Free Essay

(I) in What Ways May Suffering Be Seen as a Problem for a Religious Believer? Give an Account of Two Solutions to This Problem.

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By abbysoori
Words 1205
Pages 5
2 (a) (i) In what ways may suffering be seen as a problem for a religious believer? Give an account of two solutions to this problem. (21) (ii) To what extent is one of these solutions more convincing than the other? (9)

i) Suffering may be seen as a problem for religious believers because it may make them question the existence or qualities of the God of classical theism. For example, the inconsistent triad as proposed by J.L. Mackie has three different corners, where it is impossible for all three corners to be true at the same time. The corners of the triangle are “god is omnibenevolent”, “God is omnipotent” and “evil exists”. If God was omnibenevolent he would not want evil to happen, and if he was omnipotent he would have the power to stop evil from happening. Therefore, as evil exists, one of these qualities must be false which means the God of classical theism cannot exist. This is known as the theological problem.
If God is not all powerful or perfectly good, it forces the question of whether he is worthy of worship. If God does not possess the qualities that define him as God what is the purpose of worshipping him as a God.
Another problem for religious believers is that if God is omniscient he knows everything that has happened and that will happen. Therefore, he knows when evil is about to happen and yet does not do anything to prevent it. This presents another problem that God may also not be omniscient, which again, brings us to question whether he should be worshipped at all.
Evil and suffering may also question believers to stop believing and question the existence of god, as they may believe that if evil exists, then God can not, as the God of classical theism would not allow evil to happen.
A solution to the problem of evil is the Augustinian theodicy. Augustine begins by saying that the universe was created perfectly and all good, with no evil in it. He also argues that there is no such thing as evil, and evil is just a privation of good, the same way one might argue that darkness is a deprivation of light. He goes on to say that evil was bought into the world by humans and angels when they disobeyed God and therefore sinned (the fall). He argues that the sin done in the fall was then seminally passed down through adam to everyone on earth now, so we all have this original sin. He goes on to say that therefore, it must mean that we deserve to experience evil, as God is a just God and must punish us for our sins. Also, he believes that God showed his love and kindness when he sent his son, Jesus, down to earth to die, so that those who believed in him could have eternal life in heaven and those who didn’t, and committed sin would face eternal torment in hell. This solves the problem as it argues that it was humanities fault rather than Gods fault for the existence of evil.
Another solution to the problem of evil is the irenaean theodicy. Irenaeas does not argue that the world was created perfectly but instead argues that we are all created in the image of god and over our lives we would develop into the likeness of God and become perfect moral and spiritual beings. He claims that evil has a key part to play in this as it helps us to develop qualities such as love and hope, which are important in our journey to achieve moral and spiritual perfection. He said that God could not have created humans already perfect because attaining the likeness of God requires cooperation from humans. He argued that God could not intervene because otherwise he would be taking away our freewill and would be stopping us from choosing between good and evil. He said that once we had reached perfection, evil and suffering would end and we could enjoy eternal paradise in heaven. Hick also added to irenaeas’ argument by saying that it was important for god to leave us to develop by ourselves as if god had made us all perfect, the good we performed would be the goodness of robots. He also said that humans had to have an epistemic distance from god, so we wouldn’t know he existed, so we could choose between good and bad by ourselves. This solves the problem as it claims that God intended for evil to exist to provide humanity with a way to develop and become perfect spiritual beings.

