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The meanings of Love
By Hearts and Minds Media / Open Faith Ministries
J Horsfield 2017
According to Merriam-Webster dictionaries definition of love 1. 1a (1) : strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties maternal love for a child (2) : attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers After all these years, they are still very much in love. (3) : affection based on admiration, benevolence, or common interests love for his old schoolmatesb : an assurance of affection give her my love 2. 2 : warm attachment, enthusiasm, or devotion love of the sea 3. 3a : the object of attachment, devotion, or admiration baseball was his first loveb (1) : a beloved person : darling —often used as a term of endearment (2) British —used as an informal term of address 4. 4a : unselfish loyal and benevolent (see benevolent 1a) concern for the good of another: such as (1) : the fatherly concern of God for humankind (2) : brotherly concern for othersb : a person's adoration of God 5. 5 : a god (such as Cupid or Eros) or personification of love 6. 6 : an amorous episode : love affair 7. 7 : the sexual embrace : copulation 8. 8 : a score of zero (as in tennis) 9. 9 capitalized, Christian Science : god
The Meanings of Love in the Bible Article by John Piper Founder & Teacher, desiringGod.org Love in the Bible, as in our everyday usage, can be directed from person to person or from a person to things. When directed toward things, love means enjoying or taking pleasure in those things. Love towards persons is more complex. As with things, loving persons may mean simply enjoying them and taking pleasure in their personalities, looks, achievements, etc. But there is another aspect of interpersonal love that is very important in the Bible. There is the aspect of love for persons who are not attractive or virtuous or productive. In this case, love is not a delight in what a person is, but a deeply felt commitment to helping him be what he ought to be. As we will see, the love for things and both dimensions of the love for persons are richly illustrated in the Bible. As we examine the Old Testament and the New Testament in turn, our focus will be on God’s love, then on man’s love for God, man’s love for man and man’s love for things.
Love in the Old Testament Jesus said that the greatest commandment in the Old Testament was, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind” (Matthew 22:36ff; Deuteronomy 6:5). The
second commandment was, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39; Leviticus 19:18). Then he said, “On these two commandments hang all the law and prophets” (Matthew 22:40). This must mean that if a person understood and obeyed these two commandments, he would understand and fulfill what the whole Old Testament was trying to teach. Everything in the Old Testament, when properly understood, aims basically to transform men and women into people who fervently love God and their neighbor.
God’s Love You can tell what a person loves by what he devotes himself to most passionately. What a person values most is reflected in his actions and motivations. It is plain in the Old Testament that God’s highest value, his greatest love, is his own name. From the beginning of Israel’s history to the end of the Old Testament era God was moved by this great love. He says through Isaiah that he created Israel “for his glory” (Isaiah 43:7): “You are my servant Israel in whom I will be glorified” (Isaiah 49:3). Thus when God delivered Israel from bondage in Egypt and preserved them in the wilderness it was because he was acting for his own name’s sake, “that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations” (Ezekiel 20:9, 14, 22; cf Exodus 14:4). And when God drove out the other nations from the Promised Land of Canaan, he was “making himself a name” (2 Samuel 7:23). Then finally at the end of the Old Testament era, after Israel had been taken into captivity in Babylon, God plans to have mercy and save his people. He says, “For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you…For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another” (Isaiah 48:9, 11 cf. Ezekiel 36:22, 23, 32). From these texts we can see how much God loves his own glory and how deeply committed he is to preserving the honor of his name. This is not evil of God. On the contrary, his very righteousness depends on his maintaining a full allegiance to the infinite value of his glory. This is seen in the parallel phrases of Psalm 143:11, “For thy name’s sake, O Lord, preserve my life! In thy righteousness, bring me out of trouble.” God would cease to be righteous if he ceased to love his own glory on which his people bank all their hope. Since God delights so fully in his glory—the beauty of his moral perfection—it is to be expected that he delights in the reflections of this glory in the world. He loves righteousness and justice (Psalm 11:7; 33:5; 37:28; 45:7; 99:4; Isaiah 61:8); he “delights in truth in the inward parts” (Psalm 51:6); he loves his sanctuary where he is worshipped (Malachi 2:11) and Zion, the “city of God” (Psalm 87:2, 3). But above all in the Old Testament, God’s love for his own glory involves him in an eternal commitment to the people of Israel. The reason this is so is that an essential aspect of God’s glory is his sovereign freedom in choosing to bless the undeserving. Having freely chosen to establish a covenant with Israel, God glorifies himself in maintaining a loving commitment to this people. The relationship between God’s love and his election of Israel is seen in the following texts. When Moses wanted to see God’s glory, God responded that he would proclaim his glorious name to him. An essential aspect of God’s name, his identity, was then given in the words “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and I will show mercy on whom I will show
mercy” (Exodus 33:18, 19). In other words, God’s sovereign freedom in dispensing mercy on whomever he pleases is integral to his very being as God. It is important to grasp this selfidentification because it is the basis of the covenant established with Israel on Mount Sinai. God’s love for Israel is not a dutiful divine response to a covenant; rather, the covenant is a free and sovereign expression of divine mercy or love. We read in Exodus 34:6-7 how God identified himself more fully before he reconfirms the covenant (Exodus 34:10): “The Lord … proclaimed, ‘The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin …’” Thus the Mosaic Covenant, as with God’s oath to the patriarchs earlier (Deuteronomy 4:37; 10:15), was rooted in God’s free and gracious love. It is wrong, therefore, to say that the Mosaic Law is any more contrary to grace and faith than are the commands of the New Testament. The Mosaic Covenant demanded a lifestyle consistent with the merciful covenant God had established, but it also provided forgiveness for sins and thus did not put a man under a curse for a single failure. The relationship which God established with Israel and the love he had for her was likened to that between a husband and a wife: “When I passed by you again and looked upon you, behold, you were at the age for love; and I spread my skirt over you, and covered your nakedness: yea, I plighted my troth to you and entered into a covenant with you,” says the Lord God, “and you became mine.” This is why Israel’s later idolatry is sometimes called adultery, because she goes after other gods (Ezekiel 23; 16:15; Hosea 3:1). But in spite of Israel’s repeated unfaithfulness to God, he declares, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you” (Jeremiah 31:3; cf. Hosea 2:16-20; Isaiah 54:8). At other times, God’s love to his people is likened to a father for a son or a mother to her child: “I will make them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first-born” (Jeremiah 31:9, 20). “Can a woman forget her suckling child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, yet I will not forget you” (Isaiah 49:15; 66:13). However, the love of God for Israel did not exclude severe judgment upon Israel when it lapsed into unbelief. The destruction of the Northern Kingdom by Assyria in 722 B.C. (2 Kings 18:9, 10) and the captivity of the Southern Kingdom in Babylon in the years following 586 B.C. (2 Kings 25:8-11) show that God would not tolerate the unfaithfulness of his people. “The Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights” (Proverbs 3:12). In fact, the Old Testament closes with many of God’s promises unfulfilled. The question of how God’s undying love for Israel will express itself in the future is picked up in the New Testament by Paul. See especially Romans 11. God’s relationship to Israel as a nation did not mean that he had no dealings with individuals, nor did his treatment of the nation as a whole prevent him from making distinctions among individuals. Paul taught in Romans 9:6-13 and 11:2-10 that already in the Old Testament “not all Israel was Israel.” In other words, the promises of God’s love to Israel did not apply without distinction to all individual Israelites. This will help us understand such texts as the following: “The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but he loves him who pursues righteousness” (Proverbs 15:9). “The Lord loves those who hate evil” (Psalm 97:10). “The Lord loves the righteous” (Psalm 146:8). “His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man; but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love” (Psalm 147:10, 11; 103:13).
In these texts, God’s love is not directed equally toward all. In its full saving effect, the love of God is enjoyed only by “those who hope in his steadfast love.” This does not mean that God’s love is no longer free and unmerited. For on the one hand, the very disposition to fear God and obediently hope in him is a gift of God (Deuteronomy 29:4; Psalm 119:36) and on the other hand, the appeal of the saint who hopes in God is not to his own merit, but to God’s faithfulness to the lowly who have no strength and can only trust in mercy (Psalm 143:2, 8, 11). Therefore, as in the New Testament (John 14:21, 23; 16:27), the full enjoyment of God’s love is conditional upon an attitude appropriate for receiving it, namely, a humble reliance upon God’s mercy: “Trust in the Lord and he will act” (Psalm 37:5).
Man’s Love for God Another way to describe the stance which a person must assume in order to receive the fullness of God’s loving help is that the person must love God. “The Lord preserves all who love him; but all the wicked he will destroy” (Psalm 145:20). “Let all who take refuge in thee rejoice, let them ever sing for joy; and do thou defend them, that those who love thy name may exult in thee” (Psalm 5:11; cf. Isaiah 56:6, 7; Psalm 69:36). “Turn to me and be gracious to me as is your way with those who love you” (Psalm 119:132). These texts are simply an outworking in the life of the stipulations laid down in the Mosaic Covenant (the Abrahamic covenant had its conditions too, though love is not mentioned explicitly: Genesis 18:19; 22:16-18; 26:5). God said to Moses, “I am a jealous God, showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:6; Deuteronomy 5:10; Nehemiah 1:5; Daniel 9:4). Since loving God was the first and allembracing condition of the covenant promise, it became the first and great commandment in the law: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5). This love is not a service done for God to earn his benefits. That is unthinkable: “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty and terrible God who is not partial and takes no bribe” (Deuteronomy 10:17). It is not a work done for God, but rather a happy and admiring acceptance of His commitment to work for those who trust him (Psalm 37:5; Isaiah 64:4). Thus the Mosaic Covenant begins with a declaration which holds great promise for Israel: “I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt” (Exodus 20:2). The command to love God is a command to delight in him and to admire him above all else and to be content with his commitment to work mightily for his people. Thus, unlike God’s love for Israel, Israel’s love for God was a response to what he had done and would do on her behalf (cf. Deuteronomy 10:20-11:1). The response character of man’s love for God is seen as well in Joshua 23:11 and Psalm 116:1. In its finest expressions, it became the all-consuming passion of life (Psalm 73:21-26).
Man’s Love for Man If a person admires and worships God and finds fulfillment by taking refuge in his merciful care, then his behavior toward his fellow man will reflect the love of God. The second great commandment of the Old Testament, as Jesus called it (Matthew 22:39), comes from Leviticus 19:18, “You shall not take vengeance or bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.” The term “neighbor”
here probably means fellow-Israelite. But in Leviticus 19:34 God says, “The stranger who sojourns with you shall be to you as a native among you and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” We can understand the motivation of love here if we cite a close parallel in Deuteronomy 10:18, 19, “God executes justice for the fatherless and the widow and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt.” This is a close parallel to Leviticus 19:34, because both refer to Israel’s sojourn in Egypt and both command love for the sojourner. But most important, the words “I am the Lord your God” in Leviticus 19:34 are replaced in Deuteronomy 10:12-22 with a description of God’s love, justice and mighty deeds for Israel. The Israelites are to show the same love to the sojourners as God has shown them. Similarly, Leviticus 19 begins with the command, “You shall be holy for I, the Lord your God, am holy.” Then the phrase, “I am the Lord,” is repeated fifteen times in chapter 19 after the individual commands. So the intention of the chapter is to give specific instances of how to be holy as God is holy. Seen in the wider context of Deuteronomy 10:12-22, this means that a person’s love for his fellow man should spring from God’s love and thus reflect his character. We should notice that the love commanded here relates to both outward deeds and inward attitudes. “You shall not hate your brother in your heart” (Leviticus 19:17). “You shall not take vengeance (deed) or bear any grudge (attitude)” (Leviticus 19:18). And to love your neighbor as yourself does not mean to have a positive self-image or high self-esteem. It means using the same zeal, ingenuity and perseverance to pursue your neighbor’s happiness as you do your own. For other texts on self-love see Proverbs 19:8; 1 Samuel 18:1, 20:17. If love among men is to reflect God’s love, it will have to include the love of enemies, at least to some degree. For God’s love to Israel was free, unmerited and slow to anger, forgiving many sins that created enmity between him and his people (Exodus 34:6, 7). And his mercy extended beyond the bounds of Israel (Genesis 12:2, 3; 18:18; Jonah 4:2). Therefore, we find instructions to love the enemy. “If you meet your enemy’s ox or ass going astray, you shall bring it back to him. If you see the ass of one who hates you lying under its burden, you shall not leave him with it, you shall help him lift it up” (Exodus 23:4, 5). “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls” (Proverbs 24:17). “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat” (Proverbs 25:21). See also Proverbs 24:29; 1 Kings 3:10; Job 31:29, 30; 2 Kings 6:21-23. But this enemy-love must be qualified in two ways: First, in the Old Testament, God’s way of working in the world had a political dimension which it does not have today. His people were a distinct ethnic and political group and God was their law-giver, their king and their warrior in a very direct way. Thus, for example, when God decided to punish the Canaanites for their idolatry he used his people to drive them out (Deuteronomy 20:18). This act by Israel cannot be called love for their enemies (cf. Deuteronomy 7:1, 2; 25:17-19; Exodus 34:12). We should probably think of such events as special instances in redemptive history in which God uses his people to execute his vengeance (Deuteronomy 32:35; Joshua 23:10) on a wicked nation. Such instances should not be used today to justify personal vindictiveness or holy wars, since God’s purposes in the world today are not accomplished through an ethnic political group on par with Israel in the Old Testament. The second qualification of the enemy-love is required by the psalms in which the psalmist declares his hate for men who defy God, “who lift themselves up against thee for evil! Do I not loathe them that rise up against thee? I hate them with perfect hatred; I count them my
enemies.” (Psalm 139:19-22). The psalmist’s hate is based on their defiance against God and is conceived as virtuous alignment with God’s own hate of evildoers (Psalm 5:4-6; 11:5; 31:6; Proverbs 3:32; 6:16; Hosea 9:15). But as strange as it may seem, this hate does not necessarily result in vengeance. The psalmist leaves that in God’s hands and even treats these hated ones kindly. This is seen in Psalm 109:4, 5 and 35:1, 12-14. There may be two ways to justify this hate. On the one hand, it could sometimes represent a strong aversion toward the ill will that seeks the destruction of person. On the other hand, where there is a will for destruction expressed, it may represent the God-given certainty that the evil person is beyond repentance with no hope of salvation and therefore under the just sentence of God expressed by the psalmist (compare 1 John 5:16). Besides these more religious dimensions of love, the Old Testament is rich with illustrations and instructions for love between father and son (Genesis 22:2; 37:3; Proverbs 13:24), mother and son (Genesis 25:28), wife and husband (Judges 14:16; Ecclesiastes 9:9; Genesis 24:67; 29:18, 30, 32; Proverbs 5:19), lovers (1 Samuel 18:20; 2 Samuel 13:1), slaves and masters (Exodus 21:5; Deuteronomy 15:16), the king and his subjects (1 Samuel 18:22), a people and their hero (1 Samuel 18:28), friends (1 Samuel 18:1; 20:17; Proverbs 17:17; 27:6), daughterin-law and mother-in-law (Ruth 4:15). Especially worthy of note is the Song of Solomon, which expresses the wholesome delight in the sexual fulfillment of love between a man and a woman.
Man’s Love for Things There are a few instances in the Old Testament of simple, everyday love of things: Isaac loved a certain meat (Genesis 27:4); Uzziah loved the soil (2 Chronicles 26:10); many love life (Psalm 34:12). But usually when love is not directed toward persons it is directed to virtues or vices. For the most part, this sort of love is simply an inevitable fruit of one’s love for God or rebellion against God. On the positive side, there is love for God’s commandments (Psalm 112:1; 119:35, 47), his law (Psalm 119:97), his will (Psalm 40:8), his promise (Psalm 119:140) and his salvation (Psalm 40:16). Men are to love the good and hate evil (Amos 5:15), love truth and peace (Zechariah 8:19) and love mercy (Micah 6:8) and wisdom (Proverbs 4:6). On the negative side, we find people loving evil (Micah 3:2), lying and false prophecy (Psalm 4:2; 52:3, 4; Zechariah. 8:17; Jeremiah 5:31; 14:10), idols (Hosea 9:1, 10; Jeremiah 2:25), oppression (Hosea 12:7), cursing (Psalm 109:17), laziness (Proverbs 20:13), foolishness (Proverbs 1:22), violence (Psalm 11:5) and bribery (Isaiah 1:23). In short, many people “love their shame more than their glory” (Hosea 4:17), which is the same as loving death (Proverbs 8:36). The sum of the matter is that satisfaction is not to be had in setting one’s affections on anything but God (cf. Ecclesiastes 5:10; 12:13).
Love in the New Testament What makes the New Testament new is the appearance of the Son of God on the scene of human history. In Jesus Christ we see as never before a revelation of God. As he said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father” (John 14:9; cf. Colossians 2:9; Hebrews 1:3). For in a real sense, Jesus was God. (John 1:1; 20:28).
But the coming of Christ not only brings about the revelation of God. By his death and resurrection Christ also brings about the salvation of men (Romans 5:6-11). This salvation includes forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7), access to God (Ephesians 2:18), the hope of eternal life (John 3:16), and a new heart which is inclined to do good deeds (Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:14). Therefore, when dealing with love, we must try to relate everything to Jesus Christ and his life, death and resurrection. In the life and death of Christ we see in a new way what God’s love is and what man’s love for God and for others should be. And through faith, the Spirit of Christ, living in us enables us to follow his example.
God’s Love for His Son In the Old Testament we saw that God loves his own glory and delights to display it in creation and redemption. A deeper dimension of this self-love becomes clear in the New Testament. It is still true that God aims in all his works to display his glory for men to enjoy and praise (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14; John 17:4). But what we learn now is that Christ “reflects the very glory of God and bears the stamp of his nature” (Hebrews 1:3). “In him dwells all the fullness of deity” (Colossians 2:9). In short, Christ is God and has eternally existed in a mysterious union with his Father (John 1:1). Therefore, God’s self-love, or his love for his own glory, can now be seen as a love for “the glory of Christ who is the likeness of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4; cf. Philippians 2:6). The love that God the Father has for the Son is expressed often in the Gospel of John (3:35; 5:20; 10:17; 15:9, 10; 17:23-26) and occasionally elsewhere (Matthew 3:17; 12:18; 17:5; Ephesians 1:6; Colossians 1:13). This love within the Trinity itself is important for Christians for two reasons: First, the costly beauty of the incarnation and death of Christ cannot be understood without it. Second, it is the very love of the Father for the Son which the Father pours into the hearts of believers (John 17:26). The ultimate hope of the Christian is to see the glory of God in Christ (John 17:5), to be with him (John 14:24) and to delight in him as much as his Father does (John 17:26).
God’s Love for Men In Romans 8:35 Paul said, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” In verse 39 he says, “Nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” This change from “Christ” to “God in Christ” shows that under the heading “God’s love for men” we must include Christ’s love for men, since his love is an extension of God’s. The most basic thing that can be said about love in relation to God is that “God is love” (1 John 4:8, 16; cf. 2 Corinthians 13:11). This does not mean that God is an old-fashioned name for the ideal of love. It suggests, rather, that one of the best words to describe God’s character is love. God’s nature is such that in his fullness he needs nothing (Acts 17:25) but rather overflows in goodness. It is his nature to love. Because of this divine love, God sent his only Son into the world so that by Christ’s death for sin (1 Corinthians 15:3; 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18) all those who believe might have eternal life (John 3:16; 2 Thessalonians 2:16; 1 John 3:1; Titus 3:4). “In this act we see what real love is: it is not our love for God, but his love for us, when he sent his Son to satisfy God’s anger
against our sin” (1 John 4:10). Indeed, it is precisely God’s wrath from which believers are saved by faith in the death and resurrection of Christ (Romans 5:9). But we must not imagine that Christ is loving while God is angry. “God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). It is God’s own love which finds a way to save us from his own wrath (Ephesians 2:3-5). Nor should we think of the Father forcing the Son to die for man. The repeated message of the New Testament is that “Christ loved us and gave himself for us” (Galatians 2:2; Ephesians 5:2; 1 John 3:16). “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (John 13:1; 15:9, 12, 13). And the love of the risen Christ guides (2 Corinthians 5:14), sustains (Romans 8:35) and reproves (Revelations 3:19) his people still. Another misconception that must be avoided is that the love of God and Christ can be merited or earned by anyone. Jesus was accused of being a friend of tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 11:9; Luke 7:34). The answer he gave was, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick” (Mark 2:17). At another time when Jesus was accused of eating with tax collectors and sinners (Luke 15:1, 2) he told three parables of how it gladdens the heart of God when one sinner repents (Luke 5:3-32). In this way, Jesus showed that his saving love aimed to embrace not those who thought they were righteous (Luke 18:9) but rather the poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3) like the tax collector who said, “God be merciful to me a sinner” (Luke 18:13). The love of Jesus could not be earned; it could only be freely accepted and enjoyed. Unlike the legalism of the Pharisees, it was a “light burden” and an “easy yoke” (Matthew 11:30). The reason Jesus demonstrated a love for those who could not merit his favor is that he was like his Father. He taught that God “makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45), “he is kind to the grateful and to the selfish” (Luke 6:35). Paul too stresses that the unique thing about divine love is that it seeks to save even enemies. He describes it like this: “While we were yet helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man—though perhaps for a good man one will dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:6-8). While it is true that God in one sense loves the whole world in that he sustains the world (Acts 14:17; 17:25; Matthew 5:45) and has made a way of salvation for any who will believe, nevertheless, he does not love all men in the same way. He has chosen some before the foundation of the world to be his sons (Ephesians 1:5) and predestined them for glory (Romans 8:29-30; 9:11, 23; 11:7, 28; 1 Peter 1:2). God has set his love on these chosen ones in a unique way (Colossians 3:12; Romans 11:28; 1:7; 1 Thessalonians 1:4; Jude 1) so that their salvation is sure. These he draws to Christ (John 6:44, 65) and makes alive (Ephesians 2:4, 5); others he leaves in the hardness of their sinful heart (Romans 11:7; Matthew 11:25, 26; Mark 4:11, 12). There is a mystery in God’s electing love. Why he chooses one and not another is not revealed. We are only told that it is not due to any merit or human distinctive (Rom 9:10-13). Therefore, all boasting is excluded (Romans 3:27; 11:18, 20, 25; Ephesians 2:8; Philippians 2:12, 13), it is a gift of God from start to finish (John 6:65). We deserved nothing since we were all sinners, and everything we have is due to God who has mercy (Romans 9:16). The way one finds oneself within this saving love of God is by faith in the promise that
“whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 10:13). Then Jude 21 says, “Keep yourself in the love of God” and Romans 11:22 says, “Continue in God’s kindness.” It is clear from Romans 11:20-22 that this means keep on trusting God: “You stand fast only through faith.” So one never earns God’s saving love; one remains within it only by trusting in the loving promises of God. This is true even when Jesus says that the reason God loves his disciples is because they keep his word (John 14:23), for the essence of Jesus’ word is a call to live by faith (John 16:27; 20:31).
