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Life after death and problem of evil

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Introduction

Life after death solves the problem of evil. Discuss. The problem of evil is how can an omnipotent, omnibenevolent and omniscient God exist in the face of both moral and natural evil? One theory proposed to defend classical theism is the existence of a life after death. If evil can be justified through punishment and eternal gain, surely there is no problem? There are however, many problems with this argument with criticisms come extensively from non-Christians. The best way to analyse if life after death does solve the problem of evil is to look at it on the basis of two variables: the existence of life after death, the existence of evil and how the three main views combining these variables would answer this question. For a life after death to solve the problem of evil, both must exist. This is an assumption with little proof beyond that of faith, which is why it often only appeals to Christians. Augustine was a key believer in both, he believed that on judgement day those who had sinned would go to hell and those who had not would go to heaven. ...read more.

Middle

This is the view of many atheists, and those Christians who take a more liberal approach to the bible (as it specifically states heaven, a literal Christian would take this as word). As D Z Philips states, a life after death is just the misinterpretation of language and should not be taken as fact. This is one of the few areas where science and religion have a common outlook. One of the fundamental principles of science is that energy cannot be destroyed. If we take the definition of life in an open way, then in fact life after death does exist through energy, just not in the way we our thought to believe. Other theorists such as Hume argue firmly against the existence of life after death. While agnostic, he is a firm believer in the idea of proof. Faith and written word is not enough to prove the existence of God or a life after death, therefore until it can be scientifically proved a life after death does not exist. They key criticism of Hume is can you objectively say that evil exists? ...read more.

Conclusion

Perhaps this is why Pascal's wager works, it is better to believe in a God in case he does exist, than to not believe in one at all. In conclusion, to agree that life after death solves the problem of evil requires the belief that both exist. It is a lot more logical to believe that evil exists, as despite the claims of God's greater plans, or even the scientific version of the larger picture for society, it is clear that some forms of evil will always override these claims. The existence of a life after death is a lot harder to appreciate as a non-Christian. As a firm believer in the idea of proof, I agree with Hume that until it can be proved it does not exist. I do however, I also agree with the idea of an alternative life after death, specifically the idea of energy always existing. It is interesting to see how two very religious originating ideas as evil and heaven can both become ideas that hold true in ideologies outside that of Christianity, and also too in science. ...read more.

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