ii) Both solutions have varying degrees of conviction. Augustine’s theodicy provides a reason fro the existence of evil and removes the blame from God without taking away his qualities, making it a successful theodicy. However it contains many weaknesses that may make it less convincing. For example, as mentioned by Friedrich Schleiermacher, it is a logical contradiction to say that a perfect world has gone wrong, and if God created the world perfectly it would not have gone wrong. In addition to this, if there was no knowledge of good or evil before the fall, how was it possible for humans and angels to disobey god. These logical contradictions make Augustine’s theodicy less convincing. Another criticism is that this theodicy goes against the scientific theory of evolution, as evolution argues that the world was far from perfect at the start and over time, has improved. This scientifically proven theory contradicts Augustine making his theodicy less convincing.
The irenaean theodicy is also a successful theodicy and also avoids many of the criticism that the Augustinian theodicy faced, such as going against evolution, and the problem of a perfect world going imperfect.
However, it also has its criticisms. It raises the question to why God simply didn’t create perfect humans to begin with, as this would have prevented us from going through evil and suffering. However, this could be countered by saying that true moral perfection requires the cooperation of human individuals, and if god made us all perfect we wouldn’t have that.
Another criticism is that some suffering does not help people develop qualities. For example, moral evil such as rape does not have any benefits or help the victim in any way. Also, it is true that some suffer more than others, and the problem of how God decides who suffers more and who suffers less arises. Additionally, it may be considered unfair that although some suffer more than others, everyone gets to go to heaven.
Overall, I think that the irenaean theodicy is more convincing than the other one. This is because the Irenaean theodicy does not contradict science, as Augustines does. The claim that sin can be seminally passed down can be proven to be incorrect and therefore uproots the entire argument. Also, although the Irenaean theodicy faces the problem of an unjust God, I believe that the Augustinian theodicy faces larger problems as it does not seem fair for us to be punished today for something that we did not do. Overall, I think that the irenaean theodicy is more convincing than the Augustinian theodicy.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Methods of Enron

...derived from a publisher’s proof, and may differ slightly from the finished book. If quoting, it is best to cite the relevant WOLF page.] CHAPTER THREE ETHICAL THEORY In the previous chapter we looked at the role of values in business and considered how business ethics was becoming part of the professionalization of business. But what exactly are ethical judgments, and how do we justify them? At first appearance this may seem a needless difficulty. After all, is it not obvious what is happening when we make ethical decisions? Do we not do so almost every day of our lives in fact? It is one thing to engage in an activity, but often quite another to state what exactly is going on when we do it. For example, someone may have a tremendous gift for selling goods to people, but may not necessarily be aware, until he or she is taught, exactly what is going on when a successful marketing strategy is put into operation. One can instinctively put into operation the classical ‘three Ps’ of marketing (attention to Product, Price and Packaging), but yet be unaware, until this is pointed out, that these are the key features of selling. In a similar way, we can make moral judgments, but yet find some difficulty in explaining exactly what is taken place when we do so. In the case of ethical judgments, the situation is perhaps more difficult. If I state that a product is — say — red, we have little difficulty in understanding and explaining what is meant. Red is a......

Words: 12860 - Pages: 52

Free Essay

Philosophy

...A2 Religious Studies Revision Booklet To be used alongside the textbook and your classnotes. Contents G581: Philosophy of Religion Religious Language......................................................………p.1 Religious Experience........................................................…...p.7 Miracles..................................................................…………...p.12 Nature of God............................................................………...p.16 Life and Death.........................................................…………..p.20 G582: Religious Ethics Meta-ethics...........................…………………………………….p.25 Free Will and Determinism………………………………….……p.28 Conscience.......................…………………………………….…p.32 Virtue Ethics………………………………………………………..p.36 Sexual Ethics…………………………………………………...….p.40 Environment and Business Ethics……………………………….p.44 Religious Language Introduction The problems of religious language: • If we use language univocally about God, then we are limiting him / making him like a human • If we use language equivocally about God, we cannot be sure what the word means when applied to God • Are statements about God supposed to be cognitive – if so, what evidence proves / disproves them? • Are statements about God supposed to be non-cognitive – if so, do they have any meaning? The......

