Problem of Evil
Evil has always been with humanity. From the first man that walked upon the earth up to the present day, evil has been part of life. The purpose of this paper is to show that evil is everywhere, and that, while good is also in abundant supply, evil will never totally be removed from society. The two are part of an alignment of forces; they compliment each other, and therefore they both must exist (Steel, 1994).
In this paper I will argue that evil cannot be removed from the world and I will begin by presenting the strongest argument for this position, after which I will present the strongest argument against it. eaker arguments both for and against the issue of evil remaining in the world will be discussed after the stronger arguments in their respective sections, and in order of significance. Both of these positions will…… [Read More]
Once again, the theist can simply point out that human knowledge -- either our own, or in the collective sense -- is not only incomplete but not even necessarily close to complete. Furthermore, inference from incomplete evidence is dangerous; before Columbus, European philosophers would have felt themselves on firm "rational ground" to suppose that no edible starchy tuber existed, and yet the potato would have proved them wrong.
Attempts to prove the nonexistence of God through arguments from evil often founder on either the definition of "God" or the definition of "evil." However, while an imperfectly benevolent or even amoral God does not pose a logical problem for those who prefer to consider the divine as unmoved mover, first cause, or as some other morally neutral cosmological principle, such a God is obviously not the benign deity of modern religious orthodoxy. And while a "mystic" or other theodicial investigator may…… [Read More]
Even before one gets to owe's argument, however, one may disregard Hick's argument because it depends on imagining an infinite number of possibilities to explain away evil, rather than accounting for it. Instead of actually explaining how a benevolent and omnipotent god can allow evil to exist, Hick's argument simply states that this evil is not really evil, although with no evidence to back this up other than the convenient fact that believing it makes an omnipotent, omni-benevolent god logically possible. While one is entirely free to take this approach, it renders further argumentation irrelevant, because one side has simply decided to redefine a central term, apropos of nothing, in order to make its position tenable.
Although Hicks and others would like the reader to believe that there is more nuance to their arguments, in reality this rebuttal is merely an attempt to redefine terms in order to make them…… [Read More]
From there, it is apparent that evil cannot disappear until we examine our own personal evils and discuss them to gain further insight so that it will vanish from society.
Once we recognize the existence of something that can reasonably be called personal evil, we must then also recognize that it has collective as well as individual dimensions. Organized crime syndicates, militant emerging nations, oppressive social structures, and profit-crazed multinational corporations are, in a real sense, the social extensions of personal evil. On both individual and corporate levels, one of the saddest features of human evil is its strange admixture with good or apparent good. Marriages are wrecked for lack of mutual understanding, educational communities are undermined by disagreement about how to pursue common ideals, political parties are thrown into disarray by excessive ambition, and nations are ripped apart by struggles for power. (eterson, 1998, p. 4).
Organized crime is…… [Read More]
theodicies and explains the problem of evil, focusing on the merits and the faults of this theodicy. The paper seeks to explain why sin exists among humankind and why bad things happen in nature. The paper also answers the question of why theodicy must be internally consistent, it concludes with a brief explanation of how evil can affect ones relationship with God.
The Problem of Evil
The world is filled with numerous occurrences of evil manifested in calamities such as earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, diseases, and many others. Philosophers and theologians have categorized these evil occurrences into two categories, moral and natural evil. According to Nash (1988), moral evil is a consequence of human beings actions and natural evil occur naturally, this involve such occurrences as earthquakes, floods that happen with little explanation or no direct human action. Some people have resolved to a common belief that God is neither omnibenevolent…… [Read More]
Philosophy and the Problem of Evil
If God is good, and has created a good and just world, how can evil exist in such a supposedly good world, a world created by a good God? The Manicheans, of whom the early Christian philosopher Augustine was a member of during his early youth, provided a dualistic (two-God) rather than a monotheistic (one-God) solution to such a problem of evil in the world. Namely, the Manicheans suggested that there were two divine forces or beings in the world, that of a good and evil force, and the evil was the creating force that formed the evil world, while the good force existed apart from the evil world. However, human beings could still strive to access this good, pure force, despite the intrinsic evil of the creation through understanding and removing themselves from the influences of the evil, created world.
Augustine, however, did…… [Read More]
C.S. Lewis and Suffering
The problem of human suffering has been one that has plagued many philosophers, skeptics, and Christians alike. For some, it is difficult to understand how an all-good and all-powerful God could, or would, allow suffering to plague humanity to the extent that it does. Most people want to believe that God would want all creatures, especially those who are made in his likeness, to be happy. Therefore, when people begin to come to terms with the fact that many people are unhappy and many people are in a state of suffering and misery, it can be difficult not question the will of God and question your own faith. C.S. Lewis apparently wrestled with such questions himself which led him to many insights. Lewis writes (Popova, 2014):
"There is no reason to suppose that self-consciousness, the recognition of a creature by itself as a "self," can exist…… [Read More]
Defenses against it may be equally inconclusive, but in their fertility they at least promise a solution some day.
dams, Marilyn McCord. Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999.
Belliotti, Raymond a. Roman Philosophy and the Good Life. Plymouth: Lexington Books, 2009.
DeRose, Keith. "Plantinga, Presumption, Possibility, and the Problem of Evil," Canadian Journal of Philosophy 21 (1991), 497-512.
