Moral Evil vs. Natural Evil Essay

Moral Evil vs. Natural Evil Essay

Length: 1108 words (3.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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).

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. He doesn’t see evil as its own being, rather it is the absence of good. Anything that is, since it came from God, is good, “The highest good, than which there is no higher, is God, and consequently He is unchangeable good, hence truly eternal and truly immortal. All other good things are only from Him, not of Him.” (Bourke 48). Evil is just a perversion of this good.
Since all things are made from God, they start out solely good. Evil comes into play when this innate good gets corrupted. Augustine said, “For what is that which we call evil but the absence of good?” (Bourke 65). He defines evil as,
“…what is evil, which is nothing else than corruption, either of the measure, or the form, or the order, that belong to nature. Nature therefore which has been corrupted is called evil, for assuredly when incorrupt it is good; but even when corrupt, so far as it is nature it is good, so far as it is corrupt...


... middle of paper ...


...ns. St. Augustine gave us the most well-known and accepted solution to this age-old problem. His view that evil is an absence of good makes logical sense. Since God made us in His image, shouldn’t we have some part of us, however small, that is incorruptibly good? He puts the blame of evil on our free will. This means that God was not the creator of evil and could be both wholly good and omnipotent. Augustine also addresses the problem of bad things happening to innocent people. All of his arguments seem valid to me. The Church was also very accepting of his points. Therefore, I would say he came up with a very good solution to the problem of evil.


Works Cited
Bourke, Vernon J. The Essential Augustine. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, 1974.
Fitzgerald, Allan D. Augustine through the Ages. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1999.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Two Kinds of Evil According to Augustine Essay

- God is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent, which makes us wonder what kind of morally sufficient reason justifies God to allow evil. We know that evil exists in our world, but so does God, so would God be the source of evil as well as good. We have established that God is the omnipotent and benevolent free creator of the world, but suffering and evil exist. Is God unable to prevent evil. If so, he would not be omnipotent. Is He able to prevent the evil in our world but unwilling. If this were then case then he wouldn’t be benevolent....   [tags: God, Moral evil, natural evil]

Strong Essays
1275 words (3.6 pages)

Evil : Evil Or Evil? Essay

- Evil exist in the world; evil is something humans created, the definition was defined by humans, not nature. There is no presence of evil in nature, therefor nature before humanity was pure. This brings up the question that if an all-powerful and knowing God created humanity, then why he would have created evil to go alongside with that. There are established theories that say evil exist because free will exist, and the theodicy of soul-building, which means to prove Gods existence through building religious muscle (building faith and falling, but getting back up; you must suffer for God’s love etc.) But what is in question is if there are any reasons an all PKG would put evil on earth, and...   [tags: Original sin, Adam and Eve, Sin, Evil]

Strong Essays
1422 words (4.1 pages)

Essay on The Problem of Evil

- The argument from evil for the non-existence of God has been a widely disputed question in religious philosophical debate. This question is trying to explain how a traditional God allows for certain evil in the world to occur when he has the ability, knowledge, and capacity to stop these events from occurring. But in order to go into depth about this particular argument, the first thing is identifying what traits a traditional God is supposed to have. A ‘traditional’ monotheistic God, such as the one found in the Judeo-Christian religion, is supposed to be omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent....   [tags: Evidential Arguments from Evil]

Strong Essays
1200 words (3.4 pages)

Natural Evils Are Bad States Of Affairs Essay examples

- If God is all-powerful, all knowing and all good, how can that same God allow evil to exist and for bad things to happen to good people. In our world today, evils such as terrorism, social conflict, and mass murders are constantly headlining the news. With these atrocities occurring, it may appear inconceivable that an omnipotent, all knowing and all good God can exist. When we step back from the question and examine the larger picture, we may gain a greater understanding of why evil events occur....   [tags: Good and evil, Evil, Problem of evil, Free will]

Strong Essays
858 words (2.5 pages)

God And The Problem Of Evil Essay

- God And The Problem Of Evil Everyday it is possible to read a newspaper, or turn on TV or radio news and learn about evil going on in our world. Banks are robbed, cars are stolen, violent murders and rapes are committed. Somewhere in the world the aftershock of an earthquake is being felt. Cancer is killing millions of people each year, while other debilitating conditions continue to affect many with no cure to end their suffering. President Bush said that our country is fighting a war against evil....   [tags: Religion Evil God religious Essays]

Strong Essays
1255 words (3.6 pages)

Essay on The Problem with Evil in Religion

- The problem of evil is widely considered as the most detrimental problem to the monotheist. It is also the primary objection to the overall existence of God. The problem is very easy to comprehend: If God is an all-perfect, all-knowing, all-powerful deity then why do we live in a world with any imperfection or negativity at all. Why do bad things happen at all. Especially to the good people in the world and the millions of innocent people who suffer on a daily basis. Gottfreid Leibniz was a philosopher, who took aim at the problem and wished to point out that the existence of evil and God are compatible of evil and and the typical logic is: (1) if God was an all-powerful, all-knowing and all...   [tags: Evil and God]

Strong Essays
1266 words (3.6 pages)

What Makes A Good Or Evil? Essays

- I believe that humans have neither a good or evil nature. That good and evil are a man made device and a product of our culture. They are subject to change and are not agreed upon by human’s as a whole species. Babies are born with a clean slate. Good and evil is imparted on them. That without this external involvement babies would not be able to know what actions are good or evil. The following arguments present the questions that I have, that lead to my conclusion. Are there underlining principles that are good or found in every group of humans....   [tags: Human, Morality, Evil, Good and evil]

Strong Essays
2114 words (6 pages)

Essay on The Problem of Evil

- My claim that we have evil in this world because of our libertarian freedom does not fully answer the notion of “the problem of evil”. Saying we have evil in this world is just like saying we have bad decisions in this world. Bad decisions just like evil do not have a form. Every decision that God makes is a good decision therefore God cannot do evil. Human beings initiated evil. In fact, the first human beings (Adam and Eve) gave ongoing birth to evil because everyone ultimately came from them....   [tags: God, Evil, Hell, Heaven, Existance, Good]

Strong Essays
1123 words (3.2 pages)

Exploring The Nature of Evil Essay

- “The Reality is that the Nazi’s are men like ourselves; the nightmare is that they have shown, have proven beyond doubt, what man is capable of” (Arendt 1945 quote taken from Kohn 1994). The aim of this essay is to address the theory of “radical evil” and to establish how it has been incorporated into Hannah Arendt’s thesis the “Banality of evil”. This will be done by first addressing Immanuel Kant’s main concept of evil been “radical” and concluding what he meant by this. Hannah Arendt’s Eichmann in Jerusalem: A report on the Banality of Evil (1963) will then be analyzed to explore how Kant’s main propositions have influenced and to some extent been transformed by Arendt to explain the hor...   [tags: Kant on Radical Evil]

Strong Essays
2079 words (5.9 pages)

Essay on The Problem of Evil

- The Problem of Evil The Judaeo/Christian tradition is founded upon the belief that there exists a supernatural personal being who is the ultimate creator and to which all other beings owe their existence. Three major characteristics are ascribed to this being (God?), that of being wholly good (omnibenevolent), wholly powerful (omnipotent) and all knowing (omniscient). This is the foundation of western religious thought and it is these characteristics and their relationship with evil which comprise the theme of this essay....   [tags: Christianity Religion Religious Biblical Evil Ess]

Strong Essays
2443 words (7 pages)