Man’s Love for God and Christ Jesus sums up the whole Old Testament in the commandments to love God with all your heart and soul and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40). The failure to love God like this characterized many of the religious leaders of Jesus’ day (Luke 11:42). Jesus said this was the reason they did not love and accept him (John 5:42; 8:42). He and the Father are one (John 10:30), so that loving one with all the heart involves loving the other, too. Since the “greatest commandment” is to love God, it is not surprising that very great benefits are promised to those who do. “All things work together for good for those who love God” (Romans 8:28). “No eye has seen nor ear heard … what God has prepared for those who love him” (1 Corinthians 2:9; cf. Ephesians 6:24). “If one loves God, he is known by God” (1 Corinthians 8:3). “God has promised a crown of life to those who love him” (James 1:12; 3:5; cf. 2 Timothy 4:8). But on the other side there are grave warnings to those who do not love God (2 Timothy 2:14; 1 John 2:15-17) and Christ (1 Corinthians 16:22; Matthew 10:37-39). Now the question arises: If the same benefits depend on loving God and Christ which at the same time depend on faith, what is the relationship between loving God and trusting him? We need to recall that love for God, unlike love for a needy neighbor, is not a longing to supply some lack on his part by our service (Acts 17:5). Rather, love for God is a deep adoration for his moral beauty and his complete fullness and sufficiency. It is delighting in him and a desire to know him and be with him. But in order to delight in God, one must have some conviction that he is good, and some assurance that our future with him will be a happy one. That is, one must have the kind of faith described in Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the conviction of things not seen.” Therefore, faith precedes and enables our love for God. Confidence in God’s promise grounds our delight in his goodness. There is another way to conceive of loving God: not just delighting in who he is and what he promises, but wanting to please him. Is there a place for this love in the life of the believer? Indeed, there is (John 8:29; Romans 8:8; 1 Corinthians 7:32; 2 Corinthians 5:9; Galatians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:1); however, we must guard very closely here against dishonoring God by presuming to become his benefactors. Hebrews 11:6 shows us the way: “Without faith it is impossible to please God. For whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he becomes the rewarder of those who seek him.” Here the faith which pleases God has two convictions: that God exists and that to find him is to be greatly rewarded. Therefore, in order to love God in the sense of pleasing him, we must never approach him because we want to reward him, but only because he rewards us. In short, we become the source of God’s pleasure to the extent that he is the source of ours. We can do him a favor
only by happily accepting all his favors. We best express our love for him when we live not presumptuously, as God’s benefactors, but humbly and happily as the beneficiaries of his mercy. The person who lives this way will inevitably keep the commandments of Jesus (John 14:15) and of God (1 John 5:3).
Man’s Love for Man Jesus’ second commandment was, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31, 33; Luke 10:27). We already discussed what this meant in Leviticus 19:18. The best interpretations of it in Jesus’ own words are the Golden Rule (“As you wish that men would do to you, do so to them,” Luke 6:31) and the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:29-37). It means that we should seek the good of others as earnestly as we desire good to come our way. This is the most frequently cited Old Testament commandment in the New Testament (Matthew 19:19; Romans 13:9; Galatians 5:28; James 2;8). After this commandment, probably the most famous passage on love in the New Testament is 1 Corinthians 13. Here Paul shows that there can be religiosity and humanitarianism without love. “If I give away all that I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). This raises the question of what this love is if one could sacrifice his life and still not have it. The New Testament answer is that the kind of love Paul is talking about must spring from a motivation which takes into account the love of God in Christ. Genuine love is born of faith in the loving promises of God. Paul says that “whatever is not from faith is sin” (Romans 14:23). More positively he says, “Faith works through love” (Galatians 5:6). Or as John puts it, “We know and believe the love God has for us …. We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:16, 19). Therefore, Christian love exists only where the love of God in Christ is known and trusted. This profound link between faith and love probably accounts for why Paul mentions the two together so often (Ephesians 1:15; 6:23; Colossians 1:4; 1 Thessalonians 3:6; 5:8; 2 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 1:3; 2:2; Titus 2:2; 3:15; cf. Revelations 2:19). But why is it that faith always “works through love”? One of the hallmarks of love is that it “seeks not its own” (1 Corinthians 13:5). It does not manipulate others in order to win their approval or gain some material reward. Rather, it seeks to reward others and build them up (1 Corinthians 8:1; Romans 14:15; Ephesians 4:16; Romans 13:10). Love does not use others for its own ends; it delights to be a means to their welfare. If this is the hallmark of love, how can sinful men, who by nature are selfish (Ephesians 2:3), ever love each other? The answer of the New Testament is that we must be born again: “the one who loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7). To be born of God means to become his child with his character and to be transferred from death to life: “We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brethren” (1 John 3:14). God himself abides in his children by his Spirit (1 John 3:9; 4:12, 13) so that when they love it is because his love is being perfected in them (1 John 3:7, 12, 16). Paul teaches the same thing when he says love is a “fruit of the Spirit” (Galatians 5:22; Colossians 1:8; 2 Timothy 1:7), that it is “from God” (Ephesians 6:23) and is “taught by God,” not men (1 Thessalonians 4:9). The fact that love is enabled only by God is seen in Paul’s prayers also: “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and
to all men” (1 Thessalonians 3:12; Philippians 1:9). Now we are in a position to answer our earlier question: Why does faith always work through love? Faith is the way we receive the Holy Spirit, whose fruit is love. Paul asks, “Did you receive the Spirit by works of law or by hearing with faith” (Galatians 5:2)? The answer is clearly faith. This means that the essential characteristic of the person who has been born again and is being led by the Spirit of God is faith (John 1:12, 13). Therefore, while love is a fruit of the Spirit, it is also a fruit of faith, since it is by faith that the Spirit works (Galatians 3:5). To understand fully the dynamics of this process, another factor must be brought in: the factor of hope. Faith and hope cannot be separated. Genuine faith in Christ implies a firm confidence that our future is secure (Heb. 11:1, Romans 15:13). This essential oneness of faith and hope helps us grasp why faith always “works through love.” The person who has confidence that God is working all things together for his good (Romans 8:28) can relax and entrust his life to a faithful Creator (1 Peter 4:19). He is free from anxiety and fear (1 Peter 5:7; Philippians 4:6). So he is not easily irritated (1 Corinthians 13:5). Rather, he is freed from self-justifying, self-protecting concerns and becomes a person who “looks to the interest of others” (Philippians 2:4). Being satisfied in God’s presence and promise, he is not bent on selfishly seeking his own pleasure, but rather delights “to please his neighbor for his good to edify him” (Romans 15:1, 2). In other words, having our hope pinned on the promises of God frees us from the attitudes that hinder self-giving love. Therefore, Paul said that if there were no Resurrection hope, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die” (1 Corinthians 15:32). If God has not satisfied our deep longing for life, then we may as well try to get as much earthly pleasure as possible, whether it is loving to others or not. But God has in fact given us a satisfying and confident hope as a basis for a life of love. Therefore in Colossians 1:4, 5, hope is the ground of love: “We always thank God … because we have heard of … the love which you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in Heaven.” Thus, we conclude that faith, when understood as a deep contentment in the promises of God, always works through love. Therefore, the way to become a loving person is to set our hope more fully on God and delight more fully n the confidence that whatever is encountered on the path of obedience is for our good. The love that is born of faith and the Spirit is especially manifest in the Christian home and in the community of believers. It transforms husband-wife relationships on the pattern of Christ’s love (Ephesians 5:25, 28, 33; Colossians 3:19; Titus 2:4). It is the fiber in the Christian community that “knits everything together in perfect harmony” (Colossians 3:14; 2:2; Philippians 2:2; 1 Peter 3:8). It enables the members to “endure one another” in meekness and lowliness when wronged (Ephesians 4:2; 1 Corinthians 13:7). But more importantly it is the force behind positive deeds of spiritual edification (Romans 14:15; 1 Corinthians 8:1; Ephesians 4:16) and the meeting of material needs (Luke 10:27-37; Romans 12:13; Galatians 5:13; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8; Hebrews 13:1-3; James 1:27; 2:16; 1 Peter 4:9; 1 John 3:17, 18). Love is not to be—cannot be—restricted to friends. Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43-44; Luke 6:27). This same
concern was carried into the early church in verses like Romans 12:14, 19-21; 1 Corinthians 4:12; Galatians 6:10; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; 5:15; 1 Peter 3:9. The great desire of the Christian in doing good to his enemy and praying for him is that the enemy might cease to be an enemy and come to glorify God (1 Peter 2:12; 3:14-16; Titus 2:8, 10). Toward friend and foe, love is the attitude that governs the Christian in “all things” (1 Corinthians 16:14). It is the “most excellent way” of life (1 Corinthians 12:31). And since it does not wrong anyone, but seeks the good of all, it fulfills the whole law of God (Romans 13:19; Matthew 7:12, 22:40; Galatians 5:14; James 2:8; compare Romans 8:4 and Galatians 5:22). But it is not automatic; it can cool away (Matthew 22:12; Revelation 2:4). Therefore, Christians must make it their aim (1 Timothy 1:15) to “stir one another up to love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24). We must pray for God to cause our love to abound more and more (Philippians 1:9; 1 Thessalonians 3:12, 13). We must concentrate on the examples of love in Christ (John 13:34; 15:12, 17; Ephesians 5:2; 1 John 3:23; 2 John 5) and in his saints (1 Corinthians 4:12, 15-17; 1 Timothy 4:12; 2 Timothy 1:13; 3:10). In this way, we will make our call and election sure (2 Peter 1:7, 10) and bear a compelling witness in the world to the truth of the Christian faith (John 13:34, 35; 1 Peter 2:12).
Man’s Love for Things On the one hand, the New Testament teaches that the things God has created are good and should be enjoyed with thanksgiving (1 Timothy 4:3; 6:17). But on the other hand, it warns against loving them in such a way that our affections are drawn away from God. The great danger is that the love of money (Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:14; 1 Timothy 6:10; 2 Timothy 3:2; 2 Peter 2:15) and earthly pleasures (2 Timothy 3:4) and human acclaim (Matthew 6:5; 23:6; Luke 11:43; 3 John 9) will steal our hearts from God and make us insensitive to his higher purposes for us. John says, “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15-17). And James echoes this: “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity toward God” (James 4:4; cf. 2 Timothy 4:10)? The “world” is not any particular class of objects or people. It is anything which lays a claim on our affections to be loved other than for Jesus’ sake. Saint Augustine offered a prayer that catches the New Testament spirit on this issue: “He loves thee too little who loves anything together with thee which he loves not for thy sake.” John Piper (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of desiringGod.org and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books, including Reading the Bible Supernaturally.
Jack Zavada Updated March 31, 2017
Definition of Agape Love
Agape is selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love, the highest of the four types of love in the Bible. This Greek word, agápē, and variations of it are frequently found throughout the New Testament. Agape perfectly describes the kind of love Jesus Christ has for his Father and for his followers. Agape is the term that defines God's immeasurable, incomparable love for humankind. It is his ongoing, outgoing, self-sacrificing concern for lost and fallen people. God gives this love without condition, unreservedly to those who are undeserving and inferior to himself. "Agape love, says Anders Nygren, is unmotivated in the sense that it is not contingent on any value or worth in the object of love. It is spontaneous and heedless, for it does not determine beforehand whether love will be effective or appropriate in any particular case." 1 A simple way to summarize agape is God's divine love. Another meaning of agape in the Bible was "love feast," a common meal in the early church expressing Christian brotherhood and fellowship: These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted; (Jude 12, ESV)
Agape Love in the Bible For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16, ESV) By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:35, ESV) Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them. (John 14:21, NIV) I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me. (John 17:23, ESV) Let all that you do be done in love. (1 Corinthians 16:14, ESV) By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. (1 John 3:16, ESV) Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8, ESV) Pronunciation
Example Jesus lived out agape by sacrificing himself for the sins of the world. Eros, pronounced AIR-ose, love is the physical, sensual intimacy between a husband and wife. It expresses sexual, romantic attraction. Eros is also the name of the mythological Greek god of love, sexual desire, physical attraction, and physical love. Love has many meanings in English, but the ancient Greeks had four words to describe different forms of love precisely. Although eros does not appear in the New Testament, this Greek term for erotic love is portrayed in the Old Testament book, The Song of Solomon.
Eros Love in Marriage God is very clear in his Word that eros love is reserved for marriage. Sex outside of marriage is forbidden. God created humans male and female and instituted marriage in the Garden of Eden. Within marriage, sex is used for emotional and spiritual bonding and reproduction. The Apostle Paul noted that it is wise for people to marry to fulfill their godly desire for this type of love: Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. (1 Corinthians 7:8-9, NIV) Within the boundary of marriage, eros love is to be celebrated: Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous. (Hebrews 13:4, ESV) Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (1 Corinthians 7:5, ESV) Eros love is part of God's design, a gift of his goodness for procreation and enjoyment. Sex as God intended it is a source of delight and a beautiful blessing to be shared between married couples: Let your fountain be blessed, and rejoice in the wife of your youth, a lovely deer, a graceful doe. Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight; be intoxicated always in her love. (Proverbs 5:18–19, ESV) Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 9:9, ESV)
Eros love in the Bible affirms sexuality as a part of the human existence. We are sexual beings, called to honor God with our bodies: Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a prostitute? Never! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For, as it is written, “The two will become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:15–20, ESV)
Definition of Philia Philia means close friendship or brotherly love in Greek. It is one of the four types of love in the Bible. Philia conveys a strong feeling of attraction, with its antonym or opposite being phobia. It is the most general form of love in the Bible, encompassing love for fellow humans, care, respect, and compassion for people in need. The most common form of philia is friendship. Philia and other forms of this Greek noun are found throughout the New Testament. Christians are frequently exhorted to love their fellow Christians. Philadelphia (brotherly love) appears a handful of times, and philia (friendship) appears once in James:
Philia in the Bible Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. (Romans 12:10 ESV) Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another... (1 Thessalonians 4:9, ESV) Let brotherly love continue. (Hebrews 13:1, ESV) And godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. (2 Peter 1:7, ESV) Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart ... (1 Peter 1:22, ESV) Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind. (1 Peter 3:8, ESV) You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. (James 4:4, ESV)
According to Strong's Concordance, the Greek verb philéō is closely related to the noun philia. It means "to show warm affection in intimate friendship." It is characterized by tender, heartfelt consideration and kinship. Both philia and phileo originate from the Greek term phílos, a noun meaning "beloved, dear ... a friend; someone dearly loved (prized) in a personal, intimate way; a trusted confidant, held dear in a close bond of personal affection." Philos expresses experience-based love.
Related Words: Phileo; Philos
Example: Philia describes the benevolent, kindly love practiced by early Quakers. Storge is family love, the bond among mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, and brothers. The Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon defines storge as "cherishing one's kindred, especially parents or children; the mutual love of parents and children and wives and husbands; loving affection; prone to love; loving tenderly; chiefly of the reciprocal tenderness of parents and children."
Storge Love in the Bible In English, the word love has many meanings, but the ancient Greeks had four words to describe different forms of love precisely. As with eros, the exact Greek term storge does not appear in the Bible. However, the opposite form is used twice in the New Testament. Astorgos means "without love, devoid of affection, without affection to kindred, hard-hearted, unfeeling," and is found in the book of Romans and 2 Timothy. In Romans 1:31, unrighteous people are described as "foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless" (ESV). The Greek word translated "heartless" is astorgos. And in 2 Timothy 3:3, the disobedient generation living in the last days is marked as "heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good" (ESV). Again, "heartless" is translated astorgos. So, a lack of storge, the natural love among family members, is a sign of end times. A compound form of storge is found in Romans 12:10: "Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor." (ESV) In this verse, the Greek word translated "love" is philostorgos, putting together philos and storge.
It means "loving dearly, being devoted, being very affectionate, loving in a way characteristic of the relationship between husband and wife, mother and child, father and son, etc." Many examples of family love are found in Scripture, such as the love and mutual protection among Noah and his wife, their sons and daughters-in-law in Genesis; the love of Jacob for his sons; and the strong love the sisters Martha and Mary in the gospels had for their brother Lazarus. The family was a vital part of ancient Jewish culture. In the Ten Commandments, God charges his people to: Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12, NIV) When we become followers of Jesus Christ, we enter into the family of God. Our lives are bound together by something stronger than physical ties—the bonds of the Spirit. We are related by something more powerful than human blood—the blood of Jesus Christ. God calls his family to love one another with the deep affection of storge love.
Example Storge is the natural love and affection of a parent for their child.
The problem of good and evil
By Hearts and Minds Media 2017
J Horsfield 2017
the state or quality of being good; specif.,
kindness; generosity; benevolence
Goodness In man is not a mere passive quality, but the deliberate preference of right to wrong, the firm and persistent resistance of all moral evil, and the choosing and following of all moral good. Goodness is virtue and holiness in action. It results in a life characterized by deeds motivated by righteousness and a desire to be a blessing. It's a moral characteristic of a Spirit-filled person. The Greek word translated “goodness,” agathosune, is defined as "uprightness of heart and life." Agathosune is goodness for the benefit of others, not goodness simply for the sake of being virtuous.
Someone with agathosune will selflessly act on behalf of others. Confronting someone about a sin demonstrates goodness. So do giving to the poor, providing for one’s children, visiting the sick, volunteering to clean up after a storm, and praying for an enemy. Evil definition profoundly immoral and wicked. "his evil deeds" wicked, bad, wrong, morally wrong, wrongful, immoral, sinful, synonyms: ungodly, unholy, foul, vile, base, ignoble, dishonourable, corrupt, iniquitous, depraved, degenerate, villainous, nefarious, sinister,
vicious, malicious, malevolent, demonic, devilish, diabolic, diabolical, fiendish, dark, black-hearted; More monstrous, shocking, despicable, atrocious, heinous, odious, contemptible, horrible, execrable; informallow-down, stinking, dirty, shady, warped, bent, crooked; archaicdastardly, black; rareegregious, flagitious, peccable "an evil deed" antonyms: good, virtuous o
(of a force or spirit) embodying or associated with the forces of the devil. "we were driven out of the house by an evil spirit"
harmful or tending to harm. "the evil effects of high taxes" harmful, hurtful, injurious, detrimental, deleterious, inimical, bad, mischievous, pernicious, malignant, malign, baleful, venomous, noxious, poisonous; More corrupting, subversive; calamitous, disastrous, destructive, ruinous; synonyms:
literarymalefic, maleficent; rareprejudicious "the evil influence of society" unlucky, unfortunate, unfavourable, adverse, unhappy, disastrous, catastrophic, ruinous, calamitous, unpropitious, inauspicious, dire, woeful "she helped those who had fallen on evil times" good, beneficial
2. 2. (of a smell or sight) extremely unpleasant. "a bathroom with an ineradicably evil smell" unpleasant, disagreeable, nasty, horrible, foul, filthy, vile; More synonyms:
inclement, wet, rainy, stormy, squally, blustery, cold, freezing, foggy "his army suffered in the evil weather"
antonyms: pleasant, fine noun noun: evil 1. 1. profound immorality and wickedness, especially when regarded as a supernatural force. "his struggle against the forces of evil" wickedness, bad, badness, wrong, wrongdoing, sin, sinfulness, ungodliness, immorality, vice, iniquity, turpitude, degeneracy, vileness, baseness, perversion, corruption, depravity, villainy, synonyms: nefariousness, atrocity, malevolence, devilishness; More informalshadiness, crookedness; rarepeccability, peccancy "I sense the evil in our midst" antonyms: goodness o
a manifestation of this, especially in people's actions. plural noun: evils "the evil that took place last Thursday"
abomination, atrocity, obscenity, outrage, enormity, crime, synonyms:
monstrosity, barbarity, barbarism; More torment, curse, bane "the evils of war"
antonyms: blessing o
something which is harmful or undesirable. "sexism, racism, and all other unpleasant social evils" harm, pain, hurt, misery, sorrow, suffering, trauma, trouble, disaster, detriment, destruction, loss, misfortune, synonyms: catastrophe, calamity, affliction, woe, ruin, hardship; ills "nothing but evil would come out of such a meeting" antonyms: benefit
Evil, pain, and suffering—three human experiences which countless authors have attempted to address throughout history. Unlike other topics, books and articles on evil, pain, and suffering produce strong reactions toward those who write about them and try to explain them. C.S. Lewis was well aware of this phenomenon: All arguments in justification of suffering provoke bitter resentment against the author. You would like to know
how I behave when I am experiencing pain, not writing books about it. Nevertheless, it is important to address this issue because some believers and many unbelievers are caused to doubt God’s goodness, power, or even His existence because of particular evils they encounter in their lives. As I have talked to many people about this issue, I have found it important to distinguish between the intellectual problem of evil and the emotional responses to particular evils we face in our experience. Having the intellectual answer helps, but it does not make you immune from the emotional struggle, as we will see in Lewis’s agony over the death of his wife, Joy. The Importance of Evil Every worldview or philosophy has to try and deal with the problem of evil. In atheism, Hinduism, and Buddhism there is no clear basis to call anything evil, and that is an immense problem, particularly because we inherently know better. G. K. Chesterton said, “People reject the idea of original sin when it is the
only doctrine of Christianity that can be empirically proven.” The reality of evil, then, is something we know in our experience. In many ways the reality of evil is a clue to the cosmos that excludes some worldviews and points toward reality. Once when asked to speak at a series of seminars on C. S. Lewis, I submitted a few possible topics for the host’s choice. Among the topics were “The Importance of Imagination” and “The Problem of Evil.” When I received the publicity for the lecture series, my talk was titled the “Importance of Evil.” While I could have just corrected the jumbling of words, this mistake made me think. I decided to talk on the importance of evil from C. S. Lewis’s perspective. Evil is important because it can be used as an argument for God’s existence as well as a clue to the nature of created reality. In C. S. Lewis’s life, the problem of evil was perhaps the greatest of all obstacles to his coming to faith. He remembered the quote from the Roman Epicurean poet Lucretius: “Had God designed the
world, it would not be/A world so frail and faulty as we see.” When Lewis met Christians, he would pose this problem to them. He felt that their attempts to provide an answer were attempts to avoid the obvious difficulty. However, it gradually dawned on him that his argument depended on the idea that there was, in fact, real evil in the world. Evil was not an illusion or just a feeling or emotive response to an unpleasing event. But, where had he gotten this idea of evil? He realized that his atheism provided no basis for it. Lewis could have said that his idea of evil was just his own private affair, but then his argument against God collapsed, too. Yet, if evil was real, then there must be an absolute standard by which it was known to be evil and an absolute good by which evil could be distinguished from good. Where could we get this infinite reference point, this fixed point above all our personal and cultural bias? Did that not demand a God as an adequate basis for ab-
solute good? This was a first clue to the cosmos: evil was real. As Lewis thought further, he noticed that many other worldviews had “evil” just as part of things. In atheism or naturalism (nature is all there is), “evil” is just pain in a world of pain. It is just survival of the fittest—nature red in tooth and claw. In Eastern religious perspectives, the All is One (pantheism) view held that somehow all distinctions were illusory or “maya.” This principle of “non-distinction” makes even the distinction between good and evil part of the illusion. Yet, do we not feel that there are many things in this world that ought not to be that way? Is this world just pain in a world of pain, is pain an illusion, or is this a good world gone wrong? The problem of evil refers to the question of how to reconcile the existence of evil with an omnibenevolent, omniscient, and omnipotent God (see theism). An argument from evil attempts to show that the co-existence of evil and such a God is unlikely or impossible. Attempts to show the contrary have traditionally been discussed under the heading of theodicy. Besides philosophy of religion, the problem of evil is also important to the field of theology and ethics. The problem of evil is often formulated in two forms: the logical problem of evil and the evidential problem of evil. The logical form of the argument tries to show a logical
impossibility in the coexistence of God and evil, while the evidential form tries to show that given the evil in the world, it is improbable that there is an omnipotent, omniscient, and wholly good God. The problem of evil has been extended to nonhuman life forms, to include animal suffering from natural evils and human cruelty against them. Responses to various versions of the problem of evil, meanwhile, come in three forms: refutations, defenses, and theodicies. A wide range of responses have been made against these arguments. There are also many discussions of evil and associated problems in other philosophical fields, such as secular ethics, and evolutionary ethics. But as usually understood, the "problem of evil" is posed in a theological context. The problem of evil acutely applies to monotheistic religions such as Christianity, Islam and Judaism that believe in a monotheistic God who is omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent; but it has also been studied in religions that are nontheistic or polytheistic, such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism. Formulation and detailed arguments The problem of evil refers to the challenge of reconciling belief in an omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent God, with the existence of evil and suffering in the world.[note 1] The problem may be described either experientially or theoretically. The experiential problem is the difficulty in believing in a concept of loving God when confronted by suffering or evil in the real world, such as from epidemics, or wars, or murder, or rape or terror attacks wherein innocent children, women, men or a loved one becomes a victim. The problem of evil is also a theoretical one, usually described and studied by religion scholars in two varieties: the logical problem and the evidential problem. Logical problem of evil Originating with Greek philosopher Epicurus, the logical argument from evil is as follows:
1. If an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent god exists, then evil does not. 2. There is evil in the world. 3. Therefore, an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent God does not exist. This argument is of the form modus tollens, and is logically valid: If its premises are true, the conclusion follows of necessity. To show that the first premise is plausible, subsequent versions tend to expand on it, such as this modern example: 1. God exists. 2. God is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. 3. An omnibenevolent being would want to prevent all evils. 4. An omniscient being knows every way in which evils can come into existence, and knows every way in which those evils could be prevented. 5. An omnipotent being has the power to prevent that evil from coming into existence. 6. A being who knows every way in which an evil can come into existence, who is able to prevent that evil from coming into existence, and who wants to do so, would prevent the existence of that evil. 7. If there exists an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent God, then no evil exists. 8. Evil exists (logical contradiction). Both of these arguments are understood to be presenting two forms of the logical problem of evil. They attempt to show that the assumed propositions lead to a logical contradiction and therefore cannot all be correct. Most philosophical debate has focused on the propositions stating that God cannot exist with, or would want to prevent, all evils (premises 3 and 6), with defenders of theism (for example, Leibniz) arguing that God could very well exist with and allow evil in order to achieve a greater good.