Draper, Paul. "Probabilistic rguments from Evil," Religious Studies 28 (1992), 303-17.
Dueck, a.C. Between Jerusalem and thens: Ethical Perspectives on Culture, Religion, and Psychotherapy. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1995.
Ferreira, M. Jamie. "Surrender and Paradox: Imagination in the Leap." In Kierkegaard Contra Contemporary Christendom, edited by Daniel W. Conway, 142-67. New York: Routledge, 2002.
Griffin, David Ray. God, Power, and Evil: Process Theodicy. Louisville: Westminster Press, 2004.
Hick, John. "The 'Vale of Soul-Making' Theodicy." In the Problem of Evil: Reader, edited by Mark…… [Read More]
The free will defense suggests that God permits, but does not cause evil. Therefore, it is possible to live in a universe in which good and evil continually coexist. Human beings are blessed with the ability to make a choice that can further the objectives of God and good, or to promote the interests of evil. Although this view is logically coherent, there are clear objections to it.
One objection is that God has nothing at all to do with evil, and human beings, made in God's image, likewise have nothing to do with evil. Free will is therefore irrelevant and in fact negated. There is no such thing as free will, according to this point-of-view. All human beings have is a fate that has been pre-determined by God. Using this objection, it is easy to see how the human being is portrayed as a passive recipient of life…… [Read More]
Initially St. Augustine favoured the dualistic view that evil was external and separate from the world and mankind that in evident from the Manichean worldview. However, he was later to reject this strict dualism and taker another view of the nature of evil. This was more Platonic and was based on the writings of Plotinus and Porphyry. This refers to the view that evil is a measure and result of our separation from God.
For Augustine, the measure of all existence was God. Instead of the Manichean view that evil existed outside humanity "…as an invasion," he posited the view that evil only existed to the extent that we do not acknowledge and live within God's word and law. ( Augustine Influences Christianity). Stated in another way, evil exists only because mankind refuses to acknowledge God. In essence Augustine defines evil as "…a privation in goodness." (A Brief Response to…… [Read More]
If humans are not the architects of good and evil, then, it is easy to see how a human cannot be wholly good or wholly evil. An architect may be trying to emulate the style of Frank Lloyd right, but his or her work will, ultimately, be different from right's in some ways. The emulating architect will create some aspects of his or her building that are entirely his or her own. In the same way, a person may be emulating the metaphysical creator of good or evil, but he or she will be flawed in some ways, meaning that he or she is not wholly evil or wholly good. Edgar Allen Poe gives a good example of this in his story "The Black Cat." hile the main character commits atrocities to his cat, Pluto, readers are able to find a glimmer of good through his actions before he commits…… [Read More]
God would have never created human beings if everyone was to be perfect.
There are certain problems with the view that there is evil in the world despite the presence of an almighty God who is omnipotent and omniscient. Critics believe that evil should not exist if God is omnipotent and omniscient. They believe that there is evil in this world because God doesn't exist. There is no to govern what is right and wrong. This view is contradicted by some religions which rightfully believe that God is there and he created the world as He knows what's best for his beings. This point-of-view leads critics to argue that God is not morally good and that if He has so much power then He would be able to get rid of evil from the world without any problems.
Epicurus was quoted to have said "Either God wants to abolish evil,…… [Read More]
1. Using the language of possible worlds, explain what it means to say that ‘p is consistent with q.’
The idea that p is consistent with q is a logical premise that supposes there is a world in which p and q can both be true. This premise contrasts with the premise that p is contradictory of q, which states that if p is true, q must be false and there can be no possible world in which both are true and neither can there be one in which both are false. The idea here is that when p is consistent with q, the world in which such a premise could be true is one in which there may be a conjunctive proposition underlying the concept or there may simply be a nullification of the linguistic theory of necessary truth.
2. What is P.S.R. (The Principle of Sufficient Reason), and…… [Read More]
Personal Theodicy Apologetics
The problem of evil is something everyone has to face sooner or later. As Schlesinger points out, philosophers want to understand “why there is any suffering in the world at all.”[footnoteRef:2] The problem with a philosophical approach to suffering is that it does not reveal the whole story or the whole picture of why suffering (evil) exists. Religion, on the other hand, does provide that whole story—and depending on the religion, the story will be a little different. Christianity teaches that evil is a result of sin—that it is not something that came of its own into the world or that God created but rather something that His creatures chose of their own free will. The choice to pursue evil (defined as an absence of the good) altered God’s world—or at least man’s perception of it. Prior to man’s fall, he lived in happiness in the Garden…… [Read More]
The role of evil is generally misunderstood in the human approach to life. The fear of committing evil lies paramount within all facets of society. The purpose of this essay is to argue that to solve the problem of evil, humanity must begin to embrace the benefits and solutions to problems that evil provides. This essay will first define the concept of evil and discuss the problem in a philosophic manner that can help transmute evil ideas into more productive energies that can be used for growth and evolution
The power of words carry emotional value that create energetic fields that permeate in the environment. Some words carry great power and instantly polarize the conditioned mind into an immediate and often irrational emotional reaction. "Evil" carries with it spiritual, moral and ethical values and energy that suggest the word's meaning has super power on and over…… [Read More]
Yes, of course. But Hick too is making an important initial assumption here: He is assuming that a test of human goodness is a necessary part of the universe. But this is only the case if one assumes the presence of a certain type of God -- one that demands that people demonstrate their faith and their ability to make the choices that God wants them to make. If one concurs with this view, then Hick's argument is a sensible and entirely believable one. But if one -- and I do -- rejects this assumption of his, the entire argument falls apart.
