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


Extracts from this document...


PHILOSOPHY ESSAY TASK: 'HOW EFFECTIVE IS THE AUGUSTINIAN THEODICY IN EXPLAINING THE EXISTENCE OF EVIL & SUFFERING IN OUR WORLD?' Throughout history, the problems of evil and suffering have always been prevalent in the world. The problems can be split up into two types: moral evil and natural suffering. Moral evil is generally viewed as anything that is caused by humans and inflicts pain (physical or psychological) or death or obstructs life's freedom and/or expression; for example, murder, war, crime. Natural suffering is generally viewed as events that occur because of the physical world or environment; for example, earthquakes, volcanoes, flooding. Evil and suffering therefore present believers in the 'God of Classical Theism' with a logical problem- one of them being the 'Inconsistent Triad'. The 'Inconsistent Triad' consists of three premises: 1- God is omnipotent; 2- God is omnibenevolent; 3- there is evil in the world. All three premises cannot be true at the same time which means either God does not exist or there is no evil in the world. ...read more.


Augustine's theodicy essentially says that God is right not to interfere with problems of evil and suffering in the world, as it is perfectly justified that we should suffer and at the end of our lives- if we have accepted that God's forgiveness is necessary- we will go to Heaven, otherwise all non-believers will be punished in Hell for eternity. For some Christians- mainly fundamental Christians- Augustine's theodicy succeeds in justifying evil and suffering in the world. However, for non-Christians and even liberal Christians, the theodicy fails for a number of different reasons. The theodicy fails in some ways because of the advance in science. Augustine's theodicy is based on the Bible being interpreted as literal which opens him up to two scientific criticisms. In contrast to evolution theory, which is now widely accepted as an explanation for the existence of complex organisms through the gradual process of natural selection and random mutations over generations, if the Bible is taken as literal truth, then the theodicy is the reverse of evolution as it prescribes humans were created first. ...read more.


Not only that, the selection process for Heaven is discriminate as Heaven can be viewed as an exclusive club for people who have turned to Christ and accepted the need for God's forgiveness. Therefore, God is wasteful of good souls as they would be punished eternally for having no Christian belief- even if they had been morally good people their whole lives. This clearly questions God's omnibenevolence and fairness. At first evaluation, St Augustine's theodicy appears to make some good points about the reasons for evil and suffering in the world, particularly his comparison of evil to darkness and them being an absence of good and light respectively. However on closer inspection, there are some clear flaws with the theodicy which challenge the 'God of Classical Theism' as they criticise 'His' creation and more importantly- God's omnibenevolence. The theodicy works well for fundamental Christians, but is not effective in convincing other Christians and non-Christians into the reasons for the existence of evil and suffering in the world as it presents us with an arbitrary and flawed God. ?? ?? ?? ?? Pamela Bolla 13SM ...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. Augustine's theodicy

    'Reasoned arguments cannot account for all the evil in the world.' Discuss. Reasoned arguments are never going to account for any evil in any world of any type. Reasoning will only help us to understand what it is that accounted for this evil, but will never account for the evil itself.

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

    However, it does also allow us to see what good is by choosing the wrong or evil option or choice in our lives. So, this proves that in order for Humans to be like God in the after life, He created evil and suffering so that we could essentially learn from our mistakes and make us a better person overall.

  1. problem of evil

    The knowledge of them could only come from God. Scientific difficulties stem from the modern world's concept of evolution; the idea of a perfect world being damaged by humans does not allow for evolution. Moreover, Augustine refers to the Garden of Eden in his theodicy, and this paradise is hard to accept on the basis of evolution.

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

    Augustine's theodicy places all blame for evil in the world (both natural and moral) , as being caused by the freely chosen acts of God's creatures , herein lies the freewill defence.

  1. Free essay

    R.S. Philosophy Did God create evil and suffering?

    The free will defence is one of the most popular approaches that theologians use to answer the question above. This approach transcends its argument by attacking the idea that an all-loving and all-powerful God cannot exist in a world where evil survives.

  2. Explain and evaluate Augustine's Theodicy

    However, the fact that Adam and Eve, as God's creatures chose to disobey show that there was already at least a slight knowledge of evil in the world. Also, the existence of Hell poses a problem for Augustine's theodicy. Augustine portrays Hell as part of God's design of the universe,

  1. Irenaen Theodicy cannot justify the existence of evil. Discuss

    Therefore ?evil? is a way for humans to learn and evil also allows us to empathise with each other which lets us help others that need it; how could you help a hungry person if they did not know they were hungry?

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

    Christians claim that in heaven we will be timeless but physical bodies would need food and drink and would perform the normal bodily functions so would we continue to age and eventually grow old or would God somehow restore our youth and enable us to remain forever young?

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