Good, Evil and Suffering

Good, Evil and Suffering

Understanding Good and Evil

  • Recognize that the concept of good varies amongst different religions and societies. For some, it’s attributed to godliness and righteousness, while for others it may be associated with altruism and generosity.
  • Comprehend the varied interpretations of evil. It might be viewed as actions that harm others, disobey religious commandments, or stem from inner vices.

Exploring Theodicies

  • Understand the various theodicies - these are attempts to reconcile belief in a compassionate, omnipotent being with the existence of evil and suffering in the world.

Problem of Evil

  • Delve deeper into the problem of evil, a chief philosophical debate that questions why a benevolent, omnipotent God would permit evil and suffering in the world.
  • Familiarize yourself with the two main categories of the problem of evil: moral evil, brought about by human actions, and natural evil, occurring naturally such as natural disasters.

Perspectives on Suffering

  • Comprehend different perspectives on suffering. Some see it as a test of faith, others as a result of humans abusing their free will, and still others as inexplicable.
  • Learn about various religious explanations for suffering, such as the concept of karma in Hinduism and Buddhism, original sin in Christianity, or trials from God in Islam.

The Role of Free Will

  • Understand the free will defence to the problem of evil, suggesting that God gave humans free will to make moral choices, and that evil results from misuse of this freedom.
  • Note the importance of free will in different religious understandings: it often plays a significant role in explaining the existence of evil and suffering.

Implications on Ethics and Morality

  • Recognize the influence of these concepts on ethical decision-making. Understanding good, evil, and suffering can shape how individuals and societies perceive moral dilemmas.
  • Consider how perspectives on good and evil can influence moral, legal, and social norms in different societies.