Theism that forgoes absolute omniscience, omnipotence, or omnibenevolence If God lacks any one of these qualities—omniscience, omnipotence, or omnibenevolence—then the logical problem of evil can be resolved. Process theology and open theism are other positions that limit God's omnipotence and/or omniscience (as defined in traditional theology). Dystheism is the belief that God is not wholly good. Evidential problem of evil
William L. Rowe's example of natural evil: "In some distant forest lightning strikes a dead tree, resulting in a forest fire. In the fire a fawn is trapped, horribly burned, and lies in terrible agony for several days before death relieves its suffering." Rowe also cites the example of human evil where an innocent child is a victim of violence and thereby suffers. The evidential version of the problem of evil (also referred to as the probabilistic or inductive version), seeks to show that the existence of evil, although logically consistent with the existence of God, counts against or lowers the probability of the truth of theism. As an example, a critic of Plantinga's idea of "a mighty nonhuman spirit" causing natural evils may concede that the existence of such a being is not
logically impossible but argue that due to lacking scientific evidence for its existence this is very unlikely and thus it is an unconvincing explanation for the presence of natural evils. Both absolute versions and relative versions of the evidential problems of evil are presented below. A version by William L. Rowe: 1. There exist instances of intense suffering which an omnipotent, omniscient being could have prevented without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse. 2. An omniscient, wholly good being would prevent the occurrence of any intense suffering it could, unless it could not do so without thereby losing some greater good or permitting some evil equally bad or worse. 3. (Therefore) There does not exist an omnipotent, omniscient, wholly good being. Another by Paul Draper: 1. Gratuitous evils exist. 2. The hypothesis of indifference, i.e., that if there are supernatural beings they are indifferent to gratuitous evils, is a better explanation for (1) than theism. 3. Therefore, evidence prefers that no god, as commonly understood by theists, exists. Problem of evil and animal suffering The problem of evil has also been extended beyond human suffering, to include suffering of animals from cruelty, disease and evil. One version of this problem includes animal suffering from natural evil, such as the violence and fear faced by animals from predators, natural disasters, over the history of evolution. This is also referred to as the Darwinian problem of evil, after Charles Darwin who expressed it as follows: 'the sufferings of millions of the lower animals throughout almost endless time' are apparently irreconcilable with the existence of a creator of 'unbounded' goodness.
— Charles Darwin, 1856 The second version of the problem of evil applied to animals, and avoidable suffering experienced by them, is one caused by some human beings, such as from animal cruelty or when they are shot or slaughtered. This version of the problem of evil has been used by scholars including John Hick to counter the responses and defenses to the problem of evil such as suffering being a means to perfect the morals and greater good because animals are innocent, helpless, amoral but sentient victims. Scholar Michael Almeida said this was "perhaps the most serious and difficult" version of the problem of evil. The problem of evil in the context of animal suffering, states Almeida, can be stated as:[note 2] 1. God is omnipotent, omniscient and wholly good. 2. The evil of extensive animal suffering exists. 3. Necessarily, God can actualize an evolutionary perfect world. 4. Necessarily, God can actualize an evolutionary perfect world only if God does actualize an evolutionary perfect world. 5. Necessarily, God actualized an evolutionary perfect world. 6. If #1 is true then either #2 or #5 is true, but not both. This is a contradiction, so #1 is not true. Responses, defences and theodicies Responses to the problem of evil have occasionally been classified as defences or theodicies; however, authors disagree on the exact definitions. Generally, a defense against the problem of evil may refer to attempts to defuse the logical problem of evil by showing that there is no logical incompatibility between the existence of evil and the existence of God. This task does not require the identification of a plausible explanation of evil, and is successful if the explanation provided shows that the existence of God and the existence of evil are logically compatible. It need not even be true, since a false though coherent explanation would be sufficient to show logical compatibility. A theodicy, on the other hand, is more ambitious, since it attempts to provide a plausible justification—a morally or philosophically sufficient reason—for the
existence of evil and thereby rebut the "evidential" argument from evil.  Richard Swinburne maintains that it does not make sense to assume there are greater goods that justify the evil's presence in the world unless we know what they are—without knowledge of what the greater goods could be, one cannot have a successful theodicy. Thus, some authors see arguments appealing to demons or the fall of man as indeed logically possible, but not very plausible given our knowledge about the world, and so see those arguments as providing defences but not good theodicies. The above argument is set against numerous versions of the problem of evil that have been formulated. These versions have included philosophical and theological formulations. Skeptical theism Skeptical theism defends the problem of evil by asserting that God allows an evil to happen in order to prevent a greater evil or to encourage a response that will lead to a greater good. Thus a rape or a murder of an innocent child is defended as having a God's purpose that a human being may not comprehend, but which may lead to lesser evil or greater good. This is called skeptical theism because the argument aims to encourage self-skepticism, either by trying to rationalize God's possible hidden motives, or by trying to explain it as a limitation of human ability to know. The greater good defense is more often argued in religious studies in response to the evidential version of the problem of evil, while the free will defense is usually discussed in the context of the logical version. Most scholars criticize the skeptical theism defense as "devaluing the suffering" and not addressing the premise that God is all-benevolent and should be able to stop all suffering and evil, rather than play a balancing act. "Greater good" responses The omnipotence paradoxes, where evil persists in the presence of an all powerful God, raise questions as to the nature of God's omnipotence. Although that is from excluding the idea of how an interference would negate and subjugate the concept of free will, or in other words result in a totalitarian system that creates a lack of
freedom. Some solutions propose that omnipotence does not require the ability to actualize the logically impossible. "Greater good" responses to the problem make use of this insight by arguing for the existence of goods of great value which God cannot actualize without also permitting evil, and thus that there are evils he cannot be expected to prevent despite being omnipotent. Among the most popular versions of the "greater good" response are appeals to the apologetics of free will. Theologians will argue that since no one can fully understand God's ultimate plan, no one can assume that evil actions do not have some sort of greater purpose. Therefore, the nature of evil has a necessary role to play in God's plan for a better world. Free will The problem of evil is sometimes explained as a consequence of free will, an ability granted by God. Free will is both a source of good and of evil, and with free will also comes the potential for abuse, as when individuals act immorally. People with free will "decide to cause suffering and act in other evil ways", states Boyd, and it is they who make that choice, not God. Further, the free will argument asserts that it would be logically inconsistent for God to prevent evil by coercion and curtailing free will, because that would no longer be free will. This explanation does not completely address the problem of evil, because some suffering and evil is not a result of conscious choice, but is the result of ignorance or natural causes (e.g. a child suffering from a disease), and an all-powerful and all-benevolent God would create a world with free beings and stop this suffering and evil. Alvin Plantinga has suggested an expanded version of the free will defense. The first part of his defense accounts for moral evil as the result of human action with free will. The second part of his defense suggests the logical possibility of "a mighty nonhuman spirit" (non-God supernatural beings and fallen angels) whose free will is responsible for "natural evils", including earthquakes, floods, and virulent diseases. Most scholars agree that Plantinga's free will of human and non-human spirits (demons) argument successfully solves the logical problem of evil, proving that God and evil are logically compatible but other scholars explicitly dissent. The dissenters state that while explaining infectious diseases, cancer, hurricanes and other nature-caused suffering as something that is caused by the free will of
supernatural beings solves the logical version of the problem of evil, it is highly unlikely that these natural evils do not have natural causes that an omnipotent God could prevent, but instead are caused by the immoral actions of supernatural beings with free will who God created. According to Michael Tooley, this defense is also highly implausible because suffering from natural evil is localized, rational causes and cures for major diseases have been found, and it is unclear why anyone, including a supernatural being who God created would choose to inflict localized evil and suffering to innocent children for example, and why God fails to stop such suffering if he is omnipotent. Critics of the free will response have questioned whether it accounts for the degree of evil seen in this world. One point in this regard is that while the value of free will may be thought sufficient to counterbalance minor evils, it is less obvious that it outweighs the negative attributes of evils such as rape and murder. Particularly egregious cases known as horrendous evils, which "[constitute] prima facie reason to doubt whether the participant’s life could (given their inclusion in it) be a great good to him/her on the whole," have been the focus of recent work in the problem of evil. Another point is that those actions of free beings which bring about evil very often diminish the freedom of those who suffer the evil; for example the murder of a young child prevents the child from ever exercising their free will. In such a case the freedom of an innocent child is pitted against the freedom of the evil-doer, it is not clear why God would remain unresponsive and passive. Another criticism is that the potential for evil inherent in free will may be limited by means which do not impinge on that free will. God could accomplish this by making moral actions especially pleasurable, or evil action and suffering impossible by allowing free will but not allowing the ability to enact evil or impose suffering. Supporters of the free will explanation state that that would no longer be free will. Critics respond that this view seems to imply it would be similarly wrong to try to reduce suffering and evil in these ways, a position which few would advocate. A third challenge to the free will defence is natural evil. By definition, moral evil results from human action, but natural evil results from natural processes that cause natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions or earthquakes. Advocates of the free
will response to evil propose various explanations of natural evils. Alvin Plantinga, following Augustine of Hippo, and others have argued that natural evils are caused by the free choices of supernatural beings such as demons. Others have argued • that natural evils are the result of the fall of man, which corrupted the perfect world created by God or • that natural evils are the result of natural laws or • that natural evils provide us with a knowledge of evil which makes our free choices more significant than they would otherwise be, and so our free will more valuable or • that natural evils are a mechanism of divine punishment for moral evils that humans have committed, and so the natural evil is justified. There is also debate regarding the compatibility of moral free will (to select good or evil action) with the absence of evil from heaven, with God's omniscience and with his omnibenevolence. Free will and animal suffering One of the weaknesses of the free will defense is its inapplicability or contradictory applicability with respect to evils faced by animals and the consequent animal suffering. Some scholars, such as David Griffin, state that the free will, or the assumption of greater good through free will, does not apply to animals.  In contrast, a few scholars while accepting that "free will" applies in a human context, have posited an alternative "free creatures" defense, stating that animals too benefit from their physical freedom though that comes with the cost of dangers they continuously face. The "free creatures" defense has also been criticized, in the case of caged, domesticated and farmed animals who are not free and many of whom have historically experienced evil and suffering from abuse by their owners. Further, even animals and living creatures in the wild face horrendous evils and suffering – such as burn and slow death after natural fires or other natural disasters or from predatory injuries – and it is unclear, state Bishop and Perszyk, why an all-loving God would
create such free creatures prone to intense suffering. Another line of extended criticism of free will defense has been that if God is perfectly powerful, knowing and loving, then he could have actualized a world with free creatures without moral evil where everyone chooses good, is always full of loving-kindness, is compassionate, always non-violent and full of joy, where earth were just like the monotheistic concept of heaven. If God did create a heaven with his love, an all-loving and always-loving God could have created an earth without evil and suffering for animals and human beings just like heaven. Soul-making or Irenaean theodicy The soul-making or Irenaean theodicy is named after the 2nd century French theologian Irenaeus, whose ideas were adopted in Eastern Christianity. It has been discussed by John Hick, and the Irenaean theodicy asserts that evil and suffering are necessary for spiritual growth, for man to discover his soul, and God allows evil for spiritual growth of human beings. The Irenaean theodicy has been challenged with the assertion that many evils do not seem to promote spiritual growth, and can be positively destructive of the human spirit. Hick acknowledges that this process often fails in our world. A second issue concerns the distribution of evils suffered: were it true that God permitted evil in order to facilitate spiritual growth, then we would expect evil to disproportionately befall those in poor spiritual health. This does not seem to be the case, as the decadent enjoy lives of luxury which insulate them from evil, whereas many of the pious are poor, and are well acquainted with worldly evils. Thirdly, states Kane, human character can be developed directly or in constructive and nurturing loving ways, and it is unclear why God would consider or allow evil and suffering to be necessary or the preferred way to spiritual growth. Further, horrendous suffering often leads to dehumanization, its victims in truth do not grow spiritually but become vindictive and spiritually worse. This reconciliation of the problem of evil and God, states Creegan, also fails to explain the need or rationale for evil inflicted on animals and resultant animal suffering, because "there is no evidence at all that suffering improves the character of animals, or is evidence of soul-making in them".
Afterlife Thomas Aquinas suggested the afterlife theodicy to address the problem of evil and to justifying the existence of evil. The premise behind this theodicy has been that afterlife is unending, human life short, and God allows evil and suffering in order to judge and grant everlasting heaven or hell based on human moral actions and human suffering. Aquinas went further and suggested that the afterlife is the "greater good" that justifies the evil and suffering in current life.  Christian author Randy Alcorn argues that the joys of heaven will compensate for the sufferings on earth. Stephen Maitzen has called this the "Heaven Swamps Everything" theodicy, and argues that it is false because it conflates compensation and justification. The second failure of the afterlife theodicy is in its inability to reconcile the suffering faced by small babies and innocent children from diseases, abuse and injury in war or terror attacks, since "human moral actions" are not to be expected from babies and children. Similarly, moral actions and the concept of choice does not apply to the problem of evil applied to animal suffering from natural evil and the actions of human beings. Deny evil exists In the second century, Christian theologists attempted to reconcile the problem of evil with an omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God, by denying that evil exists. Among these theologians, Clement of Alexandria offered several theodicies, of which one was called "privation theory of evil" which was adopted thereafter. The other is a more modern version of "deny evil", suggested by Christian Science, wherein the perception of evil is described as a form of illusion. Evil as the absence of good (Privation Theory) The early version of "deny evil" is called the "privation theory of evil", so named because it described evil as a form of "lack, loss or privation". One of the earliest proponents of this theory was the 2nd-century Clement of Alexandria, who according to Joseph Kelly, stated that "since God is completely good, he could not have
created evil; but if God did not create evil, then it cannot exist". Evil, according to Clement, does not exist as a positive, but exists as a negative or as a "lack of good". Clement's idea was criticised for its inability to explain suffering in the world, if evil did not exist. He was also pressed by Gnostics scholars with the question as to why God did not create creatures that "did not lack the good". Clement attempted to answer these questions ontologically through dualism, an idea found in the Platonic school, that is by presenting two realities, one of God and Truth, another of human and perceived experience. The fifth-century theologian Augustine of Hippo adopted the privation theory, and in his Enchiridion on Faith, Hope and Love, maintained that evil exists only as "absence of the good", that vices are nothing but the privations of natural good.  Evil is not a substance, states Augustine, it is nothing more than "loss of good". God does not participate in evil, God is perfection, His creation is perfection, stated Augustine. According to the privation theory, it is the absence of the good, that explains sin and moral evil. This view has been criticized as merely substituting definition, of evil with "loss of good", of "problem of evil and suffering" with the "problem of loss of good and suffering", but it neither addresses the issue from the theoretical point of view nor from the experiential point of view. Scholars who criticize the privation theory state that murder, rape, terror, pain and suffering are real life events for the victim, and cannot be denied as mere "lack of good". Augustine, states Pereira, accepted suffering exists and was aware that the privation theory was not a solution to the problem of evil. Evil as illusory An alternative modern version of the privation theory is by Christian Science, which asserts that evils such as suffering and disease only appear to be real, but in truth are illusions, and in reality evil does not exist. The theologists of Christian Science, states Stephen Gottschalk, posit that the Spirit is of infinite might, mortal human beings fail to grasp this and focus instead on evil and suffering that have no real existence as "a power, person or principle opposed to God".
The illusion version of privation theory theodicy has been critiqued for denying the reality of crimes, wars, terror, sickness, injury, death, suffering and pain to the victim. Further, adds Millard Erickson, the illusion argument merely shifts the problem to a new problem, as to why God would create this "illusion" of crimes, wars, terror, sickness, injury, death, suffering and pain; and why doesn't God stop this "illusion". Turning the tables A different approach to the problem of evil is to turn the tables by suggesting that any argument from evil is self-refuting, in that its conclusion would necessitate the falsity of one of its premises. One response – called the defensive response – has been to assert the opposite, and to point out that the assertion "evil exists" implies an ethical standard against which moral value is determined, and then to argue that this standard implies the existence of God. The standard criticism of this view is that an argument from evil is not necessarily a presentation of the views of its proponent, but is instead intended to show how premises which the theist is inclined to believe lead him or her to the conclusion that God does not exist. A second criticism is that the existence of evil can be inferred from the suffering of its victims, rather than by the actions of the evil actor, so no "ethical standard" is implied. This argument was expounded upon by David Hume. Hidden reasons A variant of above defenses is that the problem of evil is derived from probability judgments since they rest on the claim that, even after careful reflection, one can see no good reason for co-existence of God and of evil. The inference from this claim to the general statement that there exists unnecessary evil is inductive in nature and it is this inductive step that sets the evidential argument apart from the logical argument. The hidden reasons defense asserts that there exists the logical possibility of hidden or unknown reasons for the existence of evil along with the existence of an almighty,
all-knowing, all-benevolent, all-powerful God. Not knowing the reason does not necessarily mean that the reason does not exist. This argument has been challenged with the assertion that the hidden reasons premise is as plausible as the premise that God does not exist or is not "an almighty, all-knowing, all-benevolent, all-powerful". Similarly, for every hidden argument that completely or partially justifies observed evils it is equally likely that there is a hidden argument that actually makes the observed evils worse than they appear without hidden arguments, or that the hidden reasons may result in additional contradictions. As such, from an inductive viewpoint hidden arguments will neutralize one another. A sub-variant of the "hidden reasons" defense is called the "PHOG" – profoundly hidden outweighing goods – defense. The PHOG defense, states Bryan Frances, not only leaves the co-existence of God and human suffering unanswered, but raises questions about why animals and other life forms have to suffer from natural evil, or from abuse (animal slaughter, animal cruelty) by some human beings, where hidden moral lessons, hidden social good and such hidden reasons to reconcile God with the problem of evil do not apply. Previous lives and karma The theory of karma refers to the spiritual principle of cause and effect where intent and actions of an individual (cause) influence the future of that individual (effect). The problem of evil, in the context of karma, has been long discussed in Indian religions including Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism, both in its theistic and nontheistic schools; for example, in Uttara Mīmāṃsā Sutras Book 2 Chapter 1;  the 8th century arguments by Adi Sankara in Brahmasutrabhasya where he posits that God cannot reasonably be the cause of the world because there exists moral evil, inequality, cruelty and suffering in the world; and the 11th century theodicy discussion by Ramanuja in Sribhasya. Many Indian religions place greater emphasis on developing the karma principle for first cause and innate justice with Man as focus, rather than developing religious principles with the nature and powers of God and divine judgment as focus. Karma theory of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism is not static, but dynamic wherein livings beings with intent or without intent, but with words and actions continuously
create new karma, and it is this that they believe to be in part the source of good or evil in the world. These religions also believe that past lives or past actions in current life create current circumstances, which also contributes to either. Other scholars suggest that nontheistic Indian religious traditions do not assume an omnibenevolent creator, and some theistic schools do not define or characterize their god(s) as monotheistic Western religions do and the deities have colorful, complex personalities; the Indian deities are personal and cosmic facilitators, and in some schools conceptualized like Plato’s Demiurge. Therefore, the problem of theodicy in many schools of major Indian religions is not significant, or at least is of a different nature than in Western religions. According to Arthur Herman, karma-transmigration theory solves all three historical formulations to the problem of evil while acknowledging the theodicy insights of Sankara and Ramanuja. Pandeism Pandeism is a modern theory that unites deism and pantheism, and asserts that God created the universe but during creation became the universe.  In pandeism, God is no superintending, heavenly power, capable of hourly intervention into earthly affairs. No longer existing "above," God cannot intervene from above and cannot be blamed for failing to do so. God, in pandeism, was omnipotent and omnibenevolent, but in the form of universe is no longer omnipotent, omnibenevolent.:76–77 Monotheistic religions Christianity The Bible The existence of evil creates not only a problem for existence, but also for belief in an all-good and all-powerful God, because if God were all-good and all-powerful then in theory such a god would be able to prohibit such evils from happening.  In the biblical view, evil is all that is "opposed to God and His purposes" (i.e., sin) or that which, from the human perspective, is "harmful and nonproductive" (i.e., suffering).