Evil exists in the world. This is undeniable. Cruelty also exists, as does simple bad luck. Terrible things happen for many reasons. Both Hume and Hick take the presence of evil in the world as a starting point to discuss the presence or absence of a benign God.…… [Read More]
Problem of Evil
Natural Evil vs. Moral Evil
Natural evil is a term that embraces theodicy, in the sense that there are devastating earthquakes, and tornados, tsunamis, and hurricanes, and other terrible weather situations that harm people and communities (Philosophy of Religion). God created the planet and in doing so He never promised to always have fair weather with puffy white clouds and rays of sunshine every day. The planet is a natural world reality, and besides the frightening weather events, natural evil could also be seen in a child's birth defects, in a mother's breast cancer; one could argue that a woman got breast cancer from eating too much red meat or other foods that are not recommended, but nevertheless when she is stricken with this deadly disease, it can be considered a natural evil that has caused her pain -- and maybe taken her life as well.
On…… [Read More]
God's Existence And Evil Existence
God's existence and the existence of evil
hen considering illiam Paley's Argument from Design, St. Thomas Aquinas's Cosmological Argument, and St. Anselm's Ontological Argument, one can only come to one conclusion. As superficial as this might seem for some believers, the conclusion is not that God exists. Sometimes it is better to be superficial, as this provides a person with the ability to see matters from a general perspective. Considering the complexity of things can lead to serious dilemmas, taking into account that as long as someone wants to believe that God exists, the respective individual can go through great efforts with the purpose to come up with a theory that can convince many to accept it. This is exactly what happened in the cases of Paley, Aquinas, and Anselm. These people devised ingenious theories that are hard to contradict by simply relating to the…… [Read More]
Evil in Judaism and Taoism
(2) How does the answer to the existential "why" given by the karma theodicy differ from the answer given by the eschatological theodicy?
The karma theodicy suggests that the existence of evils upon earth, and of evils within the individual human life, should be understood in two directions -- looking back at a state before a person was born, and ahead towards a state after a person will be dead. Here life on earth becomes a sort of purgatorial existence -- the heaven to be reached is an escape from earthly incarnation. The reward of people for suffering is ultimately a removal from earth itself, and the justice of the universe is manifest in the logic of this process of death and rebirth. Time, in the karma theodicy, is understood as cyclical: souls have been here before and will be here again, and presumably samsara…… [Read More]
Origin of Evil
The origin of evil has been a controversial issue not only in the contemporary Christian circles but also among the ancient Greek Christians. The point of contention in the discussion about the origin of evil is why a good God would have created evil. The Judeo-Christians struggled to understand how a good, powerful, and all-knowing God could allow evil to exist. The logical conclusions were that either God did not exist or God was not good[footnoteRef:1]. However, Augustine sought to clarify this erroneous notion about the existence of God. Saint Augustine believed that the discussion on the origin of evil and whether a good God has a role in its creation and existence must first begin with the understanding of evil and God. He explained that if evil was not necessarily a thing, then it may not have been created although it negates the notion that God…… [Read More]
Apologetics: Evil, Suffering and Hell
1. What are some of the facts of history and experience that give rise to the problem this course calls the problem of evil?
The facts of history and experience that give rise to the problem of evil are primarily war, pain, death—i.e., suffering. This is what Lewis describes as the problem of pain: Why would a good God create a world wherein people suffer and are doomed to die? Why does it seem, moreover, that innocent people suffer? These are the questions that Lewis asks, noting in particularly that “all civilisations pass away and, even while they remain, inflict peculiar sufferings of their own probably sufficient to outweigh what alleviations they may have brought to the normal pains of man.”[footnoteRef:2] [2: C. S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain (Samizdat University Press, 2016), 2.]
2. To what extent would you defend the following claim: the…… [Read More]
The ambiguity that is a result of the mixing of cultures and races is "demystified" as the lecture notes imply mainly because the film refuses to stereotype. Right and wrong are not virtues obtained by any race in particular -- but by men and women who prefer not to be overcome by the strictures of profiles: Vargas, for example, pursues justice not because he is mestizo but because he is a just man.
Quinlan, on the other hand, is a white man with a past (implicitly filled with dalliances and minglings within the Mexican community). Quinlan's obsession with the Mexicans seems to stem from some kind of guilt -- which he himself barely acknowledges. Although he admits to planting evidence and framing the Mexicans, he asserts bitterly that they are nonetheless "guilty, guilty." Quinlan himself escapes judgment even though he is killed and all we know of him in the…… [Read More]
Question of Evil
In the Bible (The Old Testament ) God gives many codes of justice as well as righteous behavior for humans to follow his ten commandments for instance. The philosophical problem, then of why God allows evil and injustice in the world has been looked into by many people. Is God willing to prevent evil, but not willing to prevent it? If so then he is impotent. Is he able to prevent evil, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both willing and not willing to prevent evil and suffering and injustice, and then we must say that God is evil. This paper will be based on Ehrman's views on why we suffer.
