Theodicy definition is - defense of God's goodness and omnipotence in view of the existence of evil. According to the English philosopher and theologian John Hick, Christian theology offers two main approaches to theodicy, one stemming from the work of St. Augustine (354–430), the other from that of St. Irenaeus (c. 120/140–c. Since he wills what is best, the world he created has the greatest possible number of compatible perfections; in Leibniz’s phrase, it is the “best of all possible worlds.” This view was famously satirized in Candide (1758), by the French Enlightenment writer Voltaire. "[12] Christian philosophers and theologians such as Richard Swinburne and N. T. Wright also define evil in terms of effect saying an "...act is objectively good (or bad) if it is good (or bad) in its consequences". [76] Braiterman wrote that an anti-theodicy rejects the idea that there is a meaningful relationship between God and evil or that God could be justified for the experience of evil. Test. It is the first credited to describe the problem of reconciling an omnipotent deity with their benevolence and the existence of evil. [14]:44 Philosopher John Kekes says the effect of evil must include actual harm "that 'interferes with the functioning of a person as a full-fledged agent.' [54] The Catholic (pre-reformation) formulation of the same issue is substantially different and is outlined below. The biblical account of the justification of evil and suffering in the presence of God has both similarities and contrasts in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. She is currently working on a study comparing and contrasting Hindu and the Christian Orthodox beliefs. St. Augustine, fresco by Sandro Botticelli, 1480; in the Church of Ognissanti, Florence. Theodicy definition is - defense of God's goodness and omnipotence in view of the existence of evil. Many thinkers, therefore, appeal to mystery at a certain point or cast their discussions as defenses rather than as theodicies. [75] This analysis was developed further with practical illustrations by Ibn al-Qayyim. "For example, Laurence Thomas believes that evildoers take delight in causing harm or feel hatred toward their victims (Thomas 1993, 76–77). [75], In 1998, Jewish theologian Zachary Braiterman coined the term anti-theodicy in his book (God) After Auschwitz to describe Jews, both in a biblical and post-Holocaust context, whose response to the problem of evil is protest and refusal to investigate the relationship between God and suffering. "[51] For example, the first chapter of Habakuk raises questions about Yahweh's justice, laments God's inaction in punishing injustice, and looks for God's action in response—then objects to what God chooses. When evil is restricted to actions that follow from these sorts of motivations, theorists sometimes say that their subject is pure, radical, diabolical, or monstrous evil. There are numerous other philosophical approaches to theodicy. [107], Essential kenosis is a form of process theology, (also known as "open theism") that allows one to affirm that God is almighty, while simultaneously affirming that God cannot prevent genuine evil. The "Epicurean trilemma" however was already raised c. 300 BC by Epicurus. Free Will Theodicy Todd Billings deems constructing theodicies to be a “destructive practice”. To achieve such free will, humans must experience suffering and God must be at an epistemic distance (a distance of knowledge) from humanity. ), URL = <. [18] "...Hanna Arendt... uses the term [radical evil] to denote a new form of wrongdoing which cannot be captured by other moral concepts. ", Whale, J. S. The Christian answer to the problem of evil. The term literally means “justifying God.” Although many forms of theodicy have been proposed, some Christian thinkers have rejected as impious any attempt to fathom God’s purposes or to judge God’s actions by human standards. [56] The theodicy argues that humans have an evil nature in as much as it is deprived of its original goodness, form, order, and measure due to the inherited original sin of Adam and Eve, but still ultimately remains good due to existence coming from God, for if a nature was completely evil (deprived of the good), it would cease to exist.

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