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A Study Of: John Hick’s “The Problem Of Evil” And Arthur C. Clarke’s “The Star”

1452 words - 6 pages

Fall Term (2008) Essay Assignment A Study Of: John Hick’s “The Problem of Evil” and Arthur C. Clarke’s “The Star” Audrey Scott 4272258 PHIL1F91 Andrew T. Seminar 10 The Problem of Evil as outlined as John Hick is that “if God is perfectly loving, he must wish to abolish evil; and if he is all-powerful, he must be able to abolish evil. But evil exists; therefore God cannot be both omnipotent and perfectly loving” (Hick, 1963). In this essay the topic of John Hick’s solutions to “The Problem of Evil” will be looked at. Another subject matter that will be briefly deliberated on in this essay is if and how both of Hicks’ solutions are applicable to Arthur C. Clarke’s “The Star”. The ...view middle of the document...

Free will allows a person to decide their possessive, individual right to make the choice between making a decision that has either evil or good motives behind it. This also gives the inward alternatives of choosing to follow God’s morals, ethics and principles, pointedly the Bible, or to act upon evil urges. Basically, God has given human beings the decision to either choose to live a life of evil and Earthly fulfillment only, and have no hope or understanding of an afterlife, or to follow his written word; the Bible. In this instance one can understand the need for an individual’s afflictions, indirectly conducted by God, through face-to-face relations put into effect by other human beings, for the reason that a world without this type of suffering “would be very ill adapted for the development of the moral qualities of human personality” (Hick, 1963). These hardships are placed strategically in one’s life’s path in order to allow for the private maturity of one’s personality. John Hick also questioned why this same omnipotent and perfectly loving God can allow “natural evil” in the form of earthly catastrophes to transpire. His solution to this new enquiring predicament is that these natural hardships are a “soul-making” process used to breed a higher appreciation for the fact that the world that God provided human beings with can be used for the gain of the right to become “children of God” and “heirs of external life” (Hick, 1963) by overcoming such hardships. Due to the fact that “natural evil” is unexplainable and it’s not plausible for its blame to be placed on an individual, one must chalk it up to God’s all-powerful ways directly interacting with Earth’s ecological balance. Fitting to this solution, this means that there is no physical entity on Earth which can be blamed for the displeasure found as a result of the occurrence of “natural evil”. This means that one must simply accept their disagreeable circumstances and become a stronger person for having surmounted over them in order to be worthy enough for acceptance into the afterlife, in accordance with Christian beliefs. The unique problem of Arthur C. Clarke’s story, “The Star” can be solved by use of both of John Hick’s solutions to “The Problem of Evil”. The unique problem being the author’s confusion over the same dilemma that Hick is faced with in “The Problem of Evil”; how can an all-loving and all-powerful God allow such severe destruction as the obliteration of an entire planet in conjunction with a complete race to go alongside? Foremost through the “moral evil” that must have had to emerge in the growth and advancement of the civilization and the latter quandary of God’s showing of “natural evil”. First off the author is faced with the conundrum that an omnipotent and perfectly loving God can allow “moral evil” in the newly discovered ruined planet, with its human-like race, that was destroyed by the explosion of its sun. Without the “moral evil” the developments that...

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