FINAL PHIL PAPER - Chelsea Thoms Philosophy 1000 Philosophy...

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Chelsea Thoms Philosophy 1000 Philosophy Paper: Topic #1 November 29, 2007 Philosophers such as Johnson and Camus, have different philosophical theories on the problem of evil than Hick. Hick says that there does not need to be a theory to explain every instance of evil in the world. However, critics such as Johnson and Camus disagree and think that there are particular instances of evil where no justification seems possible. For the most part, my view on the problem of evil resides with Hick. I believe not every instance of evil needs human justification because God allows evil in this world for a purpose beyond our own human understanding. However, before I explain why I argue this thesis, I want to begin by giving the debate of the problem of evil. Philosophers of the problem of evil debate the question of, “What evil acts need justification?” Some philosophers, such as Hick, argue there are instances of evil that do not need justification. On the contrary, other philosophers such as Johnson argue that every instance of evil must be justified to prove there is an all-good, all-knowing, all- powerful God. 1 John Hick’s solution to the problem of evil is the belief that an all-good, all-knowing, all-powerful God exists and allows evil in this world for two reasons: (1) evil is necessary for the achievement of a greater good and (2) freedom of will requires humans to have the choice of participating in evil. Hick’s first factor of the argument proclaims that God is all-knowing, all-good, and all-powerful, yet allows suffering and evil because pain and suffering ultimately provide for a greater good. This greater good defense assumes three positions: the first position of the argument claims that some evils are necessary to 1 Dr. Farnham, lecture 1
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achieving good, the second claims that the good achieved outweighs the evil, and finally, the third claims that the same or a greater number of good could not have been attained by any means that did not involve the presence of these evils. 2 I agree with greater good defense because moral goods such as courage, hope, forgiveness, etc, are essential to develop good character and these moral goods would not be possible to attain if there was not evil in our world. When we use these traits we make ourselves better people. I believe that suffering and struggles are necessary for moral development. Through suffering and struggles, people are forced to grow morally and
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