Christian theologians have generally forwarded two defenses to reconcile the problem of evil and the existence of God: the greater good response and the free will response. Greater good responses explain that God allows evil acts in the world because they are part of God's plan and he does so to prevent a greater evil or for a greater good. The free will response, on the other hand, argues that if God prohibited evil, he would be interfering with free will and the natural laws of the world. Judgment Day John Joseph Haldane's Wittgenstinian-Thomistic account of concept formation and Martin Heidegger's observation of temporality's thrown nature imply that God's act of creation and God's act of judgment are the same act. God's condemnation of evil is subsequently believed to be executed and expressed in his created world; a judgement that is unstoppable due to God's all powerful will; a constant and eternal judgement that becomes announced and communicated to other people on Judgment Day. In this explanation, God's condemnation of evil is declared to be a good judgement. Irenaean theodicy Irenaean theodicy, posited by Irenaeus (2nd century AD–c. 202), has been reformulated by John Hick. It holds that one cannot achieve moral goodness or love for God if there is no evil and suffering in the world. Evil is soul-making and leads one to be truly moral and close to God. God created an epistemic distance (such that God is not immediately knowable) so that we may strive to know him and by doing so become truly good. Evil is a means to good for three main reasons: 1. Means of knowledge – Hunger leads to pain, and causes a desire to feed. Knowledge of pain prompts humans to seek to help others in pain. 2. Character building – Evil offers the opportunity to grow morally. "We would never learn the art of goodness in a world designed as a hedonistic paradise" (Richard Swinburne) 3. Predictable environment – The world runs to a series of natural laws. These are independent of any inhabitants of the universe. Natural Evil only occurs
when these natural laws conflict with our own perceived needs. This is not immoral in any way Augustinian theodicy St Augustine of Hippo (AD 354–430) in his Augustinian theodicy, as presented in John Hick's book Evil and the God of Love, focuses on the Genesis story that essentially dictates that God created the world and that it was good; evil is merely a consequence of the fall of man (The story of the Garden of Eden where Adam and Eve disobeyed God and caused inherent sin for man). Augustine stated that natural evil (evil present in the natural world such as natural disasters etc.) is caused by fallen angels, whereas moral evil (evil caused by the will of human beings) is as a result of man having become estranged from God and choosing to deviate from his chosen path. Augustine argued that God could not have created evil in the world, as it was created good, and that all notions of evil are simply a deviation or privation of goodness. Evil cannot be a separate and unique substance. For example, Blindness is not a separate entity, but is merely a lack or privation of sight. Thus the Augustinian theodicist would argue that the problem of evil and suffering is void because God did not create evil; it was man who chose to deviate from the path of perfect goodness. St. Thomas Aquinas Saint Thomas systematized the Augustinian conception of evil, supplementing it with his own musings. Evil, according to St. Thomas, is a privation, or the absence of some good which belongs properly to the nature of the creature. There is therefore no positive source of evil, corresponding to the greater good, which is God; evil being not real but rational—i.e. it exists not as an objective fact, but as a subjective conception; things are evil not in themselves, but by reason of their relation to other things or persons. All realities are in themselves good; they produce bad results only incidentally; and consequently the ultimate cause of evil is fundamentally good, as well as the objects in which evil is found.
Luther and Calvin Both Luther and Calvin explained evil as a consequence of the fall of man and the original sin. Calvin, however, held to the belief in predestination and omnipotence, the fall is part of God's plan. Luther saw evil and original sin as an inheritance from Adam and Eve, passed on to all mankind from their conception and bound the will of man to serving sin, which God's just nature allowed as consequence for their distrust, though God planned mankind's redemption through Jesus Christ. Ultimately humans may not be able to understand and explain this plan.  Liberal Christianity Some modern liberal Christians, including French Calvinist theologian André Gounelle and Pastor Marc Pernot of L'Oratoire du Louvre, believe that God is not omnipotent, and that the Bible only describes God as "almighty" in passages concerning the End Times. Christian Science Christian Science views evil as having no ultimate reality and as being due to false beliefs, consciously or unconsciously held. Evils such as illness and death may be banished by correct understanding. This view has been questioned, aside from the general criticisms of the concept of evil as an illusion discussed earlier, since the presumably correct understanding by Christian Science members, including the founder, has not prevented illness and death. However, Christian Scientists believe that the many instances of spiritual healing (as recounted e.g. in the Christian Science periodicals and in the textbook Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy) are anecdotal evidence of the correctness of the teaching of the unreality of evil. According to one author, the denial by Christian Scientists that evil ultimately exists neatly solves the problem of evil; however, most people cannot accept that solution
Jehovah's Witnesses Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Satan is the original cause of evil. Though once a perfect angel, Satan developed feelings of self-importance and craved worship, and eventually challenged God's right to rule. Satan caused Adam and Eve to disobey God, and humanity subsequently became participants in a challenge involving the competing claims of Jehovah and Satan to universal sovereignty.  Other angels who sided with Satan became demons. God's subsequent tolerance of evil is explained in part by the value of free will. But Jehovah's Witnesses also hold that this period of suffering is one of non-interference from God, which serves to demonstrate that Jehovah's "right to rule" is both correct and in the best interests of all intelligent beings, settling the "issue of universal sovereignty". Further, it gives individual humans the opportunity to show their willingness to submit to God's rulership. At some future time known to him, God will consider his right to universal sovereignty to have been settled for all time. The reconciliation of "faithful" humankind will have been accomplished through Christ, and nonconforming humans and demons will have been destroyed. Thereafter, evil (any failure to submit to God's rulership) will be summarily executed. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) introduces a concept similar to Irenaean theodicy, that experiencing evil is a necessary part of the development of the soul. Specifically, the laws of nature prevent an individual from fully comprehending or experiencing good without experiencing its opposite.  In this respect, Latter-day Saints do not regard the fall of Adam and Eve as a tragic, unplanned cancellation of an eternal paradise; rather they see it as an essential element of God's plan. By allowing opposition and temptations in mortality, God created an environment for people to learn, to develop their freedom to choose, and to appreciate and understand the light, with a comparison to darkness
This is a departure from the mainstream Christian definition of omnipotence and omniscience, which Mormons believe was changed by post-apostolic theologians in the centuries after Christ. The writings of Justin Martyr, Origen, Augustine, and others indicate a merging of Christian principles with Greek metaphysical philosophies such as Neoplatonism, which described divinity as an utterly simple, immaterial, formless substance/essence (ousia) that was the absolute causality and creative source of all that existed. Mormons teach that through modern day revelation, God restored the truth about his nature, which eliminated the speculative metaphysical elements that had been incorporated after the Apostolic era. As such, God's omniscience/omnipotence is not to be understood as metaphysically transcending all limits of nature, but as a perfect comprehension of all things within nature—which gives God the power to bring about any state or condition within those bounds. This restoration also clarified that God does not create Ex nihilo (out of nothing), but uses existing materials to organize order out of chaos. Because opposition is inherent in nature, and God operates within nature’s bounds, God is therefore not considered the author of evil, nor will He eradicate all evil from the mortal experience. His primary purpose, however, is to help His children to learn for themselves to both appreciate and choose the right, and thus achieve eternal joy and live in his presence, and where evil has no place.  Islam Islamic scholars in the medieval and modern era have tried to reconcile the problem of evil with the afterlife theodicy. According to Nursi, the temporal world has many evils such as the destruction of Ottoman Empire and its substitution with secularism, and such evils are impossible to understand unless there is an afterlife. The omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent god in Islamic thought creates everything, including human suffering and its causes (evil). Evil was neither bad nor needed moral justification from God, but rewards awaited believers in the afterlife. The faithful suffered in this short life, so as to be judged by God and enjoy heaven in the never-ending afterlife. Alternate theodicies in Islamic thought include the 11th-century Ibn Sina's denial of evil in a form similar to "privation theory" theodicy. This theodicy attempt by Ibn
Sina is unsuccessful, according to Shams Inati, because it implicitly denies the omnipotence of God. Judaism According to Jon Levenson, the writers of Hebrew Bible were well aware of evil as a theological problem, but he does not claim awareness of the problem of evil.  In contrast, according to Yair Hoffman, the ancient books of the Hebrew Bible do not show an awareness of the theological problem of evil, and even most later biblical scholars did not touch the question of the problem of evil. The earliest awareness of the problem of evil in Judaism tradition is evidenced in extra- and post-biblical sources such as early Apocrypha (secret texts by unknown authors, which were not considered mainstream at the time they were written). The first systematic reflections on the problem of evil by Jewish philosophers is traceable only in the medieval period. The problem of evil gained renewed interest among Jewish scholars after the moral evil of the Holocaust. The all-powerful, all-compassionate, all-knowing monotheistic God presumably had the power to prevent the Holocaust, but he didn't. The Jewish thinkers have argued that either God did not care about the torture and suffering in the world He created – which means He is not omnibenevolent, or He did not know what was happening – which means He is not omniscient. The persecution of Jewish people was not a new phenomenon, and medieval Jewish thinkers had in abstract attempted to reconcile the logical version of the problem of evil. The Holocaust experience and other episodes of mass extermination such as the Gulag and the Killing Fields where millions of people experienced torture and died, however, brought into focus the visceral nature of the evidential version of the problem of evil. The 10th-century Rabbi called Saadia Gaon presented a theodicy along the lines of "soul-making, greater good and afterlife". Suffering suggested Saadia, in a manner similar to Babylonian Talmud Berakhot 5, should be considered as a gift from God because it leads to an eternity of heaven in afterlife. In contrast, the 12th-century Moses Maimonides offered a different theodicy, asserting that the allloving God neither produces evil nor gifts suffering, because everything God does is
absolutely good, then presenting the "privation theory" explanation.  Both these answers, states Daniel Rynhold, merely rationalize and suppress the problem of evil, rather than solve it. It is easier to rationalize suffering caused by a theft or accidental injuries, but the physical, mental and existential horrors of persistent events of repeated violence over long periods of time such as Holocaust, or an innocent child slowly suffering from the pain of cancer, cannot be rationalized by one sided self blame and belittling a personhood. Attempts by theologians to reconcile the problem of evil, with claims that the Holocaust evil was a necessary, intentional and purposeful act of God have been declared obscene by Jewish thinkers such as Richard Rubenstein. Other religions Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt The ancient Egyptian religion, according to Roland Enmarch, potentially absolved their gods from any blame for evil, and used a negative cosmology and the negative concept of human nature to explain evil. Further, the Pharaoh was seen as an agent of the gods and his actions as a king were aimed to prevent evil and curb evilness in human nature. Ancient Greek religion The gods in Greek mythology were seen as superior, but shared similar traits with humans and often interacted with them. Although the Greeks didn't believe in any "evil" gods, the Greeks still acknowledged the fact that evil was present in the world. Gods often meddled in the affairs of men, and sometimes their actions consisted of bringing misery to people, for example gods would sometimes be a direct cause of death for people. However, the Greeks did not consider the gods to be evil as a result of their actions, instead the answer for most situations in Greek mythology was the power of fate. Fate is considered to be more powerful than the gods themselves and for this reason no one can escape it.  For this reason the Greeks recognized that unfortunate events were justifiable by the idea of fate.
Buddhism Buddhism neither denies the existence of evil, nor does it attempt to reconcile evil in a way attempted by monotheistic religions that assert the existence of an almighty, all powerful, all knowing, all benevolent God. Buddhism, as a non-theistic religion like Jainism, does not assume or assert any creator God, and thus the problem of evil or of theodicy does not apply to it. It considers a benevolent, omnipotent creator god as attachment to be a false concept. Buddhism accepts that there is evil in the world, as well as Dukkha (suffering) that is caused by evil or because of natural causes (aging, disease, rebirth). The precepts and practices of Buddhism, such as Four Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold Path aim to empower a follower in gaining insights and liberation (nirvana) from the cycle of such suffering as well as rebirth. Some strands of Mahayana Buddhism developed a theory of Buddha-nature in texts such as the Tathagata-garbha Sutras composed in 3rd-century south India, which is very similar to the "soul, self" theory found in classical Hinduism. The Tathagata-garbha theory leads to a Buddhist version of the problem of evil, states Peter Harvey, because the theory claims that every human being has an intrinsically pure inner Buddha which is good. This premise leads to the question as to why anyone does any evil, and why doesn't the "intrinsically pure inner Buddha" attempt or prevail in preventing the evil actor before he or she commits the evil. One response has been that the Buddha-nature is omnibenevolent, but not omnipotent. Further, the Tathagata-garbha Sutras are atypical texts of Buddhism, because they contradict the Anatta doctrines in a vast majority of Buddhist texts, leading scholars to posit that the Tathagatagarbha Sutras were written to promote Buddhism to non-Buddhists, and that they do not represent mainstream Buddhism. The mainstream Buddhism, from its early days, did not need to address the theological problem of evil as it saw no need for a creator of the universe and asserted instead, like many Indian traditions, that the universe never had a beginning and all existence is an endless cycle of rebirths (samsara).
Hinduism Hinduism is a complex religion with many different currents or schools. Its nontheist traditions such as Samkhya, early Nyaya, Mimamsa and many within Vedanta do not posit the existence of an almighty, omnipotent, omniscient, omnibenevolent God (monotheistic God), and the classical formulations of the problem of evil and theodicy do not apply to most Hindu traditions. Further, deities in Hinduism are neither eternal nor omnipotent nor omniscient nor omnibenevolent. Devas are mortal and subject to samsara. Evil as well as good, along with suffering is considered real and caused by human free will, its source and consequences explained through the karma doctrine of Hinduism, as in other Indian religions. A version of the problem of evil appears in the ancient Brahma Sutras, probably composed between 200 BCE and 200 CE, a foundational text of the Vedanta tradition of Hinduism. Its verses 2.1.34 through 2.1.36 aphoristically mention a version of the problem of suffering and evil in the context of the abstract metaphysical Hindu concept of Brahman. The verse 2.1.34 of Brahma Sutras asserts that inequality and cruelty in the world cannot be attributed to the concept of Brahman, and this is in the Vedas and the Upanishads. In his interpretation and commentary on the Brahma Sutras, the 8th-century scholar Adi Shankara states that just because some people are happier than others and just because there is so much malice, cruelty and pain in the world, some state that Brahman cannot be the cause of the world. For that would lead to the possibility of partiality and cruelty. For it can be reasonably concluded that God has passion and hatred like some ignoble persons... Hence there will be a nullification of God's nature of extreme purity, (unchangeability), etc., [...] And owing to infliction of misery and destruction on all creatures, God will be open to the charge of pitilessness and extreme cruelty, abhorred even by a villain. Thus on account of the possibility of partiality and cruelty, God is not an agent. — Purvapaksha by Adi Shankara, Translated by Arvind Sharma Shankara attributes evil and cruelty in the world to Karma of oneself, of others, and to ignorance, delusion and wrong knowledge, but not to the abstract Brahman.
Brahman itself is beyond good and evil. There is evil and suffering because of karma. Those who struggle with this explanation, states Shankara, do so because of presuned duality, between Brahman and Jiva, or because of linear view of existence, when in reality "samsara and karma are anadi" (existence is cyclic, rebirth and deeds are eternal with no beginning). In other words, in the Brahma Sutras, the formulation of problem of evil is considered a metaphysical construct, but not a moral issue. Ramanuja of the theistic Sri Vaishnavism school – a major tradition within Vaishnavism – interprets the same verse in the context of Vishnu, and asserts that Vishnu only creates potentialities. According to Swami Gambhirananda of Ramakrishna Mission, Sankara's commentary explains that God cannot be charged with partiality or cruelty (i.e. injustice) on account of his taking the factors of virtuous and vicious actions (Karma) performed by an individual in previous lives. If an individual experiences pleasure or pain in this life, it is due to virtuous or vicious action (Karma) done by that individual in a past life.[page needed] A sub-tradition within the Vaishnavism school of Hinduism that is an exception is dualistic Dvaita, founded by Madhvacharya in the 13th-century. This tradition posits a concept of God so similar to Christianity, that Christian missionaries in colonial India suggested that Madhvacharya was likely influenced by early Christians who migrated to India, a theory that has been discredited by scholars. Madhvacharya was challenged by Hindu scholars on the problem of evil, given his dualistic Tattvavada theory that proposed God and living beings along with universe as separate realities. Madhvacharya asserted, Yathecchasi tatha kuru, which Sharma translates and explains as "one has the right to choose between right and wrong, a choice each individual makes out of his own responsibility and his own risk". Madhva's reply does not address the problem of evil, state Dasti and Bryant, as to how can evil exist with that of a God who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. According to Sharma, "Madhva's tripartite classification of souls makes it unnecessary to answer the problem of evil". According to David Buchta, this does not address the problem of evil, because the omnipotent God "could change the system, but chooses not to" and thus sustains the evil in the world.  This view of
self's agency of Madhvacharya was, states Buchta, an outlier in Vedanta school and Indian philosophies in general. By philosophers
The earliest statement of the problem of evil is attributed to Epicurus, but this is uncertain. Epicurus Epicurus is generally credited with first expounding the problem of evil, and it is sometimes called the "Epicurean paradox", the "riddle of Epicurus", or the "Epicurian trilemma": Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? — The Epicurean paradox, ~300 BCE There is no surviving written text of Epicurus that establishes that he actually formulated the problem of evil in this way, and it is uncertain that he was the author. An attribution to him can be found in a text dated about 600 years later, in
the 3rd century Christian theologian Lactantius's Treatise on the Anger of God[note 3] where Lactantius critiques the argument. Epicurus's argument as presented by Lactantius actually argues that a god that is all-powerful and all-good does not exist and that the gods are distant and uninvolved with man's concerns. The gods are neither our friends nor enemies. David Hume David Hume's formulation of the problem of evil in Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion: "Is he [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil?" "[God's] power we allow [is] infinite: Whatever he wills is executed: But neither man nor any other animal are happy: Therefore he does not will their happiness. His wisdom is infinite: He is never mistaken in choosing the means to any end: But the course of nature tends not to human or animal felicity: Therefore it is not established for that purpose. Through the whole compass of human knowledge, there are no inferences more certain and infallible than these. In what respect, then, do his benevolence and mercy resemble the benevolence and mercy of men?"
Gottfried Leibniz In his Dictionnaire Historique et Critique, the sceptic Pierre Bayle denied the goodness and omnipotence of God on account of the sufferings experienced in this earthly life. Gottfried Leibniz introduced the term theodicy in his 1710 work Essais de Théodicée sur la bonté de Dieu, la liberté de l'homme et l'origine du mal ("Theodicic Essays on the Benevolence of God, the Free will of man, and the Origin of Evil") which was directed mainly against Bayle. He argued that this is the best of all possible worlds that God could have created. Imitating the example of Leibniz, other philosophers also called their treatises on the problem of evil theodicies. Voltaire's popular novel Candide mocked Leibnizian optimism through the fictional tale of a naive youth. Thomas Robert Malthus The population and economic theorist Thomas Malthus stated in a 1798 essay that people with health problems or disease are not suffering, and should not viewed as such. Malthus argued, "Nothing can appear more consonant to our reason than that those beings which come out of the creative process of the world in lovely and beautiful forms should be crowned with immortality, while those which come out misshapen, those whose minds are not suited to a purer and happier state of existence, should perish and be condemned to mix again with their original clay. Eternal condemnation of this kind may be considered as a species of eternal punishment, and it is not wonderful that it should be represented, sometimes, under images of suffering." Malthus believed in the Supreme Creator, considered suffering as justified, and suggested that God should be considered "as pursuing the creatures that had offended him with eternal hate and torture, instead of merely condemning to their original insensibility those beings that, by the operation of general laws, had not been formed with qualities suited to a purer state of happiness."  Immanuel Kant
Immanuel Kant wrote an essay on theodicy. He suggested, states William Dembski, that any successful theodicy must prove one of three things:  what one deems contrary to the purposefulness of world is not so;  if one deems it is contrary, then one must consider it not as a positive fact, but inevitable consequence of the nature of things;  if one accepts that it is a positive fact, then one must posit that it is not the work of God, but of some other beings such as man or superior spirits, good or evil. Kant did not attempt or exhaust all theodicies to help address the problem of evil. He claimed there is a reason all possible theodicies must fail. While a successful philosophical theodicy has not been achieved in his time, added Kant, there is no basis for a successful anti-theodicy either. Corollaries Problem of good Several philosophers have argued that just as there exists a problem of evil for theists who believe in an omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent being, so too is there a problem of good for anyone who believes in an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnimalevolent (or perfectly evil) being. As it appears that the defenses and theodicies which might allow the theist to resist the problem of evil can be inverted and used to defend belief in the omnimalevolent being, this suggests that we should draw similar conclusions about the success of these defensive strategies. In that case, the theist appears to face a dilemma: either to accept that both sets of responses are equally bad, and so that the theist does not have an adequate response to the problem of evil; or to accept that both sets of responses are equally good, and so to commit to the existence of an omnipotent, omniscient, and omnimalevolent being as plausible. Critics have noted that theodicies and defenses are often addressed to the logical problem of evil. As such, they are intended only to demonstrate that it is possible that evil can co-exist with an omniscient, omnipotent and omnibenevolent being. Since the relevant parallel commitment is only that good can co-exist with an omniscient, omnipotent and omnimalevolent being, not that it is plausible that they should do so,
the theist who is responding to the problem of evil need not be committing himself to something he is likely to think is false. This reply, however, leaves the evidential problem of evil untouched. Morality Another general criticism is that though a theodicy may harmonize God with the existence of evil, it does so at the cost of nullifying morality. This is because most theodicies assume that whatever evil there is exists because it is required for the sake of some greater good. But if an evil is necessary because it secures a greater good, then it appears we humans have no duty to prevent it, for in doing so we would also prevent the greater good for which the evil is required. Even worse, it seems that any action can be rationalized, as if one succeeds in performing it, then God has permitted it, and so it must be for the greater good. From this line of thought one may conclude that, as these conclusions violate our basic moral intuitions, no greater good theodicy is true, and God does not exist. Alternatively, one may point out that greater good theodicies lead us to see every conceivable state of affairs as compatible with the existence of God, and in that case the notion of God's goodness is rendered meaningless. Omniscient means "all-knowing", omnipotent means "all-powerful, almighty", and omnibenevolent refers to the quality of "all-good, all-loving". Nicola Creegan has presented the logical and evidential versions of the problem of evil when applied to animal suffering. 3. Quod si haec ratio vera est, quam stoici nullo modo videre potuerunt, dissolvitur etiam argumentum illud Epicuri. Deus, inquit, aut vult tollere mala et non potest; aut potest et non vult; aut neque vult, neque potest; aut et vult et potest. Si vult et non potest, imbecillis est; quod in Deum non cadit. Si potest et non vult, invidus; quod aeque alienum a Deo. Si neque vult, neque potest, et invidus et imbecillis est; ideoque neque Deus. Si vult et potest, quod solum Deo convenit, unde ergo sunt mala? aut cur illa non tollit? Scio plerosque philosophorum, qui
providentiam defendunt, hoc argumento perturbari solere et invitos pene adigi, ut Deum nihil curare fateantur, quod maxime quaerit Epicurus. — Lactantius, De Ira Dei But if this account is true, which the Stoics were in no manner able to see, that argument also of Epicurus is done away. God, he says, either wishes to take away evils, and is unable; or He is able and is unwilling; or He is neither willing nor able, or He is both willing and able. If He is willing and is unable, He is feeble, which is not in accordance with the character of God; if He is able and unwilling, He is envious, which is equally at variance with God; if He is neither willing or able, He is both envious and feeble, and therefore not God; if He is both willing and able, which alone is suitable to God, from what source then are evils or why does He not remove them? I know that many of the philosophers, who defend providence, are accustomed to be disturbed by this argument, and are almost driven against their will to admit that God takes no interest in anything, which Epicurus especially aims at. — Lactantius, On the Anger of God References 1. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "The Problem of Evil", Michael Tooley The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "The Evidential Problem of Evil", Nick Trakakis The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "The Logical Problem of Evil", James R. Beebe Peter van Inwagen (2008). The Problem of Evil. Oxford University Press. pp. 120, 123–126, context: 120–133. ISBN 978-0-19-954397-7. Nicholas J. Rengger, Moral Evil and International Relations, in SAIS Review 25:1, Winter/Spring 2005, pp. 3–16
Peter Kivy, Melville's Billy and the Secular Problem of Evil: the Worm in the Bud, in The Monist (1980), 63 Kekes, John (1990). Facing Evil. Princeton: Princeton UP. ISBN 0-691-073708. Timothy Anders, The Evolution of Evil (2000) Lawrence C. Becker; Charlotte B. Becker (2013). Encyclopedia of Ethics. Routledge. pp. 147–149. ISBN 978-1-135-35096-3. Problem of Evil, Paul Brians, Washington State University Stephen D. O'Leary (1998). Arguing the Apocalypse. Oxford University Press. pp. 34–35. ISBN 978-0-19-535296-2., Quote: "As Max Weber notes, however, it is in monotheistic religions that this problem becomes acute." Peter Harvey (2013). An Introduction to Buddhism: Teachings, History and Practices. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37, 141. ISBN 978-0-521-85942-4. Arthur Herman, The problem of evil and Indian thought, 2nd Edition, Motilal Banarsidass, ISBN 81-20807537, pp. 5 with Part II and III of the book Gregory A. Boyd (2003), Is God to Blame? (InterVarsity Press), ISBN 9780830823949, pages 55-58 Peter van Inwagen (2008). The Problem of Evil. Oxford University Press. pp. 22, 26–30, 6–10. ISBN 978-0-19-954397-7. Linda Edwards (2001). A Brief Guide to Beliefs: Ideas, Theologies, Mysteries, and Movements. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 59. ISBN 978-0-664-22259-8. John Swinton (2007). Raging with Compassion: Pastoral Responses to the Problem of Evil. Wm. B. Eerdmans. pp. 33–35, 119, 143. ISBN 978-0-8028-2997-9. Susan Neiman (2004). Evil in Modern Thought: An Alternative History of Philosophy. Princeton University Press. pp. 119–120, 318–322. ISBN 9780691117928. Micha de Winter (2012). Socialization and Civil Society. Springer. pp. 69–70. ISBN 978-94-6209-092-7. The formulation may have been wrongly attributed to Epicurus by Lactantius, who, from his Christian perspective, regarded Epicurus as an atheist. According to Mark Joseph Larrimore, (2001), The Problem of Evil, pp. xix–xxi. Wiley-Blackwell. According to Reinhold F. Glei, it is settled that the argument of theodicy is from an academical source which is not only not epicurean, but even anti-epicurean.