According to Ehrman the bible has a large number of views as to why people suffer, particularly the people of God. Many of thee views are at odds with one another and most…… [Read More]
Confucianism, Catholicism and Islam between 1450 and 1750.
Three major religions, located at diverse axes of the world, Catholicism, Confucianism, and Islam, were faced with similar problems and challenges in the years between 1450 and 1750. Catholicism encountered a militant Protestant Reformation in the shape of Martin Luther King that espoused religion whilst criticizing the Pope. Confucianism, in the shape of the renowned philosopher and politician Wang Vangming, grappled with a future that threatened to challenge its traditional learning and way of life whilst Wahhabism introduced fundamentalist religion into an Islam that had gradually become more secular and detached from the Koran-simulated way of life. The following essay elaborates on their individual problems and challenges.
Luther's Protestantism effectively ended the many years of sole religious monopoly that the Catholic Church had on Europe. At the same time, Catholicism was also threatened by the new Humanism that tentatively insisted, first…… [Read More]
Banality of Evil
What is the relationship between the banality of evil and the ordinariness of goodness?
Justas the 'banality of evil' was committed by apparently ' regular' ordinary' people who proceeded with the premise that their actions were acceptable based on their indoctrinations or cultural teachings (as e.g. By the third eich) and, therefore, 'evil' lost its maliciousness and became ordinary, so too, as per David Blumenthal (1999), goodness is also normalized and becomes banal through systems of social hierarchy, education, and childhood discipline that shape both good and evil attitudes and actions.
2.How do both torturers and the tortured come to terms with their circumstances? Are their similarities between these processes?
Torture not only causes pain to the body but can also cause associated damage and corruption to the psyche. The torturer, on the other hand, may not experience physical pain but will certainly experience the same damage…… [Read More]
Quality legal counsel can assure managers that past discretions will be the legal and ethical responsibility of past managers.
Preventing problems from arising in the future will require a strict revision of any equivocal ethical codes. A corporate strategy for preventing archives of evil depends on a corporate strategy for preventing evil behavior. Prevention will therefore depend on creating and maintaining an internal system of checks and balances to ensure ethical behavior. Legal counsel is, once again, crucial to avoiding costly legal battles and a degradation of the organization's reputation. The company should be prepared to deal with whatever unpleasantness rises to the surface should an ethical code be breached. Cover-ups are a thing of the past.
Finally, because laws related to information protection and copyright change regularly, the company should hire legal counsel to address any changes and ensure that our ethical codes parallel the current legal environment. To…… [Read More]
Other determining factors influencing long-term affects of abuse to a child include:
Whether the child's mother is supportive and child can confide in her.
Whether the child's experiences success at school
Whether the child has nurturing relationships with peers. (Ibid.)
Childhood intimacy problems and sexual abuse, interacting with family background, contribute the child's developing self-esteem and sense or "world" mastery being disrupted. These deficits, in turn, increase the probability of a child experiencing psychological problems later in his/her adult. These developmental deficits may lead to social and personal vulnerabilities later in life, and consequently contribute to the risk of mental health problems developing and/or increasing. (Ibid.)
Sexual Abuse "Signs"
Effects of early sexual abuse, which include childhood intimacy problems, last well into a person's adulthood and effect their relationships, family and work. Individual symptomatology tends to be reflected into the following four areas:
1. "Damaged goods: Low self-esteem, depression, self-destructiveness…… [Read More]
So far, it has been nothing short of corporate welfare free-for-all mentality with billions of taxpayer dollars being around. Today, on the news, President Obama was instructing Congress that he wanted to see budget cuts (CNN, February, 2009). He has not even implemented one of the costly campaign pledges that he ran on, assuring Americans there would be a national healthcare program, that American would close the terrorist prison in Guantanamo Bay, bring home the soldiers from Iraq, and, at the same time, increase the American troop presence in Afghanistan. These are all campaign promises that have big ticket price tags attached, and at the same time that the president is asking for budget cuts. The fear that this president is in over his head is beginning to take hold.
There is no simple solution, and whether or not the bail outs will work will only be proven over time,…… [Read More]
Offshore Cases and Google Problems
Question 1 "The Offshoring Debate in a Small Organization" by Benny Sisko
Many people imagine only enormous Fortune 500 companies as moving production and jobs overseas. However, in today's weakened economy, even smaller businesses are now opting for outsourcing more and more to keep costs low. Even smaller companies have to deal with complex issues that are normally thought to be dealt with by larger Fortune 500 companies. Yet, despite benefits, there are also high risks involved in outsourcing, risks that go far beyond the boundary of the single organization in questions.
There are a number of major benefits of outsourcing. Smaller companies can dabble in outsourcing, but often not so much in offshoring, which often requires higher initial costs despite the overall costs savings (Kumar & Salzer 2010). Essentially, outsourcing focuses on using lower labor costs to get production done in other countries where…… [Read More]
Solution to Problems Associated With Teaching to Test Learning Approach
Teaching to the test which is an educational practice in which the curriculum is focused heavily on preparing the students for standardized testing has several weaknesses. In this section, we present a curriculum-based solution to these problems. It is therefore important that all teachers be aware of the dangers associated with teaching to the test while embracing constructive test preparation approaches that in the end promote an authentic student learning experience.
