Hamartiology: The Problem of Evil (Theodicy) – Your neighbor Sam greets you
outside as you return home from church one Sunday. After the usual chitchat, he
confides in you that he has been troubled with the news, recent reports of
natural catastrophes, wars, disease, and so on. He asks if you could help him
make sense of the presence of evil in the world - if indeed God
Keeping this scenario in mind, answer the following questions
in your essay:
What is the problem of evil?
Define moral evil and natural evil, and illustrate them with examples.
Seek to explain why there is sin among mankind (the philosophical problem of
moral evil) and why bad things happen in nature (the philosophical problem of
natural evil). Consider the various theodicies presented in the reading, and
address the merits and faults of each one.
Briefly explain why a theodicy must be internally consistent, and defend the
internal consistency of your explanation of evil’s existence.
Consider how personal experience of evil may affect one’s relationship with
God (the religious problem of evil). Do you believe someone can dispute a
certain belief about God without actually attacking God Himself?