What Is The Evil In The Crucible

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What Is The Evil In The Crucible



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It is part of the shadow side of creative process The more science helps us to understand the processes of the world, the more we see that the good and the bad are inextricably intertwined It is all a package deal. The problem of evil is sometimes explained as a consequence of free will. People with free will make their own decisions to do wrong, states Gregory Boyd , and it is they who make that choice, not God. The key assumption underlying the free-will defense is that a world containing creatures who are significantly free is innately more valuable than one containing no free creatures. The sort of virtues and values that freedom makes possible — such as trust, love, charity, sympathy, tolerance, loyalty, kindness, forgiveness and friendship — are virtues that cannot exist as they are currently known and experienced without the freedom to choose them or not choose them.

Plantinga offers a free will defense, instead of a theodicy, that began as a response to three assertions raised by J. Either believers retain a set of inconsistent beliefs, or believers can give up "at least one of the 'essential propositions' of their faith". Plantinga built his response beginning with Gottfried Leibniz ' assertion that there were innumerable possible worlds available to God before creation.

Plantinga says we live in the actual world the world God actualized , but that God could have chosen to create actualize any of the possibilities including those with moral good but no moral evil. The catch, Plantinga says, is that it is possible that factors within the possible worlds themselves prevented God from actualizing any of the worlds containing moral goodness and no moral evil. Across the various possible worlds transworld are all the variations of possible humans, each with their own "human essence" identity : core properties essential to each person that makes them who they are and distinguishes them from others. Every person is the instantiation of such an essence.

This "transworld identity" varies in details but not in essence from world to world. If somewhere, in some world, X ever freely chooses wrong, then the other possible worlds of only goodness could not be actualized and still leave X fully free. Plantinga terms this "transworld depravity". X 's free choice determined the world available for God to create. Most philosophers accept Plantinga's free-will defense and see the logical problem of evil as having been fully rebutted, according to Chad Meister, Robert Adams , and William Alston. Rowe , in referring to Plantinga's argument, has written that "granted incompatibilism , there is a fairly compelling argument for the view that the existence of evil is logically consistent with the existence of the theistic God".

Critics of the free will response have questioned whether it accounts for the degree of evil seen in this world. One point in this regard is that while the value of free will may be thought sufficient to counterbalance minor evils, it is less obvious that it outweighs the negative attributes of evils such as rape and murder. Another point is that those actions of free beings which bring about evil very often diminish the freedom of those who suffer the evil; for example the murder of a young child prevents the child from ever exercising their free will. In such a case the freedom of an innocent child is pitted against the freedom of the evil-doer, it is not clear why God would remain unresponsive and passive.

It requires a secondary theory. Another criticism is that the potential for evil inherent in free will may be limited by means which do not impinge on that free will. God could accomplish this by making moral actions especially pleasurable, or evil action and suffering impossible by allowing free will but not allowing the ability to enact evil or impose suffering. A third challenge to the free will defence is natural evil, evil which is the result of natural causes e. Williams says differentiating between moral and natural evil is common but, in her view, unjustified. Advocates of the free will response propose various explanations of natural evils.

Alvin Plantinga , [1] [] references Augustine of Hippo , [] writing of the possibility that natural evils could be caused by supernatural beings such as Satan. The "free creatures" defense has also been criticized, in the case of caged, domesticated and farmed animals who are not free and many of whom have historically experienced evil and suffering from abuse by their owners.

Further, even animals and living creatures in the wild face horrendous evils and suffering—such as burns and slow death after natural fires or other natural disasters or from predatory injuries—and it is unclear, state Bishop and Perszyk, why an all-loving God would create such free creatures prone to intense suffering. Process theology's second key element is its stressing of the "here and now" presence of God. God becomes the Great Companion and Fellow-Sufferer where the future is realized hand-in-hand with the sufferer. A hallmark of process theodicy is its conception of God as persuasive rather than coercive. Since the s, process theodicy has also been "dogged by the problem of 'religious adequacy' of its concept of God" and doubts about the 'goodness' of its view of God.

The greater good defense is more often argued in response to the evidential version of the problem of evil, [] while the free will defense is often discussed in the context of the logical version. Skeptical theologians argue that, since no one can fully understand God's ultimate plan, no one can assume that evil actions do not have some sort of greater purpose. The existence of such pointless evils would lead to the conclusion there is no benevolent god. Skeptical theism questions the first premise of William Rowe's argument: "There exist instances of intense suffering which an omnipotent, omniscient being could have prevented without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse"; how can that be known?