Mehrens and Kaminski (1989) noted that both the preservice classrooms as well as inservice workshop should eclearly outline the unethical test preparation approaches and activities for the practicing and aspiring teachers. The teachers should be given training in the context of curriculum -- teaching that requires them to effectively direct their instructions towards a very specific set of cognitive skills and content knowledge that is represented by a certain…… [Read More]
Wicked Problem: oyal Dutch Shell and Its esponse to the Nigerian Oil Spill
Major oil companies such as oyal Dutch Shell are responsible for hundreds of oil spills every year that cumulatively involve millions of barrels of oil. The harmful effects of such oil spills on the environment is well documented of course, but less well documented are the different types and levels of responses that are used in response to oil spills in developing nations and those used in affluent nations. While oil spills such as British Petroleum's recent rupture of its Macondo well offshore United States are the focus of a massive and expensive coordinated response, far less attention is paid to oil spills that affect emerging nations such as Nigeria. This is not to say, of course, that all major oil companies -- including oyal Dutch Shell -- are completely abrogating their corporate responsibilities for oil spill…… [Read More]
Political or Social Problem
Racism has been a major social problem in American history going back to the colonial period of the 17th and 18th Centuries, and by no means only in the former slave states of the South. In fact, the condition of blacks in the United States has always been a central social, political and economic problem that resulted in the nation's most destructive war in 1861-65 and in its most important civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s. As the moral and spiritual leader of the latter, Martin Luther King's place in American history is well-known: this was the central preoccupation of his life from 1955-68, and he died as a martyr to this cause. Karl Marx was merely a foreign observer of the U.S. Civil ar, but he understood the issues of slavery and racism very well and was an enthusiastic abolitionist and supporter of…… [Read More]
Urban Problems and Solutions
In the 1990's, the United States exhibited a decreasing trend in the rates of pre-marital sex and teen pregnancies. However, the rate of teenage pregnancy in United States is yet considered to be alarming in comparison to that of other developed countries of the world. It has been estimated that about 1 million teenage girls in the U.S. are being victims of teenage pregnancy every year.
Due to the fact that teen mothers and babies are vulnerable to health hazards, the considerable birth rates among teens have become alarming. The ignorance of pregnant youngsters deprives them of taking appropriate medical attention, making them vulnerable to medical complexities. The teenage pregnancies have tremendous emotional impact on the adolescents. Under feeding, negligence in taking nutrients, habits of smoking, alcoholism, drug abuse etc. which are common among most of the youngsters make their newly born babies prone to health…… [Read More]
It is well-known that evil people exist in the world. These sociopaths have no values. They do not care who they harm or how. Fortunately, there are few individuals like this who have no conscience. Most people are instead shades of good and bad. They are not always good, nor are they always bad. At times their behavior is exceptional; other times they may say or do something wrong toward someone else. The book Sula by Toni Morrison highlights these blends of human persona. "The narrative [Sula] insistently blurs and confuses . . . binary oppositions. It glories in paradox and ambiguity beginning with the prologue that describes the setting, the Bottom, situated spatially in the top" (McDowell 80). In Morrison's book, it is easy to see such characters as Sula as a "bad woman" or Nel as a "good person," yet as one looks beyond the obvious, vagaries…… [Read More]
Corporate Social Action of McDonald's and the Problem of Obesity
Corporate Social Responsibility
This paper proposes a corporate social action to McDonald's to address the issue of obesity among general consumers which is caused by high-calorie and spicy fast foods. The paper starts by highlight some research studies which explain how fast foods cause obesity among children and adults, and proceeds by discussing why McDonald's should take an initiative to remove this criticism by the local and international community. The paper also highlights the strategies to implement this action plan, the intended outcomes and affected stakeholders, the constituent parts of the plan, and unintended consequences or weaknesses of this initiative by the company.
The Social Problem:
Obesity is one of the major issues in health care. It gives rise to various heart diseases, diabetes, and other health related consequences (orld Heart Federation). A number of research studies have been conducted…… [Read More]
Finally, the two works have different purposes, so it is difficult to rate them to the same standards. McPherson has more on his mind than the institution of slavery; he is discussing an entire war and its aftermath, while Elkins is solely concerned with slavery in America and why it occurred. While the authors do share many similar views, many simply do not apply to each other.
In conclusion, both of these books play a vital role in understanding the complexities of the Civil War and race relations during and after the Civil War. One takes a more scholarly approach, while the other takes a more storytelling approach. Both use intensive research and knowledge of the Civil War period to make their cases, and both belong on the bookshelf of any serious Civil War historian. McPherson's work is a bit easier to read, simply because he gears it to a…… [Read More]
The Enchanted Cloak and the Land of Prosperity
Once upon a time, there was a kingdom so vast and so wide that the kings of the surrounding empire sought for control. Now this land was not only vast, but it was the home of an enchanted queen, who had been blessed and cursed by a witch. Blessed, for her kingdom and her land would forever flourish in the hands of the ruler. Cursed, for her castle would forever be plagued with monstrous beasts as her servants. Cursed, for the queen herself would forever be confined within her tower, for the enchantments that surrounded her home were far and many.
