated that evil came from humans and Adam in Genesis, Irenaeus proposes that evil is opposing the humans race to become in to God's likeness. Irenaeus believed that there was an aim in God's creation of the world, that being that humans were to be made flawless, in his likeness, although human perfection can't be made. It has to be earned, and developed through our own soul and with the correct use of free will. Creation is not yet finished. We have been made in the image of God with the potential to be like God. ...read more.

Middle

For Irenaeus evil is represented by both potential of disobeying God and the actuality of disobeying God. The choice of free will comes under this, as it is essential to be able to given the option to choose whether to actually obey God rather then just obeying him because you are told that it is the right thing to do and it is your only choice. As to God it shows more faith if you are able to choose your paths in which to follow. This then leads on to the idea that God may allow for potential evil in our world, as our world has been designed with the possibilities of causing harm and allowing humans to be imperfect. When actual evil is committed God stands backs and allows humans to abuse their free will. This allows humans to learn from their mistakes and to improve on these, it also educates us on what is wrong and allows us to move towards the likeness of God. ...read more.

Conclusion

When we achieve this potential or likeness with God we will be able to be reunited with him, as we have spiritually developed a relationship with him and we are now complete. For someone like an atheist they would always remain in the image of God as they have evolved rationally but they just don't have that relationship with him. It is clear that Irenaeus' theodicy has a great importance in that it attempts to deal with the difficult problems faced with the existence of evil in the world. Like with Augustine's theodicy it emphasises the importance of free will to humans and uses it as an explanation to why there is evil in the world. It is clear to me that most people learn from their mistakes, this is something God allows and wants them to do. The idea of soul making in order to achieve God's likeness reflects this idea also, in that people learn from their experiences with making mistakes. Alicia Lloyd-Jones ...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

    These three statements cannot all be true so it would seem that one of them is false, but since we know evil and suffering exist the inconsistency must lie in one of the other 2 points.

  2. Augustine's theodicy

    Subsequently, Aquinas believes that the whole of humanity experiences this disharmony because we are descended from Adam's 'loins'. Augustine claimed that: 'All evil is either sin or the punishment for sin'. Natural and moral evil are therefore consequences of this disharmony within the Creation created by the falls.

  1. HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE AUGUSTINIAN THEODICY IN EXPLAINING THE EXISTENCE OF EVIL & SUFFERING ...

    Either the world was created imperfect or God allowed it to go wrong. Perhaps the most important criticisms are moral as they challenge God. Being omniscient, God should have known that things would go wrong and being omnipotent, 'He' could have made creation better and less flawed.

  2. The idea of miracles is a major obstacle to faith in the modern world ...

    Whether the idea of miracle is an obstacle is dependent, therefore, on both the type of faith under discussion, and what people consider to be 'miraculous'. For example, if God is considered a personal being then interaction with the world seems infinitely more possible, and if we consider, like Wiles,

  1. Explain the problem of evil (25 marks). Are the theodicies attempts to ...

    almighty creator and the necessary being that creates all the contingent beings who cannot posses all of these attributes. The evidential problem of evil is explored by Charles Darwin, as he noted that he witnessed the daily suffering of so many animals on a daily basis during his research ,

  2. Can the problem of evil be solved

    Irenaeus (ca. 130-202 CE) has a different theodicy. Irenaeus has a different theodicy. Irenaeus also believes in man has freewill but he believes man was not made perfect, even though God could have made him perfect. He believes man is made in the image but not the likeness of God, as a man is not perfect.

  1. Assess Nietzsche's idea of the Will to Power

    Yes, I can admit that (in Nietzsche's view) it is morally wrong, but there is no categorical barrier which stops me from breaking those morals. Clearly, then, all actions cannot be derived from the Will to Power. Nietzsche introduces the Will to Power primarily in opposition to the old Christian

  2. Explain and evaluate Augustine's Theodicy

    So, what is the reason God created the universe? Humans having free will, means that God will not interfered in humans committing evil acts, leading to evil consequences or that or simply evil. Free will would lead to evil and suffering, as it was logically impossible for God to create

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