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

The Problem of Evil

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

a)Explain how Augustine and Irenaeus account for the existence of moral evil (33) The Bishop Augustine was influenced by Neo-Platonist's beliefs which are evident in Augustine's Theodicy where he states that the misuse of free will resulted in evil within the world. Augustine explained the origins of the existence of evil with two Biblical examples, firstly Lucifer's rebellion resulting in the fall of the angels and secondly Adam and Eves temptation and consequent rebellion against God in the Garden of Eden. Augustine argues that God isn't responsible for evil in the world as he sees evil as 'a privation' of a thing in which part of the created order leaves its pre-destined path and no longer carries out its rightful intentions as intended by God. He believes that God's creation was unburdened by defects and was free form flaws as a perfect God created it Augustine referenced Genesis 1 "All God has made pleased him" thus showing that evil and suffering were unknown of. Illustrating that it was not part of Gods plan to place evil and suffering in the world and is therefore not his responsibility as evil is necessary and so subsequent to change therefore only an uncreated God can be perfect. He does not believe that evil was a substance created by God as for him this would be illogical as he relies upon the assumption that God's creation was perfect and faultless. ...read more.

Middle

He believes that this evil is temporary and therefore justifiable as eventually it will be overcome when we transform from Gods image to being in Gods likeness and go to Heaven. Irenaeus states that there are various benefits of moral evil, firstly that "if we had no knowledge of the contrary, could we have instruction of in that which is good". Therefore showing that through suffering we develop our understanding and desire to help others developing our character. Thus creating a more moral human race as if we had no free will we would just do things for the sake of it and this would not be so morally correct as doing a charitable act out of own free will. Another benefit for the existence of moral evil is that of a predictable environment where the natural laws which are independent of needs and necessary clash with our own individual needs resulting In the presence of natural evil. When a person has endured suffering, and the hardship which the presence of natural evil entails, Irenaeus argues that they would have developed Gods likeness and reach Heaven within which they will cease to remember the sufferings of which they endured on Earth. Therefore supporting the view that suffering is beneficial and necessary for Gods creation to be who he intended. b)'The sufferings of innocent people, destroy any attempt to explain why God allows moral evil.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Another Theistic explanation is that of Dualism which sees a battle between the created order- God against disorder in the universe. This view is routed in the bible and heavily relies upon the symbolic instead of the philosophical meaning i.e. the struggle between God and Satan. In support of Gods choice to let moral evil run within his creation is Despotism where it argues that it is Gods right to let evil into the world and who are we to question his choice as he is our supreme leader and creator. Similar to the Christian view that "it is good because God commands it" as they strongly believe in Gods paternal love towards his people and so whatever he decides is correct. As thought by Irenaeus pain and suffering are all part of a natural process and are not a weakness in Gods creation Instead they are a testimonial to his fore-thinking of the benefits which moral evil supplies. Firstly that pain serves us a biological and character building purpose; secondly that suffering is beneficial in the long-term as it leads to an appreciation of the beauty of his creation on a broader picture resulting in human values emerging. However this has been counteracted with the extreme and unnecessary large scale of the pain and suffering which moral evil causes. Therefore it seems meaningless to argue that the starvation of a child in Africa will result in a wealthy westerner's character building- it seems illogical and slightly immoral. ...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. Good and Evil

    love"(John 4:8), Christians would say this shows that all love and its power comes from god, and therefore all Christians have love in them-the power to do good. God created us in His own image so we can know Him personally and have a joy-filled life.

  2. Persuasive Writing on the Holocaust

    Torture and murder become ends of themselves." What he is trying to convey to us is that the killing of Jews for no money or land was no use. It made no sense but in the end he says the torture and murder becomes the end of themselves.

  1. The problem of evil.

    These include examples such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and the weather. Other attempts to solve the problem of evil have by made by disputing the validity of the other premises for example Irenaeus. He did this in the same sort of way as Leibniz by attempting to reconcile the existence of evil with God's omnipotence and omnibenevolence.

  2. The Tsunami

    This kind of evil and suffering which comes with it is caused by the world we live in and is no one's fault.

  1. Bereshit, the first word in Genesis translates to "in a beginning"

    It provides answers to a whole series of puzzling 'whys'"111. These answers include the nature of pain at childbirth and the nature of male dominance in marriage. God tells the woman that "with pain you will give birth to children.

  2. What is meant by the problem of suffering?

    Alternatively, if God has limited his omnipotence by giving angels and mankind genuine freewill, then there is no guarantee that good will ultimately triumph over evil. Another criticism is that if God could foresee the outcome surely it would have been better not to create.

  1. Discuss the Problem of Evil

    Another theodicy is the free will argument. This is the basic summary P1. God wants everyone to have the right to make their own decisions as to judge their true character P2. If this free will existed then there is nothing stopping us from making morally evil decisions P3.

  2. The Holocaust - personal response to Anne Frank's diary and the problem of evil ...

    Fundamentally, the persecution of 6 million Jews strongly opposes the Jewish belief that they were god?s ?chosen? and favoured people. Controversially, Genesis 12: 1-3, quotes of how the Jews were god?s most hated and despised people. In some ways, this was justified as they were of course rejected by god in this tragic event!

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