Yet the kings of the surrounding magical land sought to claim the hand of the queen and the land of enchantment. For whosoever retained ownership of such a land -- and whosoever married such a queen -- would also…… [Read More]
Cartesian dualism emerges from Descartes's approach of radical skepticism. Wanting to know what can be determined to be absolutely true, Descartes begins by doubting all sensory perception as fundamentally external and liable to interference. Just as we understand that hallucination exists as a real phenomenon -- whereby we might "see" an object that is not really there -- we may come to understand that all the evidence obtained from eyesight may not necessarily be a valid representation of the external world. Indeed, we do not even have to refer to the pathological category of hallucination to understand what it would mean to find sensory evidence to be deceptive. In his recent book on hallucinations, the noted neuroscientist Dr. Oliver Sacks (2012) makes reference to "dreams, which one can argue are hallucinations of a sort" (xiii). Anyone who has had a vivid dream knows that they contain visual, auditory, and…… [Read More]
European Parliament, Democratic Legitimacy and the EU
The EU has three legislative aspects—the supranational aspect (the Commission), the intergovernmental aspect (the European Council and the Council of the EU), and the parliamentary aspects (the EP). Yet, only one of these bodies is directly elected in a democratic fashion (the EP), which means that the overwhelming majority of the EU’s legislative totality is specifically non-democratic in character. In other words, the only way the people of Europe can directly and democratically influence the shaping of EU policy is through the EP. This is undoubtedly why, as Ronald Holzhacker points out, “scholars, politicians and the public have bemoaned a lack of democratic legitimacy in the European Union (EU) for decades.”[footnoteRef:2] [2: Ronald Holzhacker, "Democratic legitimacy and the European Union." European Integration 29, no. 3 (2007), 257.]
The Central Question
The question this essay aims to answer is: To what extent does the…… [Read More]
Moltmann and Pannenberg
Comparing and Contrasting theologies of Moltmann and Pannenberg
Comparing and contrasting theologies of Jurgen Moltmann and Wolfhart Pannenberg:
The nature of evil
How is it possible for God to be good in a world full of evil? This is one of the most essential questions all theologians grapple with, including Jurgen Moltmann and Wolfhart Pannenberg. Although there are similarities between both thinkers, according to Kane (2005), both theologians have fundamentally different points-of-view of human freedom. For Pannenberg, all human beings have the freedom to fulfill their human destiny in a positive or a negative fashion. "The ability to decide among possibilities of conduct is a high form of creaturely independence," but true freedom finds its fullest expression in the Trinity (Kane 2005: 41). Furthermore, although the creation may manifest imperfections, this is not a reflection upon God, who remains separate from his creations which are given free…… [Read More]
The existence of human suffering poses a unique theological problem. If God is omniscient, omnipotent, and all-loving, then why does suffering exist? Indeed, this difficulty is confronted in scripture itself: perhaps the most important look into the problem of suffering comes in the Old Testament story of Job. Mainstream Christianity continues to have a variety of ways of approaching this theological question, although historically Christians had a much broader spectrum of responses. For example, today's mainstream Christianity is a result of the establishment of orthodoxy in the face of Gnostic Christians, who used the existence of suffering as a way of questioning whether God was indeed omnipotent or all-loving. Gnosticism instead posits a "demiurge" or "alien god" that created this world and its suffering without being omnipotent or good. ut the oldest mainstream form of Christian orthodoxy today -- represented by the Roman Catholic faith…… [Read More]
Columbian Drug Trade
If Americans know nothing else about Colombia, they know that it is a place where people grow and package cocaine for use on the world market. This is, of course, a highly biased view of the country because Colombians do many things other than make and sell drugs and most Colombians are not involved in the drug trade at all.
However, it remains true that much of the world's cocaine does originate in Colombia, which has important consequences for that nation's standing in the world as well as for its relationship with the United States. This paper examines some of the consequences for the relationship between the two countries of the ways in which political and economic life in Colombia have become linked to the trade in cocaine.
We must begin this assessment with some basic facts about both Colombia and the drug trade.
It is certainly…… [Read More]
problem of evil and suffering has been an issue since the beginning of time. Carl Jung has written passionately and eloquently about the possibility and impossibility of transcending this problem.
According to Jung's reasons for this problem was that God was a schmuck towards Job (and by extension to all innocents who suffer from 'acts of God') due to His not being fully conscious. A strange theory since, it would seem that by definition God is Omniscient.
However, God, in Jung's model, contains all opposites and paradoxes, which includes choosing not to consult his own self.
If he had done so, he could have seen that Job would have been faithful to the end and not needed to take Satan's "bet."
The devil is still able to waltz into heaven in the book of Job and complain about how rotten mankind is. So, it is clear according to Jung, that…… [Read More]
" (16) In other words, since God is not completely benevolent, one must protest against God for allowing that which is not just or that which is evil to exist.
In an illustration of this strategy, oth refers to the work of Elie Wiesel, who "shows that life in a post-Holocaust world can be more troublesome with God than without him" (9). In his works, Wiesel looks at different forms of theodicies and does not accept them for various reasons. Because of his experiences, he has put together his own personal theory of theodicy that allows him to accept God while still handle his violent experiences. In his book Night, Eliezer, who, despite his young age, has studied Jewish theology, at first wonders the suffering is due to committed sins, but then changes his mind and sees it instead as something to which someone must submit.
In Chapter 3 of…… [Read More]
And reason is achieved when we are able to find the balance between two things, which are often the extreme ends of the spectrum. We can infer that good is something created by men. It is the product of reason. If Aristotle places that much responsibility to the faculty of reason, St. Augustine place that weight in God's hands as he maintained that the only way for men to be good, for men to be happy is through the grace of God. Good, then, cannot come from men but from God's grace.