Skeptical theism is criticized by Richard Swinburne on the basis that the appearance of some evils having no possible explanation is sufficient to agree there can be none, which is also susceptible to the skeptic's response ; and it is criticized on the basis that, accepting it leads to skepticism about morality itself. The hidden reasons defense asserts the logical possibility of hidden or unknown reasons for the existence of evil as not knowing the reason does not necessarily mean that the reason does not exist. Similarly, for every hidden argument that completely or partially justifies observed evils it is equally likely that there is a hidden argument that actually makes the observed evils worse than they appear without hidden arguments, or that the hidden reasons may result in additional contradictions.

A sub-variant of the "hidden reasons" defense is called the "PHOG"—profoundly hidden outweighing goods—defense. The soul-making or Irenaean theodicy is named after the 2nd-century Greek theologian Irenaeus whose ideas were adopted in Eastern Christianity. For Augustine, humans were created perfect but fell, and thereafter continued to choose badly of their own freewill. In Irenaeus' view, humans were not created perfect, but instead, must strive continuously to move closer to it. The key points of a soul-making theodicy begin with its metaphysical foundation: that " 1 The purpose of God in creating the world was soul-making for rational moral agents". Lewis developed a theodicy that began with freewill and then accounts for suffering caused by disease and natural disasters by developing a version of the soul-making theodicy.

Nicholas Wolterstorff has raised challenges for Lewis's soul-making theodicy. Erik J. Wielenberg draws upon Lewis's broader corpus beyond The Problem of Pain but also, to a lesser extent, on the thought of two other contemporary proponents of the soul-making theodicy, John Hick and Trent Dougherty, in an attempt to make the case that Lewis's version of the soul-making theodicy has depth and resilience. The Irenaean theodicy is challenged by the assertion that many evils do not promote spiritual growth, but can instead be destructive of the human spirit. Hick acknowledges that this process often fails in the actual world. Yet, life crises are a catalyst for change that is often positive. The brain is highly plastic in childhood development, becoming less so by adulthood once development is completed.

Thereafter, the brain resists change. Steve Gregg acknowledges that much human suffering produces no discernible good, and that the greater good does not fully address every case. A second critique argues that, were it true that God permitted evil in order to facilitate spiritual growth, it might be reasonable to expect that evil would disproportionately befall those in poor spiritual health such as the decadent wealthy, who often seem to enjoy lives of luxury insulated from evil, whereas many of the pious are poor and well acquainted with worldly evils. Chesterton argues that, contrary "to the modern mind", wealth is condemned in Christian theology for the very reason that wealth insulates from evil and suffering, and the spiritual growth such experiences can produce.

Chesterton explains that Francis pursued poverty "as men have dug madly for gold" because its concomitent suffering is a path to piety. Stanley Kane asserts that human character can be developed directly in constructive and nurturing loving ways, and it is unclear why God would consider or allow evil and suffering to be necessary or the preferred way to spiritual growth. In the former case, which is that of the actual moral achievements of mankind, the individual's goodness has within it the strength of temptations overcome, a stability based upon an accumulation of right choices, and a positive and responsible character that comes from the investment of costly personal effort.

However, the virtues identified as the result of "soul-making" may only appear to be valuable in a world where evil and suffering already exist. A willingness to sacrifice oneself in order to save others from persecution, for example, is virtuous because persecution exists. Likewise, the willingness to donate one's meal to those who are starving is valuable because starvation exists.

If persecution and starvation did not occur, there would be no reason to consider these acts virtuous. If the virtues developed through soul-making are only valuable where suffering exists, then it is not clear what would be lost if suffering did not exist. Robert Mesle says that such a discussion presupposes that virtues are only instrumentally valuable instead of intrinsically valuable. The soul-making reconciliation of the problem of evil, states Creegan, fails to explain the need or rationale for evil inflicted on animals and resultant animal suffering, because "there is no evidence at all that suffering improves the character of animals, or is evidence of soul-making in them". Cruciform theodicy is not a theodical system in the same manner that Soul-making theodicy and Process theodicy are, so it does not address all the questions of "the origin, nature, problem, reason and end of evil.

