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For believers of God, suffering poses particular problems. Suffering involves mental anguish and depression as well as physical pain. Believers claim suffering is unjust and is the harming of innocent victims without motive. Suffering is a consequence of evil. The two main types of evil are moral evil and natural evil. Moral evil is what results from human actions, which are morally unaccepted. We can control this form of evil and can end it due to our actions towards other people but we choose not to do so. Natural evil is out of our control. It results from the malfunctioning of the natural world. Earthquakes, tidal waves and hurricanes are typical examples of natural evil, which are unavoidable in society.The responsibility for the problems of evil and suffering within the world, seem to originate from God or are described in connection to God. It is logical to say that God is responsible for creating the world and everything within it. Due to this power to create the world God is described as omnipotent, giving him the power to create and is it not therefore logical to say if he is an all powerful and truly benevolent God he could and would want to end the suffering and surly in accordance to him being omniscient he also has the knowledge to do so. It is then reasonable to assume that God wishes to remove evil but isn’t all-powerful and so cant or he is able to do so but is unwilling because he is not wholly good. God’s omnipotence is restricted, however, due to his creating us as genuine free beings.Originally God created everything so therefore did God not create evil or allow evil to present in his world, making God the original cause of evil. If we were created as imperfect creatures who, will be brought to perfection by development and growth then surly God intended us to suffer and create evil in which we should join together to over come the evil and follow Jesus’ example, being more like him. As God created us in his likeness then this is obviously want god intended us to be like and knew how we would suffer from evil.The theory of the free will defence seeks to remove responsibility for evil from God by blaming humans for their own wrong doings. Even the natural evils are removed from God and the blame placed on the devil. The FWD maintains that for evil to be present in the world God must have a reason for it. Humans were created to posses a loving relationship with God and must have the free choice to turn to or away from God; good or evil. Humans choose to be kind, merciful and just but can also have the choice of being unjust, cruel and greedy. We must seek happiness and avoid misery and pain leading to suffering. However, if God did remove the suffering he would be removing our freewill and the loving relationship we have created with him. It is necessary for us to have suffering to develop our souls and to gain freedom to do as we please. The free will defence argument can be argued in favour when considering that God is timeless and his true freedom means freedom to act accordance to God’s nature. When he made humans free, God made the best possible universe, but what humans did with the freedom within the universe was unpredictable.In order to have moral goodness, one must have changeable creatures and not give into temptation. But these concepts would have no application if men were built righteous. Either God does not exist or he does and is fundamentally evil for him to create a world containing moral evil. Therefore the whole concept of God creating a world, a world of utopia, in perfect harmony, would mean him being wholly good but not allowing us the freewill to choose. On the basis that God didn’t create us this utopia, or paradise world, we are given the impression that God cannot really care for his creation and simply allows evil to roam freely.Augustine’s arguments were based on the bible especially the accounts involving the creation and the fall in Genesis. His theodicy rests upon Gods creation being flawless and God just allows evil to stay in his created world. Augustine argued that God is perfect and therefore created our world free from flaws. Evil in Augustine’s mind came from angels and humans who chose to turn away from God creating this barricade between God and the Devil. Everyone is said to be guilty for the causing of sin due to us being seminally present in Adam when the first sin was created, giving everyone reason to be punished by God for the sin committed against him. Natural evil is then a fitting punishment and came about because human action destroyed the natural order and God is not right to intervene and put a stop to suffering. Even though God saves some through Christ, which shows Gods mercy towards us.However, Augustine’s theodicy had many problems. It contained logical, scientific and moral errors. There was a logical contradiction in holding that a perfectly created world had gone wrong, since this would mean that evil created its self out of nothing, which is not logically possible. As such, evil must have somehow been attributed to God, making him not wholly good. In this free world Augustine dreamed of there was no knowledge of good and evil, the fact that we choose to disobey God suggests that there was already a knowledge of evil, which could only have come from God.The scientific problems attributed to Augustine’s theory were that the world was made perfect by God and then damaged by humans but this totally contradicts the evolution theory where the universe is developing from early chaos. Another major weakness is that each human is said to be seminally present in Adam. This is rejected on biological grounds which means we are not guilty for Adam’s sin and we are suffering unjustly for a cause we did not create.One moral difficulty within Augustine’s theodicy concerns the whole concept of hell. Hell appears to be part of the design of the universe. This means that God must have already anticipated that the world would go wrong and have accepted it. God’s selection of some people for heaven shows his mercy, others would argue it demonstrates irrational inconsistency.Irenaeus’ arguments were slightly different to Augustine’s in the way he believes that God didn’t make a perfect world and that the evil has a valuable role to play in god’s plans for humans. He explains that genuine human perfection cannot be ready made but must be developed through free choice and understanding of everything around us. Since God actually gave us free choice, he gave us the potential to disobey him. It is god’s choice to make us in this way and he has to stand back. Eventually, evil and suffering will be overcome and everyone will develop into god’s likeness, living in the glory in Heaven. Irenaeus also supported that attaining the likeness of God requires the willing co-operation of human individuals, therefore in order to be like God we must make the choice ourselves to co-operate. It is evil, which helps us to develop and understand the good if we are to become all powerful and knowledgeable like God.There are three main critique of Irenaeus’ theodicy. The whole concept of Heaven, the quantity of suffering, which is unacceptable and that suffering could never be an expression of God’s love for us. Irenaeus’ view that everyone will go to heaven has attracted criticism because it is not just and if God is merciful then everyone will enter the kingdom of God. It makes moral behaviour pointless because if everyone will be rewarded with God’s mercy and enter Heaven, what is the point of going out of our way to be good and just. If our world is said to be a better place with suffering then why must our world contain suffering to the extent of such events as the holocaust? Then there is the concern that love of God can never be expressed by allowing any amount of suffering, no matter what the reason.Augustine’s theodicy suggested that the world was created perfectly by God and it became imperfect by humans and when taken as a whole, Augustine’s theodicy does not work. However Irenaeus’ theodicy implied that the world was never perfect to begin with and was created imperfectly. His theodicy cannot be accepted wholesale without difficulty, yet its emphasis upon free will provides a popular defence.

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