• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Irenaean theodicy - Questioning God.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

1. (a) Outline & Justify the Irenaean theodicy (b) Outline & Justify Hicks vale of soul making 2. In your opinion does the "Irenaean type" of theodicy provide less stumbling for the religious believer than the free will believers? 1. (a) The Irenaean theodicy, begins with a clear distinction between the image of God and the likeness of God in man: * The image of God in man represents our ontological link with God as our creator who created us intelligent and capable of worship. * The likeness represents man's final perfecting by the Holy Spirit. The key point here is that Irenarus sees humans as being divinely created (ontology) with the ability to make moral choice and live free lives. But, humankind is "Only at the beginning of a process whereby we will grow and develop within our finite context. Thus we are only potentially the perfected being who God is seeking to produce." Also God has complete moral knowledge and we (humans) are too immature to believe it: "God has power at the beginning to grant perfection to man; but as the latter was only recently created, he could not possibly have received it, or even if he could have received it, could he have contained it, or containing it, could he have retained it." ...read more.

Middle

The second stage is of a different kind. It cannot be performed by omnipotent power as such, as personal life is essentially free and self-directing. It cannot be perfected by divine fiat, but only through the uncompelled responses and willing co-operation of human individuals in their actions and reactions in a world which God has placed them. An important point to raise here is that because the 2nd stage is driven by man we must have free will, so that we can get closer to God. And we "must" have free will, otherwise if God did it, it would be pointless. Hick uses a few key words which put forward his position: * Human Responsibility * Uncompelled responses / willing co-operation * Responsible choice * Freedom As the nature of the demands placed on human beings is such that they learn (Developmental), move towards the demands of their creator (Teleological / Goal) and then reach some unknown (or partially understood) reality beyond this life. Hick says that other theologians and philosophers of asking the wrong question about the nature and creation of the world. For example Hume's criticisms regarding the theistic creation of the world as examples of the imperfections which could suggest either God's ineptitude or non-participation in creation, or, moreover, his very non-existence, then evil would raise the same problems. ...read more.

Conclusion

This theodicy basically means that we start of immature and during our infinite life we mature and the sin goes. Ireneaus says that we need to have the option of good and evil, so we can become more mature and as a result we loose our sin. Sin accounts for us making the wrong decisions but Christ provided us with the knowledge to change our ways, so if we strive to be like Christ (mature) we shall loose our sin. "Evil can lead to good" The Irenaean theodicy I believe has more strengths than the Augustinian free will theodicy, the whole theodicy can be summed up into a simply. The Irenaean type of theodicy means by man develops morally and spiritually. Therefore God is not responsible for mans evil choices, therefore evil is teleological - it's purpose to facilitate growth. Both of these theodicys depend on the principle of free will - even if it that God created man in his perfect likeness, from which he fell through the inevitable use of his divinely given free will - or if man's moral development is evolutionary, that is, he has the capacity to grow into the likeness of God through the use of free will. I believe that Irenaeus' theodicy does show fewer stumbling blocks for a religious believer especially in the present day. R.S - Mr Maloney 29/10/01 David Shadbolt 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Existence of God section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Existence of God essays

  1. Explain how natural evil may be seen as a challenge to belief in God ...

    It shows God as being vindictive, in a way he enjoys watching us suffer. If he was really all-loving and omnipotent he would stop it immediately. So for God to let this carry on happening again and again, it questions the fact of whether he is actually omnipotent and all-loving after all.

  2. Good and Evil

    In Romans chapter 7, an apostle writes that even as Christians, we still have to struggle with our old sinful nature. So he wrote, "I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature, for I have the desire to do what is good" (Rom 7:18-19).

  1. Arguments about god.

    the fact that God is the first uncaused cause, why couldn't it simply be the universe or the big bang? In other words can't the universe of created itself instead of creating an entirely new entity? This surely makes more sense.

  2. Evaluation of Augustine's Theodicy.

    Augustine's reply to this is that the malfunctions are from the choices made by angels and humans. Angels fell away from God tempting Adam and Eve into the Original Sin. All subsequent evil is a result of this. Natural evil, such as floods and earthquakes, are fitting punishments for breaking away from God because human action destroyed the natural order.

  1. Explain how the theodicy of Irenaeus differs from that of Augustine.

    Both are, however, based on the concept of humanity having free will and moral autonomy. Despite this similarity, Irenaeus' theodicy is more sustainable under examination than Augustine's. In a modern world, Augustine's theodicy seems unrealistic. It is based on a fundamentalist view of Biblical creation myths and the story of The Fall.

  2. Research on St Augustine Theodicy.

    However, if despite the appearance of evil the universe is in fact perfect, then does evil exist? Augustine's response would be "Yes!". Furthermore, moral evil, although brought about by the corruption of our will, does not upset the moral order of creation as sin will always be punished.

  1. Explain the Ontological argument.

    A sense of obligation guides us to make this choice. Trethowan traces this back to the fact that everyone has a value. A sense value underpins each moral decision. If we accept that people have an intrinsic value, there must be a source to this, which Trethowan takes this to

  2. A Big Bang Cosmological Argument for God's Nonexistence

    Swinburne's criterion of simplicity is that there is a simplicity 'about zero and infinity which particular finite numbers lack.'22 For example, 'the hypothesis that some particle has zero mass, or infinite velocity is simpler than the hypothesis that it has a mass of 0.34127 of some unit, or a velocity

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work