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"You judge yourself more harshly than anyone else." - Ytmooxxamygr

Problem of Evil

  • Date Submitted: 05/14/2014 11:16 AM
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The Problem of Evil-Iraneus and St Augustine
The biggest question people have about God, is ‘Why is there evil in the world?’ Many people, find it very difficult to understand why God, who is supposedly all powerful and benevolent, could allow such atrocities in our world. Indeed for this reason, find it very difficult to believe in him. Cancer, and people being murdered every day, could easily be stopped by him, if he is all powerful, but they aren’t. Hundreds of Thousands of people die in natural disasters, like the 2010 earthquake in Haiti for example, that caused so much devastation. And the question we all love to ask after these situations is, ‘Where was God in all this, and why didn’t he stop it?’ Many people have tried to come up with answers for this question, however the two main and most famous theodicies are those of Irenaeus and St Augustine.
Irenaeus, a 2nd Century Bishop in England, which was at the time part of the Roman Empire, was a great philosopher, and came up with the Irenaean Theodicy. It defends the belief that God is omnipotent and omnibenevolent, despite all the evil in the world today. The idea is that God is a perfect being, as Christians believe he is today, but we have distanced ourselves from him through sinfulness. He believed that evil in the world is necessary, as humans were born imperfect, although in the image of God, not as perfect as being as he is. We have the potential to become sinless, as he is, but we have to develop ourselves in order to achieve this. This theodicy proposed that God allows evil in the world, as it is the best way for humans to develop, because by overcoming this evil we become better people and get closer to God. He wants us all to follow him, but he gives us free will to choose how we want to live. The belief is that to achieve this, God had to create us at an epistemic distance from him-otherwise we would be overwhelmed by God and have no choice but to follow him. This is why the Irenaen theodicy is...

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