Words: 22600 - Pages: 91

Premium Essay

Phil 201 Week 6 Study Guid

...Philosophy of Religion: Thinking About Faith, “What is Philosophy of Religion?” As you read, make sure you understand the following points and questions: Explain the distinctions between philosophy of religion and sociology, history, theology, and religious philosophy. philosophy of religion focus on the truth and reasonableness of religious beliefs. While the historian or sociologist may study religious beliefs, but his focus is not specifically on the truth or reasonableness of such belief theologian looks at religous beliefs from within, as an adherent or representative of a religous tradition. philosophy of religon may be engaged in by thinkers who are not religous at all, as well as by committed religous thinkers philosophy of religion not so much religious thinking as it is thinking about religion. Religious Philosophy is Religious thinking Explain the arguments for and problems with fideism. Fideism: human beings are never religously neutral; they are always either in faithful service to or in rebellion against God. Claims that faith is the precondition for any correct thinking about religion Problem: fideist cannot attempt to win over his critics by rational argument as the presupposition of such dialouge means the possibility of common ground (fideists deny common ground) eliminates the possibility of showing the nonbeliever the superiority of a religous worldview where should one place one's faith? What 2 factors do Evans and Manis raise in answering...

Words: 3902 - Pages: 16

Free Essay

Do People Have Demons

...Do People Have Demons? Afif Awad English 110-15 Professor Candace Ramirez 14 December 2012 Do People Have Demons? Gene Wilder once said “I never thought of it as God. I didn't know what to call it. I don't believe in devils, but demons I do because everyone at one time or another has some kind of a demon, even if you call it by another name, which drives them.” Demons are living with us day in and day out. Most people do not see them or even realize demons are with them. No one though has the same demon. Some people have smaller demons and others have bigger demons that can a lot of problems in a person’s life. Demons are spirits that are to be messed around with. Demons are evil spirits that want to hurt, torture, and control you as much as they can until there is nothing anyone can do. Good thing for believers in Christ as long as we got Him on are side anything is possible no matter what. It is funny how the one thing we are scared of (demons) is scared of the God Christians worship (Jesus Christ). Even with numerous accounts of demon possession in the world and movie producers constantly making movies about demonic possession many people still do not believe demons exist. In today’s society demonic possession is looked at in two ways. In the religious side they look for demonic possession and usually treat it with an exorcism using a variety of tools, but the scientific side looks at demons as non-existent and tell the patient the certain disease they are......

Words: 2730 - Pages: 11

Free Essay

A2 M2

...Prayer in Public Schools Derrick DuHart Race, Religion, Culture Arkansas Baptist College Dr. Johnson, Instructor November 4, 2014 Tables of Contents I. Introduction Background/Statement of Problems pg. 3-4 Purpose of the Study pg. 5-12 Research Questions pg. 13 Significance of the Study pg. 14-19 II. Literature Review Methodology and Sampling Design Strategy pg. 20 Data Collection Procedures pg. 20 Data Analyzed pg. 21 Ethical Issues pg. 21 III. Results Conclusion pg. 21-22 References pg. 23 Appendix: I. Annotated Bibliography pg. 24-26 II. Survey Questions pg. 27 III. Results (Charted/Tables) pg. 28-31 Notes: I. Introduction Background/Statement of Problem Prayer in Public Schools The courts have ruled against prayer in school. Many agree with the decision; yet many disagree. Prayer should be allowed in public schools because it is already practiced. It prevents...

Words: 6577 - Pages: 27

Free Essay

Leo Tolstoy - a Confession

...A Confession 1 A Confession by Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy I I was baptized and brought up in the Orthodox Christian faith. I was taught it in childhood and throughout my boyhood and youth. But when I abandoned the second course of the university at the age of eighteen I no longer believed any of the things I had been taught. Judging by certain memories, I never seriously believed them, but had merely relied on what I was taught and on what was professed by the grown-up people around me, and that reliance was very unstable. I remember that before I was eleven a grammar school pupil, Vladimir Milyutin (long since dead), visited us one Sunday and announced as the latest novelty a discovery made at his school. This discovery was that there is no God and that all we are taught about Him is a mere invention (this was in 1838). I remember how interested my elder brothers were in this information. They called me to their council and we all, I remember, became very animated, and accepted it as something very interesting and quite possible. I remember also that when my elder brother, Dmitriy, who was then at the university, suddenly, in the passionate way natural to him, devoted himself to religion and began to attend all the Church services, to fast and to lead a pure and moral life, we all -- even our elders -- unceasingly held him up to ridicule and for some unknown reason called him "Noah". I remember that Musin-Pushkin, the then Curator of Kazan University, when inviting us......

