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 ...view middle of the document...
This is why the Irenaen theodicy is sometimes referred to as the “soul-making theodicy,” a phrase first used by the poet John Keats.
Many people have responded to this theodicy, both agreeing and disagreeing with it, to an extent. For example Michael Tippet writing in his Oratorio ‘A Child of our Time,’ exploring why there is such evil and persecution in the world comes to the conclusion that says that only until we accept our inner darkness and come to ‘know our shadow and our light’ and the evil of the world can we ‘at last be whole.’
This was in general concurrence to the Iranaues, but many people have disagreed with his views. For example Michael Tooley, writing in the International Book of Philosophy, generally was under the belief that it was all very unsatisfactory. An omnipotent and omnibenevolent God, in his view, shouldn’t have to put people through such pain and suffering to make them develop. Something like the holocaust can never be justified by any positive reactions that happen after it, can’t be justified by people coming closer to God, as it was such an outrageous evil that God didn’t stop.
The other view, the one generally accepted and adopted by Christians is the Augustinian theodicy. This is based on the idea of original sin, and that God is completely blameless and detached from all the evil in the world. St Augustine believed that sin the moral evil was brought into the world by Adam and Eve, who were created sinless and perfect and with no defect or suffering, but they chose the path of evil and were seduced by the devil into eating the apple from the tree of knowledge. This knowledge they gained of good and evil that they had supposedly discovered through their disobedience brought about moral evil. Augustinian theologians Augustine believed that all of man was ‘seminally present in the loins of Adam.’ By his logic this meant that we all inherited Adams will and his corruptness. Natural Evil, like Earthquakes for example, are attributed as punishments for the fall of man.
This theory is widely criticized as most people don’t believe in Adam and Eve anymore, as it doesn’t fit with the scientific evidence we have for evolution. Also...