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Show How The Theodicies Of Iranaeous And Augustine Account For Natural Evil

1163 words - 5 pages

The problem of evil was first conversed by the Greek philosopher Epicurus 371-270. From then, many philosophers and theologians have struggled with the problem of evil, against Gods existence, causing some such as the French philosopher Jean Paul Sartre 1905-1980 to state that God does not exist. Theodicy is a branch of theology concerned with defending Gods qualities against objections which the existence of natural and moral evil propose. The Theodicies of Augustine and Iraneous try to do so by justifying natural evil. There are two main types of evil, natural and moral and are entirely different from each other. Natural evil is disasters which occur all over the world due to a malfunction ...view middle of the document...

However, one needs to remember when looking at theodicies, that none of the main aspects of the problem change: God is still all-good, omniscient and omnipotent; evil still seems to exist. The difference is, however, that some reason is given to explain how all of these things can be true at the same time. St. Agustine as well as Irenaeus has developed theodicies in which the need for suffering is accounted for or explained. I will fist look at St. Augustine of Hippo 354-430 and his theodicy. The main point of Agustines theodicy is that evil was not created by God, as it does not exist. He makes this point by attacking premise five, of the seven premises, which is 'evil occurs'. He explains that God and good are reality, and what we think is evil is simply an absence, misuse or even misplacement of this reality. In this way, he is saying that God did not create evil, or anything which is perceived to be evil, and can not be blamed for evil and suffering that occurs. Agusitne accounts for natural evil here by explaining that it is no fault of God that any evil in the world occurs, as he did not create evil. Thomas Aquinas developed this theodicy by looking at the first three premises, which state God as being omnipotent, omniscient and benevolent. He then said that God exists, and as the premises say, he is infinitely good, then for there to be evil it would be a constraint on his goodness therefore evil must not exist if the first 3 premises are to be true. Aquinas, as Agustine did, concluded that evil does not actually exist and it is only us who perceive evil to be there, as mentioned above, due to the absence of good. However, there are many weaknesses to this theodicy. The main one being that it is simple enough for one to say 'there is no evil', but when people around the world become victim to this evil, it seems very hard to believe, and somewhat irrelevant.Agustines theodicy links in to the original sin theodicy, he claimed that God made a perfect world, but that humans turned away from God of their own free will, therefore, introducing evil into the world. This is based in the biblical story of Adam and...

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