Explain the Augustinian Theodicy (25)
A Philosophical theodicy demonstrates that God, being omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent, has good reasons for occasionally allowing the continued existence of evil and suffering. It also demonstrates that the existence of evil and suffering provides greater benefits than the benefits of removing evil . St Augustine, 354 – 430 AD, based his arguments on the Bible; especially the accounts of the Creation and the Fall in Genesis. His influential theodicy rests upon two major assumptions; evil did not come from God, since God’s creation was faultless and perfect. Also that evil, having come from elsewhere, God is justified in allowing it to stay.
Augustine starts by defining God’s role as a creator, God was definite certainty in Augustine’s eyes, there was no reason that he could not exist. He stated that a good god created the world ex nihilio (from nothing) and at the time of creation it was good because of his aim to create the world to be perfect. This asserts god’s omnipotence and omnibelevolence. As Augustine focused on two main bible passages, he used Genesis 3 to explain how the world was good when created by God; ‘it was good’.
Augustine then moves onto the subject of evil, he found the subject of evil particularly evil as he thought it appears to surround us and is dangerous. It can hurt us physically but can also cause people to doubt God’s existence. His response to the problem is the traditionally accepted one. Unlike Irenaeus he did not think that god was responsible but thought that evil is privation of good, which means that it is a lack of good and in turn meaning it is not a substance, but an absence. To illustrate this he uses the analogy of blindness, the actual blindness is not an entity in itself but an absence of sight. However, because evil is a lack of good they still must have some good within them, even Satan. This then poses the question, how did good leave certain things....
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