the problem of evil

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Studies in the Philosophy of Religion
THE PROBLEM OF EVIL
“God is the omnipotent and wholly good creator of all things”
“There is evil in the world”
a) EXPLAIN THESE TWO STATEMENTS AND SHOW WHY THEY ARE SAID TO BE CONTRADICTORY (20)
The problem of evil is usually seen as the problem of how the existence of God can be reconciled with the existence of evil in the world. It’s regarded as a logical problem, because it is based on the apparent contradiction involved in holding onto three incompatible beliefs. This being that God is omnipotent, that God is wholly good and that evil exists in the world. The fact that evil exists in the world constitutes the most common objection to the belief in the existence of the omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing) and all loving God of Classical Theism. Classical Theism is the traditional understanding of God as worshipped by Christians, Jews and Muslims. This definition is initially criticised, for being culture-bound, as other religions such as Hinduism and Buddhism don’t believe in one God so can’t be applied to their respective religions. Therefore the problem of evil is only a problem for followers of a theistic religion.
God is described as an infinite, self-existent, incorporeal (without body), eternal, immutable (doesn’t change), impassable (incapable of suffering), simple (one entity), perfect (God is seen as a morally perfect being i.e. wholly good), omniscient (all knowing) and omnipotent (all powerful) being.
Omnipotence means being able to bring about anything which it is logically possible to bring about. However not being able to bring about that which is logically impossible is not a restriction on omnipotence since the logically impossible is not a characterisation of anything. It is a non-thing. Evil is said to come from the free actions of human beings. God can’t do what’s logically impossible and it’s said to be logically impossible for God to create humans who are free but always choose to do what’s right. This therefore takes the responsibility of evil from God.
Omniscience means knowing everything that it is logically possible to know. 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...

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...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. Sometimes obstacles result in ones character being strengthened but other times they can be crushing leading to ones character being diminished and left incompetent so unable to grow and develop further. So it would seem any soul making is subject to an individual’s temperament and particular way of dealing with a problem. Therefore this doesn’t remove the contradiction, because there’s evidence of people suffering and not getting better after it. This produces more problems as shows God to be selecting people who he should know would suffer immensely because of this evil. Irenaeus approach takes the blame off God for human suffering. This is what is needed to solve the problem of evil. He places the blame on human free will therefore avoiding questions of God’s nature so in essence removing the contradiction. People accept that suffering is there for a reason and it’s part of God’s plan for soul making.
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