Evil only comes into play when a member of God's world renounces his/her role in the proper scheme of things. Evil has no positive nature; but instead the loss of good is what constitutes evil. It is because of his definition of evil that Augustine buys into the free will defense. Augustine attributes all evil, both moral and natural, to the free actions of human beings created by God with the capacity to do either good or evil. While God is the embodiment of goodness and cannot make the decision to be anything but good, other members in the Great Chain of Being do have the ability to willfully alter their predisposition... ... middle of paper ... ...l, and knowing, suffering should not exist in the world.
Or we must say that God is not omnipotent, and although he is wholly good and would prevent evil if he could, he is powerless to stop it.” (Fitzgerald 340). This is a significant problem to the revealed religions because they believe in a wholly good and omnipotent God. Why then, would this God allow evil? In this paper, I will provide, explain, and evaluate St. Augustine of Hippo’s solution to this question. Augustine feels that evil stems from choice and free will.
In the excerpt from Philosophy of Religion, John Hicks outlines the problem of evil as such: (a) If God were truly omnibenevolent, he would then wish to eliminate all evil; (b) If God is were truly omnipotent, he would then be capable of eliminating evil; (c) Evil exists in the world. Therefore: (d) God is not omnibenevolent or He is not omnipotent. Either element of the conclusion is damaging to the traditional understanding of a Judeo-Christian God. It seems simple enough. A benevolent Creator appears incompatible with what we understand to be the existence of evil.
This pluralistic view of the good and evil in our world would suggest that God is not omnipotent, which is why Augustine would reject Mani’s Manichaeism philosophy. Augustine later says that there are two kinds of evils: Moral evil, which would be the suffering from a result of the action of a rational being, and there is natural evil, which would be suffering that comes from physical events (i.e. natural disasters). In De Libero Arbitrio Book I, Augustine states that Evil has no teacher, so when people do evil, they are the cause of their own suffering. The question then becomes, did we learn how to sin?
If someone chooses to do good over evil, then that Good is greater than if one had no choice at all but to do good. This is a weak argument and in order to clarify those weaknesses one can look at Steven M. Cahn's essay entitled "Cacodaemony." This essay parallels Swineburne's, but states that an omniscient, omnipotent, omnimalevolent Demon created the world. By looking at how weak the argument for cacodaemony is, one can see how unlikely it is that the Demon exists and then can see that the existence of God is just as unlikely. In "The Problem of Evil", Swinburne says that an omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent Being created the world.
Critical Analysis: Evil as evidence for Christianity Evil as Evidence for Christianity is Gregory E. Ganssle’s attempt to logically explain and disprove the claim that evil points toward there being no God. Ganssle claims exactly the opposite, that evil by definition points toward the existence of God with much more substantial evidence than the latter. Ganssle states that there are “three ways in which our thoughts about evil represent facts that point to God ”. Humans have moral objections of good and evil, evil distorts good reality away from its objective purpose or end, and the objective nature of evil rather than the concept of evil points to God. An enjoyable yet short and to the point argument of Gods existence the author captures the attention of the reader and does a great job of defending his claim that evil points to the existence of God.
They believed that humankind, being a byproduct of the devil, was inherently evil and, therefore, not culpable for evil in the world. With the belief that humans were capable of free will, Augustine ultimately broke ties with the Manichaeans. Human beings as one entity of body and soul were made good by the almighty God and with their free will were able to cause evil phenomenons to occur, which rules out the idea that God is the cause of evil. Peter Kreeft was one that agreed with the ideals of Augustine and offered an answer to why God created the possibility of evil. According to Augustine, there is no such thing as evil.
By common sense, we would infer from this observation that God, as conceived in this tradition, does not exist - for, if He did, He would prevent the evil. This inference is called the Problem of Evil by those who profess one of the religions in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, and their attempts to 'solve' the problem have given rise to a labyrinth of sophistry. Put briefly, the solution most commonly espoused to the Problem of Evil is * Some suffering is caused by others' misuse of their own free-will (as in murder). * God does not intervene to stop people freely choosing evil because: o people can be virtuous only if they freely choose between good and evil; o having virtuous people in the world is a greater good than eradicating evil; o therefore God must allow people to be free; o therefore evil inflicted by other people is the price that God demands that we pay to enable some people to be virtuous. * Some suffering is caused by natural phenomena (as in earthquakes).
This essay examines a paper by Peter Van Inwagen, “The Argument from Evil”. Inwagen’s paper attempts to give a possible reason for why there is evil in this world. However, this essay will attempt to give reasons for why Inwagen’s reason for evil does not explain evil without compromising God’s essential quality of moral perfection. Inwagen sets the basic format for the problem of evil as thus: God has “non-negotiable” properties of omnipotence and moral perfection, there is evil in this world, if an omnipotent and morally perfect being created this world there shouldn’t be evil in it, therefore, there is no God. (Reason and Responsibility, 108) Omnipotence meaning able to bring about anything that is not a contradiction and moral perfection meaning never – not even once- doing something that is morally unacceptable.
(LPE5) Therefore, Christian theism is false (Merchant, 78).” The standard logical problem of evil brings God’s omnipotence into question, yet atheists have modified the logical problem of evil so that it also brings into question God’s omnibenevolence and even His omniscience. The modified logical problem of evil is as followed: “(LPE1) According to Christian theism, God is perfectly good and, thus, wills to prevent evil. (LPE6) According to Christian theism, God is all-knowing and, thus, foreknew that evil would exist. (LPE7) Therefore, according to Christian theism, God wouldn’t freely create this world. (LPE8) But, according to Christian theism, God freely created this world.