St. Augustine's denial of the very existence of evil (it cannot be a substance) even dismissing it as simply an illusion of some sort, is a bit of a problem for me. Again, here we can find the utility of Aristotle's pragmatic view on things. If you hurt a person for example, can we not consider…… [Read More]
unbelieving or skeptic world has held that one question before those who believe in the existence of a Perfect and Just God. It is a question which asks, if God is the Creator of everything and He is good, perfect and just, why did He create evil and allow it to exist?
One of the greatest doctors of the Catholic Church, St. Thomas Aquinas answers it point-by-point. He says that evil is not an essence, form or substance, which goodness possesses. Rather it is the absence of that goodness, or the "privation of good (Aquinas). A created thing or creature is created for a purpose by God and that purpose is necessarily good, because God created it, and that creature's nature is directed at that purpose, which is good. When the creature, by his or her own free will, decides not to opt for that purpose - directly or indirectly…… [Read More]
reason, God and religion with reference to ancient philosophers. These philosophers gave us some interesting views on the subject of God, which may prove helpful in understanding the nature of good in a world where evil often dominates.
Socrates maintained that 'reason' must dominate every community and its beliefs or else the world would turn into a chaotic, poorly organized unit. He was of the view that with reason comes knowledge, which further helps the statesmen in acting virtuously. Virtue is then the most important product of reason, which is needed to save a society. Here it is important to keep in mind that Socrates wasn't concerned with reason for its own sake but because of the notion that it could give birth to knowledge and virtue. It is also critical to know that for Socrates, reason was not connected with an ability to separate right from wrong. Instead…… [Read More]
.. The actual universe, with all its good and evil, exists on the basis of God's will and receives its meaning from His purpose. However, these two conclusions do not stand in simple contradiction, to one another. The one says that evil is bad, harmful, destructive, fearful and to be fought against as a matter of ultimate life and death. But the other does not deny this. It does not say that evil is not fearful and threatening, inimical to all good and to be absolutely resisted. It says that God has ordained a world which contains evil- real evil- as a means to the creation of the infinite good of a Kingdom of Heaven within which His creatures will have come as perfected persons to love and serve Him through a process in which their own free insight and response have been an essential element."
Arthur Schopenhauer,…… [Read More]
Theodicy is the vindication or justification of divine goodness in spite of the evidence of a world where evil exists. When one has faith in the divine goodness of God, the question of why God allows evil things to happen is one that is not troublesome; it is one when one has no faith or has doubts that the question becomes pertinent. Thus, it is helpful to explain how and why a good God would allow evil to exist and evil things to befall innocent people so that others might come to believe or might come to believe more strongly. The main reason for the existence of evil is that God gave to men (and to the angels) freedom of will. Men and angels were given the choice, in other words, of whether they would serve Him or their own desires. The fallen angels (led by Lucifer now…… [Read More]
God I Don't Understand: Reflections on Tough Questions of Faith
Preface and Introduction
The Preface explains why Wright chose to write this book. He felt that it could be a more personal and humble approach to God than that achieved in his other books, which were about "knowing God." In this book, Wright wants to address some of the more confusing aspects of God. He justifies this approach by showing how God Himself points out that His ways are not our ways in Scripture. This is a valid point, and what Wright is doing is drawing attention to the fact that we are not God's equals and therefore should not try to humanize Him but rather should try to understand that He knows and sees all and therefore has a good reason for why He commands and does things that might seem disturbing or odd to us.
However, in Wright's…… [Read More]
Christianity demands that its adherents offer absolute forgiveness. But Ivan says "I don't want the mother to embrace the oppressor who threw her son to the dogs! She dare not forgive him! Let her forgive him for herself, if he will, let her forgive the torturer for the immeasurable suffering of her mother's heart. But the sufferings of her tortured child she has no right to forgive; she dare not forgive the torturer, even if the child were to forgive him!" Some crimes are so beyond the pale against the innocent, believes Ivan, they cannot be forgiven: a sentiment that Ivan's brother Alyosha calls 'rebellion.' Ivan states that the Christian belief that God, rather than the victim of the torturer, can bestow forgiveness is abominable. Furthermore, the soul of the child cannot bestow forgiveness for his suffering because the innocent boy does not really fully understand the horror of what…… [Read More]
There is a continuing debate within scholarly circle about the "motiveless malignity" of Iago. (Kolin 214) In other words, a close reading of the play raises the question as to whether evil is spurred by ulterior motives and feelings such as jealously or whether evil is a purely senseless act that is its own motive.
