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Theodicy is the argument in theology that tries to support the justice and the goodness of God in the present face of evil. There have been some attempts brought forward to justify God’s ways of justice. Some of the theodicies are to prove the encounter of evils and how God doesn’t exist. In this essay, we shall be comparing and contrasting the theodicy of encountering evil through the experience of theodicy and the absence of theodicy.
Similarities of experience and absence theodicies
In the theodicy of encountering evil, it’s argued that if God has all the authority and possesses all good then he would have created a universe without evils and all sorts of sufferings (Livingston, 230). The fact that the evils and all sufferings are here on earth, it’s concluded that God does not exist. In the absence of theodicy, it’s argued that God created everything on two dimensions that is good and evils, hot and cold, ups and downs, mountains and valleys, etc. as well it’s concluded that all the evils are the things which happen when there is no Gods presence.
Because it’s God who created evils this absence theodicy gives a view that God does not exist or he is also an evil one just like in experience theodicy. God is said not to possess powers and he is not benevolent. For the existence of the evil to be justified people, therefore, are supposed to be experiencing suffering and pain (Livingston, 233). According to the experience of theodicy, it’s argued that we need to suffer to believe in the existence of evil. This is opposed by the fact that babies when they die at their tender age they go to heaven without any evil experience. It’s concluded that the act of experiencing evil is not part of God’s plan due to the small babies who go to heaven. On the other hand, evil is part of God as he is the one who created it.
In the absence of theodicy, it’s emphasized that for us to realize the existence of evil we must have foregone the right ways of God. In the experience theodicy, it’s argued that the experience of the evil and his deeds are a must on earth for everyone before one goes to heaven. This is opposed by the fact that God is capable of using his ways to reveal to us who the evil is and what he is like. God can give us an inborn knowledge of recognizing who the evil is and his ways without us necessarily having to suffer (Sutcliffe, 150). Human beings have a lot of emotional reactions which they show to their pains and sufferings which were never learned. This shows clear proof of validity for inborn understanding. In addition, it’s a sign that God can enrich us with as much inborn knowledge as possible to be aware of the ways of the evils and how to avoid them. Through acquiring this knowledge then it would not be necessary for us to experience the evils.
Differences in the experience and absence of theodicies
If it’s a must for everyone to go through suffering and pain on earth before going to heaven, then this would indicate that babies do not go to heaven. This is as a result that babies who die at their tender age do not experience evil on earth (Sutcliffe, 152). This confirms that there is no need for us to have that knowledge of the evil on earth so that we can end up in heaven for eternal life.
The existence of the angels in heaven is another argument. Angels and gods are in heaven enjoying eternal life and the fact is that they did not first go through the experience of suffering on earth. It’s also argued that if God is good enough he would have let all the people enjoy in heaven just like the angels without having to suffer on earth. Due to the continued suffering, the theodicy concludes that God is not good.
In conclusion, it’s not justifying to say that acquiring knowledge and encountering evil is a must for us to enter heaven (Sutcliffe, 158). As well that can not justify why the pains and the sufferings exist. As God is all-powerful and knowledgeable he is in a position to give us some inborn knowledge of evil rather than allowing us to face it in the real life. In the absence theodicy, the argument of the evil exist where there is no presence of God can not convince people enough that God exists, as he is the one who created evils.
Livingston, C.J. Anatomy of the Sacred: An Introduction to Religion. (6th ed). ISBN, 9780130289179. Prentice Hall, 2001.
Sutcliffe, S. Religion: Empirical Studies. ISBN, 9780754641582. Ashgate Publishers, 2004.