What is Evil, What is Love?

By Ben Burchett 1st period The problem of evil 1,619 words

IB Philosophy stimulus from the movie “The Watchmen” 3/27/09 Ben Burchett

Rorsach takes a step forward. Rorsach notices the bone they have been fighting over has a little girls shoe on it. The psychiatrist asks a few questions and Rorsach starts to tell a story about a little girls kidnapping. The psychiatrist is sweating and very nervous. The kidnapper scoffs and tells Rorsach that he doesn’t have any evidence. Rorsach takes another step forward. The kidnapper starts begging for mercy. Outside the dogs fight more vigorously. The kidnapper isn’t home Rorsach breaks in through the front door because of the two large dogs fighting for a rather large bone in the back yard. Rorsach then finishes him off. he finds little girls clothes and undergarments. it wasn’t God who butchered the child. nor fate that fed her to the dogs.” . He kneels down to open it. Rorsach walks into a kitchen with a potbellied stove in the corner.Rorsach (roar-shack) has just been captured and is talking with the prison psychiatric expert. He stands up and looks at the wooden counter top in the kitchen. It’s us. it has been stained blood red with deep gashes in its surface. The kidnapper understands that Rorsach is not a member of the police and begins pleading that he is insane. Rorsach says “You see Doc. The kidnapper comes home to find Rorsach holding one of his cleavers. Above the counter there is a peg board with a collection of large sharp instruments hung from it. only us. He finds the kidnappers house in the rundown part of town. He rummages through the ashes.

the Augustinian theodicy. There are many different theodicies but for the sake of this analysis only one will be examined. He is omni benevolent (all good. Augustine looked at evil differently from most people in both his day and modern times..). Augustine says “The whole of God’s creation is good” (reason and religious belief pg 144). We live in a world that has evil everywhere in it. either God does not exist or rather exist as monotheistic religions believe He does i.D. and all knowing God. all powerful. omni benevolent. I don’t believe that any one can disagree. The problem is. In monotheistic religions God is the creator of the universe. Evil has always been a problem for the human race but it is especially a problem for those who believe in a monotheistic religion. There are only really two theories to the problem of evil. omni potent (all powerful). The Bible (the Christian’s religious document) states “For everything God created is good …” (1 Timothy 4:4a NIV). Many philosophers and theologians have discussed and debated the problem of evil. how can evil exist with an all good. without evil). or God and evil both exist and here is how… this “how” is called a theodicy.The above story describes a disgusting act of evil. omni potent etc. This dilemma has been called the problem of evil. He starts his argument by stating some assumptions. and omniscient (all knowing). Augustine (354-430 A. and the second is that he created the universe.e. and evil (which is viewed by the vast majority as the opposite of good) cannot come from good. . first is that God does exist. The Augustinian theodicy was written by Christian philosopher and theologian St. This statement stays true to monotheistic religions because God is all good.

like the kidnapper in “The Watchmen” or Saddam Hussein. That evil is the opposite of good. And even more say that evil is an entity all by itself such as the devil.org). We cannot measure how dark or cold something is. He writes that “Metaphysically speaking evil… is the lack of good. Augustine has just pointed out a major category error that society has made about evil. The term sin in Greek is ¢amartia which means to miss the mark (biblefacts. Romans 3:23 says “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (NIV). By Augustine’s statement that evil is simply the absence of good. one can infer that evil is the absence of God (God cannot create anything from his absence). This idea of sin being the absence of God answers what evil is but it doesn’t come close to solving the problem of evil on its own. when darkness is simply the absence of light. Others believe that evil is a particular action such as the brutal killing of a little girl or the mass genocide in Hitler’s Germany. the privation of good” (reason and religious beliefs pg 144). Some philosophers might ask this of . The term was used in archery when an archer would miss the target. one that does not null and void the previous three ideas but gives all of them a common ground to stand on in one statement. or that hot and cold are opposites when coldness is simply a lack of heat. This is the same error that is made when one says that light and darkness are opposites.In the previous paragraph a popular opinion of what evil is was stated. Some say evil is a person. This is further evidence that Augustine’s idea remains true to monotheistic tradition. There are many other ideas about what evil is. In the Bible evil is called sin. As we have established that many people believe that evil is the opposite of good. but we can measure how hot and bright something is. Augustine has a different idea about what evil is.

