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

The existence of evil makes belief in God impossible. Assess this view.

Extracts from this document...


?The existence of evil makes belief in God impossible?. Assess this view. (30 marks) The problem of evil is a problem for everyone as no one wishes to suffer, but it is a particular problem for believers in one God, who possesses all the attributes ascribed to him in revealed and natural theology, such as omnipotence omnibenevolence and omniscience. There are many types of evil: natural evil, like earthquakes and volcanoes, pains and sufferings caused by nature, which are independent of human actions. There is also moral evil, which is evil caused by humans upon other humans, such as murder, assault and rape. A predicament arises when we consider the unbridled iniquitous acts of evil that seem to crescendo throughout history. Epicurus, an ancient Greek philosopher, first stated the problem of evil. If God wants to remove evil and cannot, then he is feeble and not omnipotent. If God does not want to remove evil and he can do such a task, he is evil and not omnipotent. If he cannot remove them and he does not want to remove them, then he is both feeble and evil, and is at variance with God?s character. If he wants to remove evil and he has the power to then why is there evil prevalent within the world, which is an undeniable assertion, then why does he not remove them? ...read more.


But cannot believers alter the definition of God? By doing this they can resolve the problem of evil. Such as Process Theology, where A.N. Whitehead says, God is the ?great companion ? the fellow-sufferer who understands?. This view point suggests that God is part of the world and evolving with it, and He can influence our actions but cannot completely remove evil; taking away the attribute of omnipotence from God. However solutions like these will not satiate most believers, and would reject them as pseudo-solutions as they would want to keep a God with all the attributes like omnipotence and omniscience. A solution which does this and still accounts for the actuality of evil is known as a theodicy. St. Augustine?s theodicy tries to account for the evil suffering prevalent in the world while not changing the definition of God. Augustine?s theodicy is influenced greatly by the Bible as it is a Christian theodicy but also by the Genesis, the first book, which accounts for the creation of the world. He devised the hierarchy of being: with God as the number one, then followed by Angels, he also added that there were two types of Angels, some with more grace and some with less grace, who fell from the grace of God, and one of them became the serpent in the Garden of Eden. ...read more.


By placing the responsibility of evil on the shoulders of humans and fallen angels, it seems as if he is merely shifting the blame off Gods shoulders, and absolving Him. But this does not seem fair as if God is all powerful then both humans and Angles are both under His control and ultimately are under God?s control and so He should accept the final responsibility. But is this not quite unfair, that if the world had the potential to go wrong, which God made, then why humans have to suffer as a result, if God is omniscience then He would know what would happen and yet He does not intervene but stands idly by. So in a sense, He knows you shall fail, yet He still punishes you for it. It is like a teacher giving you a test on a topic you have never done, so knowing you will fail it and then punish you for it. It does not seem very just and fair. There is few if any strength in this theodicy, it has room for the key Christian doctrines as it is a Christian theodicy, like the Original Sin, and it tries to account for all the evil without changing the definition of God. In conclusion, the idea of God seems to be incoherent with the evident evil in this world, leads us to conclude that you cannot reconcile the two, and forces you to conclude that God does not exist. ...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. Assess the view that conscience is given to us by God.

    Piaget also asked boys of different ages, about their views on punishment in hypothetical situations, asking them to make moral judgements. The younger children focused on the severity of the outcome, (external responsibility), whereas older children distinguished between the outcome and whether it occurred as a result of someone doing something wrong, (internal responsibility).


    Another scientific criticism is whilst Augustine says we were all 'seminally present in the loins of Adam', our genes suggest otherwise. Not only does each person have their own unique DNA (with the exception of identical twins), other factors contribute to how a person develops, such as their socialization, which can create psychological differences too.

  1. problem of evil

    It presents itself as a philosophical problem as it compels the believer to accept conflicting claims that are logically impossible to reconcile. It is also a diverse problem; evil manifests itself in many different ways, demanding separate explanations. The problem of evil has proved itself to be a challenging problem,

  2. Assess the view that conscience is not the voice of God, but is learned?

    It is the inner part of you, contains feelings of guilt knowing you've done wrong. Within superego you set demands on yourself, you set your morals and standards. The second is the ego, this is your conscience self, the way you act and the way people perceive you, this part

  1. Explain how Augustine accounts for the existence of evil.

    This destroyed the delicate balance of the world. From then on, there was to be enmity between humans and other creatures. Humans would have to battle constantly to grow enough food. Pain, such as that resulting from child-birth, entered the world, along with death.

  2. Problem of evil

    Like a child with leukemia being put through kimo-therapy, he suffers, yet in the end he is rid of his cancer.

  1. Can the problem of evil be solved

    Hick argues that it is normal to think God is hidden, this is so our love can be freely given.

  2. Evaluate the claim that the existence of natural evil in the world makes it ...

    Finally, natural evil isn?t the result of free will as we don?t choose for natural evil to occur. Augustine would argue that the existence of natural evil in the world does not make it impossible to believe in a God who is all loving and all powerful as God is

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