Examine and Show the Strengths of Two Solutions to the Problem of Suffering

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Examine and show the strengths of two solutions to the problem of suffering Evil and Suffering are in the world in two forms; Natural evil, which is the apparent malfunctioning of the natural world, such as disease and natural disasters and Moral evil, which is when humans commit acts of viciousness or injustice upon other humans or animals. The apologist Thomas Aquinas, as a ‘privation of goodness’, described suffering and John Hick described it as 'physical pain, mental suffering and moral wickedness.' St Augustine defined evil as 'that which we fear or the act of fearing itself. In this essay I will be looking at the different solutions to suffering, their strengths and commenting on the view that they are failures. Augustine provides one response to the problem of suffering which is known as the Augustine Theodicy. He suggests that suffering is a consequence of sin. That God, just as it says in Genesis with the Doctrine of original sin, created the world 'perfectly' and it was the presence of Adam and Eve that led to 'the fall' of humanity and the presence of suffering. Augustine believed that God is right not to intervene to put a stop to suffering. He firmly thought that God is a righteous one who at the end of time will deal with those who rejected him. Augustine`s argument that evil is a `deprivation of good` rather than a positive substance created by God has been supported by some modern thinkers. Brian Davies describes evil as `a gap between what there is and what there ought to be`. Augustine`s argument that evil has resulted from the abuse of human free will has also been supported by modern thinkers. It seems clear that humans choosing to act in the wrong ways cause much of the evil and suffering in the world. The biblical basis of Augustine`s theodicy would also be considered a strength by many - primarily fundamentalist / literalist –
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