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September 27.docx

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Department
Religion
Course
RLG303H1
Professor
Sarah Kleeb
Semester
Fall

Description
September 27, 12 Theodicy, Theodicies - Attempts to render sensible a world in which evil exists - Lit: Defending the ways or works of G-d - Augustine – Original Sin – no evil can come from G-d - A foundational writer (legacy continues today), and to show stark contrast btw early theodicy and modern theodicy (post-Holocaust). - John Hick – The world as a vale of soul-making – Evil is a necessary component of moral growth - Post-war theodicy – taking suffering seriously, and attempting to provide meaning. - Marilyn McCord Adams – Horrendous evils – Suffering exists b/c G- d’s plan is still in motion (incomplete) - G-d will, essentially, make suffering worth it (for both the sufferer and the inflictor of suffering). - Agustine - All that has been created by G-d is “good” - Nature as a category for Augustine - That which was created by G-d - “all natures are good, insofar as they are” (197) - If it exists, it is good, because G-d created all that exists, and everything G-d creates is good by definition - That which is contrary to the goodness of this nature, or natural state, is the result of the human wickedness. - If there are bad things then it is because of humans and if it is good it is from G-d. - Wickedness as a flaw of humans – a flaw brought upon ourselves – G-d did not create it. - This wickedness stems from the sin of Adam and Eve in disobeying G-d - Original sin – the possibility of fidelity to G-d’s laws was present, but rejected - Heredity notion of guilt - This choice of obeying or defying epitomizes free will - All beings have nature; free beings have will – the deficiency that is wickedness or evil becomes manifest in the choices free beings make. - Free Will – Because of the sin of Adam and eve, we are still born with the tendency to sin – it becomes part of our permanent character that we will sin. - ^The only thing that can save us from this is G-d’s love and grace. - Even if we do not do evil, we will evil – Both intention and action manifest as sin - ^As such, humans are considered (by Augustine) to be utterly wicked at their core. - “Good” - ^Punishment for sin (this awaits us all) - Correcting “imperfections” – “when virgins are raped this helps destroy their pride” (198) - When infants are killed or die, it allows us to lose our love for this life (replacing it with love for G-d) - Connection of suffering to evil – guilt and punishment, greater good - While G-d did not create sin, sin can still be willed by G-d for his own purposes. - Even suffering at the hands of those who are very wicked can be used to test those who are virtuous, and to then punish those others who are also wicked. - Post War Theodicies - Evil and siffering that moves far beyond the intensity imaginable someone like Augustine - Rather archaic, and harshly insensitive with respect to radical suffering - The Holocaust as a major motivating factor in moving away from suffering… - John Hicks - Hick rejects original Sin as well as pre-destination of souls - The advances of evolutionary biology make belief in Creationism untenable – which nullifies any literary heredity of Original Sin - Hicks embraces and accepts the previous contradict
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