Words: 26403 - Pages: 106

Premium Essay

Philosophy & Ethics

...AS Religious Studies [pic] PHILOSOPHY & ETHICS Revision Summary Notes Revision Notes Foundation for the Study of Religion Part One: Philosophy of Religion Plato and the Forms Influence of Socrates • Socrates said that virtue is knowledge – to know what is right is to do what is right. • All wrongdoing is the result of ignorance – nobody chooses to do wrong deliberately. • Therefore, to be moral you must have true knowledge. The problem of the One and the Many Plato was trying to find a solution to the problem that although there is underlying stability in the world (sun comes up every morning), it is constantly changing (you never step into the same river twice). 1. An old theory about this problem is that we gain all knowledge from our senses – empirically. 2. Plato disagreed with this. He said that because the world is constantly changing, our senses cannot be trusted. Plato illustrated his idea in the dialogue, ‘Meno’: Socrates sets a slave boy a mathematical problem. The slave boy knows the answer, yet he has not been taught maths. Plato suggests that the slave boy remembers the answer to the problem, which has been in his mind all along. So, according to Plato, we don't learn new things, we remember them. In other words, knowledge is innate. Plato’s Theory of the Forms Plato believed that the world was divided into: 1. Reality and; 2. Appearance |REALITY ...

Words: 17188 - Pages: 69

Premium Essay

Politics, Theology

...POLITICS, THEOLOGY AND HISTORY RAYMOND PLANT CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY PRESS Politics, Theology and History is a major new book by a prominent academic and an active politician. It ranges widely across the disciplines of theology, political theory and philosophy and poses acute questions about the basic moral foundations of liberal societies. Lord Plant focuses on the role that religious belief can and ought to play in argument about public policy in a pluralistic society. He examines the potential political implications of Christian belief and the ways in which it may be deployed in political debate. The book is a contribution to the modern debate about the moral pluralism of western liberal societies, discussing the place of religious belief in the formation of policy and asking what sorts of issues in modern society might be the legitimate objects of a Christian social and political concern. Raymond Plant has written an important study of the relationship between religion and politics which will be of value to students, academics, politicians, church professionals, policy makers and all concerned with the moral fabric of contemporary life. r ay m on d pl an t is Professor of European Political Thought at the University of Southampton and a Member of the House of Lords. He was a Home affairs spokesperson for the Labour Party from 1992 to 1996, and Master of St Catherine's College, Oxford, from 1994 to 2000. Lord Plant's main publications are Social and Moral Theory in......

Words: 144283 - Pages: 578

Premium Essay

Religious Background on Holocaust

...Religious background of Holocaust 1. Introduction Anyone who bothers to investigate in any depth the Holocaust, and its many involved attendant subjects, inevitably encounters intellectual and emotional difficulties not usually met in other fields under examination. When studying the Holocaust, it is extremely difficult to maintain the same level of professional distance and objectivity that one practices with other subjects. Obviously, the magnitude of the destruction and suffering, the millions of lost lives and their untold stories, their unfulfilled hopes and dreams can be overwhelming. Furthermore, thoughtful and honest investigators will occasionally find that they have encountered an area of the Holocaust wherein are found agonizing personal ramifications. That is to say, the scholar is studying an event or a complex of issues that share key components of one’s personal background, beliefs, and values. It is highly unlikely that the scholar will be able to maintain absolute objectivity, feeling completely uninvolved in what is being examined. Instead, the person will most likely be compelled to ask some rather pointed personal questions, or probe into realms in which the investigator has close personal ties. When this occurs, it can be very distressing and painful. 2. A short insight on the background of Jews in Poland, Germany and Russia Several Polish noblemen of the middle ages showed special favour to Jews who immigrated because of persecution in......

