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The Importance of the Problem of Evil It is the only apparent proof of atheism It is universal It is not just a theoretical problem it is a practical.

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Presentation on theme: "The Importance of the Problem of Evil It is the only apparent proof of atheism It is universal It is not just a theoretical problem it is a practical."— Presentation transcript:


2 The Importance of the Problem of Evil It is the only apparent proof of atheism It is universal It is not just a theoretical problem it is a practical problem

3 The Forms of the Problem of Evil That any evil disproves an all-good God That an unnecessary amount of evil disproves God That the unjust distribution of evil disproves God WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE?

4 Original Sin Spiritual and Moral Heredity The More We Sin The More Sin Is A Part Of Us SOLIDARITY We are the Body of Christ a single organism each of us a cell within the nature of human being

5 Vicarious Atonement Just as there is a solidarity in sin there is a solidarity in redemption. Just as the sin of the guilty can harm the innocent the suffering and virtue of the innocent can help redeem the guilty. Even the sufferings that do not seem to do anyone any good, may do someone some good, may help to atone for sin in some invisible way, through human solidarity

6 The intellectual level at which intuitively the incompatibility between evil and God surfaces The emotional, immediate, gut level The actual event, evil does not just exist it happens The problem of evil may arise on three levels of consciousness

7 Evils solution must happen in the same world in which evil happens Yes to evil condones it No to evil condemns it Either hardens our hearts

8 VICARIOUS ATONEMENT God is just God the Son takes on punishment for the sin and God is Merciful God the Father forgives the sinner FORGIVENESS/REPENTANCE God separates the sin from the sinner

9 Formulation of the problem There seems to be a logical contradiction built in to affirming all four of the following propositions God exists God is all-good God is all-powerful Evil exists Affirm any three and you apparently must deny the fourth

10 The Problem of Evil Possible Solutions Atheism is the denial that God exists Pantheism is the denial that God is good and not evil Modern naturalism and polytheism deny that God is all-powerful Idealism denies the existence of real evil Biblical theism affirms all four and denies contradiction

11 Methodology Begin with data not theory Do not compromise the data Think clearly, concretely and simply Think logically Do not try to be original Begin with real definitions

12 Definition Five ambiguous terms –Evil –Free Will –Omnipotence –Goodness –Happiness

13 EVIL IS REAL Evil is not a being, thing, substance or entity (God did not make it) Evil is in the will, the choice, the intent, the movement of the soul, which puts a wrong order into the physical world of things and acts Evil is a wrong relationship between our will and Gods will EVIL IS DISORDERED LOVE, DISORDERED WILL DISORDERED LOVE, DISORDERED WILL

14 The evil we actually do versus The evil we suffer The evil we freely will versus The evil that is against our will The evil we are directly responsible for versus The evil we are not A failure to distinguish between Moral Evil & Physical Evil Sin & Suffering

15 The Fall of Man The origin of sin is human free will The origin of suffering is the relationship between ourselves and nature Genesis 3 Suffering is the result of sin

16 Incarnate Spirits Our psyches (souls) are our form and Our bodies are our matter If our soul becomes alienated from God by sin, the body will become alienated as well The Fall of Man Psycho-somatic Unity

17 The Fall of Man GENESIS 3 Fundamentalist Interpretation Historical and Literal Taken literally only one out of billions ever made this choice What happens to free-will Traditional Interpretation Historical but Symbolic Modernist or Liberal Interpretation Non-historical and Non-literal Eliminates a time of innocence and we are never made good

18 The Fall of Man Arguments for historical truth Nearly every culture throughout history has a similar story The Human Condition –All desire perfect happiness –No one is perfectly happy –All desire complete certainty and perfect wisdom –No one is completely certain or perfectly wise We gloriously and irrationally disobey the greatest commandment of our modern pop culture We do not accept ourselves as we are Therefore we must remember a better state

19 What is Free Will? Determinism Everything we do can be totally accounted for by two causes: Heredity + Environment Free Will adds a third cause OUR WILLS H + E + FW = The Human Act

20 Free Will Determines Our Action Heredity & Environment Condition our acts but do not determine them They are necessary causes but not sufficient causes of freely chosen acts. MORAL RESPONSIBILITY If there is no free will all moral responsibility disappears We are not instrumental causes like clay in a potters hand Free Will is part of our essence there can be no human being without it

21 OMNIPOTENCE The incompatibility of God with Sin God created a world without evil The source of evil is mans freedom Love proceeds only from Free Will A world where no sin is freely possible necessitates a world where sin is freely possible GOD NEVER CONTRADICTS HIMSELF It is up to us whether sin is actualized or not

22 OMNIPOTENCE Contributes to the solution of the problem of evil by enabling God to providentially bring good even out of evil In Gods painting, each dark shadow contributes to the overall light; in his plot, every terrible event aids the wonderfulness of the end. Boethius

23 GOODNESS Means More Than Kindness Kindness is the will to free a loved one from pain The more deeply we love the more we go beyond mere kindness –We are kind to a neighbors children but hard on our own –We are kind putting an animal out of its misery to eliminate its pain We have higher hopes for humans: freedom from vice, ignorance and sin

24 God allows suffering and deprives us of the lesser good of pleasure in order to help us toward the greater good of moral and spiritual education. Not all that we do is good But all that God does is good Including not delivering us from all evil GOODNESS God Teaches Wisdom Through Suffering

25 HAPPINESS Happiness is not a feeling Happiness is not fleeting or temporary Happiness is not a matter of chance, luck or good fortune Happiness is not external Happiness we find only in God

26 THE OBJECTIVE SOLUTION The nature of spiritual evil is sin, separating ourselves from God. The origin of spiritual evil is human free will The end for which God allows spiritual evil is to preserve human free will, that is human nature The nature of our physical evil is suffering The origin of physical evil is spiritual evil. We suffer because we sin The end or use of physical evil is spiritual discipline and training for own ultimate perfection and eternal joy as well as being a just punishment and a deterrence from sin

27 The Subjective Problem of Evil Broken Relationship With God Produces in us Sin and Guilt Jesus came to solve the subjective problem Only Jesus Christ can take away sin and guilt

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