Presentation on theme: "Problem of Evil, pt. 1. Classical formulation of the problem."— Presentation transcript:
1 Problem of Evil, pt. 1. Classical formulation of the problem. Kushner’s restatement of the problem.Historical solutions to the problem.Kushner’s own solution.See file 101 S theodicy Kushner.Bring “Shadowlands”.Thomas Aquinas: two main objections. What are they?Job and his three friends
2 A classical formulation of theodicy Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is impotent.Is God able to prevent evil, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.If God is both able and willing, whence then is evil?Epicurus ( BC)
3 Necessary components of theodicy God is all-powerful.God is perfectly good and justEvil exists.Kushner’s restatement of the problem with ref. to the story of Job, p. 37.
5 (ALL) suffering is God’s punishment for sin “No ills befall the righteous, but the wicked are filled with trouble.” (Proverbs 12:21).
6 (ALL) suffering is the result of sin “Tell the righteous it shall be well with them, for they shall eat the fruit of their deeds. Woe to the wicked, it shall be ill with him, for what his hands have done shall be done to him.” (Isaiah 3:10-11).
7 Parts and the whole solution (1) If life is considered as a whole, misfortunes will fall into a meaningful patternp. 12.Zeno ( B.C)
8 Parts and the whole solution (2) Individual suffering fits into the drama of historyppCf. Bush doctrine of war: This war will require sacrifice (American soldiers and civilians will die), but the larger historical goals (democracy and threat to our security) make this sacrifice totally justifiable.Hegel ( )Thornton Wilder ( )
9 Parts and the whole solution (3) The total amount of pleasure in the world outweighs the total amount of sufferingNot found in Kushner.Bush doctrine: we have to bomb Iraq to minimize the loss of human life on our side (human lives taken on the other side do not have the same weight in these deliberations).Wilhelm Leibnitz ( )
10 Dostoevsky’s objection The whole harmony of the world is not worth a tear of even one tormented child.From Karamazov Brothers (paraphrased)p. 19. Suffering of innocent children.Fyodor Dostoevsky ( )
11 (ALL) suffering makes us better Suffering is educational:“Zeus, whoever he is, made this eternal law: that men must learn by suffering.”--Aeschylus, Agamemnonsuffering is purifying and healingKushner, pSuffering will make you a better person. Note, that Kushner does not dismiss this explanation completely. In fact, he admits towards the end that his son’s death did make him a more compassionate rabbi and less superficial about life.Irenaeus of Lyons ( AD)Aeschylus ( BC)
12 (ALL) suffering is a test of faith Abraham’s sacrifice of IsaacBook of Jobppp. 33.
13 Parts and the whole solution (4) “Heaven will make things right” (conventional piety)P. 27. Temporal suffering is nothing compared to the bliss of heaven.Bad preaching: death of a child as an occasion for rejoicing.
14 Evil is not real All reality is good Evil is a negation of good. Evil is a negation of reality.Therefore, evil is not real.p. 27. A matter of psychologically persuading ourselves that evil is not truly evil, rather than a philosophical truth.Obj.: this solution dissolves the problem. It trivializes evil.Plotinus ( )
15 Summing up the results… Suffering is a punishment for sin.Our bad actions cause our misfortune.If life is considered as a whole, misfortunes fall into a pattern.Individual drama serves a higher historical purpose.The total amount of pleasure is greater than the total amount of suffering.The purpose of suffering is education and purification.Suffering is a test (of faith).‘Heaven will make things right’.Evil is not real.Show a fragment from ‘Shadowlands’.
16 Necessary components of theodicy God is perfectly good & justGod is all-powerfulEvil exists.Which point will Kushner give up?..Kushner’s restatement of this issue with reference to Job, p. 37.1. God is all-powerful.2. God is just: wicked are punished, righteous prosper (discuss the second point in Christianity).3. Job is a good person. Why does Job suffer?
17 Problem of Evil, pt. 2 Kushner’s interpretation of the Job story. Kushner’s solution.Kushner’s advice how to handle suffering.Critique of Kushner’s position.
18 The Job story Original story pp. 32 (bottom par)-33. Reworked story ppMain dilemma, p. 37 (bottom)What is Job’s solution? (p. 40)Kushner’s solution and interpretation pp
19 Necessary components of theodicy God is perfectly good & justGod is all-powerfulEvil exists.Which of the three will Kushner give up?..Acc. to Kushner, what is the position of the author of Job? (pp )
20 Study Questions to ppHow does Kushner interpret “Let us make human beings in our image and likeness” (Gen 1:26). ppWhat is Kushner’s interpretation of Gen 3? How does it differ from a traditional view? pp. 74(bottom)- 79.Yet another solution to the problem of evil (p. 81)Is it possible to lose freedom entirely? (p. 83)
21 Free will defensePeople suffer because they hurt each other
22 Study questions, chap. 6. What did Job need? (pp. 88-89). What did Job’s friends do right? (pp )
23 Kushner’s advice on how to handle suffering Explanations why we do not always get what we pray for (115)What we should and should not pray for (p. 128).What we should not expect from God (129).What we can do about suffering (136).
24 A Summary of Kushner’s solution Modification of the view of God (pp ; )Free will defense (81-83)Modification of the concept of a miracle ( 125)
25 Questions for consideration: Is Kushner’s solution sound?Does Christianity add anything to Kushner’s view of suffering?
26 Summing up the results again Suffering is punishment for sin.Our misdeeds cause our misfortune.If life is considered as a whole, misfortunes fall into patternIndividual drama serves a higher historical purpose.Total amount of pleasure is greater than total amount of suffering.Purpose of suffering is education and purification.Suffering is a test (of faith).‘Heaven will make things right’Evil is not real.People suffer because God allows them to hurt each other.God is not all-powerful, therefore he cannot always prevent evil (Kushner)Suffering only has a meaning that we attach to it.Ultimately, undeserved suffering is a mystery.Show a fragment from ‘Shadowlands’.
27 Dr. Gavrilyuk’s reading list C. S. Lewis, A Grief ObservedNicholas Wolterstorff, Lament for a SonFyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov