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Priya Modi L6H

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Priya Modi L6H December 11, 2005 a) For what reasons might suffering cause problems for the religious believer b) Outline two possible solutions to these problems and comment on their success Suffering can be defined as the individual human experience of evil. The cause of suffering is ascribed to what is defined as evil. There are several types of evil; evil can firstly be distinguished between moral evil and natural evil. Moral evil is evil which arise from the responsible actions of groups of individuals who cause suffering or harm. They include such things as stealing, murder and lying. Natural evil is evil which arise from events which cause suffering but over which human beings have little control over such as earthquakes and disease. Further groupings of evil can be made, such as physical evil which refers to pain itself and mental anguish and metaphysical evil which refers to imperfection and contingency as a feature of the cosmos. In this essay I will be writing about problems that may be raised up for a believer in evil and suffering. The key point to this problem I will be looking at is the classical concept of God and how it is inconsistent with evil and suffering. ...read more.


As previously mentioned evil and suffering would be a problem for a believer as it cannot be solved by claiming God does not exist which is how some people react, this explanation would not be adequate for the believer. Lastly evil and suffering may also cause problems for a believer as natural evil could question whether God has designed the world as if God designed it, why would there be faults such as earthquakes and volcanoes. There are two possible solutions to the problem of evil and suffering, the Augustinian theodicy and the Irenaean theodicy. A theodicy is an attempt to a solution of the problem of evil without denying God's omnipotence or omnibenvolence or the reality of evil. It shows how God is justified in allowing evil. The Augustinian theodicy is known as the soul-deciding theodicy. Augustine's thought on evil and suffering is found in his work The Confessions and The City of God. The most important point of Augustine's theodicy is that God cannot be blamed for creating evil as evil is not a substance but it is a 'deprivation' and therefore God would not create a deprivation. "All God has made pleased him" Genesis 1, Augustine emphasized in this as suffering and evil were therefore unknown. ...read more.


His view on that everyone should go to heaven seemed unfair and therefore calls God's justice into question. It would also make moral behavior pointless. Another key weakness is that perhaps we need a bit of suffering but do we need suffering to the extent of such events of the holocaust were 6 million people died, wouldn't a million be sufficient enough? However to this weakness, Hick replies that evil and suffering id part of the process and the process needs large amounts. The third problem that has been raised up is that what's the point of death is if the process continues into the afterlife. In reply to this Hick argues that our death and that of others is the biggest challenge on Earth. This is part of the process and makes the ultimate reward better. This theodicy also suggests that Gods work is imperfect which would be hard for believers to accept. In conclusion both theodicy's have it strengths and weakness. Personally In my opinion both are quite weak as they have more weaknesses then strengths. The Irenaean theodicy contradicts Gods qualities as he says God made an imperfect world so this theodicy would not be sufficient for a believer. Augustine portrays God as well as being unjust as he is punishing others for Adams sin. However I think Irenaeans' theodicy is more successful as it is more modern views and is optimistic. ...read more.

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