Words: 5127 - Pages: 21

Free Essay

Global Financial Crisis and Protectionism

...Table of Contents Title Page Copyright Page Dedication PREFACE TO THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION Introduction Part I - THE PURPOSE OF LIFE Chapter 1 - THE RIGHT TO HAPPINESS Chapter 2 - THE SOURCES OF HAPPINESS Chapter 3 - TRAINING THE MIND FOR HAPPINESS Chapter 4 - RECLAIMING OUR INNATE STATE OF HAPPINESS Part II - HUMAN WARMTH AND COMPASSION Chapter 5 - A NEW MODEL FOR INTIMACY Chapter 6 - DEEPENING OUR CONNECTION TO OTHERS Chapter 7 - THE VALUE AND BENEFITS OF COMPASSION Part III - TRANSFORMING SUFFERING Chapter 8 - FACING SUFFERING Chapter 9 - SELF-CREATED SUFFERING Chapter 10 - SHIFTING PERSPECTIVE Chapter 11 - FINDING MEANING IN PAIN AND SUFFERING Part IV - OVERCOMING OBSTACLES Chapter 12 - BRINGING ABOUT CHANGE Chapter 13 - DEALING WITH ANGER AND HATRED Chapter 14 - DEALING WITH ANXIETY AND BUILDING SELF-ESTEEM Part V - CLOSING REFLECTIONS ON LIVING A SPIRITUAL LIFE Chapter 15 - BASIC SPIRITUAL VALUES Acknowledgements THE ART OF HAPPINESS BOOK SERIES ABOUT THE AUTHORS RIVERHEAD BOOKS Published by the Penguin Group Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, USA Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Canada Inc.) Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) Penguin Group (Australia), 250......

Words: 89236 - Pages: 357

Premium Essay

Life of Pi Themes

...passionately in both zoology and religion. What about the fact of multiple faiths? Don't these faiths contradict each other, cause wars, and other problems? Here's a protagonist who is Muslim, Christian, and Hindu – all at the same time. The book defends not only the common spirit behind these three religions, but the rituals and ceremonies of each. It's as if all three religions find harmonious common ground in this character. Seems unlikely, but then again, the protagonist argues passionately that the miraculous happens in our darkest moments. Quote #1But I don't insist. I don't mean to defend zoos. Close them all down if you want (and let us hope that what wildlife remains can survive in what is left of the natural world). I know zoos are no longer in people's good graces. Religion faces the same problem. Certain illusions about freedom plague them both. (1.4.14) | Do zoos incarcerate animals in confined spaces and make them miserable? Pi doesn't think so: "Certain illusions about freedom" tempt us to this conclusion. In actuality, an animal's life in the wild is more circumscribed than "a knight on a chessboard" (1.4.8). Predator-prey relationships restrict the animal's movement. A zoo enclosure is actually more like a hearth for an animal: a place of comfort and rest. Likewise, most people think of religion as a restrictive cage. Actually, Pi says, it's home and hearth for the believer. Quote #2[Pi:] "Religion will save us," I said. Since when I could remember,......

Words: 14341 - Pages: 58

Premium Essay

Job Cover Letter

...GIVING VOICE TO VALUES (What would I say and do if I were going to act on my values) Description 1 Value Clarification: What is a value? Exercises to reveal values. Value Formation. (Please use the exercises in the attached notes, or anything else you can find in books on values) 4 2 Comparative Religions: Inter-religious sensitivity, understanding and common action to build a world on shared values. Breaking through stereotypes. Communalism and Building community. (Video presentation on 3 religions: Hinduism, Islam and Christianity- Arnold Toynebee. After viewing a video programme on each religion, please get a group of 5 students to share on the meaning they get from their religions. Clarifications from the rest of the class are welcome. No discussions. A session on communalism and community building could follow. Talk by Ram Puniyani on communalism. 10 3 Corruption as a way of life: Case studies e.g. CWG, Adarsh and 2G. Attempt to analyse the causes. Don’t get stuck on description. Then try and discuss strategies to avoid corruption. RTI. Civil Society groups. Other strategies to bring accountability and transparency. 4 4 Violence and Conflict Resolution: Input from Kishu Daswani – conflict resolution at the individual level 5 5 Attraction to substance abuse: Resources from Linda. Film: My brother Nikhil, Portrait of an addict. 2 6 The Problem of Evil: Video: God in the dock. A discussion following the film is useful 2 7 Prayer Communal and Personal: Video:......

