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Outline the reasons why some beliefs about God mean that suffering poses particular problems for religious believers.

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Introduction

Outline the reasons why some beliefs about God mean that suffering poses particular problems for religious believers For believers of God, suffering poses particular problems. Suffering involves mental anguish and depression as well as physical pain. Believers claim suffering is unjust and is the harming of innocent victims without motive. Suffering is a consequence of evil. The two main types of evil are moral evil and natural evil. Moral evil is what results from human actions, which are morally unaccepted. We can control this form of evil and can end it due to our actions towards other people but we choose not to do so. Natural evil is out of our control. It results from the malfunctioning of the natural world. Earthquakes, tidal waves and hurricanes are typical examples of natural evil, which are unavoidable in society. The responsibility for the problems of evil and suffering within the world, seem to originate from God or are described in connection to God. It is logical to say that God is responsible for creating the world and everything within it. Due to this power to create the world God is described as omnipotent, giving him the power to create and is it not therefore logical to say if he is an all powerful and truly benevolent God he could and would want to end the suffering and surly in accordance to him being omniscient he also has the knowledge to do so. ...read more.

Middle

In order to have moral goodness, one must have changeable creatures and not give into temptation. But these concepts would have no application if men were built righteous. Either God does not exist or he does and is fundamentally evil for him to create a world containing moral evil. Therefore the whole concept of God creating a world, a world of utopia, in perfect harmony, would mean him being wholly good but not allowing us the freewill to choose. On the basis that God didn't create us this utopia, or paradise world, we are given the impression that God cannot really care for his creation and simply allows evil to roam freely. Augustine's arguments were based on the bible especially the accounts involving the creation and the fall in Genesis. His theodicy rests upon Gods creation being flawless and God just allows evil to stay in his created world. Augustine argued that God is perfect and therefore created our world free from flaws. Evil in Augustine's mind came from angels and humans who chose to turn away from God creating this barricade between God and the Devil. Everyone is said to be guilty for the causing of sin due to us being seminally present in Adam when the first sin was created, giving everyone reason to be punished by God for the sin committed against him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Irenaeus also supported that attaining the likeness of God requires the willing co-operation of human individuals, therefore in order to be like God we must make the choice ourselves to co-operate. It is evil, which helps us to develop and understand the good if we are to become all powerful and knowledgeable like God. There are three main critique of Irenaeus' theodicy. The whole concept of Heaven, the quantity of suffering, which is unacceptable and that suffering could never be an expression of God's love for us. Irenaeus' view that everyone will go to heaven has attracted criticism because it is not just and if God is merciful then everyone will enter the kingdom of God. It makes moral behaviour pointless because if everyone will be rewarded with God's mercy and enter Heaven, what is the point of going out of our way to be good and just. If our world is said to be a better place with suffering then why must our world contain suffering to the extent of such events as the holocaust? Then there is the concern that love of God can never be expressed by allowing any amount of suffering, no matter what the reason. Augustine's theodicy suggested that the world was created perfectly by God and it became imperfect by humans and when taken as a whole, Augustine's theodicy does not work. However Irenaeus' theodicy implied that the world was never perfect to begin with and was created imperfectly. His theodicy cannot be accepted wholesale without difficulty, yet its emphasis upon free will provides a popular defence. ...read more.

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