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A) For what reasons may suffering create philosophical problems for a religious believer? (10) B) Outline two solutions to these problems and comment on their success

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Introduction

Essay question on the problem of evil A) For what reasons may suffering create philosophical problems for a religious believer? (10) B) Outline two solutions to these problems and comment on their success (10) A) The problem of suffering has been around since the dawn of time, or as religious philosophers believe; since Adam and Eve first sinned in the Garden of Eden. The first problem that arises from evil is that we believe that the God of classical theism has certain attributes. These are that: * God is all powerful (Omnipotence) * God is all loving (Omnibenevolence) * God is all knowing (Omniscience) * God creates ex-nilho (out of nothing) * God is infinite The last point is not as important in this discussion; the others are the main points in the arguments for and against evil in the world. I will attempt to get an argument for each of the points above. First off, the attribute of God being all loving causes a problem because it is said that if God is all loving then he should surely want to end all of the suffering that occurs in the world, just as an all loving God would surely not have wanted such evil things to happen to his only son Jesus. ...read more.

Middle

It could be said that the level of suffering that somebody endures could make a difference for the problem of suffering that occurs, for example it can not be said that banging your elbow is the same as losing a family member. Although the question that arises here is; Should there be any level of suffering occurring in the world at all; should God allow suffering to occur, not matter what extent it is? B) There have been large amounts of solutions otherwise known as theodicies. These have been brought forward to the problem of evil and suffering. These include the Augustinian, Iranaean, Process Theodicy and the Free-will defence. However, it could be said that the Process Theodicy is not really a Theodicy, this is because it does not maintain the God of classical theism and the existence of evil and suffering. The main two theodicies that I will be concentrating on are the Free-will defence and the Iranaean Theodicy. The free-will defence states that God has given humans free will to do what ever they want to do. This is due to a necessary distance that must be maintained between God and the human race. This is known as the epistemic distance, and it allows humans to have free will. ...read more.

Conclusion

There must be an epistemic distance between humans and God. The strengths of this argument are that; only in an environment were there was danger, challenge and the possibility of evil would it be a possibility for humans to evolve. Also it is said that suffering enables moral actions to occur. However there are some weaknesses of this argument. They include the questions that are asked like; is the price too high to pay for a greater God? If all humans are going to heaven like it is said in this argument, then why does God enable humans to suffer? If God were omnipotent, we would have the virtues without having to suffer. There is also no explanation of extreme suffering that occurs to the human race, for example the holocaust. The Theodicy does take into account the theory of evolution, however this is an inadequate response to the problem of evil. This Theodicy again is fairly successful in explaining the problem of evil because it does take into account evolution, and also the survival of the fittest, however, this response is inadequate for the problem of evil because it does not really take into account extreme suffering that has occurred and also some natural disasters that have occurred over the years that were not necessarily foreseeable. ?? ?? ?? ?? Andrew Penman 12 C ...read more.

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