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Explain how natural evil may be seen as a challenge to belief in God and how the Irenaean theodicy deals with this challenge

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Introduction

Explain how natural evil may be seen as a challenge to belief in God and how the Irenaean theodicy deals with this challenge. Evil and suffering is a diverse problem, as, because evil manifests itself in many ways, which demand different explanations. There are two types of evil, moral evil and natural evil. Moral evil is deliberately caused by humans doing things that they shouldn't do, or not doing things they should do. Examples of moral evil include murder, rape, stealing, bullying, cheating, failing to stop a murder or reporting a crime you know about, and not recycling. The second type of evil, natural evil, is evil in nature. This evil originates independently of human actions, for example a volcanic eruption, earthquakes, tornados, storms, droughts and death (because we cant stop natural death from happening-we all die at some point). The problem of evil can be looked at as an inconsistent triad, which contains three statements. "God is omnipotent", and "God is all-loving" are the two statements that make up the base of the triangle, and "Evil exists" is the statement at the top of the triangle. This triad is inconsistent, because it states that God is all-loving and omnipotent, so he is capable of everything and anything, yet evil still exists - how can this be? ...read more.

Middle

Although if you want to tell others, and you cant explain this then they wont believe in God. Really you can't expect others to have this belief, you need to try and explain it, as its not rational and logical. Therefore, this is why many people find it difficult to believe in an all-loving and omnipotent God, because they can see all the evil and suffering that exists in the world today. The Irenaean theodicy was named after a Bishop of Lyons, in the second century. The theodicy states that God created human beings in his image and likeness (Genesis1:26). Human nature is a process of growth and there are two stages. The first is that we are intelligent animals, with the capacity for development, and the second is that we are transformed into "children of God". In other words, we are not created perfect, but we have the ability/capacity to change, we can become perfect through developing. This transformation from stage one to two is a process of growth. The process is from being created in the image of God to becoming like God ("In the likeness of God"-Genesis 1). This theodicy deals with the challenge of having evil and suffering in the world even though God is an omnipotent and all-loving figure, by stating that it is the evil and suffering which enables this transformation to take place. ...read more.

Conclusion

Hick also said that someone who comes to perfection via overcoming evil and suffering, has greater moral worth than a perfect being, because the person has grown and will have gained qualities along the way. In other words we are better people if we've grown to perfection, rather than God just putting us on earth perfect (so we need evil and suffering in the world to make us better people). Therefore, God commits evil, because he has made the worls a "vale of soul-making", so that characters can be built towards perfection. It is a bit like an obstacle course, you overcome different hurdles in life and as you get older/more experienced the obstacles become more difficult and serious. You end up growing and getting closer to God. (this idea that man has potential to be perfect and eventually like God is also in the Old Testament.) In conclusion the Irenaen theodicy sets out to explain why evil and suffering exists in the world even though there is an all loving and omnipotent God out there. It states that it is not mans fault that natural evil exists, but it is God who created evil for our own good, so that we can choose good and grow towards and like God. Evil brings about perfection and goodness in the end so God is all loving after all. This is a good theodicy to use to account for the existence of evil and suffering. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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