Reinhold F. Glei, Et invidus et inbecillus. Das angebliche Epikurfragment bei Laktanz, De ira dei 13,20–21, in: Vigiliae Christianae 42 (1988), p. 47–58 Rowe, William L. (1979). "The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism". American Philosophical Quarterly. 16: 336–337. Draper, Paul (1989). "Pain and Pleasure: An Evidential Problem for Theists". Noûs. Noûs, Vol. 23, No. 3. 23 (3): 331–350. doi:10.2307/2215486. JSTOR 2215486. Nicola Hoggard Creegan (2013). Animal Suffering and the Problem of Evil. Oxford University Press. pp. 44–55. ISBN 978-0-19-993185-9. Michael Murray (2008). Nature Red in Tooth and Claw: Theism and the Problem of Animal Suffering. Oxford University Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-19-1553271. Michael J. Almeida (2012). Freedom, God, and Worlds. Oxford University Press. pp. 193–194. ISBN 978-0-19-964002-7. Michael Murray (2008). Nature Red in Tooth and Claw: Theism and the Problem of Animal Suffering. Oxford University Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-19-1553271. Diogenes Allen (1990). Marilyn McCord Adams and Robert Merrihew Adams, ed. The Problem of Evil. Oxford University Press. pp. 204–206. ISBN 978-0-19824866-8. William L. Rowe (2007). William L. Rowe on Philosophy of Religion: Selected Writings. Ashgate. pp. 61–64 (the fawn's suffering example). ISBN 978-0-7546-55589. Michael J. Almeida (2012). Freedom, God, and Worlds. Oxford University Press. pp. 194–195, for the complete context and alternate formulations see pages 194–217. ISBN 978-0-19-964002-7. Honderich, Ted (2005). "theodicy". The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. ISBN 0-19-926479-1. John Hick, for example, proposes a theodicy, while Alvin Plantinga formulates a defence. The idea of human free will often appears in a both of these strategies, but in different ways. For more explanation regarding contradictory propositions and possible worlds, see Plantinga's "God, Freedom and Evil" (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans 1974), 24– 29.
Coined by Leibniz from Greek θεός (theós), "god" and δίκη (díkē), "justice", may refer to the project of "justifying God" – showing that God's existence is compatible with the existence of evil. Swinburne, Richard (2005). "evil, the problem of". In Ted Honderich. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. ISBN 0-19-926479-1. Ian Wilks (2014). "Chapter 31, for context see Chapters 29 and 30". In Justin P. McBrayer and Daniel Howard-Snyder. The Blackwell Companion to The Problem of Evil. Wiley. ISBN 978-1-118-60797-8. Trent Dougherty; Justin P. McBrayer (2014). Skeptical Theism: New Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 265–266. ISBN 978-0-19-966118-3. James Franklin Harris (2002). Analytic Philosophy of Religion. Springer. pp. 243–244. ISBN 978-1-4020-0530-5. Trent Dougherty; Justin P. McBrayer (2014). Skeptical Theism: New Essays. Oxford University Press. pp. 265–273. ISBN 978-0-19-966118-3. Whitney, B. "Theodicy". Gale Virtual Reference Library. Gale. Retrieved 10 December 2014. Gregory A. Boyd, Is God to Blame? (InterVarsity Press, 2003) ISBN 9780830823949, pages 55-58, 69-70, 76, 96. Michael Lacewing (2014). Philosophy for AS: Epistemology and Philosophy of Religion. Routledge. pp. 239–242. ISBN 978-1-317-63583-3. Plantinga, Alvin (1974). God, Freedom, and Evil. Harper & Row. p. 58. ISBN 08028-1731-9. Meister, Chad (2009). Introducing Philosophy of Religion. Routledge. p. 134. ISBN 0-415-40327-8. Sobel, J.H. Logic and Theism. Cambridge University Press (2004) pp. 436-7 Alvin Plantinga; Michael Tooley (2009). Knowledge of God. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 101–105. ISBN 978-1-4443-0131-1. Marilyn McCord Adams, Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God (Cornell University, 2000), 203. Marilyn McCord Adams, Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God (Melbourne University Press, 1999), 26. C. S. Lewis writes: "We can, perhaps, conceive of a world in which God corrected the results of this abuse of free will by His creatures at every moment: so that a wooden beam became soft as grass when it was used as a weapon, and the
air refused to obey me if I attempted to set up in it the sound waves that carry lies or insults. But such a world would be one in which wrong actions were impossible, and in which, therefore, freedom of the will would be void; nay, if the principle were carried out to its logical conclusion, evil thoughts would be impossible, for the cerebral matter which we use in thinking would refuse its task when we attempted to frame them." C.S. Lewis The Problem of Pain (HarperCollins, 1996) pp. 24–25 The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, s.v. "The Problem of Evil," Michael Tooley at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/evil/. "The Two Types of Evil," at http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/rs/god/chgoodandevilrev1.shtml. Accessed 10 July 2014. Alvin Plantinga, God, Freedom, and Evil (Eerdmans, 1989), 58. Bradley Hanson, Introduction to Christian Theology (Fortress, 1997), 99. Linda Edwards, A Brief Guide (Westminster John Knox, 2001), 62. Polkinghorne, John (2003). Belief in God in an Age of Science. New Haven, CT: Yale Nota Bene. p. 14. ISBN 978-0-300-09949-2. and also See esp. ch. 5 of his Science and Providence. ISBN 978-0-87773-490-1 Richard Swinburne in "Is There a God?" writes that "the operation of natural laws producing evils gives humans knowledge (if they choose to seek it) of how to bring about such evils themselves. Observing you can catch some disease by the operation of natural processes gives me the power either to use those processes to give that disease to other people, or through negligence to allow others to catch it, or to take measures to prevent others from catching the disease." In this way, "it increases the range of significant choice... The actions which natural evil makes possible are ones which allow us to perform at our best and interact with our fellows at the deepest level" (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996) 108–109. Bradley Hanson, Introduction to Christian Theology (Fortress, 1997), 100. Oppy, Graham. Arguing about Gods, pp. 314–39. Cambridge University Press, 2006. ISBN 0521863864 Simon Cushing (2010). "Evil, Freedom and the Heaven Dilemma" (PDF). Challenging Evil: Time, Society and Changing Concepts of the Meaning of Evil. InterDisciplinary Press. Retrieved 10 April 2014. David Ray Griffin (1991). Evil Revisited: Responses and Reconsiderations. State University of New York Press. pp. 94–95. ISBN 978-0-7914-0612-0.
John S. Feinberg (2004). The Many Faces of Evil (Revised and Expanded Edition): Theological Systems and the Problems of Evil. Crossway. pp. 94–95. ISBN 978-1-4335-1727-3. Nicola Hoggard Creegan (2013). Animal Suffering and the Problem of Evil. Oxford University Press. p. 48. ISBN 978-0-19-993185-9. Nicola Hoggard Creegan (2013). Animal Suffering and the Problem of Evil. Oxford University Press. pp. 48–51. ISBN 978-0-19-993185-9. John Hick (2016). Evil and the God of Love. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 201–216. ISBN 978-1-349-18048-6. John Hick, Evil and the God of Love , (Palgrave Macmillan, 2nd edition 1977, 2010 reissue), 325, 336. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "The Problem of Evil", James R. Beebe John Hick (2016). Evil and the God of Love. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 376–379. ISBN 978-1-349-18048-6. Nicola Hoggard Creegan (2013). Animal Suffering and the Problem of Evil. Oxford University Press. pp. 185 with footnote 3. ISBN 978-0-19-993184-2. Eleonore Stump (2008). Daniel Howard-Snyder, ed. The Evidential Argument from Evil. Indiana University Press. pp. 49–52. ISBN 0-253-11409-8. Stewart Goetz (2008). Freedom, Teleology, and Evil. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 139–147. ISBN 978-1-4411-7183-2. Benjamin W. McCraw; Robert Arp (2015). The Problem of Evil: New Philosophical Directions. Lexington. pp. 132–133. ISBN 978-1-4985-1208-4. If God Is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil, published by Random House of Canada, 2009, page 294; Quote: Without this eternal perspective, we assume that people who die young, who have handicaps, who suffer poor health, who don't get married or have children, or who don't do this or that will miss out on the best life has to offer. But the theology underlying these assumptions have a fatal flaw. It presumes that our present Earth, bodies, culture, relationships and lives are all there is... [but] Heaven will bring far more than compensation for our present sufferings. "Ordinary Morality Implies Atheism", European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 1:2 (2009), 107-126, Quote: "... may stem from imagining an ecstatic or forgiving state of mind on the part of the blissful: in heaven no one bears grudges,
even the most horrific earthly suffering is as nothing compared to infinite bliss, all past wrongs are forgiven. But "are forgiven" doesn’t mean "were justified"; the blissful person’s disinclination to dwell on his or her earthly suffering doesn’t imply that a perfect being was justified in permitting the suffering all along. By the same token, our ordinary moral practice recognizes a legitimate complaint about child abuse even if, as adults, its victims should happen to be on drugs that make them uninterested in complaining. Even if heaven swamps everything, it doesn’t thereby justify everything." Nicholas Jolley (2014). Larry M. Jorgensen and Samuel Newlands, ed. New Essays on Leibniz's Theodicy. Oxford University Press. pp. 64–68. ISBN 978-0-19966003-2. Andrew Chignell; Terence Cuneo; Matthew C. Halteman (2015). Philosophy Comes to Dinner: Arguments About the Ethics of Eating. Routledge. p. 269. ISBN 978-1-136-57807-6. Joseph Francis Kelly (2002). The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition. Liturgical Press. p. 42. ISBN 978-0-8146-5104-9. Millard J. Erickson, Christian Theology, Second Edition, Baker Academic, 2007, pp. 445-446. R. Jeffery (2007). Evil and International Relations: Human Suffering in an Age of Terror. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 49. ISBN 978-0-230-61035-4. Joseph Francis Kelly (2002). The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition. Liturgical Press. pp. 42–43. ISBN 978-0-8146-5104-9. Jairzinho Lopes Pereira (2013). Augustine of Hippo and Martin Luther on Original Sin and Justification of the Sinner. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. pp. 54–55. ISBN 978-3-647-55063-3. Jairzinho Lopes Pereira (2013). Augustine of Hippo and Martin Luther on Original Sin and Justification of the Sinner. Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. pp. 56 with footnote 25. ISBN 978-3-647-55063-3. Todd C. Calder (2007), Is the Privation Theory of Evil Dead?, American Philosophical Quarterly, Vol. 44, No. 4, pages 371-381 Stephen Gottschalk (1978). Christian Science. University of California Press. pp. 65–69. ISBN 978-0-520-03718-2. Millard J. Erickson (1998). Christian Theology. Baker Academic. pp. 446–447. ISBN 978-0-8010-2182-4.
Paul Russell (2016). The Oxford Handbook of Hume. Oxford University Press. pp. 625–632. ISBN 978-0-19-974284-4. C. S. Lewis Mere Christianity Touchstone:New York, 1980 pp. 45–46 Graham Oppy (2006), Arguing about Gods, pp. 17, 296. Cambridge University Press, ISBN 0521863864 Daniel Howard-Snyder (2008). The Evidential Argument from Evil. Indiana University Press. pp. 305–306. ISBN 0-253-11409-8. Bryan Frances (2013). Gratuitous Suffering and the Problem of Evil: A Comprehensive Introduction. Routledge. pp. 110–123. ISBN 978-0-415-66295-6. Karma Encyclopædia Britannica (2012) Francis Clooney (2005), in The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism (Editor: Gavin Flood), Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN 0631215352, pp. 454-455 Francis Clooney (1989), ‘‘Evil, Divine Omnipotence and Human Freedom: Vedanta’s theology of Karma, Journal of Religion, Vol. 69, pp 530-548 P. Bilimoria (2007), Karma’s suffering: A Mimamsa solution to the problem of evil, in Indian Ethics (Editors: Bilimoria et al.), Volume 1, Ashgate Publishing, ISBN 978-0754633013, pp. 171-189 See Kumarila’s ‘‘Slokavarttika’’; for English translation of parts and discussions: P. Bilimoria (1990), ‘ Hindu doubts about God - Towards a Mimamsa Deconstruction’, International Philosophical Quarterly, 30(4), pp. 481-499 P. Bilimoria (2013), Toward an Indian Theodicy, in The Blackwell Companion to the Problem of Evil (Editors: McBrayer and Howard-Snyder), 1st Edition, John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-0470671849, Chapter 19 B. Reichenbach (1998), Karma and the Problem of Evil, in Philosophy of Religion Toward a Global Perspective (Editor: G.E. Kessler), Wadsworth, ISBN 9780534505493, pp. 248–255 Yuvraj Krishan (1997). The Doctrine of Karma: Its Origin and Development in Brāhmaṇical, Buddhist, and Jaina Traditions. Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. pp. 17–20. ISBN 978-81-208-1233-8. Ursula Sharma (1973), Theodicy and the doctrine of karma, ‘‘Man’’, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 347-364 The Nyaya-Vaisesika school of Hinduism is one of the exceptions where the premise is similar to the Christian concept of an omnibenevolent, omnipotent creator
G. Obeyesekere (I968), Theodicy, sin and salvation in a sociology of Buddhism, in Practical religion (Ed. Edmund Leach), Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0521055253 Deism, Encyclopædia Britannica Lane, William C. (January 2010). "Leibniz's Best World Claim Restructured". American Philosophical Journal. 47 (1): 57–84. Retrieved 9 March 2014. Sarah K. Tyler, Gordon Reid, Revise for Religious Studies GCSE: For Edexcel: Religion and Life (Heinemann, 2004), 14. Holman Concise Bible Dictionary (B&H Publishing Group, 2011), s.v. Evil, 207; s.v. Sin, 252; s.v. Suffering, 584. Haldane, J.J. (2003). Atheism and Theism (Second ed.). Blackwell Publishing. pp. 102–105. ISBN 0-631-23259-1. Heidegger, Martin (2003) . Being and Time. Blackwell. pp. 426–427 (H 374) 458–472 (H 406–421). ISBN 0-631-19770-2. Summa Contra Gentiles III c. 7 Summa Theologica Ia q. 49 a. 3 Summa Theologica Ia q. 49 a. 1 and Summa Contra Gentiles III c. 10 Luther, Martin (1525). On the Bondage of the Will. The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition: From the Book of Job to Modern Genetics, Joseph F. Kelly, p. 94–96 http://andregounelle.fr/dieu/quelle-puissance-l-impossible-toute-puissance.php https://oratoiredulouvre.fr/dictionnaire/puissant-tout-puissant.php Robert Peel, 1987, Spiritual Healing in a Scientific Age, San Francisco, Harper and Row, 1987 Ben Dupre, "The Problem of Evil," 50 Philosophy Ideas You Really Need to Know, London, Quercus, 2007, p. 166: "Denying that there is ultimately any such thing as evil, as advocated by Christian Scientists, solves the problem at a stroke, but such a remedy is too hard for most to swallow." "Why All Suffering Is Soon to End", The Watchtower, 15 May 2007, page 21, "For some, the obstacle [to believing in God] involves what is often called the problem of evil. They feel that if God exists and is almighty and loving, the evil and suffering in the world cannot be explained. No God who tolerates evil could exist, they reason... Satan has surely proved adept at blinding human minds. ...God is not responsible for the wickedness so prevalent in the world." [emphasis added] 
Penton, M.J. (1997). Apocalypse Delayed. University of Toronto Press. pp. 189, 190. ISBN 9780802079732. "Why Does God Allow Evil and Suffering?", The Watchtower, 1 May 2011, page 16,  "Why Is There So Much Suffering?", Awake, July 2011, page 4 Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 2:11-13 "Gospel Principles Chapter 4: Freedom to Choose". Https:. Retrieved 27 December 2015. "Chapter 10: The Purpose of Earth Life". Doctrines of the Gospel, Student Manual. Institutes of Religion, Church Educational System. 2000. Bickmore, Barry R. (2001), Does God Have A Body in Human Form? (PDF), FairMormon Webb, Stephen H. (2011). "Godbodied: The Matter of the Latter-day Saints". BYU Studies. 50 (3). Also found in: Webb, Stephen H. (2011). "Godbodied: The Matter of the Latter-day Saints". Jesus Christ, Eternal God: Heavenly Flesh and the Metaphysics of Matter. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199827954.001.0001. ISBN 9780199827954. OCLC 696603512. Doctrine and Covenants 88:6 Roberts, B. H. (1911). "Lesson 12". The Seventy's Course in Theology — Fourth Year: The Atonement. Salt Lake City: Deseret News. p. 70. Pearl of Great Price, Abraham 3:24 Maxwell, Neil A. (March 1998), "The Richness of the Restoration", Ensign "Gospel Principles Chapter 47: Exaltation". Https:. Retrieved 27 December 2015. Hales, Robert D. (April 2006), "To Act for Ourselves: The Gift and Blessings of Agency", Ensign Mr Ibrahim M Abu-Rabi (2013). Theodicy and Justice in Modern Islamic Thought: The Case of Said Nursi. Ashgate. pp. 11–13. ISBN 978-1-4094-8095-2. Ayman Shihadeh (2006). Josef W. Meri and Jere L. Bacharach, ed. Medieval Islamic Civilization: L-Z, index. Routledge. p. 772. ISBN 978-0-415-96692-4. Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka; Nazif Muhtaroglu (2009). Classic Issues in Islamic Philosophy and Theology Today. Springer. pp. 117, 128–132. ISBN 978-90-4813573-8.
Shams C. Inati (2000). The Problem of Evil: Ibn Sînâ's Theodicy. Global Academic. pp. 67–71, 171–172. ISBN 978-1-58684-006-8. Henning Graf Reventlow; Yair Hoffman (2004). The Problem of Evil and its Symbols in Jewish and Christian Tradition. Bloomsbury Academic. p. 17. ISBN 9780-8264-0085-7. Henning Graf Reventlow; Yair Hoffman (2004). The Problem of Evil and its Symbols in Jewish and Christian Tradition. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 16–18, Quote: "... nowhere in this book is there a comprehensive concept of evil as such, let alone awareness of a theological problem of evil.". ISBN 978-0-8264-0085-7. Henning Graf Reventlow; Yair Hoffman (2004). The Problem of Evil and its Symbols in Jewish and Christian Tradition. Bloomsbury Academic. p. 26. ISBN 9780-8264-0085-7. Nicholas Robert Michael De Lange; Miri Freud-Kandel (2005). Modern Judaism: An Oxford Guide. Oxford University Press. p. 315. ISBN 978-0-19-9262878. Nicholas Robert Michael De Lange; Miri Freud-Kandel (2005). Modern Judaism: An Oxford Guide. Oxford University Press. pp. 314–315. ISBN 978-0-19926287-8. Joseph Francis Kelly (2002). The Problem of Evil in the Western Tradition: From the Book of Job to Modern Genetics. Liturgical Press. pp. 219–220. ISBN 9780-8146-5104-9. Nicholas Robert Michael De Lange; Miri Freud-Kandel (2005). Modern Judaism: An Oxford Guide. Oxford University Press. pp. 315–316. ISBN 978-0-19926287-8. Daniel Rynhold (2005). Nicholas Robert Michael De Lange and Miri FreudKandel, ed. Modern Judaism: An Oxford Guide. Oxford University Press. pp. 315– 317. ISBN 978-0-19-926287-8. Nicholas Robert Michael De Lange; Miri Freud-Kandel (2005). Modern Judaism: An Oxford Guide. Oxford University Press. pp. 314–318. ISBN 978-0-19926287-8. Daniel Rynhold (2005). Nicholas Robert Michael De Lange and Miri FreudKandel, ed. Modern Judaism: An Oxford Guide. Oxford University Press. p. 317. ISBN 978-0-19-926287-8.
Roland Enmarch (2008), Theodicy, UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, Editors: Dieleman and Wendrich Homer (1990). The Iliad. NewYork: Penguin Books. Kirby, John. "Gods and Goddesses". Gale Virtual Reference Library. Retrieved 12 December 2014. Bolle, Kees. "Fate". Gale Virtual Reference Library. Macmillan Reference USA. Retrieved 12 December 2014. P. Koslowski (2001). The Origin and the Overcoming of Evil and Suffering in the World Religions. Springer. pp. 10–15. ISBN 978-1-4020-0187-1. Masao Abe (2007). Paul O. Ingram and Frederick J. Streng, ed. BuddhistChristian Dialogue: Mutual Renewal and Transformation. Wipf and Stock. pp. 145– 147. ISBN 978-1-55635-381-9. E. B. Cowell (ed.) (1895, 2000), The Jataka or Stories of the Buddha's Former Births (6 vols.), p. 110. Retrieved 22 December 2008 from "Google Books" at  Paul Williams; Anthony Tribe; Alexander Wynne (2012). "Chapter 2". Buddhist Thought: A Complete Introduction to the Indian Tradition. Routledge. pp. 30–52. ISBN 978-1-136-52087-7. Paul Williams (2008). Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations. Routledge. pp. 103–109. ISBN 978-1-134-25056-1. S. K. Hookham (1991). The Buddha Within: Tathagatagarbha Doctrine According to the Shentong Interpretation of the Ratnagotravibhaga. State University of New York Press. pp. 100–104. ISBN 978-0-7914-0357-0. Paul Williams (2008). Mahayana Buddhism: The Doctrinal Foundations. Routledge. pp. 104–105, 108. ISBN 978-1-134-25056-1. Merv Fowler (1999). Buddhism: Beliefs and Practices. Sussex Academic Press. pp. 101–102. ISBN 978-1-898723-66-0., Quote: "Some texts of the tathagatagarbha literature, such as the Mahaparinirvana Sutra actually refer to an atman, though other texts are careful to avoid the term. This would be in direct opposition to the general teachings of Buddhism on anatta. Indeed, the distinctions between the general Indian concept of atman and the popular Buddhist concept of Buddha-nature are often blurred to the point that writers consider them to be synonymous." John Bowker (1975). Problems of Suffering in Religions of the World. Cambridge University Press. pp. 194, 206–220. ISBN 978-0-521-09903-5.
