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

Is there a God?

Extracts from this document...


1. "IS THERE A GOD? " "There is a problem about why God allows evil, and if the theist does not have (in a cool moment) a satisfactory answer to it, than his belief in God is less than rational and there is no reason why the atheist should share it" Swinburne - page 96 Richard Swinburne's "Is there a God?" was the publication that I chose to study. I narrowed this study down to one particular chapter, 'Why God Allows Evil.' In this chapter I feel that there is much room for contention to some of what Swinburne says, but also some very good arguments that have a good level of structure that put across that line of reasoning have been made. The major question that people who are skeptical about the existence of God ask is, why is there evil? Is its existence not strong evidence that points towards the non-existence of God? Swinburne believes that a theodicy is needed to be constructed to suggest why God would allow such evil to occur. ...read more.


This anthropomorphises God, which in turn suggests that he might not exist if he only possesses the power of a human. In response to moral evil, Swinburne proposes that this can form characters into good human beings. He says that humans have free will and are free and responsible in their choices, this leaves room for improvement. He uses a quote from Aristotle to strengthen his argument; 'we become just from doing just acts, prudent from doing prudent acts, brave by doing brave acts.' Swinburne then goes on to suggests that by doing just acts when it is difficult to (overcome moral evil) it goes against our natural inclinations (desires) and it will therefore be easier to do a just act next time. He basically says that moral evil doesn't pose a threat to the existence of God as it can be easily overcome. Swinburne then goes on to argue that we could wipe out moral evil all together. He says that we can change our desires and free ourselves from the less good desires and the possibilities for free and responsible choice is enormous. ...read more.


Someone suffering as the result of a natural evil can either endure it or bemoan it; his friend can show compassion or be callous. Pain caused by natural evil makes possible these choices/emotions possible which would otherwise not exist. He is saying that God makes natural evil so that humans can explore their otherwise unfound emotions. This, I feel, is a fair enough argument, but many will disagree with this way of thinking by saying that if God is all good he shouldn't make a world with a place for evil. To conclude his argument Swinburne says that God has the right to allow evil to occur and we, as inferior beings, should not question its happening. He also argues that God would be less than perfectly good if he created a world without pain and suffering, so that we can appreciate the good things in life. However he does recognise that evil is evil and is a substantial price to pay for the goods of the world. Swinburne's theodicy is an interesting one and one that gives the reader plenty to contemplate and think whether the existence of evil really is evidence to suggests 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 GCSE Existence of God 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 GCSE Existence of God essays

  1. Good and Evil

    may believe that the devil could be the stereotypical, red demon with a pitch fork Christians believe that evil can be a punishment for sin; the Bible gives several dramatic definitions of sin. To start with Sin is defined biblically as a violation of divine law (cf. 1 John 3:4).

  2. The Irenaean theodicy - Questioning God.

    Hume's example of an architect to show how some antitheist writers would claim the world is of poor design due to the unnecessary existence of evil within it, is what Hick uses. The responsibility for bad design must lie within the designer; thus restating the problem that Hick is seeking to address.

  1. A Big Bang Cosmological Argument for God's Nonexistence

    receding clusters, background radiation, etc., is not a FHP structure but some other structure, say ABC. That which has this structure is not a universe, since 'universe ' rigidly refers to something with a FHP structure. But we can call it a 'universe1,' just as we can call XYZ 'water1.'

  2. Explain the Ontological argument.

    Trethowan developed a form of the argument, which rejected the use of logic to establish God's existence. Instead he interpreted morality as a type of religious experience, which points towards God. Every time we make a moral decision we choose between possible courses of action.

  1. Good and Evil

    and he did not lose faith in Him, "Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him" (Job 13:15). To summarise, suffering challenges us to remain faithful and to simply place our trust in God instead of questioning Him.

  2. Looking at Aldous Huxley's, A Brave New World.

    He "knows" that he thinks. He makes the claim that that is all he knows. It seems logical at first glance. However, the possibility of deception nips at his heels. To combat this, Descartes claims that he must exist if he can be deceived.

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