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The Augustinian and Iranaean Theodicies

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Introduction

The Augustinian and Iranaean Theodicies Classical theism relates to a personal God, and the explanation of the existence of evil through the indirect involvement of God is explained through Theodicies. Two of these are the Augustinian Theodicy and the Iranaean Theodicy. The Augusinian Theodicy begins with the concept of 'past perfection', from which humanity fell, soon after creation. There are two strands to this argument; the philosophical which perceives evil as the absence of good -as God only created good- and the theological which examines the theory that God created mankind in freedom for extreme love. Evil arose in the philosophical strand as different levels of good existed, and mankind did not always choose the highest; resulting in a decline of this 'good'. ...read more.

Middle

In order to attain this, we receive the gift of freedom, and the moral struggle is considered to have more intrinsic value in the long run, to decide for ourselves to do so. It is felt that if we had all knowledge and knew God, we could not do wrong. We must exist epistomologically in order to freely make this conscious decision. The theodicies may begin in opposition, the ideals of perfection lying in different ends of life, however both view human freedom as it's weakness. Both accept that it is necessary in God's love and to freely appreciate him, however according to these theodicies, it would appear to be the fault of man that chaos exists in the world. ...read more.

Conclusion

This does however, seem slightly dismissive of the principle of free will as it suggests that we will all ultimately become God's children as we will eventually choose to do so. The Augustinian theodicy presents the Fall of mankind and natural evil cancelling out the moral evil brought about by man. It also supports the afterlife, however suggesting the principles of Heaven and Hell which serve as the result of the way in which we have chosen to live our lives. Those who deserve punishment in the eyes of God will suffer an eternity in Hell as opposed to the Iranaean Theodicy which insists that we will all become God's children as we gain knowledge and experience of Him. The problem of evil existing in an eternity cannot surely be created by the Lord of perfection though as it perfection cannot begin to be associated with evil. ...read more.

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