Analyse Hick’s Vale of Soul Making Theodicy. (30 Marks)

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Analyse Hick’s vale of soul making theodicy. (30 marks) John Hick’s vale of soul making theodicy is a modern form of the Irenaean theodicy. This theodicy argues that both natural and moral evil are important, so they have a good purpose and therefore an all loving God is justified in allowing evil. Hick claimed that God had made humans morally imperfect to help them complete the process of creation themselves. He argues that humans are made in the image of God with the potential to accomplish perfection in the future, and then humans will then grow to become the likeness of God. Hick accepted that if the likeness of God is to be accomplished through experiencing evil then God is partially responsible for evil. However, Hick argues that God is justified in allowing evil because we develop virtues as a result of overcoming life’s challenges. These virtues are “intrinsically more valuable than the virtues created within him ready made without effort on his own part”. Vardy’s example further supports this with the analogy of the king who falls in love with a peasant girl. Although the king could have forced the girl to marry him, he chose instead to win her round of her own accord since love cannot be created by compulsion. In the same way that God had to allow humans to choose to love and worship him of their own accord. Hick states that God chose to create humanity at a distance so they could have awareness of him but would not be directly in his presence. Hick argues that if God had created humanity in his presence then the gap between God and humanity would be so small that it would limit our freedom. Hick calls this knowledge gap between God and humanity ‘The Epistemic Distance’. Hick further explains that if we were created too close to God in terms of knowledge, we would be overwhelmed by him and would worship him for the wrong reasons. Humans are not born

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