This is the creation of the universe through monotheism. It is important to understand that God did not force Adam (man) to not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. instead He gave man a choice. 17 but you must not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. “So God created man in His own image. Augustine wrote “the universe was created out of nothing” (reason and religious belief pg 144) and the Bible says in Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (NIV) also in John 1:1 and 3 “In the beginning was the Word. Later in the book of Genesis the Bible explains the formation of the earth. 16 And the Lord commanded the man “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden. in the image of God He created them. … Through Him all things were made. and the Word was with God. How can God be absent if He is omni present (everywhere) or How can God allow something that is not for Him exist if He is omnipotent? These questions are imperative obstacles to the problem of evil. for when you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:15-17 NIV). This is sometimes referred to as Ex Nihilo which means in Latin out of nothing. male and female He created them” (Genesis 1:27 NIV). God gave man the option to choose to obey or not to obey. without Him nothing has been made that has been made” (NIV). and the Word (the word has been called Jesus another member of the trinity) was God. and they need to be addressed. This is the first commandment to man. By monotheistic tradition God gave man free will. but first we need to look at the creation of the universe The origins of the world by monotheistic religions are that God created it out of nothing.Augustine. Later “The Lord God took the man (woman was yet to be created) and put him in the Garden of Eden to take care of it. . After that the creation of man. oceans and various animals in it.

this is a logical contradiction. . Man decided to disobey God and eat the fruit. This is true because they realized they were naked and then became ashamed of their nakedness (Genesis 3:7). God cannot be a part of something that disobeys Him.Augustine says that “It is particularly the misuse of free will that allows sin or evil into the human experience” (reason and religious belief pg 144).” (Genesis 3:7a NIV) Many philosophers and theologians believe that prior of the eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil Adam and Eve were ignorant to evil. if it was stealing a cookie or not eating her vegetables she would still understand what it feels like to disobey. The question has been answered regarding how sin can exist in a world that was created perfectly good. was what opened their eyes to evil because disobeying God is evil. disobeying God. she would get the same experience regardless of what she did. and nor does the Bible have any direct answer to this question. But I feel that the tree itself did not give them the knowledge of evil. I personally believe that it was for the sake of love. Consider it like a child who has never disobeyed her parents and one day she decides to disobey them just to know what it feels like to disobey her parents. and as soon as they ate it “… their eyes were opened and they realized that they were both naked and they were ashamed. It doesn’t matter what her parents told her not to do. But the hardest question is why would God create any tree or commandment that would lead to death of man and allow evil into His perfect world? And for this question Augustine does not have an answer. Since man has free will he can choose to obey God or go against Him. I believe that the act of eating the fruit. Adam and Eve’s disobedience is what separates them from God. Love doesn’t mean as much to someone if the person giving it is forced to do so.

we are the ones that went against an omni benevolent God.” . We are the origins of evil. It is like if someone were to say that you can go anywhere in the world but you could not leave the room that you are currently in. It’s us. and we are the reason for evil and suffering in this world. What the problem of evil is is simply a “misuse of free will” (reason and religious belief pg 144) and “creation(s) rebel(ing) against God” (reason and religious belief pg 144). but He does make it clear in the book of Matthew 22:34-40.’” (Matthew 22:37-39 NIV). Like Rorsach said “It was not God who butchered the child. nor fate that fed her to the dogs. with all your sole. when the Pharisees asked him what the greatest commandment is. and with all your mind. 39 and the second is like it ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.Therefore there had to be a choice for man to make. Jesus replies “Love the Lord your God with all your heart. either to love God or not to. God does not require love to exist (He existed when there was only Him and nothingness). It is clear that the Bible wants us to love both God and everyone and that is why I believe that God created free will. God had to let his creation have the ability to leave the room that they were in. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. only us.

October 1998 Peterson. al.Works cited • • biblefacts. Reason and Religious Belief: an Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion. New York: Oxford University Press. USA: 1996 . 2003. New International Version.html. • The Holy Bible.org/lang/greek_sin. Martin et.

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