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theodicy


Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


Extract

P hilosophy of religion [from Greek theos , god + dike , justice, right, the justification of God] A term introduced by Leibniz in Theodicy: Essays on God's Goodness, Man's Freedom and the Origin of Evil (1710), but the basic problem was formulated by Boethius : Si Deus Justus – unde malum? (If God is righteous, why evil)? It is the part of theology that focuses on the reconciliation of the existence of God , as an omnipotent , omniscient , perfectly good and loving absolute being , with the existence of evil in the world. The human experience of suffering and guilt makes faith in God's justice a problem. Either God is able to stop evil but he does not want to, in which case he is omnipotent but not good or just; or he wishes to prevent evil but fails to achieve this, in which case he is good but not omnipotent. The main task of theodicy is to provide positive reasons to justify God's permission of the existence of moral and natural evil and to seek to prove that our world is the best of all possible worlds. “A response must explain God's action, or lack of action, by presenting a suitable reason for the existence of the evil. This kind of response is traditionally called a theodicy, a vindication of God's goodness.” Prevost, Probability and Theistic Explanation ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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