Its inclusion as a theme divides general theistic theodicies from specifically Christian ones. Thomas Aquinas suggested the afterlife theodicy to address the problem of evil and to justify the existence of evil. Stephen Maitzen has called this the "Heaven Swamps Everything" theodicy, and argues that it is false because it conflates compensation and justification. In the second century, Christian theologians attempted to reconcile the problem of evil with an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God, by denying that evil exists.

Among these theologians, Clement of Alexandria offered several theodicies, of which one was called "privation theory of evil" which was adopted thereafter. The early version of "deny evil" is called the "privation theory of evil", so named because it described evil as a form of "lack, loss or privation". One of the earliest proponents of this theory was the 2nd-century Clement of Alexandria who, according to Joseph Kelly, [54] stated that "since God is completely good, he could not have created evil; but if God did not create evil, then it cannot exist". Evil, according to Clement, does not exist as a positive, but exists as a negative or as a "lack of good". He was also pressed by Gnostics scholars with the question as to why God did not create creatures that "did not lack the good".

Clement attempted to answer these questions ontologically through dualism, an idea found in the Platonic school, [55] that is by presenting two realities, one of God and Truth, another of human and perceived experience. The fourth-century theologian Augustine of Hippo adopted the privation theory, and in his Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love , maintained that evil exists as "absence of the good".

Augustine's view of evil relies on the causal principle that every cause is superior to its effects. They are subject to the prejudices that come from personal perspective: humans care about what affects themselves, and fail to see how their privation might contribute to the common good. For Augustine, evil, when it refers to God's material creation, refers to a privation, an absence of goodness " where goodness might have been Conf. This view has been criticized as semantics: substituting a definition of evil with "loss of good", of "problem of evil and suffering" with the "problem of loss of good and suffering", neither addresses the issue from the theoretical point of view nor from the experiential point of view.

An alternative modern version of the privation theory is by Christian Science , which asserts that evils such as suffering and disease only appear to be real, but in truth are illusions, and in reality evil does not exist. The illusion version of privation theory theodicy has been critiqued for denying the reality of crimes, wars, terror, sickness, injury, death, suffering and pain to the victim. A different approach to the problem of evil is to turn the tables by suggesting that any argument from evil is self-refuting, in that its conclusion would necessitate the falsity of one of its premises.

One response—called the defensive response—has been to point out that the assertion "evil exists" implies an ethical standard against which moral value is determined, and then to argue that the fact that such a universal standard exists at all implies the existence of God. Pandeism is a modern theory that unites deism and pantheism, and asserts that God created the universe but during creation became the universe. No longer existing "above," God cannot intervene from above and cannot be blamed for failing to do so. God, in pandeism, was omnipotent and omnibenevolent, but in the form of universe is no longer omnipotent, omnibenevolent. Philip Irving Mitchell, Director of the University Honors Program at Dallas Baptist University, offers a list of what he refers to as issues that are not strictly part of the problem of evil yet are related to it:.

The existential problem asks, in what way does the experience of suffering speak to issues of theodicy and in what way does theodicy hurt or help with the experience of suffering? Dan Allender and Tremper Longman point out that suffering creates internal questions about God that go beyond the philosophical, such as: does God, or anyone, care about what I am suffering every day?

Mitchell says that literature surrounding the problem of evil offers a mixture of both universal application and particular dramatization of specific instances, fictional and non-fictional, with religious and secular views. While artist Cornelia van Voorst first declares that, "artists do not think of the world in terms of good and bad, but more in terms of: "What can we make of this? His face is not visible. The scene is cold and dead, with only the perpetrator and maybe one of his victims, a child clinging to its mother, still remaining alive. No one knows who was there to witness this event or what their relationship to these events might have been, but the art itself is a depiction of the problem of evil. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Question of reconciling the existence of evil with an all-good and -powerful God. Religious concepts. Ethical egoism Euthyphro dilemma Logical positivism Religious language Verificationism eschatological Problem of evil Theodicy Augustinian Irenaean Best of all possible worlds Inconsistent triad Natural evil. Theories of religion. Philosophers of religion. Related topics. Criticism of religion Ethics in religion Exegesis Faith and rationality History of religions Religion and science Religious philosophy Theology. Further information: Existence of God. See also: Wild animal suffering and Predation problem. Main article: Absence of good. See also: Religious responses to the problem of evil.

Main articles: Wild animal suffering and Evolutionary theodicy. Main article: Free will. Main article: Skeptical theism. Main article: Irenaean theodicy. Philosophy portal. When the first living organisms die, they make room for more complex ones and begin the process of natural selection. When organisms die, new life feeds on them Facing Evil. Princeton: Princeton UP. ISBN Becker; Charlotte B.

