• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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

    James declared that he who knows to do good, and yet who does it not, is guilty of sinful conduct (James. 4:17). So to the Bible sin is anything that causes the neglect of Gods true will; consent to the devils vocation.

  2. Explain the Ontological argument.

    God had to allow humans to also develop for themselves, if their love was genuine. If human perfection must be created through development, humans had to be created imperfect in order to go against God. A perfect being, who was already in his likeness, would never have gone against him.

  1. The Irenaean theodicy - Questioning God.

    1. (b) Hick moves towards a theodicy that is based in part on the Irenaean tradition, whilst still placing great importance on human free will. Hick's argument leads him to conclude that suffering is necessary in order that humans can develop individual souls.

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

    It is a mark of incompetent planning or poor design to create as the first natural state something that requires supernatural intervention 'right off the bat' to ensure that it leads to the desired outcome. The rational and efficient thing to do is to create some state that by its own lawful nature evolves into a life-containing universe.

  1. Good and Evil

    At the Eucharist, by sharing bread and wine Christians remember the meal Jesus shared with his disciples on the night before he was put to death, at his last supper. "While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, 'Take and eat; this is my body.'

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

    I believe this fundamental building block of Descartes' meditations to be very insufficient. Who is to say that "his" thoughts are really his? What if thinking does not guarantee existence? After asking these natural questions, one may not buy into Descartes' foundation.

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