Othmar Gächter (1998). "Evil and Suffering in Hinduism". Anthropos. Bd. 93, H. 4./6.: 393–403. JSTOR 40464839. Kaufman, Whitley R. P. (2005). "Karma, Rebirth, and the Problem of Evil". Philosophy East and West. Johns Hopkins University Press. 55 (1): 15–32. doi:10.1353/pew.2004.0044. Francis Clooney (2005), in The Blackwell Companion to Hinduism (Ed: Gavin Flood), Wiley-Blackwell, ISBN 0631215352, pages 454-455; John Bowker (1975). Problems of Suffering in Religions of the World. Cambridge University Press. pp. 194, 206–220. ISBN 978-0-521-09903-5.; Chad V. Meister (2010). The Oxford Handbook of Religious Diversity. Oxford University Press. pp. 163–164. ISBN 978-0-19-534013-6. Francis X. Clooney (1989), Evil, Divine Omnipotence, and Human Freedom: Vedānta's Theology of Karma, The Journal of Religion, Vol. 69, No. 4, pages 530548 NV Isaeva (1992), Shankara and Indian Philosophy, State University of New York Press, ISBN 978-0-7914-1281-7, page 36 James Lochtefeld, Brahman, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Vol. 1: A–M, Rosen Publishing, ISBN 978-0823931798, page 124 S Radhakrishnan (1960), Brahmasutras: the philosophy of spiritual life, George Allen, pages 363-365 Arvind Sharma (2008). The Philosophy of Religion and Advaita Vedanta: A Comparative Study in Religion and Reason. Pennsylvania State University Press. pp. 30–32. ISBN 978-0-271-03946-6. Arvind Sharma (2008). The Philosophy of Religion and Advaita Vedanta: A Comparative Study in Religion and Reason. Pennsylvania State University Press. pp. 23–24. ISBN 978-0-271-03946-6. Arvind Sharma (2008). The Philosophy of Religion and Advaita Vedanta: A Comparative Study in Religion and Reason. Pennsylvania State University Press. pp. 25–27. ISBN 978-0-271-03946-6. Arvind Sharma (2008). The Philosophy of Religion and Advaita Vedanta: A Comparative Study in Religion and Reason. Pennsylvania State University Press. pp. 26–32. ISBN 978-0-271-03946-6. Swami Gambhirananda (1965). Brahma Sutra Bhasya Of Shankaracharya. Vedanta Press & Bookshop. ISBN 978-8175051058.
Sabapathy Kulandran and Hendrik Kraemer (2004), Grace in Christianity and Hinduism, James Clarke, ISBN 978-0227172360, pages 177-179 Jones & Ryan 2006, p. 266. Sarma 2000, pp. 19-21. Sharma 1962, p. 361. David Buchta (2014). Matthew R. Dasti and Edwin F. Bryant, ed. Free Will, Agency, and Selfhood in Indian Philosophy. Oxford University Press. pp. 270–276. ISBN 978-0199922758. Sharma 1962, p. 270, 370-371. Sharma 1962, p. 270, 370-371, Quote: The problem of evil and suffering in the world is the most difficult one in Theism. We have explained Madhva's attitude to the allied problem of freedom and freewill, on the basis of the doctrine of natural selection of good or bad and of the tripartite classification of souls. It is not therefore necessary for Madhva to answer the question of the consistency of evil with Divine goodness.. Justin P. McBrayer; Daniel Howard-Snyder (2014). The Blackwell Companion to The Problem of Evil. Wiley. p. 26. ISBN 978-1-118-60797-8. Hospers, John. An Introduction to Philosophical Analysis. 3rd Ed. Routledge, 1990, p. 310. Lactantius. "Caput XIII". De Ira Dei (PDF) (in Latin). p. 121. At the Documenta Catholica Omnia. Rev. Roberts, Alexander; Donaldson, James, eds. (1871). "On the Anger of God. Chapter XIII". The works of Lactantius. Ante-Nicene Christian Library. Translations of the writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325. Vol XXII. II. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, George Street. p. 28. At the Internet Archive. Hume, David. "Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion". Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 12 January 2012. Malthus T.R. 1798. An essay on the principle of population. Oxford World's Classics reprint. p158 Thomas Malthus (1798), An essay on the principle of population, Oxford Classics, page 123 Making the Task of Theodicy Impossible?, William Dembski (2003), Baylor University, page 11
See Kant's essay, "Concerning the Possibility of a Theodicy and the Failure of All Previous Philosophical Attempts in the Field" (1791). Stephen Palmquist explains why Kant refuses to solve the problem of evil in "Faith in the Face of Evil", Appendix VI of Kant's Critical Religion (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2000). Making the Task of Theodicy Impossible?, William Dembski (2003), Baylor University, page 12  Cahn, Stephen M. (1977). Cacodaemony. Analysis, Vol. 37, No. 2, pp. 6973.  Law, Stephen (2010). The Evil-God Challenge. Religious Studies 46 (3):353-373 Cacodaemony and Devilish Isomorphism, King-Farlow, J. (1978), Cacodaemony and Devilish Isomorphism, Analysis, Vol. 38, No. 1, pp. 59–61. Dittman, Volker and Tremblay, François "The Immorality of Theodicies". StrongAtheism.net. 2004. Stretton, Dean (1999). "The Moral Argument from Evil". The Secular Web. Retrieved 10 April 2014. Rachels, James (1997). "God and Moral Autonomy". Retrieved 10 April 2014. 191.
Bradley, Raymond (1999). "A Moral Argument for Atheism". The
Secular Web. Retrieved 10 April 2014. Further reading •
Adams, Marilyn McCord and Robert M. Adams, eds. "The Problem of Evil". Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990. The standard anthology in English. Contains classic papers by recent philosophers of religion in the analytic tradition. Deals with both the logical problem and the evidential problem.
Adams, Marilyn McCord. "Horrendous Evils and the Goodness of God." Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1999.
Adams, Robert M. "Must God Create the Best?" in "The Virtue of Faith and Other Essays in Philosophical Theology". New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.
Adams, Robert M. "Existence, Self-Interest and the Problem of Evil" in "The Virtue of Faith and Other Essays in Philosophical Theology". New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.
Aquinas, Thomas. On Evil (De Malo), trans. Regan; ed. Brian Davies. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2003.
Beebe, James R. (2006). "The Logical Problem of Evil". In Fieser, James; Bradley, Dowden. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Boyd, Gregory A. (2003). Is God to Blame?. InterVarsity Press. ISBN 0-83082394-8.
Carver, Thomas N. (1908). "The Economic Basis of the Problem of Evil," Harvard Theological Review, 1(1), pp. 97-111.
Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. The Brothers Karamazov, 1881. Chapters "Rebellion" and "The Grand Inquisitor"
Hick, John (1966). Evil and the God of Love. London: Macmillan. ISBN 978-006-063902-0.
Howard-Snyder, Daniel, ed. The Evidential Problem of Evil. Bloomington and Indianapolis, IN: Indian University Press, 1996. Probably the best collection of essays in English on the evidential argument from evil. Includes most of the major players on the topic.
Mackie, J. L. (1982). The Miracle of Theism. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-06-063902-0.
Hume, David. Dialogues on Natural Religion (Parts X and XI), ed. Richard Pokin. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1980.
Leibniz, Gottfried. (1710). Theodicy.
Leibniz, Gottfried. (1765). "A Vindication of God's Justice...", ("Causa Dei") trans. Paul Schrecker and Anne Martin Schrecker. New York: MacMillan, 1965.
Murray, Michael (1998). "Leibniz on the Problem of Evil". In Zalta, Edward N. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Ormsby, Eric. Theodicy in Islamic Thought (Princeton University Press, 1984)
Palmquist, Stephen (2000). "Faith in the Face of Evil (Appendix VI)". Kant's Critical Religion. Aldershot, England: Ashgate. ISBN 0-7546-1333-X.
Plantinga, Alvin (1974). The Nature of Necessity. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-824414-1.
Plantinga, Alvin (1977). God, Freedom, and Evil. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. ISBN 978-0-8028-1731-0.
Rowe, William L. (1990). "The Problem of Evil and Some Varieties of Atheism" in The Problem of Evil, ed. Marilyn McCord Adams and Robert M. Adams. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Stewart, Matthew. The Courtier and the Heretic: Leibniz, Spinoza and the Fate of God in the Modern World. W.W. Norton, 2005.
Streminger, Gerhard (1992). Gottes Güte und die Übel der Welt. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. ISBN 978-3-16-145889-7.
Swinburne, Richard (1997). The Coherence of Theism. Oxford: Clarendon Press. ISBN 978-0-19-824070-9.
Swinburne, Richard. (1998). Providence and the Problem of Evil. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Tooley, Michael (2002). "The Problem of Evil". In Zalta, Edward N. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Trakakis, Nick (2006). "Evidential Problem of Evil". In Fieser, James; Bradley, Dowden. The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Van Inwagen, Peter. (2006). The Problem of Evil. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Wilson, William McF.; Hartt, Julian N. (2004). "Farrer's Theodicy". In Hein, David; Henderson, Edward. Captured by the Crucified: The Practical Theology of Austin Farrer. New York: T & T Clark International. pp. 100–118. ISBN 0-567-02510-1.
Jones, Constance; Ryan, James D. (2006), Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Infobase
Sharma, B. N. Krishnamurti (1962). Philosophy of Śrī Madhvācārya. Motilal Banarsidass (2014 Reprint). ISBN 978-8120800687.
Sharma, B. N. Krishnamurti (2000). A History of the Dvaita School of Vedānta and Its Literature, 3rd Edition. Motilal Banarsidass (2008 Reprint). ISBN 9788120815759.
Sharma, Chandradhar (1994). A Critical Survey of Indian Philosophy. Motilal Banarsidass. ISBN 81-208-0365-5.
Sarma, Deepak (2000). "Is Jesus a Hindu? S.C. Vasu and Multiple Madhva Misrepresentations". Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies. 13. doi:10.7825/2164-6279.1228.
Sarma, Deepak (2005). Epistemologies and the Limitations of Philosophical Enquiry: Doctrine in Madhva Vedanta. Routledge.
Voltaire. (1759) Candide. Many editions. Voltaire's caustic response to Leibniz' doctrine that this is the best possible world.
Article Whether good can be the cause of evil? Objection 1. It would seem that good cannot be the cause of evil. For it is said (Matthew 7:18): "A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit." Objection 2. Further, one contrary cannot be the cause of another. But evil is the contrary to good. Therefore good cannot be the cause of evil. Objection 3. Further, a deficient effect can proceed only from a deficient cause. But evil is a deficient effect. Therefore its cause, if it has one, is deficient. But everything deficient is an evil. Therefore the cause of evil can only be evil. Objection 4. Further, Dionysius says (Div. Nom. iv) that evil has no cause. Therefore good is not the cause of evil. On the contrary, Augustine says (Contra Julian. i, 9): "There is no possible source of evil except good." I answer that, It must be said that every evil in some way has a cause. For evil is the absence of the good, which is natural and due to a thing. But that anything fail from its natural and due disposition can come only from some cause drawing it out of its proper disposition. For a heavy thing is not moved upwards except by some impelling force; nor does an agent fail in its action except from some impediment. But only good can be a cause; because nothing can be a cause except inasmuch as it is a being, and every being, as such, is good. And if we consider the special kinds of causes, we see that the agent, the form, and the end, import some kind of perfection which belongs to the notion of good. Even matter, as a potentiality to good, has the nature of good. Now that good is the cause of evil by way of the material cause was shown above (I:48:3). For it was shown that good is the subject of evil. But evil has no formal cause, rather is
it a privation of form; likewise, neither has it a final cause, but rather is it a privation of order to the proper end; since not only the end has the nature of good, but also the useful, which is ordered to the end. Evil, however, has a cause by way of an agent, not directly, but accidentally. In proof of this, we must know that evil is caused in the action otherwise than in the effect. In the action evil is caused by reason of the defect of some principle of action, either of the principal or the instrumental agent; thus the defect in the movement of an animal may happen by reason of the weakness of the motive power, as in the case of children, or by reason only of the ineptitude of the instrument, as in the lame. On the other hand, evil is caused in a thing, but not in the proper effect of the agent, sometimes by the power of the agent, sometimes by reason of a defect, either of the agent or of the matter. It is caused by reason of the power or perfection of the agent when there necessarily follows on the form intended by the agent the privation of another form; as, for instance, when on the form of fire there follows the privation of the form of air or of water. Therefore, as the more perfect the fire is in strength, so much the more perfectly does it impress its own form, so also the more perfectly does it corrupt the contrary. Hence that evil and corruption befall air and water comes from the perfection of the fire: but this is accidental; because fire does not aim at the privation of the form of water, but at the bringing in of its own form, though by doing this it also accidentally causes the other. But if there is a defect in the proper effect of the fire--as, for instance, that it fails to heat--this comes either by defect of the action, which implies the defect of some principle, as was said above, or by the indisposition of the matter, which does not receive the action of the fire, the agent. But this very fact that it is a deficient being is accidental to good to which of itself it belongs to act. Hence it is true that evil in no way has any but an accidental cause; and thus is good the cause of evil. Reply to Objection 1. As Augustine says (Contra Julian. i): "The Lord calls an evil will the evil tree, and a good will a good tree." Now, a good will does not produce a morally bad act, since it is from the good will itself that a moral act is judged to be good. Nevertheless the movement itself of an evil will is caused by the rational creature, which is good; and thus good is the cause of evil.
Reply to Objection 2. Good does not cause that evil which is contrary to itself, but some other evil: thus the goodness of the fire causes evil to the water, and man, good as to his nature, causes an act morally evil. And, as explained above (I:19:9), this is by accident. Moreover, it does happen sometimes that one contrary causes another by accident: for instance, the exterior surrounding cold heats (the body) through the concentration of the inward heat. Reply to Objection 3. Evil has a deficient cause in voluntary things otherwise than in natural things. For the natural agent produces the same kind of effect as it is itself, unless it is impeded by some exterior thing; and this amounts to some defect belonging to it. Hence evil never follows in the effect, unless some other evil pre-exists in the agent or in the matter, as was said above. But in voluntary things the defect of the action comes from the will actually deficient, inasmuch as it does not actually subject itself to its proper rule. This defect, however, is not a fault, but fault follows upon it from the fact that the will acts with this defect. Reply to Objection 4. Evil has no direct cause, but only an accidental cause, as was said above. Article 2. Whether the supreme good, God, is the cause of evil? Objection 1. It would seem that the supreme good, God, is the cause of evil. For it is said (Isaiah 45:5-7): "I am the Lord, and there is no other God, forming the light, and creating darkness, making peace, and creating evil." And Amos 3:6, "Shall there be evil in a city, which the Lord hath not done?" Objection 2. Further, the effect of the secondary cause is reduced to the first cause. But good is the cause of evil, as was said above (Article 1). Therefore, since God is the cause of every good, as was shown above (I:2:3; I:6:4), it follows that also every evil is from God. Objection 3. Further, as is said by the Philosopher (Phys. ii, text 30), the cause of both safety and danger of the ship is the same. But God is the cause of the safety of all things. Therefore He is the cause of all perdition and of all evil.
On the contrary, Augustine says (QQ. 83, qu. 21), that, "God is not the author of evil because He is not the cause of tending to not-being." I answer that, As appears from what was said (Article 1), the evil which consists in the defect of action is always caused by the defect of the agent. But in God there is no defect, but the highest perfection, as was shown above (I:4:1). Hence, the evil which consists in defect of action, or which is caused by defect of the agent, is not reduced to God as to its cause. But the evil which consists in the corruption of some things is reduced to God as the cause. And this appears as regards both natural things and voluntary things. For it was said (Article 1) that some agent inasmuch as it produces by its power a form to which follows corruption and defect, causes by its power that corruption and defect. But it is manifest that the form which God chiefly intends in things created is the good of the order of the universe. Now, the order of the universe requires, as was said above (I:22:2 ad 2; I:48:2), that there should be some things that can, and do sometimes, fail. And thus God, by causing in things the good of the order of the universe, consequently and as it were by accident, causes the corruptions of things, according to 1 Samuel 2:6: "The Lord killeth and maketh alive." But when we read that "God hath not made death" (Wisdom 1:13), the sense is that God does not will death for its own sake. Nevertheless the order of justice belongs to the order of the universe; and this requires that penalty should be dealt out to sinners. And so God is the author of the evil which is penalty, but not of the evil which is fault, by reason of what is said above. Reply to Objection 1. These passages refer to the evil of penalty, and not to the evil of fault. Reply to Objection 2. The effect of the deficient secondary cause is reduced to the first non-deficient cause as regards what it has of being and perfection, but not as regards what it has of defect; just as whatever there is of motion in the act of limping is caused by the motive power, whereas what there is of obliqueness in it does not come from the motive power, but from the curvature of the leg. And, likewise, whatever there is of being and action in a bad action, is reduced to God
as the cause; whereas whatever defect is in it is not caused by God, but by the deficient secondary cause. Reply to Objection 3. The sinking of a ship is attributed to the sailor as the cause, from the fact that he does not fulfil what the safety of the ship requires; but God does not fail in doing what is necessary for the safety of all. Hence there is no parity. Article 3. Whether there be one supreme evil which is the cause of every evil? Objection 1. It would seem that there is one supreme evil which is the cause of every evil. For contrary effects have contrary causes. But contrariety is found in things, according to Sirach 33:15: "Good is set against evil, and life against death; so also is the sinner against a just man." Therefore there are many contrary principles, one of good, the other of evil. Objection 2. Further, if one contrary is in nature, so is the other. But the supreme good is in nature, and is the cause of every good, as was shown above (I:2:3; I:6:4). Therefore, also, there is a supreme evil opposed to it as the cause of every evil. Objection 3. Further, as we find good and better things, so we find evil and worse. But good and better are so considered in relation to what is best. Therefore evil and worse are so considered in relation to some supreme evil. Objection 4. Further, everything participated is reduced to what is essential. But things which are evil among us are evil not essentially, but by participation. Therefore we must seek for some supreme essential evil, which is the cause of every evil. Objection 5. Further, whatever is accidental is reduced to that which is "per se." But good is the accidental cause of evil. Therefore, we must suppose some supreme evil which is the per se cause of evils. Nor can it be said that evil has no per se cause, but only an accidental cause; for it would then follow that evil would not exist in the many, but only in the few.
Objection 6. Further, the evil of the effect is reduced to the evil of the cause; because the deficient effect comes from the deficient cause, as was said above (Articles 1 and 2). But we cannot proceed to infinity in this matter. Therefore, we must suppose one first evil as the cause of every evil. On the contrary, The supreme good is the cause of every being, as was shown above (I:2:3; I:6:4). Therefore there cannot be any principle opposed to it as the cause of evils. I answer that, It appears from what precedes that there is no one first principle of evil, as there is one first principle of good. First, indeed, because the first principle of good is essentially good, as was shown above (I:6:4). But nothing can be essentially bad. For it was shown above that every being, as such, is good (I:5:3); and that evil can exist only in good as in its subject (I:48:3. Secondly, because the first principle of good is the highest and perfect good which pre-contains in itself all goodness, as shown above (I:6:2). But there cannot be a supreme evil; because, as was shown above (I:48:4), although evil always lessens good, yet it never wholly consumes it; and thus, while good ever remains, nothing can be wholly and perfectly bad. Therefore, the Philosopher says (Ethic. iv, 5) that "if the wholly evil could be, it would destroy itself"; because all good being destroyed (which it need be for something to be wholly evil), evil itself would be taken away, since its subject is good. Thirdly, because the very nature of evil is against the idea of a first principle; both because every evil is caused by good, as was shown above (Article 1), and because evil can be only an accidental cause, and thus it cannot be the first cause, for the accidental cause is subsequent to the direct cause. Those, however, who upheld two first principles, one good and the other evil, fell into this error from the same cause, whence also arose other strange notions of the ancients; namely, because they failed to consider the universal cause of all being, and considered only the particular causes of particular effects. For on that
account, if they found a thing hurtful to something by the power of its own nature, they thought that the very nature of that thing was evil; as, for instance, if one should say that the nature of fire was evil because it burnt the house of a poor man. The judgment, however, of the goodness of anything does not depend upon its order to any particular thing, but rather upon what it is in itself, and on its order to the whole universe, wherein every part has its own perfectly ordered place, as was said above (I:47:2 ad 1). Likewise, because they found two contrary particular causes of two contrary particular effects, they did not know how to reduce these contrary particular causes to the universal common cause; and therefore they extended the contrariety of causes even to the first principles. But since all contraries agree in something common, it is necessary to search for one common cause for them above their own contrary proper causes; as above the contrary qualities of the elements exists the power of a heavenly body; and above all things that exist, no matter how, there exists one first principle of being, as was shown above (I:2:3). Reply to Objection 1. Contraries agree in one genus, and they also agree in the nature of being; and therefore, although they have contrary particular cause, nevertheless we must come at last to one first common cause. Reply to Objection 2. Privation and habit belong naturally to the same subject. Now the subject of privation is a being in potentiality, as was said above (I:48:3). Hence, since evil is privation of good, as appears from what was said above (I:48:1-3), it is opposed to that good which has some potentiality, but not to the supreme good, who is pure act. Reply to Objection 3. Increase in intensity is in proportion to the nature of a thing. And as the form is a perfection, so privation removes a perfection. Hence every form, perfection, and good is intensified by approach to the perfect term; but privation and evil by receding from that term. Hence a thing is not said to be evil and worse, by reason of access to the supreme evil, in the same way as it is said to be good and better, by reason of access to the supreme good.
