Exploring How the Theodicies of Irenaeus and Augustine Account of Natural Evil

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Exploring How the Theodicies of Irenaeus and Augustine Account of Natural Evil The problem of evil concerns the challenge of how an all-powerful and all-loving God can allow his creation to suffer, without helping then and putting an end to their suffering. This challenge is an often quoted reason for being unable to believe in God for it is argued, either God does not exist or, if he does then he is not a God worthy of out worship. St Augustine (AD354-430) tried to solve this problem and based his arguments on the Bible, especially the stories of the creation and the fall in Genesis. For Augustine, God is the source of everything, which he believed had been created out of nothing - 'ex nihilo'. As a result everything in the world is created good and therefore the world is perfect and free from faults. As far as Augustine was concerned all creation is good and it expresses the perfection of God's creativity and goodness, 'God saw all that he had made, and it was very good'.This implies that suffering and evil were unknown within this world. He argued that as God is perfect he could not be blamed for the fact that evil does exist within the world, and that any evil that is found is purely deprivation, not a substance - evil and unhappiness is the cause of lack of good and happiness. If evil was a substance, it would mean that God created it, which Augustine rejects. If God cannot have created evil, Augustine traced back its origins to those creatures in the world that have free will - angels and human beings. These creatures abused God's gift of freedom and choose wilfully to turn away from God, the supreme good, and to turn towards the lesser good instead. In keeping with the story of the fall in Genesis 3, he argued that the desire for power proved too much for Adam and Eve, who were tempted by Satan, a fallen angel, to break God's command and to eat the forbidden fruit from the tree of

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