To What Extent Is Life After Death Essential for a Solution to the Problem of Evil?

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To what extent is life after death essential for a solution to the Problem of evil? Jesus tells the story of Lazarus and the Rich Man. The Rich Man ignores the suffering of Lazarus who begs at the gate of his house, when he dies the Rich man languishes in hell while Lazarus receive his reward in heaven. So, is the problem of innocent suffering solved by belief in life after death where the selfish will receive their just rewards? In this paper I will discuss the various different ideas that attempt to solve the problem of evil and whether they are successful. If this was a real essay I should state at this point which position I would take – however, I will let you do the conclusion. Different theodicy’s offer different solutions in defending claims that an all-loving and powerful God would not allow evil. Traditionally human freewill is held up as the cause of evil entering the world. Christians may turn to the account in Genesis that show how the ‘fall’ of Adam and Eve led to their expulsion from Eden – paradise was lost and sin had entered the world. Paul argues that because of this act of disobedience all are now sinful and need salvation. Augustine states that because all were ‘seminally present in Adam’ all are guilty and deserve punishment. Not only did this sin corrupt human nature but also the natural world. God had created humans perfect but now this perfection was spoiled. So, accordingly none are innocent and therefore all deserve punishment at death. However, because of the sacrifice of Jesus all can gain forgiveness and be saved. So hell is a just punishment since all are guilty because of Original Sin. Heaven is open to all who accept their guilt and ask forgiveness. Evil is a result of human freewill. God could stop evil, but not without compromising human freewill and because of his love He will do not do this. However, God’s
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