Therefore, humans are also not in a position to question the choices that may have been made by any type of god. Every statement regarding evil is biased and without fact, and therefore humans look to religious writings and works to provide answers for an inscrutable being and evil force. Even if scientific evidence someday uncovers that the pessimistic philosophy regarding evil as innately human is proven true, religious believers could still argue that any inherently human quality has at some point been influenced and provided by a more powerful entity. Therefore, humans will always have differing opinions about the true source of evil.
If one believes that God exists, there can only be one answer: evil exists because God allows it, and moral evil exists because God has given us freedom of choice. Evil has been looked at in many different ways throughout the years. Philosophers like Socrates and Plato believed evil was a matter of ignorance. Ancient Persians saw good and evil as two principles, "engaged in a perpetual struggle. "(Collier) In reality, evil is merely the absence of good.
If God knows everything it is not possible for him to think of something he does not know. This raises the question of whether God knows every little fact; does he know what you’re thinking or what you’re going to do? If so then if he’s omnipotent shouldn... ... middle of paper ... ...d that finding good consequences in bad things is a horrible idea. DOES IRENAEUS’ APPROACH SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF EVIL? There are many instances of good being brought out of evil through a person’s reaction to it, however there are many other cases where the opposite has occurred.
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.
Some believe that evil is caused by Satan and not humanity, such as the Manichaeanists and Bogomilists, and some believe that humans are the cause of evil, rather than God, such as Augustine, Peter Kreefe, and myself. While God is aware that a lack of goodness could occur, he is not the cause of it. He is omniscient, omnipotent, and all-loving and creates human beings with absolute goodness; however, with that that absolute goodness comes free will. With free will, humans have the ability to choose wrongly and therefore experience evil or a lack of goodness. God has given us that right because it is the only way to become happy.
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?
Evil can be categorized into two forms, moral evil and natural evil. Moral evil is brought about by bad choices that stem from our free will. Natural evil is bad things that happen to people, whether they deserve them or not. The problem with evil is, “Either we must say that God is not wholly good, and that he permits or is even the author of evil. 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).
The problem of evil is a difficult objection to contend with for theists. Indeed, major crises of faith can occur after observing or experiencing the wide variety and depths of suffering in the world. It also stands that these “evils” of suffering call into question the existence of an omnibenevolent and omnipotent God of the Judeo-Christian tradition. The “greater good defense” tries to account for some of the issues presented, but still has flaws of its own. 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.
While Philo agreed with Demea that it is apparent that there is evil in the world, he disagreed in that Gods nature is impossible to know. Like Cleanthes, he agreed that God’s attributes can be derived empirically, however he disagreed in that he said that God cannot have his triad of attributes while evil is existent. Philo said that while there may be more good than evil, the fact that there is any evil in the world indicates that God is contradicting his triad. So, Philo concluded that while it is evident God exists through his necessity of being the prime mover, and while his attributes can be derived empirically through observations of nature, it is evident that he is lacking one of the supposed attributes. Philo says that for God to exist he must not be anthropomorphized; God is blind to good and evil, he is an indifferent prime mover.
330). The inherent evil conflicts with Augustine’s view which attributes the origin of evil to a will favoring lesser things, because this claims that “Human beings therefore, are not ultimately responsible for their own actions” (Confessions Glossary. p. 330). This would mean that God had created evil things, which is in direct conflict with Gods good nature and evil is caused by the divine. Augustine ultimately rejected the M... ... middle of paper ... ...lighted” Augustine’s body (Confessions VIII.