The Concept of Evil

Rejecting miracles scientifically

  • Many scientists argue that nature is a closed system with fixed casual laws
  • If nature is created by God, is God directly responsible for earthquakes and other natural evils?
  • If God prevented it, this would indicate the world was not made perfect
  • If God could but did not intervene, we would question his goodness

Counter argument

  • Ignores effects of human free will/sin
  • Augustine’s Theodicy moral and natural evil is blamed on humans musing free will
  • Indicates that God may choose to intervene at times but is not morally obliged to clear up our mess

In defence of a literal belief in miracles

  • Christians seen miracles as a way of God revealing his power and miracles go against natural law
  • God punishes the wicked and helps the righteous in the Bible
  • Does this solve or add to the problem of evil?
  • Evil, Christians contend, will be defeated by God on the return of Christ and goodness will triumph
  • We are part of the plan and although it makes no sense now, it will in the future
  • We ought not to question God’s purpose and workings

Counter argument

  • This is neither verifiable or falsifiable

In defence of miracles as symbolic stories

  • Rudolf Bultmann saw the stories in the NT as later additions to inspire us to be good/follow God
  • Miracle accounts should be read symbolically
  • They teach God’s power/Jesus’ nature
  • So, God does not literally intervene in people’s lives in an arbitrary manner so eases the problem of evil question and the question of fairness
  • BUT, is the lack of divine intervention because God cannot help OR because he chooses not to help?

Counter argument

  • Wouldn’t the stories have more effect and impact if they were true?
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