Theodicy

20.03.2015 |

Episode #8 of the course “Philosophical ideas that everyone should know”

Theodicy represents trying to reason why God, assuming God is good, would permit evil. Evil is everywhere, but how can God and evil exist together if God has the capacity to stop evil? This puzzle represents the central idea of “the problem of evil.” The problem of evil is one of the biggest hurdles for those who believe in God. When faced with calamity, some often ask, “Why did God allow this?” Finding an answer to this difficult question can seriously test the faith of believers.

Is God oblivious to evil, truly evil, or does God just not exist? The qualities that are attributed to God in Judeo-Christianity are essential to understanding God, and altering these qualities can mean changing the image of God. According to traditional beliefs, God knows all that is possible to know and can do all that is possible to do. Further, God wants to do all the good that can be done.

So you may see where evil becomes a problem. From the three basic properties above, we can state that if God knows all then God is aware of all suffering. And, if God can do all, then God can stop suffering. Further, if God wants to do good, then God wants to stop all current and further pain.

If the last three ideas are real, and if God exists as presented in the first three statements, it is logical to conclude that suffering should not exist, but it does. Because suffering exists, we can find that God does not exist or cannot be described by the three elements. So, evil presents problems for those who believe in God. If there is evil, that means that either God sees evil and doesn’t want to do anything about it given God’s qualities, God’s qualities are not accurate in describing him, or that God does not exist as believers thought.


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