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Unformatted text preview: Midterm exam
Thurs., Oct. 18 Right here in this room A fifty minute exam BRING EXAM BOOKLETS (available at the bookstore) John Hick (1922 ) Hick's objections to Augustine Scientific Psychological Moral The scientific objection.
Pain and death were in the world long before any humans existed. The psychological objection.
There was no plausible motive for Adam and Eve to rebel against God. The moral objection
Two principles of justice are violated: 1. It is unjust to punish one person for the crime of another. 2. It is unjust to punish a person for something he couldn't help doing. An everlasting Hell would be a pointless evil.
Precisely because it is everlasting, it can lead to no greater good.
"... misery which is eternal and therefore infinite would constitute the largest part of the problem of evil." On Adam and Eve Myth, not historical fact Immature creatures who need to live and make choices and eventually become what God wants them to be. Looking to the future for the explanation of evil . . .
Rather than looking into the past for someone to blame. The central question: What is God's purpose for human beings? And how is our world related to that purpose? God's true purpose
Safety and contentment. But rather
Moral and spiritual goodness. "Readymade goodness." Goodness achieved through a risky process of character building. Soul-making Relative to this purpose,
The world is not so bad! Imagine a world without suffering and without risk. How much "soulmaking" would there be in such a world? Some examples
Sympathy Courage Generosity Faith & trust Deep love Suffering Danger Scarcity A "cloudy state of things" Sharing of burdens Hick is not saying that it's always good for us to suffer. or that there is a a special "soulmaking" purpose for each instance of suffering . Hick is saying
that for soulmaking purposes the best overall policy is one that allows suffering. Is it worth it?
Yes. Readymade goodness is much less valuable than goodness achieved through free responses to challenges, difficulties, and suffering. How much soulmaking actually takes place?
How many people actually "graduate" from the soulmaking school? What about soulbreaking? Universal salvation
Soulmaking continues in the next life until everyone is brought into the Kingdom of God. Some objections and replies If it didn't work for most people in this life, why think it will work for them in the next? How is Hick's "universalism" compatible with free will? Why won't we need suffering in when God's Kingdom is fully established? Why so much suffering? What about seemingly pointless suffering? and the senseless and unfair distribution of suffering? A final objection
What about God's goodness? Why doesn't God need to struggle with adversity in order to become good? "Epistemic distance" and sin
Epistemic distance = ambiguity of the evidence. Sin = alienation from God and neighbor. The inevitability of selfcenteredness and sin. Why did God do it this way?
Hick claims that: God wants our freely given love, devotion, and obedience. If God revealed himself to us in a completely unambiguous way, we wouldn't be free in relation to God. ...
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- Fall '07