September 27, 12
- 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
- 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).
- 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
- Original sin – the possibility of fidelity to G-d’s laws was present,
- 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
- 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.
- ^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
- 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
- The Holocaust as a major motivating factor in moving away from
- 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