problem of evil

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During the Belgian colonization of the African Congo in the late nineteenth century, evil was expressed in many ways. Men, women, and children were killed. Many of the men and older boys were put into work extracting rubber, and they were often worked to death. Punishments for wrongdoings could result in limbs being severed. This example of unnecessary and preventable evil raises the “problem of evil” question. If there is a God that is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, how could He allow such things to occur? Many different philosophers throughout history have tried to answer this question. In this paper, I will examine the problem of evil by expounding on the viewpoint of modern philosopher John Hick, and then evaluate his response with my own thoughts. The definition of evil is suffering that is extreme, preventable, and futile. Before discussing the problem of evil more in-depth, it is important to know the two different types of evil. First, there is natural evil. As its name implies, natural evil occurs in nature, such as volcanoes or tsunamis that can cause widespread pain and suffering. Natural evil is not caused by humans directly, and is often blamed on God. There is also moral evil, when human beings do unnecessary evil to others. Murder, torture, and genocide are three examples of moral evil. In the Congo, moral evil was expressed. Both natural evil and moral evil are present in the question of the problem of evil. How can an all-powerful, yet all-loving God allow evil to occur? If God is all-powerful He can certainly stop evil, and if he is all-loving then why would He allow it at all? This question has plagued philosophers for centuries and Hick offers his own take on the problem. According to Hick, who subscribes to ... ... middle of paper ... ...ty to gain spiritual knowledge, continue soul making, and advance in Creation. While I don’t necessarily disagree that being exposed to evil on an individual basis cannot affect people enough to shape their own morality, I do not think that premise exists in the larger scale of humanity. I also disagree that Creation is still “ongoing” and not yet complete. Instead, I believe that evil is a result of human’s own free will that has existed since the fall of man, and that creation is in fact complete. Some people have a natural tendency to do good, and others have a natural tendency to do evil. Unfortunately, there may never be on true answer to the “problem of evil.” Many philosophers have tried to answer the question, and many have logical points. But one thing rests assured: evil exists, whatever the reason or cause, as unfortunate as that fact is.

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