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What is theodicy? Show more Show less

Theodicy is the name given to reconciling the existence of God as a divine, benevolent, omnipotent being with the existence of evil. The existence of evil appears to contradict the existence of God. If an all-powerful, all-good being existed, then why would they permit evil in the world? The existence of evil must confirm that God is either not omnipotent, not benevolent, or non-existent. Theodicy attempts to answer the basic question of why God permits evil.

Theodicy concludes God has ordained evil Show more Show less

God is the divine creator of all earthly phenomena. Evil exists on earth. Therefore, God has ordained evil and allows it to exist.
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Evil is part of God’s plan

God uses evil as a divine tool. God has a plan. Once he has realized his plan, he will eliminate evil.

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Context

God needs evil for now, but one day he will destroy it.

The Argument

Evil is all part of God’s plan. Once God has used it to achieve its purpose, he will destroy it. God wields evil as a divine tool for his own reasons. All the major monotheistic religions have a place for evil. In Judaism, there is “damnation”, in Christianity there is “hell”, and in Islam, there is “requital and the fire”. This deliberate place for evil indicates that evil has a purpose in God's plan. Once its purpose has been served, God will eliminate it because he is all-good.

Counter arguments

This appears to go against the idea of God's omnipotence. If God is omnipotent, independent of any preconditions, then he has the ability to realise his objectives without the need for any other tool or being. If he cannot achieve his goals without evil, then he is not omnipotent. If he can achieve his goals without evil but chooses not to, then he is not all-good. As such, we must accept that God is either not omnipotent, or not all-good.

Framing

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Premises

[P1] God is omnipotent and omniscient and benevolent. [P2] Therefore, he ordains evil for a reason. [P3] Once evil has served its purpose, he will eliminate it.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P2] If God is omnipotent, he does not need evil to realise his objectives. If God is benevolent, then he would not use evil out of choice.

Proponents

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Further Reading

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This page was last edited on Thursday, 13 Feb 2020 at 11:48 UTC