Words: 31007 - Pages: 125

Premium Essay

Relationships

...‘singing praises’ as synonymous terms. We speak as if they are the same thing. To reduce worship to singing is to dilute the biblical concept of worship in a way that is grossly irresponsible. It reduces the richness of biblical worship to one of its components. Yet when many Christians today commonly speak about worship, they mean nothing more than ‘singing’. |When you think or speak of worship, do you automatically associate it with ‘singing worship songs’? Is this the common usage| |in your church? If so, how do you think this fault crept into your vocabulary? | | | There are probably many ways this misconception has crept into our language and our thought. One key factor is that we have tended to label Christian music as ‘worship’, and we often call the person who leads the singing in our churches ‘the worship leader’. Unfortunately, this has caused us to equate worship with singing. A second misconception is that ‘worship is something we do on special occasions’. Worship is what we do when we gather with God’s people. The activities that make up our Sunday services, such as the preaching, singing, offering, and communion are worship. This too is a serious misconception. Although it adds a few extra activities to singing, it is an inadequate understanding of worship. The biblical view of......

Words: 60316 - Pages: 242

Premium Essay

Worldview

...Christianly about the whole of life Chris Gousmett (c) Chris Gousmett, 1996 This edition is produced solely for use as a course manual and is not to be sold, copied or otherwise reproduced in any form. i Contents Introduction 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7 8. 9. 10. The nature and function of worldviews Religion true and false . . . . . . . . .. . . . 1 16 30 The problem of dualism and synthesis in Christianity Major themes in a worldview: Human nature, truth, meaning, purpose . 46 Scripture as the source of a Christian worldview The contours of a Biblical worldview . . . . . . .. . . . . . 59 70 87 104 119 136 157 Structure and direction. Sin and evil. Common grace The task and calling of humankind: to care for the creation . The nature of Christian community. A Christian view of society. The Kingdom of God: God's righteous rule over the whole creation . Bibliography . . . . . . . . ii Introduction The creation of the Father, fallen in sin, is redeemed by the death of the Son of God and is being transformed by the Holy Spirit into the kingdom of God. Herman Bavinck This series of studies is designed to provide a basic introduction to a distinctively Christian worldview that seeks to see the whole gospel applied to the whole of life. This Christian worldview makes a difference, because it is significant for our life in the world. It shapes and directs our lives in important ways, because it is the framework of our most basic beliefs about......

Words: 42727 - Pages: 171

Premium Essay

The Secret Life of Satan

...WRITING ASSIGNMENT 1 1. To what did the Latin religio refer? a) The Latin word L. religionem (nom. Religio) is defined as “a respect for what is scared, reverence for the gods”, and according to the text refers to the fear or awe a person feels in the presence of a spirit or a god. 2. Taoism and Confucianism are nontheistic religions, that is, religions for which belief in God or gods is nonessential. While gods are not alien to either Taoism or Confucianism, belief in/of gods is not central to either tradition. What are a couple of other religions that can be called nontheistic religions? a) A few additional examples of some nontheistic religions are Agnosticism, Atheism, Buddhism, Secular Humanism and Scientology. 3. What is Paul Tillich's definition for religion, and why do Hopfe and Woodward consider its development too broad? a) Paul Tillich defines religion as, “that which is of ultimate concern”. Hopfe and Woodward consider the development of Tillich’s definition of religion too broad for a world religions course because a philosophical exploration of Tillich’s definition of religion, yields many an individuals personal belief of what is of ultimate concern hardly lending to the general understanding of popular or mainstream religions they hope to accomplish in this text. 4. Explain E. B. Tylor's theory concerning the origin and evolution of religion. What is animism, and to what, "ultimately" and "finally," did Tylor think it evolved? a) E.B. Tylor’s......

Words: 17463 - Pages: 70