Becker Encyclopedia of Ethics. The Problem of Evil. Oxford University Press. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Stanford University. Retrieved 17 January Singer, Marcus G. Singer April Cambridge University Press. JSTOR NCBI Bookshelf. National Academies Press US. Retrieved 21 February The Humane Review. Retrieved 8 January American Philosophical Quarterly. The Monist. Sanford University. Retrieved 7 December London: Routledge, Zalta, Edward N. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved 22 February Cornell University Press.

Providence, Evil and the Openness of God. S2CID The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. John Hick , for example, proposes a theodicy, while Alvin Plantinga formulates a defence. The idea of human free will often appears in a both of these strategies, but in different ways. Dallas Baptist University. Retrieved 14 April Boyd , Is God to Blame? Westminster John Knox Press. Princeton University Press. Socialization and Civil Society. According to Reinhold F. Glei , it is settled that the argument of theodicy is from an academical source which is not only not epicurean, but even anti-epicurean. Reinhold F. Glei, Et invidus et inbecillus.

Das angebliche Epikurfragment bei Laktanz, De ira dei 13, 20—21 , in: Vigiliae Christianae 42 , pp. In McBrayer, Justin P. Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley-Blackwell. Introducing Philosophy of Religion. Animal Suffering and the Problem of Evil. Almeida Freedom, God, and Worlds. Barlow, Nora ed. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin — With the original omissions restored. Edited and with appendix and notes by his granddaughter Nora Barlow.

London: Collins. Retrieved 9 May Rowe William L. Rowe on Philosophy of Religion: Selected Writings. An essay on the principle of population. Oxford World's Classics reprint. The Religion of Plato 2, reprint ed. The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition. Liturgical Press. Jeffery Palgrave Macmillan. Theophrastus' Characters: A New Introduction. Christian Science. University of California Press. Erickson Christian Theology. Baker Academic. Hume Studies. Replying to the anti-god challenge: A god without moral character acts well. Religious Studies, 48 1 , 35— Philosophy Compass. Wylie Online Library. The Secular Web. Retrieved 10 April CiteSeerX Retrieved 1 February Tomberlin, H.

Alvin Plantinga "Self Profile". Springer Netherlands. Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 12 January O'Leary Arguing the Apocalypse. Graduate Theological Union. Zygon Journal of Religion and Science. Murphy, Nancey C. Theology and Science. Ayala, Francisco J. Ayala Darwin's Gift to Science and Religion illustrated, reprint ed. National Academies Press. Crossroad Publishing Company. Evil and Evolution: A Theodicy. Wipf and Stock Publishers. Fortress Press. Belief in God in an Age of Science. Observing you can catch some disease by the operation of natural processes gives me the power either to use those processes to give that disease to other people, or through negligence to allow others to catch it, or to take measures to prevent others from catching the disease.

The actions which natural evil makes possible are ones which allow us to perform at our best and interact with our fellows at the deepest level" Oxford: Oxford University Press, — Boyd, Is God to Blame? God, freedom, and evil. Eerdmans Publishing Company. Mackie, J. Mackie The Nature of Necessity. Clarendon Press. And you know I can do it; I saw Indians smash my dear parents' heads on the pillow next to mine, and I have seen some reddish work done at night, and I can make you wish you had never seen the sun go down!

God forbid I take it from him! They say he give them but two words. And died. I hear the boot of Lucifer, I see his filthy face! And it is my face, and yours, Danforth! For them that quail to bring men out of ignorance, as I have quailed, and as you quail now when you know in all your black hearts that this be fraud — God damns our kind especially, and we will burn, we will burn together! Ours is a divided empire in which certain ideas and emotions and actions are of God, and their opposites are of Lucifer. It is as impossible for most men to conceive of a morality without sin as of an earth without 'sky'.

Since a great but superficial change has wiped out God's beard and the Devil's horns, but the world is still gripped between two diametrically opposed absolutes. The concept of unity, in which positive and negative are attributes of the same force, in which good and evil are relative, ever-changing, and always joined to the same phenomenon - such a concept is still reserved to the physical sciences and to the few who have grasped the history of ideas. It's strange work for a Christian girl to hang old women! Why do you never wonder if Parris be innocent, or Abigail? Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as clean as God's fingers? I'll tell you what's walking Salem—vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law!

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