Reply to Objection 4. No being is called evil by participation, but by privation of participation. Hence it is not necessary to reduce it to any essential evil. Reply to Objection 5. Evil can only have an accidental cause, as was shown above (Article 1). Hence reduction to any per se cause of evil is impossible. And to say that evil is in the greater number is simply false. For things which are generated and corrupted, in which alone can there be natural evil, are the smaller part of the whole universe. And again, in every species the defect of nature is in the smaller number. In man alone does evil appear as in the greater number; because the good of man as regards the senses is not the good of man as man-that is, in regard to reason; and more men seek good in regard to the senses than good according to reason. Reply to Objection 6. In the causes of evil we do not proceed to infinity, but reduce all evils to some good cause, whence evil follows accidentally. The Summa Theologiæ of St. Thomas Aquinas Second and Revised Edition, 1920 Evil, in a large sense, may be described as the sum of the opposition, which experience shows to exist in the universe, to the desires and needs of individuals; whence arises, among human beings at least, the sufferings in which life abounds. Thus evil, from the point of view of human welfare, is what ought not to exist. Nevertheless, there is no department of human life in which its presence is not felt; and the discrepancy between what is and what ought to be has always called for explanation in the account which mankind has sought to give of itself and its surroundings. For this purpose it is necessary (1) to define the precise nature of the principle that imparts the character of evil to so great a variety of circumstances, and (2) to ascertain, as far as may be possible, the source from which it arises. With regard to the nature of evil, it should be observed that evil is of three kinds — physical, moral, and metaphysical. Physical evil includes all that causes harm to man, whether by bodily injury, by thwarting his natural desires, or by preventing the full development of his powers, either in the order of nature directly, or through the various social conditions under which mankind naturally exists. Physical evils directly
due to nature are sickness, accident, death, etc. Poverty, oppression, and some forms of disease are instances of evil arising from imperfect social organization. Mental suffering, such as anxiety, disappointment, and remorse, and the limitation of intelligence which prevents human beings from attaining to the full comprehension of their environment, are congenital forms of evil; each vary in character and degree according to natural disposition and social circumstances. By moral evil are understood the deviation of human volition from the prescriptions of the moral order and the action which results from that deviation. Such action, when it proceeds solely from ignorance, is not to be classed as moral evil, which is properly restricted to the motions of will towards ends of which the conscience disapproves. The extent of moral evil is not limited to the circumstances of life in the natural order, but includes also the sphere of religion, by which man's welfare is affected in the supernatural order, and the precepts of which, as depending ultimately upon the will of God, are of the strictest possible obligation (see SIN). The obligation to moral action in the natural order is, moreover, generally believed to depend on the motives supplied by religion; and it is at least doubtful whether it is possible for moral obligation to exist at all apart from a supernatural sanction. Metaphysical evil is the limitation by one another of various component parts of the natural world. Through this mutual limitation natural objects are for the most part prevented from attaining to their full or ideal perfection, whether by the constant pressure of physical condition, or by sudden catastrophes. Thus, animal and vegetable organisms are variously influenced by climate and other natural causes; predatory animals depend for their existence on the destruction of life; nature is subject to storms and convulsions, and its order depends on a system of perpetual decay and renewal due to the interaction of its constituent parts. If animals suffering is excluded, no pain of any kind is caused by the inevitable limitations of nature; and they can only be called evil by analogy, and in a sense quite different from that in which the term is applied to human experience. Clarke, moreover, has aptly remarked (Correspondence with Leibniz, letter ii) that the apparent disorder of nature is really no disorder, since it is part of a definite scheme, and precisely fulfills the intention of the Creator; it may therefore be counted as a relative perfection rather than an imperfection. It is, in fact, only by a transference to irrational objects of the
subjective ideals and aspirations of human intelligence, that the "evil of nature" can be called evil in any sense but a merely analogous one. The nature and degree of pain in lower animals is very obscure, and in the necessary absence of data it is difficult to say whether it should rightly be classed with the merely formal evil which belongs to inanimate objects, or with the suffering of human beings. The latter view was generally held in ancient times, and may perhaps be referred to the anthropomorphic tendency of primitive minds which appears in the doctrine of metempsychosis. Thus it has often been supposed that animal suffering, together with many of the imperfections of inanimate nature, was due to the fall of man, with whose welfare, as the chief part of creation, were bound up the fortunes of the rest (see Theoph. Antioch., Ad Autolyc., II; cf. Genesis 3 and 1 Corinthians 9). The opposite view is taken by St. Thomas (I, Q. xcvi, a. 1,2). Descartes supposed that animals were merely machines, without sensation or consciousness; he was closely followed by Malebranche and Cartesians generally. Leibniz grants sensation to animals, but considers that mere sense-perception, unaccompanied by reflexion, cannot cause either pain or pleasure; in any case he holds the pain and pleasure of animals to be parable in degree to those resulting from reflex action in man (see also Maher, Psychology, Supp't. A, London, 1903). It is evident again that all evil is essentially negative and not positive; i.e. it consists not in the acquisition of anything, but in the loss or deprivation of something necessary for perfection. Pain, which is the test or criterion of physical evil, has indeed a positive, though purely subjective existence as a sensation or emotion; but its evil quality lies in its disturbing effect on the sufferer. In like manner, the perverse action of the will, upon which moral evil depends, is more than a mere negation of right action, implying as it does the positive element of choice; but the morally evil character of wrong action is constituted not by the element of choice, but by its rejection of what right reason requires. Thus Origen (In Joh., ii, 7) defines evil as stéresis; the Pseudo-Dionysius (De Div. Nom. iv) as the non-existent; Maimonides (Dux perplex. iii, 10) as "privato boni alicujus"; Albertus Magnus (adopting St. Augustine's phrase) attributes evil to "aliqua causa deficiens" (Summa Theol., I, xi, 4); Schopenhauer, who held pain to be the positive and normal condition of life (pleasure being its partial and temporary absence), nevertheless made it depend upon the failure of human desire to obtain fulfillment--"the wish is in itself pain". Thus
it will be seen that evil is not a real entity; it is relative. What is evil in some relations may be good in others; and probably there is no form of existence which is exclusively evil in all relations, Hence it has been thought that evil cannot truly be said to exist at all, and is really nothing but a "lesser good." But this opinion seems to leave out of account the reality of human experience. Though the same cause may give pain to one, and pleasure to another, pain and pleasure, as sensations or ideas, cannot but be mutually exclusive. No one, however, has attempted to deny this very obvious fact; and the opinion in question may perhaps be understood as merely a paradoxical way of stating the relativity of evil. There is practically a general agreement of authorities as the nature of evil, some allowance being made for varying modes of expression depending on a corresponding variety of philosophical presuppositions. But on the question of the origin of evil there has been, and is a considerable diversity of opinion. The problem is strictly a metaphysical one; i.e. it cannot be solved by a mere experimental analysis of the actual conditions from which evil results. The question, which Schopenhauer has called "the punctum pruriens of metaphysics", is concerned not so much with the various detailed manifestations of evil in nature, as with the hidden and underlying cause which has made these manifestations possible or necessary; and it is at once evident that enquiry in a region so obscure must be attended with great difficulty, and that the conclusions reached must, for the most part be of a provisional and tentative character. No system of philosophy has ever succeeded in escaping from the obscurity in which the subject is involved; but it is not too much to say that the Christian solution offers, on the whole, fewer difficulties, and approaches more nearly to completeness than any other. The question may be stated thus. Admitting that evil consists in a certain relation of man to his environment, or that it arises in the relation of the component parts of the totality of existence to one another, how comes it that though all are alike the results of a universal cosmic process, this universal agency is perpetually at war with itself, contradicting and thwarting its own efforts in the mutual hostility of its progeny? Further, admitting that metaphysical evil in itself may be merely nature's method, involving nothing more than a continual redistribution of the material elements of the universe, human suffering and wrongdoing still and out as essentially opposed to the general scheme of natural development, and are scarcely to be reconciled in thought with any
conception of unity or harmony in nature. To what, then, is the evil of human life, physical and moral, to be attributed as its cause? But when the universe is considered as the work of an all-benevolent and all-powerful Creator, a fresh element is added to the problem. If God is all-benevolent, why did He cause or permit suffering? If He is all-Powerful, He can be under no necessity of creating or permitting it; and on the other hand, if He is under any such necessity, He cannot be all-powerful. Again, if God is absolutely good, and also omnipotent, how can He permit the existence of moral evil? We have to enquire, that is to say, how evil has come to exist, and what is its special relation to the Creator of the universe. The solution of the problem has been attempted by three different methods. I. It has been contended that existence is fundamentally evil; that evil is the active principle of the universe, and good no more than an illusion, the pursuit of which serves to induce the human race to perpetuate its own existence (see PESSIMISM). This is the fundamental tenet of Buddhism, which regards happiness as unattainable, and holds that there is no way of escaping from misery but by ceasing to exist otherwise than in the impersonal state of Nirvana. The origin of suffering, according to Buddha, is "the thirst for being". This was also, among Greek philosophers, the view of Hegesias the Cyrenaic (called peisithánatos, the counsellor of death), who held life to be valueless, and pleasure, the only good, to be unattainable. But the Greek temper was naturally disinclined to a pessimistic view of nature and life; and while popular mythology embodied the darker aspects of existence in such conceptions as those of Fate, the avenging Furies, and the envy (phthónos) of the gods, Greek thinkers, as a rule, held that evil is universally supreme, but can be avoided or overcome by the wise and virtuous. Pessimism, as a metaphysical system, is the product of modern times. Its chief representatives are Schopenhauer and Von Hartmann, both of whom held the actual universe to be fundamentally evil, and happiness it to be impossible. The origin of the phenomenal universe is attributed by Schopenhauer to a transcendental Will, which he identifies with pure being; and by Hartmann to the unconscious, which includes both the Will and the Idea (Vorstellung) of Schopenhauer. According to both Schopenhauer and Hartmann, suffering has come into existence with selfconsciousness, from which it is inseparable.
II. Evil has been attributed to one of two mutually opposed principles, to which respectively the mingled good and evil of the world are due. The relation between the two is variously represented, and ranges from the co-ordination imagined by Zoroastrianism to the mere relative independence of the created will as held by Christian theology. Zoroaster attributed good and evil respectively to two mutually hostile principles (hrízai, or árchai) called Ormuzd (Ahura Mazda) and Ahriman (Angra Mainyu). Each was independent of the other; but eventually the good were to be victorious with Ormuzd, and Ahriman and his evil followers were to be expelled from the world. This mythological dualism passed to the sect of the Manichees, whose founder, Manes, added a third, but subordinate principle, emanating from the source of good (and perhaps corresponding, in some degree, to the Mithras of Zoroastrianism), in the "living spirit", by whom was formed the present material world of mingled good and evil. Manes held that matter was essentially evil, and therefore could not be in direct contact with God. He probably derived the notion from the Gnostic sects, which, though they differed on many points from one another, were generally agreed in following the opinion of Philo, and the neo-Platonist Plotinus, as the evil of matter. They held the world to have been formed by an emanation, the Demiurge, as a kind of intermediary between God and impure matter. Bardesanes, however, and his followers regarded evil as resulting from the misuse of created free will. The notion that evil is necessarily inherent in matter, independent of the Divine author of good, and in some sense opposed to Him, is common to the above theosophical systems, to many of the purely rational conceptions of Greek philosophy, and to much that has been advanced on this subject in later times, In the Pythagorean idea of a numerical harmony as the constitutive principle of the world, good is represented by unity and evil by multiplicity (Philolaus, Fragm.) Heraclitus set the "strife", which he held to be the essential condition of life, over against the action deity. "God is the author of all that is right and good and just; but men have sometimes chosen good and sometimes evil" (Fragm. 61). Empedocles, again, attributed evil to the principle of hate (neîkos), inherent together with its opposite, love (phília), in the universe. Plato held God to be "free from blame" (anaítios) for the evil of the world; its cause was partly the necessary imperfection of material and created existence, and partly the action of the human will (Timeaus, xlii; cf. Phaedo.
lx). With Aristotle, evil is a necessary aspect of the constant changes of matter, and has in itself no real existence (Metaph., ix, 9). The Stoics conceived evil in a somewhat similar manner, as due to necessity; the immanent Divine power harmonizes the evil and good in a changing world. Moral evil proceeds from the folly of mankind, not from the Divine will, and is overruled by it to a good end. In the hymn of Cleanthes to Zeus (Ston. Ecl., 1, p. 30) may be perceived an approach to the doctrine of Leibniz, as to the nature of evil and the goodness of the world. "Nothing is done without thee in earth or sea or sky, save what evil men commit by their own folly; so thou hast fitted together all evil and good in one, that there might be one reasonable and everlasting scheme of all things." In the mystical system of Eckhart (d. 1329), evil, sin included, has its place in the evolutionary scheme by which all proceeds from and returns to God, and contributes, both in the moral order and in the physical, to the accomplishment of the Divine purpose. Eckhart's monistic or pantheistic tendencies seem to have obscured for him many of the difficulties of the subject, as has been the case with those by whom the same tendencies have since been carried to an extreme conclusion. Christian philosophy has, like the Hebrew, uniformly attributed moral and physical evil to the action of created free will. Man has himself brought about the evil from which he suffers by transgressing the law of God, on obedience to which his happiness depended. Evil is in created things under the aspect of mutability, and possibility of defect, not as existing per se : and the errors of mankind, mistaking the true conditions of its own well-being, have been the cause of moral and physical evil (Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite, De Div. Nom., iv, 31; St. Augustine, City of God XII). The evil from which man suffers is, however, the condition of good, for the sake of which it is permitted. Thus, "God judged it better to bring good out of evil than to suffer no evil to exist" (St. Aug., Enchirid., xxvii). Evil contributes to the perfection of the universe, as shadows to the perfection of a picture, or harmony to that of music (City of God 11). Again, the excellence of God's works in nature is insisted on as evidence of the Divine wisdom, power, and goodness, by which no evil can be directly caused. (Greg. Nyss., De. opif. hom.) Thus Boethius asks (De Consol. Phil., I, iv) Who can be the author of good, if God is the author of evil? As darkness is nothing but the absence of light, and is not produced by creation, so evil is merely the defect of goodness. (St. Aug., In Gen. as lit.) St. Basil (Hexaem., Hom. ii) points
out the educative purposes served by evil; and St. Augustine, holding evil to be permitted for the punishment of the wicked and the trial of the good, shows that it has, under this aspect, the nature of good, and is pleasing to God, not because of what it is, but because of where it is; i.e. as the penal and just consequence of sin (City of God XI.12, De Vera Relig. xliv). Lactantius uses similar arguments to oppose the dilemma, as to the omnipotence and goodness of God, which he puts into the mouth of Epicurus (De Ira Dei, xiii). St. Anselm (Monologium) connects evil with the partial manifestation of good by creation; its fullness being in God alone. The features which stand out in the earlier Christian explanation of evil, as compared with non-Christian dualistic theories are thus •
the definite attribution to God of absolute omnipotence and goodness, notwithstanding His permission of the existence of evil;
the assignment of a moral and retributive cause for suffering in the sin of mankind; and
the unhesitating assertion of the beneficence of God's purpose in permitting evil, together with the full admission that He could, had He so chosen, have prevented it (City of God XIV).
How God's permission of the evil which He foreknew and could have prevented is to be reconciled with His goodness, is not fully considered; St. Augustine states the question in forcible terms, but is content by way of answer to follow St. Paul, in his reference to the unsearchableness of the Divine judgments (Contra Julianum, I, 48). The same general lines have been followed by most of the modern attempts to account in terms of Theism for the existence of evil. Descartes and Malebranche held that the world is the best possible for the purpose for which it was created, i.e. for the manifestation of the attributes of God. If it had been less fitted as a whole for the attainment of this object. The relation of evil to the will of a perfectly benevolent Creator was elaborately treated by Leibniz, in answer to Bayle, who had insisted on the arguments derived from the existence of evil against that of a good and omnipotent God. Leibniz founded his views mainly on those of St. Augustine and from St. Thomas, and deduced from them his theory of Optimism. According to it, the inverse is the best possible; but metaphysical evil, or perfection, is necessarily
involved in the constitution, since it must be finite, and could not have been endowed with the infinite perfection which belongs to God alone. Moral and physical evil are due to the fall of man, but all evil is overruled by God to a good purpose. Moreover, the world with which we are acquainted is only a very small factor in the whole of creation, and it may be supposed that the evil it contains is necessary for the existence of other regions that are unknown to us. Voltaire in "Candide", undertook to throw ridicule at the idea of "best possible world"; and it must be admitted that the theory is open to grave objections. On the one hand, it is scarcely consistent with the belief in the Divine omnipotence; and on the other, it fails to account for the permission (or indirect authorship) of evil by a good God, to which Bayle had specially taken exception. We can not know that this world is the best possible; and if it were, why, since it must include so much that is evil, should a perfectly good God have created it? It may be urged, moreover, that there can be no degree of finite goodness which is not susceptible of increase by omnipotence, without ceasing to fall short of infinite perfection. Leibniz has been more or less closely followed by many who have since treated the subject from the Christian point of view. These have, for the most part, emphasized the evidence in creation of the wisdom and goodness of its Author, after the manner of the Book of Job, and have been content to leave undiscovered the reason for the creation, by Him, of a universe in which evil is unavoidable. Such was the view of King (Essay on the Origin of Evil, London, 1732), who insisted strongly on the doctrine of the best possible world; of Cudworth, who held that evil, though inseparable from the nature of imperfect beings, is largely a matter of men's own fancy and opinions, rather than the reality of things, and therefore not to be made the ground of accusations against Divine Providence. Derham (Physico-Theology, London, 1712) took occasion from an examination of the excellence of creation to commend an attitude of humility and trust towards the creator of "this elegant, this well contrived, well formed world, in which we find everything necessary for the sustenation, use and pleasure both of man and every other creature here below; as well as some whips, some rods, to scourge us for our sins". Priestly held a doctrine of absolute determinism, and consequently attributed evil solely to the divine will; which, however, he justified by the good ends which evil is providentially made to subserve (Doctrine of Philosophical Necessity, Birmingham, 1782). Clarke, again,
called special attention to the evidence of method of design, which bear witness to the benevolence of the Creator, in the midst of apparent moral and physical disorder. Rosmini, closely following Malebranche, pointed out that the question of the possibility of a better world than this has really no meaning; any world created by God must be the best possible in relation to its special purpose, apart from which neither goodness or badness can be predicated of it. Mamiani also supposed that evil be inseparable from the finite, but it tended to disappear as the finite approached its final union with the infinite. III. The third way of conceiving the place of evil in the general scheme of existence is that of those systems of Monism, by which evil is merely viewed as a mode in which certain aspects of moments of the development of nature are apprehended by human consciousness. In this view there is no distinctive principle to which evil can be assigned, and its origin is one with that of nature as a whole. These systems reject the specific idea of creation; and the idea of God is either rigorously excluded, or identified with an impersonal principle, immanent in the universe, or conceived as a mere abstraction from the methods of nature; which, whether viewed from the standpoint of materialism or that of idealism, is the one ultimate reality. The problem of the origin of evil is thus merged in that of the origin of being. Moral evil, in particular, arises from error, and is to be gradually eliminated, or at least minimized, by improved knowledge of the conditions of human welfare (Meliorism). Of this kind, of the whole, were the doctrines of the Ionic Hylozoists, whose fundamental notion was the essential unity of matter and life; and on the other hand, also, that of the Eleatics, who founded the origin of all things in abstract being. The Atomists Leucippus and Democritus, held what may be called a doctrine of materialistic Monism. This doctrine, however, found its first complete expression in the philosophy of Epicurus, which explicitly rejected the notion of any external influence on nature, whether of "fate", or of Divine power. According to the Epicurean Lucretius (De Rerum Natura, II, line 180) the existence of evil was fatal to the supposition of the creation of the world by God: Nequaquam nobis divinitus esse creatum Naturam mundi, quæ tanta est prædita culpa.
Giordano Bruno made God the immanent cause of all things, acting by an internal necessity, and producing the relations considered evil by mankind. Hobbes regarded God as merely a corporeal first cause; and applying his theory of civil government to the universe, defended the existence of evil by simple assertion of the absolute power to which it is due--a theory which is little else other than a statement of materialistic Determinism in terms of social relations. Spinoza united spirit and matter in the notion of a single substance, to which he attributed both thought and extension; error and perfection were the necessary consequence of the order of the universe. The Hegelian Monism, which reproduces many of the ideas of Eckhart, and is adopted in its main features by many different systems of recent origin, gives to evil a place in the unfolding of the Idea, in which both the origin and inner reality of the universe are to be found. Evil is the temporary discord between what is and what ought to be. Huxley was content to believe the ultimate causes of things are at present unknown, and may be unknowable. Evil is to be known and combated in the concrete and in detail; but the Agnosticism professed, and named, by Huxley refuses to entertain any question as to transcendental causes, and confines itself to experimental facts. Haeckel advances a dogmatic materialism, in which substance (i.e. matter and force) appears as the eternal and infinite basis of all things. Professor Metchnikoff, on similar principles, places the cause of evil in "disharmonies" which prevail in nature, and which he thinks may perhaps be ultimately removed, for the human race at least, together with pessimistic temper arising from them, by the progress of science. Bourdeau has asserted in express terms the futility of seeking a transcendental or supernatural origin for evil and the necessity of confining the view to natural accessible, and determinable causes (Revue Philosophique, I, 1900). The recently constructed system, or method, called Pragmatism, has this much in common with Pessimism, that it regards evil as an actually unavoidable part of that human experience which is in point of fact identical with truth and reality. The world is what we make it; evil tends to diminish with the growth of experience, and may finally vanish; though on the other hand, there may always remain the irreducible minimum of evil. The origin of evil is, like the origin of all things, inexplicable; it cannot be fitted into any theory of the design of the universe, simply because no such theory is possible. "We cannot by any possibility comprehend the character of
the cosmic mind whose purpose are fully revealed by the strange mixture of good and evil that we find in this actual worlds particulars--the mere word design, by itself has no consequences and explains nothing." (James, Pragmatism, London, 1907. Cf. Schiller, Humanism, London 1907.) Nietzsche holds evil to be purely relative, and its moral aspects at least, a transitory and non-fundamental concept. With him, mankind in the present state, is "the animal not yet properly adapted to his environment". In this mode of thought the individual necessarily counts for very little, as being merely a transient manifestation of the cosmic force; and the social aspects of humanity are those under which its pains and shortcomings are mostly considered, with a view to their amelioration. Hence, the various forms of Socialism: the idea conceived by Nietzsche of a totally new, though as yet undefined, form of social morality, and of the constitution and mutual relations of classes; and the so called ethical and scientific religions inculcating morality as tending to be generally good. The first example of such religion was that of Auguste Comte, who upon the materialistic basis of Positivism, founded the "religion of humanity", and professed to substitute an enthusiasm for humanity as the motive for right action, for the motives of supernatural religion. In the light of Catholic doctrine, any theory that may be held concerning evil must include certain points bearing on the question that have been authoritatively defined. These points are •
the omnipotence, omniscience, and absolute goodness of the Creator;
the freedom of the will; and
that suffering is the penal consequence of wilful disobedience to the law of God.
A complete account may be gathered from the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, by whom the principles of St. Augustine are systematized, and to some extent supplemented. Evil, according to St. Thomas, is a privation, or the absence of some good which belongs properly to the nature of the creature. (I,Q. xiv, a. 10; Q. xlix, a. 3; Contra Gentiles, III, ix, x). There is therefore no "summum malum", or positive source of evil, corresponding to the "summum bonum", which is God (I, Q. xlix, a. 3; C. G., III, 15; De Malo, I, 1); evil being not "ens reale" but only "ens rationis"--i.e. it exists not as an objective fact, but as a subjective conception; things are evil not in
themselves, but by reason of their relation to other things, or persons. All realities (entia) are in themselves good; they produce bad results only incidentally; and consequently the ultimate cause of evil is fundamentally good, as well as the objects in which evil is found (I, Q. xlix; cf. I, Q. v, 3; De Malo, I, 3). Thus the Manichaean dualism has no foundation in reason. Evil is threefold, viz., "malum naturæ" (metaphysical evil), "culpæ" (moral), and "paenæ" (physical, the retributive consequence of "malum culpæ") (I, Q. xlviii, a. 5, 6; Q. lxiii, a. 9; De Malo, I, 4). Its existence subserves the perfection of the whole; the universe would be less perfect if it contained no evil. Thus fire could not exist without the corruption of what it consumes; the lion must slay the ass in order to live, and if there were no wrong doing, there would be no sphere for patience and justice (I, Q. xlviii, a. 2). God is said (as in Isaiah 45) to be the author of evil in the sense that the corruption of material objects in nature is ordained by Him, as a means for carrying out the design of the universe; and on the other hand, the evil which exists as a consequence of the breach of Divine laws is in the same sense due to Divine appointment; the universe would be less perfect if its laws could be broken with impunity. Thus evil, in one aspect, i.e. as counter-balancing the deordination of sin, has the nature of good (II, Q. ii, a. 19). But the evil of sin (culpæ), though permitted by God, is in no sense due to him (I, Q. xlix, a. 2).; its cause is the abuse of free will by angels and men (I-II, Q. lxxiii, a. 6; II-II, Q. x, a. 2; I-II, Q. ix, a. 3). It should be observed that the universal perfection to which evil in some form is necessary, is the perfection of this universe, not of any universe: metaphysical evil, that is to say, and indirectly, moral evil as well, is included in the design of the universe which is partially known to us; but we cannot say without denying the Divine omnipotence, that another equally perfect universe could not be created in which evil would have no place. St. Thomas also provides explanations of what are now generally considered to be the two main difficulties of the subject, viz., the Divine permission of foreseen moral evil, and the question finally arriving thence, why God chose to create anything at all. First, it is asked why God, foreseeing that his creatures would use the gift of free will for their own injury, did not either abstain from creating them, or in some way safeguard their free will from misuse, or else deny them the gift altogether? St.
