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The Irenaean theodicy - Questioning God.

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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.

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