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Outline the Contribution that Process Theology Makes to Solving the Problem of Evil & Assess its Strengths & Weaknesses as an Explanation for Why Evil Exists.

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Introduction

Gabriela Belmar-Valencia 13CA 29th December 2003 Outline the Contribution that Process Theology Makes to Solving the Problem of Evil & Assess its Strengths & Weaknesses as an Explanation for Why Evil Exists Process theology aims to solve the problem of evil by removing one of the factors in Epicurus' inconsistent triad, namely omnipotence. Process theologians do not believe that God created the world ex nihilo, out of nothing, rather that he introduced order to pre-existent chaos. God is part of the universe but more than just the sum total of it, and has only limited influence over the Universe and mankind. According to process theologians such as Whitehead, God is contingent upon the development of the Universe. Process theology has many implications for the problem of evil. ...read more.

Middle

If God is not omnipotent and is not assured of a victory over evil, then there is little incentive for humans to join the fight against evil. There is no guarantee of a reward in heaven and punishment for sinners therefore the rewards of evil seem equally, if not more attractive than the struggle against evil. Also, God is not entirely free from the responsibility of the occurrence of evil since he began the process of evolution with the knowledge that he could not control it. This is implies irresponsibility on the part of God. Process theology does not explain why God took the risk of beginning the process. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is not a theodicy because process theology does not justify God, rather it denies the God of Classical theism and replaces it with a diluted, not omnipotent version. Process theology has merit in that the idea of God as a fellow sufferer that is part of the Universe seems more sympathetic and easier to comprehend than the metaphysical being that transcends the Universe found in classical theism. However, it does not fully explain the problem of evil as it does not free God entirely from the responsibility of beginning a process he could not control. Also, the being that results from compromising a quality such as omnipotence does not seem significantly superior to humans to be worshipped. ...read more.

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