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Lecture 9

lecture 9 Psych 232

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University of Waterloo
Chris Burris

Psych 232 – Lecture 9 IS EVIL NECESSARY? THREE APPROACHES: 1. THEOLOGICAL APPROACH – “the theodicy problem”  If God is all good, if God is all powerful, why is there evil?  The focus is on evil as objective events  [Premises] God is.. o Not-all powerful – God can’t stop these bad things o Not all good – Carl Jung’s Answer to Jobe (book); god has a dark side o A driving instructor – why evil exists is because god permits it to exist for free will, for choice to be meaningful – that is, people have the choice to either good or evil 2. PHILOSOPHICAL APPROACH – logical/ linguistic necessity  Subjective events; (i.e. evil is in the eye of the beholder  If it is possible to conceptualize or think of an ideal, you can call it the greatest good, then logically speaking, there will be a greatest bad  The label of evil works because it works as the flip side of the greatest good 3. PSYCHOLOGICAL APPROACH – evil is functional/ psychologically functional [meaning it meats psychological needs]  It is subjective  2 models: o “Out there” – evil isn’t in me, can’t be in me, evil is out there - Evil is not located within one’s self; external to the self; other entities might be evil but not us - Cognitive Functions:  Simplification function – if one will break down that the evil is not me and the other half is the other, it’s one simple view of the world  Differentiation function – having the concept that evil is out there defines a boundary; if you know who the evil are, and you’re not them, that could define yourself – We can know who we are by knowing who we’re not - Affective/ Motivational functions:  Self-esteem – Downward social comparison [I can feel better about myself by comparing others worse than me]; because it feels good to feel good  Self-justi
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