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< Back to question Do theodicies explain why God allows evil in the world? Show more Show less

A theodicy is a story that attempts to demonstrate that the presence of evil in the world does not disprove the existence of a perfectly good, almighty, and all-knowing God. Theodicies and defences are two forms of response to this conundrum. Evil can be classified into natural evil such as disease and physical catastrophes or moral evil, which can be summed up as "man's inhumanity to man."

Yes, evil occurs as the absence of good and God is testing us. Show more Show less

Evil is simply the absence of good that exists so that God can test us.
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God needs evil for an authentic relationship with humanity

God needs evil to offer an alternative to his love. Without a viable alternative, humans cannot choose God's love
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Context

Without evil, humans would have no choice but to love God. Humans need a choice between good and bad to choose "good". Humans need to choose "good "to have an authentic relationship with God. Without evil, there would be no choice and no authentic relationship.

The Argument

God needs evil to establish an authentic relationship with humanity. If there was no evil on earth, humans would have no choice between doing good and doing evil deeds. They would have no choice but to love God and their omnipotence and benevolence.[1] By ordaining evil, God can establish an authentic relationship with humanity. Humans choose "good" in the face of evil. Therefore, when they choose to love God, they are doing so because they want to, not because there are no other options.

Counter arguments

Evil also encompasses natural evil (caused by natural phenomena such as disease, earthquakes, and floods).[2] This does not affect the quality of any relationship. People don’t “choose” their relationship with God. It is largely dependent on their upbringing, their parent’s religious choices, the influence of their peers, and the people they meet and interact with. Finally, if God ordained evil to establish an authentic relationship with humanity, how can we explain animal suffering and evil acts committed against animals?[3] How can it explain suffering and evils committed against those that have not had the opportunity to choose to resist temptation? Children who die from diseases before they are able to choose to love God or choose to resist evil have had no opportunity to build an authentic relationship with God.

Premises

[P1] To have an authentic relationship with humankind, humans must choose to love God. [P2] To make a choice, there must be multiple options. [P3] Evil provides an alternative option to loving God. [P4] Therefore, God needs evil to provide humans with a choice.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Most people who have a relationship with God did not choose God in any real sense. [Rejecting P3] Some people do evil things out of necessity, not choice.

References

  1. https://www.compellingtruth.org/what-is-theodicy.html
  2. https://www.britannica.com/topic/problem-of-evil
  3. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/evil/#IndIndVerEviArgEvi

This page was last edited on Friday, 27 Mar 2020 at 06:45 UTC

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