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For what reasons may suffering cause philosophical problems for religious believers? There are several reasons why the existence of suffering may cause philosophical problems for religious

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Introduction

For what reasons may suffering cause philosophical problems for religious believers? There are several reasons why the existence of suffering may cause philosophical problems for religious believers. These stem from the theological beliefs of the believers. Most religious people believe in a God who is omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent, that is all-powerful, all-knowing, and loving. If this description of God is accepted, then a difficulty arises in relation to the pain and suffering in the world. Suffering occurs as a result of two categories of evil, natural evil and moral evil. The first is caused by environment disasters or hazards like earthquakes or volcanoes etc. The second is caused by humanity and results from greed, search for power etc. ...read more.

Middle

This has long been the basis for questioning the existence of God, but David Hume, the eighteenth century philosopher, first stated it, as a defined argument. He used a triangular shape on which to base his argument. HUME'S TRIANGLE Hume stated that only two of the statements could exist. The existence of evil is an obvious fact; therefore one of the other two statements must be untrue. Either God is all-powerful but not loving, or he is all loving, but unable to control the world. This contention meant that Hume concluded that God does not exist. Many modern believers have struggled with this problem right up to the present time when the Archbishop of Canterbury, when asked to talk about the recent terrorist atrocity at Beslan, admitted that the event had led him to momentarily doubt his faith in God. ...read more.

Conclusion

used as its starting point, the creation story in Genesis. Augustine maintained that God is perfect and made the perfect world out of nothing 'ex-nihilo'; he did not create anything evil. In his terms, evil is a lack of goodness in something. As God did not create evil, there cannot be a completely evil being or thing in existence. Extending this, there is always the possibility of evil in the world since only God is perfect. Augustine's explanation of evil would be that it came from angels, created before humanity, or humans who deliberately turned away from God. This is because God, in his wisdom decided to give humanity the gift of freewill. This, for Augustine, absolved God from having caused the evil because it had resulted from humanity's choosing. This is known as the Freewill Defence. However, God was not uncaring about the existence of evil and therefore sent Jesus Christ ...read more.

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