The poet Coleridge was of the view that Iago represents senseless evil in human nature and that his character is a symbol and incarnation of evil itself; hence the famous quote, "The motive-hunting of motiveless Malignity," This refers in particular to Act 1, Scene 3 of Othello in which Iago takes leave of Roderigo. In this soliloquy Iago states that, …. I hate the Moor:
And it is thought abroad, that 'twixt my sheets
He has done my office: I know not if't be true;
ut I, for mere suspicion in that kind,
Will do…… [Read More]
The greatest strength of the concept of free will is that it allows evil deeds to be explained as poor conceptions of a weak human mind. The individual abilty to learn and become a greater agent of responsibility seeks a concept of free will to explain how this can be done and with good reason. The individual has no reason to express learning and to grow from human ideas and actions if he or she is resolved to live with a predetermined set of consequences and actions. As man's ability to reason is what is said to seprate us from animals then "free will" becomes and essential aspect of the equation.
hy exactly is it important to so many of us whether or not we can be self-directed, not just politically but also metaphysically? In certain philosophical contexts, such as some discussions of the problem of evil, the…… [Read More]
Christian doctrine evolved to contain a variety of philosophical perspectives and theological analyses. Early shapers of Christian thought and discourse included Irenaeus, Clement, Tertullian, and Origen. Each of these figures shaped Christian discourse and changed the doctrine of the religion indelibly. Because each came from a different historical and cultural milieu, and used different languages to express their ideas, Christianity became a complex and even diverse faith.
Irenaeus's theodicy provided the fundamental features for how Christians would address the problem of evil: how an omniscient and benevolent God would simultaneously allow, condone, or even seem to encourage evil. The importance of theodicy to the evolution of Christianity cannot be underestimated, as subsequent Christian theologians have built upon the teachings of Irenaeus to better resolve the problem of evil. John Hick in particular has provided modern Christians with a sound theodicy built on the foundation of Irenaeus's teachings. However, it was…… [Read More]
Secret; The Power
honda Byrne's The Secret: The Power (2010) is truly an incredibly bad book, simplistic, repetitive and divorced from real history, politics or economics, yet it has sold 19 million copies. A cynic might say that the real secret to wealth is writing a bestselling book that millions will buy. Her 2006 book The Secret sold more over 19 million copies and was translated into 46 languages, and she was also a guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show and many others on the daytime TV chat circuit. Like all self-help writers, she has a talent for publishing the same advice repeatedly in new books that claim to offer even greater insights than past philosophers and religious teachers and in 2007 Byrne wrote The Secret Gratitude Book, followed a year later by The Secret: Daily Teachings. Her latest offering is about 250 pages long and quickly appeared on the…… [Read More]
Circle in the Fire," and "Everything that Rises Must Converge" by Flannery O'Connor
This is a paper on the analysis of the two books "A Circle in the Fire," and "Everything that Rises Must Converge" by Flannery O'Connor, which exposes many similarities between them.
The two stories of Flannery O'Connor are written from a matriarchal perspective and depict the lives of women in control of other's lives or property. They show that no matter how much wealth a person may amass, they are all still prone to suffer. Thus, there is an element of 'twist of fate' in both these pieces of literature. It also shows that as these leading characters are women they should understand the world from their softer perspective because of the fact that there are still others of their type in a worse of position financially, as well as politically. Instead, we see the opposite from…… [Read More]
eligion and the Critique of Political Economy
The 19th century philosopher Karl Marx was considered so revolutionary because it offered a unique view of history and reinterpretation of the Hegelian dialectic. Marx stressed that worker's growing alienation from the means of production was producing a form of wage slavery that only benefited a narrow segment of society in the form of the bourgeoisie. The laborer no longer owns what he or she produces: under capitalism, the factory owner owns the fruits of that labor by virtue of owning property. The laborer not only produces commodities but becomes in and of himself a commodity. The more labor the worker produces, the cheaper he becomes as a commodity because of the wear and tear upon the worker's physical equipment, i.e. The worker's own body. The capitalist profits more while the worker profits less.
"Theology explains the problem of evil from the fall…… [Read More]
The Cosmological Argument: This argument begins with the tenet that for the Universe to exist something outside the universe must have created it. Also refereed to as the First Cause or the Uncaused Cause theory, here God exists as the prime mover that brought the universe into existence. The universe is a series of events, which began with God who must exist apart from the universe, outside of time and space as well. (Martin) the detractors of this theory say that if everything has a creator than God must also have a creator and that perhaps an infinite series of creators and universes exist as well. Also if God is an uncaused cause than why could not the universe be one as well.
The Moral Argument: This is perhaps one of the most interesting arguments for the existence of God. Basically it states that since man perceives a moral law,…… [Read More]
obinson being black and the alleged victim of the rape being a white woman. Finch then states that "I have nothing but pity... For the chief witness whose evidence has been called into serious question... The defendant is not guilty, but somebody in this courtroom is" (Lee, 1988, 231). What Finch is attempting to say is that the true guilt lies on the white woman who has accused Mr. obinson of raping her, an accusation that is false. However, Finch then relates that "She has committed no crime" (Lee, 1988, 231), due to the fact that the statements of a white woman against those of a black man are always taken as truth by white southern society.
But then Finch throws a legal lasso over the court by declaring that the woman "must put Tom obinson away from her. Tom obinson was her daily reminder of what she did... She…… [Read More]
" The gatekeepers are thus attempting to protect the fortress by expressing to those who attempt to tear at it that He who dwells inside will have none of it.)
The purpose of this action, as the next verse tells us, is to bring down a "person of prominence." Prominence is thus granted to that individual from without, through his trust in God. ut the word "prominence" is also etymologically linked with "highness, height," which is why translations of this verse refer to the person as being in a "high place." Perhaps that high place that the person belongs to, that gives them prominence, is the fortress of the second verse - the fortress whose walls the perpetrators are attempting to knock down.
Verse four ends with the following characterization of the perpetrators:
They take pleasure in falsehood; they bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse.
This calls to…… [Read More]