Free Will, Moral Growth, and Evil by John Hick

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John Hick argues in this writing that the all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good Christian god is compatible with an abundance of suffering. He offers solutions to the problem of suffering which relies heavily upon a tripartite foundation. Hick divides evil into two: Moral Evil = the evil that human being cause - either to themselves or to each other. And Non-Moral Evil = the evil that is not caused by human activity - natural disasters, etc. He tries to explain that a world without pain and suffering, moral traits such as courage, patience and sympathy would not be developed.

One main conclusion that John Hick arrives at is that humans are the root cause of evil. He explains that people freely opt for evil over good because it is in our nature to do so. Because we have this free will, god cannot bind us so that we only choose positive solutions; therefore we have the choice to do as we please. Also this evil that we create is character building. Without great danger caused by another there could not be great courage. Without great selfishness their wouldn't' be people who devote their lives to giving to the unfortunate. Hick also states " Humans cause evil directly by freely choosing it and also by failing to develop the knowledge and skills to diminish the suffering produced by nature". Also we indirectly choose evil because we fail to develop the knowledge and skills to diminish the suffering produced by nature such as earthquakes and disease. This lack of skills and knowledge that should be available but has not been developed is called "culpable incompetence" as Hicks puts it. Part of Hick's argument is that god could have made us perfect. As humans, we could have had free will but have been guided/programmed to only do the right thing and make right choices. Another choice could have been to make us not free and always do the right thing like innocent automata. But instead we are free, free to chose to do right or wrong. To be free means to be...
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