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Present the strengths and weaknesses of Augustine's and Ireneaus' theodicy

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Introduction

Present the strengths and weaknesses of Augustine's and Ireneaus' theodicy 'Evil did not come from God, since God's creation was faultless and perfect' (St Augustine) St Augustine was a man wrote a theodicy about the problem of evil and suffering based on the Creation and Fall of Genesis in the bible, he believed that evil was caused by something that was outside the omnipotence of God. God himself is all powerful but after creating the world, he Himself would not be able to control the actions that human beings create in changing it. When God created the world, with absolutely no evil and suffering, he saw what he had done and saw it was all good. God did not deprivate the world from having evil and suffering and he has no reason to have any blame for it as God created the world with nothing bad inside it. Evil is not a substance that could have been created by God, therefore he cannot be responsible for it. I think that this was a weak point in Augustine's theodicy because he cannot truthfully call evil a substance as humans do not know how much more God could have done to create the world. ...read more.

Middle

He created both the humans and the angels, which later turned to evil and suffering because of jealousy and greed. If God made the earth, if he made it as perfect and wholly as Augustine argued, then it should have been able to be protected from the evil and suffering. Even if it was created by the humans and angels. How would evil and suffering be known to have happened from humans and angels if it had not have happened before in the past, in other words. God would have had to created evil to know what it actually was. Therefore the humans and angels disobeyed God, only from the creation of evil before them. Augustine believes that humans and angels have made a mockery out of the earth and it's creation. But he is mocking the scientific theory that evolution of man had played a big part in this. Relying on the design argument for the universe and God helped Augustine have a stronger point saying that by evolution happening and the number of humans increasing he is assuming that this scientific theory is the answer to the evil and suffering. ...read more.

Conclusion

If humans are left to have the choice in turning to evil and suffering or good and are still rewarded by going to heaven, according to Irenaeus, then why does there have to be such deaths such as the Holocaust where 6 million Jews were killed. Suffering cannot be an act of God, even if God did make the world imperfectly he would not approve of millions of people dying for the greed and jealousy of other humans. Love from God cannot be expressed by the death of people, that is not right. People dying of natural diseases that cannot be helped and going to heaven is not as sinful as people dying for no apparent reason and going to heaven. 'Gods gift of free will is in no way an excuse for the existence of evil' If God knows the consequences of the humans that he had created then why give them the choice of free will. Humans are like robots, their actions can already be concluded before even having chosen them yet. Therefore God would have known what the consequences of evil and suffering could be. For example; wars, dying, the Holocaust and less economically developed countries. An omnipotent God would not have made humans suffer from evil for any purpose. By Emma Milligan ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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