Thomas replies (C. G., II, xxviii) that God cannot change His mind, since the Divine will is free from the defect of weakness or mutability. Such mutability would, it should be remarked, be a defect in the Divine nature (and therefore impossible), because if God's purpose were made dependent on the foreseen free act of any creature, God would thereby sacrifice His own freedom, and would submit Himself to His creatures, thus abdicating His essential supremacy--a thing which is, of course, utterly inconceivable. Secondly, to the question why God should have chosen to create, when creation was in no way needful for His own perfection, St. Thomas answers that God's object in creating is Himself; He creates in order to manifest his own goodness, power, and wisdom, and is pleased with that reflection or similitude of Himself in which the goodness of creation consists. God's pleasure is the one supremely perfect motive for action, alike in God Himself and in His creatures; not because of any need, or inherent necessity, in the Divine nature (C. G., I, xxviii; II, xxiii), but because God is the source, centre, and object, of all existence. (I, Q. 65:a. 2; cf. Proverbs 26 and Conc. Vat., can. 1:v; Const. Dogm., 1.) This is accordingly the sufficient reason for the existence of the universe, and even for the suffering which moral evil has introduced into it. God has not made the world primarily for man's good, but for His own pleasure; good for man lies in conforming himself to the supreme purpose of creation, and evil in departing from it (C.G., III, xvii, cxliv). It may further be understood from St. Thomas, that in the diversity of metaphysical evil, in which the perfection of the universe as a whole is embodied, God may see a certain similitude of His own threefold unity (cf. I, Q. xii); and again, that by permitting moral evil to exist He has provided a sphere for the manifestation of one aspect of His essential justice (cf. I, Q. lxv, a. 2; and I, Q. xxi, a. 1, 3). It is obviously impossible to suggest a reason why this universe in particular should have been created rather than another; since we are necessarily incapable of forming an idea of any other universe than this. Similarly, we are unable to imagine why God chose to manifest Himself by the way of creation, instead of, or in addition to, the other ways, whatever they may be, by which He has, or may have, attained the same end. We reach here the utmost limit of speculation; and our inability to conceive the ultimate reason for creation (as distinct from its direct motive) is paralleled, at a much earlier stage of the enquire, by the inability of the noncreationist schools of thought to assign any ultimate cause for the existence of the
order of nature. It will be observed that St. Thomas's account of evil is a true Theodicy, taking into consideration as it does every factor of the problem, and leaving unsolved only the mystery of creation, before which all schools of thought are equally helpless. It is as impossible to know, in the fullest sense, why this world was made as to know how it was made; but St. Thomas has at least shown that the acts of the Creator admit of complete logical justification, notwithstanding the mystery in which, for human intelligence, they can never wholly cease to be involved. On Catholic principles, the amelioration of moral evil and its consequent suffering can only take place by means of individual reformation, and not so much through increase of knowledge as through stimulation or re-direction of the will. But since all methods of social improvement that have any value must necessarily represent a nearer approach to conformity with Divine laws they are welcomed and furthered by the Church, as tending, at least indirectly, to accomplish the purpose for which she exists.
(APA citation. Sharpe, A. (1909). Evil. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved May 8, 2017 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05649a.htm) "Good" is one of those primary ideas which cannot be strictly defined. In order to fix its philosophical significance we may begin by observing that the word is employed firstly as an adjective and secondly as a substantive. This distinction which is clearly marked in French by the two different terms, bon and le bien, may be preserved in English by prefixing an article to the term when it is employed substantively. We call a tool or instrument good, if it serves the purpose for which it is intended. That is to say, it is good because it is an efficient means to obtain a desired result. The result, in turn, may be desired for itself, or it may be sought as a means to some ulterior end. If it is sought for itself, it is or it is estimated by us to be a good, and therefore desirable on its own account. When we take some step to obtain it, it is the end of our action. The series of means and ends either stretches out indefinitely, or it must terminate in some desired object or objects which are ends in themselves. Again we sometimes call a thing good because it possesses completely, or in a high degree, the perfections proper to its nature, as a good painting, good respiration. Sometimes,
too, things are termed good because they are of a nature to produce something desirable; that is, they are good casually. Finally, we speak of good conduct, a good man, a good intention, and here the adjective has for us a sense different from any of the foregoing, unless indeed, we are utilitarian philosophers, to whom morally good is but another term for useful. Now in all these locutions the word conveys directly or indirectly the idea of desirability. The merely useful is desired for the end towards which it is employed; the end is desired on its own account. The latter is conceived as possessing some character, quality, power, which renders it an object of desire. Two questions now arise: •
What is it which, in the nature or being of any object, constitutes it desirable? Or, in more technical phrase, what, metaphysically speaking, constitutes the good or goodness in a thing, absolutely considered?
What is the relationship existing between the good thus absolutely constituted and the subject to which it is desirable? Or what is implied by good, relatively considered?
These two questions may be combined in one: "What is the good in the ontological order?" In exposing the reply to this question we shall come across the moral good, and the ethical aspect of the problem, which shall be treated in the second place. Ontological In Greek philosophy no topic receives more attention than the nature of the good. The speculations of Plato and Aristotle, especially have had a notable influence on Christian thought; they were adopted, in eclectic fashion, by the early Fathers, who combined many of the ancient philosophic ideas with revealed truth, by correcting some and amplifying others. The synthesis was carried on by the earlier Scholastics, and took definitive form from the hand of St. Thomas. Some of his predecessors, as well as some of his followers, disagree with him on a few minor points, most of which, however, are of a character too subtle to call for attention in this article. We shall, therefore, present the doctrine of St. Thomas in outline as the approved teaching of our schools.
Plato According to Plato, in the objective order corresponding to our thought, there are two different worlds: the world of things, and the incomparably higher, nobler world of ideas, which transcends the world of things. The objects corresponding directly to our universal concepts are not things, but ideas. The objective idea is not indwelling in the essences of those things which fall within the scope of our corresponding universal concept, but the thing borrows or derives something from the idea. While the being or existence proper to the world of things is imperfect, unstable, essentially transitory, and therefore not truly deserving of the name of being, which implies permanence, ideas on the contrary are incorruptible, unchangeable, and truly existence. Now, among ideas the noblest and highest is the idea good: it is the supreme and sovereign idea. Whatever things possess goodness have it only because they participate in or draw from, the Sovereign Good. Their goodness then, is something distinct from, and added to, their proper essences or being. What, in Plato's mind, is the nature of this participation we need not explain further than that he makes it consist in this, that the thing is a copy or imitation of the idea. This sovereign idea, the Good, is identical with God. It is not a synthesis of all other ideas but is unique, transcendent, and individual. Whether Plato held that other ideas exist in God as in their proper dwelling-place is not quite clear. Aristotle so interpreted Plato; and it is very likely that Aristotle was better qualified to understand Plato's meaning than were subsequent philosophers who have disputed his interpretation. The Supreme Good imparts to the intellect the power to perceive, and gives intelligibility to the intelligible. It is, therefore, the source of truth. God, the essential and supreme Good, can impart nothing that is not good. This view leads to the inference that the origin of evil lies beyond the control of God. The theory leans, therefore, to dualism, and its influence may be traced through the early Gnostic and Manichaean heresies, and, in a minor degree, in the doctrines of the Priscillanists and Albigenses. Aristotle Starting from the Platonic definition, good is that which all desire, Aristotle, rejecting the Platonic doctrine of a transcendent world of ideas, holds that the good and being are identical; good is not something added to being, it is being. Everything that is, is
good because it is; the quantity, if one may use the word loosely, of being or existence which a thing possesses, is at the same time the stock of goodness. A diminution or an increase of its being is a diminution or increase of its goodness. Being and the good are, then, objectively the same, every being is good, every good is being. Our concepts, being and good differ formally: the first simply denotes existence; the second, existence as a perfection, or the power of contributing to the perfection of a being. It follows from this that evil is not being at all; it is, on the contrary, the privation of being. Again, while being, viewed as the object of tendency, appetite, or will, gives rise to the concept good, so, when considered as the proper object of the intellect, it is represented under the concept true or truth, and it is the beautiful, inasmuch as the knowledge of it is attended by that particular pleasurable emotion which we call aesthetic. As god is the fullness of being, so, therefore, the supreme, infinite Being is also the Supreme Good from which all creatures derive their being and goodness. Neo-Platonism The neo-Platonists perpetuated the Platonic theory, mixed with Aristotelean, Judaic, and other oriental ideas. Plotinus introduced the doctrine of a triple hypostasis, i.e. the one, the intelligence, and the universal soul, above the world of changing being, which is multiple. The intelligence is ordained to good; but, incapable of grasping it in its entirety, it breaks it up into parts, which constitute the essences. These essences by becoming united with a material principle constitute things. The Pseudo-Dionysius propagated the Platonic influence in his work "De Nominibus Divinis", the doctrine of which is based on the scriptures. God is supereminently being — "I am who am" — but in Him the good is anterior to being, and the ineffable name of God is above all His other names. The good is more universal than being, for it embraces the material principle which does not possess any being of its own. The bond which unites beings among themselves and to the Supreme Being is love, which has for its object the good. The trend of the Pseudo-Dionysius is away from the dualism which admits a principle of evil, but on the other hand, it inclines towards pantheism. The Fathers
The Fathers, in general, treated the question of good from the standpoint of hermeneutics rather than from the philosophic. Their chief concern is to affirm that God is the Supreme Good, that He is the creator of all that exists, that creatures derive their goodness from Him, while they are distinct from Him; and that there is no supreme independent, principle of evil. St. Augustine, however (De Natura boni, P.L., XLIII), examines the topic fully and in great detail. Some of his expressions seem tinged with the Platonic notion that good is antecedent to being; but elsewhere he makes the good, and being in God fundamentally identical. Boethius distinguishes a double goodness in things created; first, that which in them is one with their being; second, an accidental goodness added to their nature by God. In God these two elements of good, the essential and the accidental, are but one, since there are no accidents in God. Scholastic doctrine St. Thomas starts from the Aristotelean principle that being and the good are objectively one. Being conceived as desirable is the good. The good differs from the true in this, that, while both are objectively nothing else than being, the good is being considered as the object of appetite, desire, and will, the true is being a the object of the intellect. God, the Supreme Being and the source of all other being is consequently the Supreme Good, and the goodness of creatures results from the diffusion of His goodness. In a creature, considered as a subject having existence, we distinguish several elements of the goodness which it possesses: •
Its existence or being, which is the ground of all the other elements.
Its powers, activities, and capacities. These are the complement of the first, and they serve it to pursue and appropriate whatever is requisite for and contributory to sustaining its existence, and developing that existence into the fullness of perfection proper to it.
Each perfection that is acquired is a further measure of existence for it, hence a good.
The totality of these various elements, forming its total good subjectively, that is, its entire being in a state of normal perfection according to its mind, is its good complete. This is the sense of the axiom: omne ens est bonum sibi (every being is a good unto itself).
The privation of any of its powers or due perfections is an evil for it, as, for instance, blindness, the loss of the power of sight, is an evil for an animal. Hence evil is not something positive and does not exist in itself; as the axiom expresses it, malum in bono fundatur (evil has its base in good). Let us pass now to good in the relative sense. Every being has a natural tendency to continue and to develop itself. This tendency brings its activities into play; each power has its proper object, and a conatus pushing it to action. The end to which action is directed is something that is of a nature to contribute, when obtained, to the well-being or perfection of the subject. For this reason it is needed, pursued, desired, and, because of its desirability, is designated good. For example, the plant for its existence and development requires light, air, heat, moisture, nutriment. It has various organs adapted to appropriate these things, which are good for it, and, when by the exercise of these functions it acquires and appropriates them, it reaches its perfection and runs its course in nature. Now if we look into the cosmos, we perceive that the innumerable varieties of being in it are bound together in an indescribably complex system of mutual action and interaction, as they obey the laws of their nature. One class contributes to the other in that orderly relationship which constitutes the harmony of the universe. True — to change the metaphor — with our limited powers of observation we are unable to follow the innumerable threads of this large and varied sweeps to warrant the induction that everything is good for some other thing, that everything has its proper end in the great whole. Omne ens est bonum alteri. Since this orderly correlation of things is necessary to them in order that they may obtain from one another the help which they need, it too is good for them. This order is also a good in itself, because it is a created reflection of the unity and harmony of the Divine being and goodness. When we consider the Supreme Being as the efficient cause, conserver, and director of this majestic order, we reach the conception of Divine providence. And then arises the question, what is the end towards which this Providence directs the universe? The end again is the good, i.e. God Himself. Not indeed that, as in the case of creatures He may derive any advantage or perfection from the world, but that it, by participating in His goodness, may manifest it. This manifestation is what we understand by the expression, giving glory to God. God is the Alpha and the Omega of the good; the source from which it flows, the end to which it returns. I am the Beginning and I am the End. It must be
remembered that, throughout the treatment of this subject, the term good, like all other terms which we predicate of God and of creatures is used not univocally but analogically when referred to God. (See ANALOGY.) The defined doctrine on the good, ontologically considered, is formulated by the Vatican Council (Session III, Const. de Fide Catholica, cap.i): This one, only, true God, of His own goodness and almighty power, not for the increase of His own happiness, not to acquire but to manifest His perfection by the blessings which He bestows on creatures, with absolute freedom of counsel created from the beginning of time both the spiritual and the corporeal creature, to wit, the angelic and the mundane; and afterwards the human creature. In Canon 4 we read: If anyone shall say that finite things, both corporeal and spiritual, or at least spiritual, have emanated from the Divine substance; or that the Divine essence, by the manifestation and evolution of itself, becomes all things; or lastly, that God is universal or indefinite being, which by determining itself constitutes the universality of things distinct according to genera species, and individuals, let him be anathema. Ethical The moral good is not a kind, distinct from the good viewed ontologically; it is one form of perfection proper to human life, but, because of its excellence and supreme practical importance, it demands special treatment with reference to its own distinctive character which differentiates it from all other goods and perfections of man. It is again, in Greek philosophy, that we find the principles which have supplied the school with a basis for rational speculations, controlled and supplemented by revelation. Plato The supreme good of man is, as we have seen, the idea good, identical with God. By union with God man attains his highest subjective good, which is happiness. This assimilation is effected by knowledge and love; the means to achieve it is to
preserve in the soul a due harmony throughout its various parts in subordination to the intellect which is the highest faculty. The establishment of this harmony brings man to a participation in the Divine unity; and through this union man attains to happiness, which remains even though he suffers pain and the privation of perishable goods. To regulate our actions harmoniously we stand in need of true knowledge, i.e. wisdom. The highest duty of man, therefore, is to obtain wisdom, which leads to God. Aristotle The end of man, his highest subjective good, is happiness or well-being. Happiness is not pleasure; for pleasure is a feeling consequent upon action, while happiness is a state of activity. Happiness consists in perfect action, i.e. the actual exercise by man of his faculties — especially of his highest faculty, the speculative intellect — in perfect correspondence, with the norm which his nature itself prescribes. Action may deviate from this norm either by excess or defect. The golden mean is to be preserved, and in this consists virtue. The various faculties, higher and lower, are regulated by their respective virtues to carry on their activites in due order. Pleasure follows action duly performed, even the highest form of activity, i.e. speculative contemplation of truth; but, as has been noted, happiness consists in the very operation itself. A life of contemplation, however, cannot be enjoyed unless a man possesses enough goods of the lower orders to relieve him from the toils and the cares of life. hence happiness is beyond the reach of many. It is to be observed therefore that, while both Plato and Aristotle, as well as the Scholatics, hold that happiness is the end of man, their conception of happiness is quite different from the hedonistic idea of happiness as presented in English utilitarianism. For the utilitarian happiness is the sum total of pleasurable feelings, from whatever source they may be derived. On the other hand, in our sense, happiness — eudaimonia, beatitudo — is a distinct state or condition of consciousness accompanying and dependent on the realization in conduct of one definite good or perfection, the nature of which is objectively fixed and not dependent on our individual preferences. (See UTILITARIANISM). Hedonists
The supreme good of man according to Aristippus is pleasure or the enjoyment of the moment, and pleasure is essentially gentle motion. Pleasure can never be bad, and the primary form of it is bodily pleasure. But, in order to secure the maximum of pleasure, prudent self-control is necessary; and this is virtue. Epicurus held that pleasure is the chief good; but pleasure is rest, not motion; and the highest form of pleasure is freedom from pain and the absence of all desires or needs that we cannot satisfy. Hence an important means towards happiness is the control of our desires, and the extinction of those that we cannot gratify, which is brought about by virtue. (See CYRENAIC SCHOOL OF PHILOSOPHY; HEDONISM, HAPPINESS.) The Stoics Everything in the universe is regulated by law. Man's highest good, or happiness, is to conform his conduct to universal law, which is Divine in its origin. To pursue this end is virtue. Virtue is to be cultivated in scorn of consequences, whether pleasurable or painful. The Stoic principle, "duty for duty's sake alone", reappears in Kant, with the modification that the norm of right action is not to be regarded as imposed by a Divine will; its original source is the human mind, or the free spirit itself. St. Thomas The radical difference which distinguishes the nobler forms of ancient ethics from Christian ethics is that, whereas the former identifies virtuous life with happiness, that is, with the possession and enjoyment of the highest good, the Christian conception is that a virtuous life, while it is, indeed, the proximate end and good of man, is not, in itself, his ultimate end and supreme good. A life of virtue, the moral good, leads him to the acquisition of an ulterior and ultimate end. Furthermore the happiness, which in an imperfect measure attends the virtuous life, may be accompanied with pain, sorrow, and the privation of terrestrial goods; complete happiness (beatitudo) is not to be found in earthly existence, but in the life to come, and will consist in union with God, the Supreme Good. (A) The Proximate End and Good (Bonum Morale)
Like all creatures involved in the cosmic system, man requires and seeks for the conservation and perfection of his being a variety of things and conditions, all of which are, therefore, good for him. A composite being, partly corporeal and partly spiritual, he possesses two sets of tendencies and appetites. Rational, he employs contrivance in order to obtain goods not immediately within his reach. That he may attain the perfection of this highly complex nature, he must observe an order in the pursuit of different kinds of goods, lest the enjoyment of a good of lower value may cause him to lose or forfeit a higher one, in which case the former would be no true benefit to him at all. Besides, with a hierarchy of activities, capacities, and needs, he is a unity, an individual, a person; hence there exists for him a good in which all is other goods focus in harmonious correlation; and they are to be viewed and valued through the medium of this paramount good, not merely in isolated relation to their respective corresponding appetites. There are, then, several divisions of good; •
corporeal good is whatever contributes to the perfection of the purely animal nature;
spiritual good is that which perfects the spiritual faculty-knowledge, truth;
useful good is that which is desired merely as a means to something else; the delectable or pleasurable good is any good regarded merely in the light of the pleasure it produces.
The moral good (bonum honestum) consists in the due ordering of free action or conduct according to the norm of reason, the highest faculty, to which it is to conform. This is the good which determines the true valuation of all other goods sought by the activities which make up conduct. Any lower good acquired to the detriment of this one is really but a loss (bonum apparens). While all other kinds of good may, in turn, be viewed as means, the moral good is good as an end and is not a mere means to other goods. The pleasurable, though not in the order of things an independent end in itself, may be deliberately chosen as an end of action, or object of pursuit. Now let us apply these distinctions. Good being the object of any tendency, man has as many kinds of goods as he has appetites, needs, and faculties. The normal exercise of his powers and the acquisition thereby of any good is followed by satisfaction, which, when it reaches a certain degree of intensity, is the
feeling of pleasure. He may and sometimes does pursue things not on account of their intrinsic worth, but simply that he may obtain pleasure from them. On the other hand, he may seek a good on account of its intrinsic power to satisfy a need or to contribute to the perfection of his nature in some respect. This may be illustrated in the case of food; for as the old adage has it, "the wise man eats to live, the epicure lives to eat." The faculty which is distinctively human is reason; man lives as a man properly speaking, when all his activites are directed by reason according to the law which reason reads in his very nature. This conformity of conduct to reason dictates is the highest natural perfection that his activities can possess; it is what is meant by rectitude of conduct, righteousness, or the moral good. "Those actions", says St. Thomas, "are good which are conformable to reason. Those are bad which are contrary to reason" (I-II:18:5). "The proximate rule of free action is reason, the remote is the eternal law, that is, the Divine Nature" (I-II:21:1, I-II:19:4). The motive impelling us to seek the moral good is not self-interest, but the intrinsic worth of righteousness. Why does a just man pay is debts? Ask him and he will reply, perhaps, n the first instance, "Because it is my duty". But ask him further: "Why do you fulfill this duty?" He will answer: "Because it is right to do so". When other goods are pursued in violation of the rational order, action is deprived of its due moral perfection and, therefore, becomes wrong or bad, though it may retain all its other ontological goodness. The good which is the object of such an action, although it retains its particular relative goodness with regard to the want which it serves, is not a good for the whole personality. For example, if, on a day when flesh meat is forbidden, a man dines on roast-beef, the food is just as good physically as it would be on any other day, but this goodness is outweighed, because his action is a violation of reason which dictates that he ought to obey the command of lawful authority. While the moral good is fixed by the Author of nature, yet, because man is endowed with free will or the power of electing which good he shall make the goal of action, he can, if he pleases, ignore the dictates of right reason and seek his other goods in a disorderly manner. He may pursue pleasure, riches, fame, or any other desirable end, though his conscience — that is, his reason — tells him that the means which
he takes to satisfy his desire is wrong. He thereby frustrates his rational nature and deprives himself of his highest perfection. He cannot change the law of things, and this privation of his highest good is the immediate essential punishment incurred by his violation of the moral law. Another punishment is that the loss is attended, generally speaking, by that peculiar painful feeling called remorse; but this effect may cease to be perceived when the moral impulses of reason have been habitually disregarded. In order that an action may possess in an essential degree — no action is absolutely perfect — its moral perfection, it must be in conformity with the law in three respects: •
The action, considered under the character by which it ranks as an element of conduct, must be good. The physical act of giving another person money may be either an act of justice, when one pays a debt, or it may be an act of mercy or benevolence, as it is if one give the money to relieve distress. Both, of these actions possess the fundamental element of goodness (bonum ex objecto).
The motive, if there is a motive beyond the immediate object of the act, must also be good. If one pays a man some money that one owes him with the purpose, indeed, of paying one's debts, but also with the ulterior purpose of enabling him to carry out a plot to murder one's enemy, the end is bad, and the action is thereby vitiated. The end which is the motive must also be good (bonum ex fine). Thus, an action, otherwise good, is spoiled if directed to an immoral end; conversely, however, an action which in its fundamental character is bad is not rendered good by directing it to a good end. The end does not justify the means.
The circumstances under which the action is performed should be in entire conformity with reason, otherwise it lacks something of moral completeness, though it may not be thereby rendered totally immoral. We frequently say that something which a person has done was right enough in itself, but he did not do it in the proper place or season.
This triple goodness is expressed in the axiom: bonum ex integra causa, malum ex quocumque defectu ("An action is good when good in every respect; it is wrong when wrong in any respect").
(B) The Ultimate Good — God — Beatitude The perfection of life, then, is to realize the moral good. But now arises the question: "Is life its own end?" Or, in other words: "What is the ultimate end appointed for man?" To answer this question we must consider the good first under the aspect of end. We consider the good first under the aspect of end. "We not alone act", says St. Thomas, "for an immediate end, but all our actions converge towards an ultimate end or good, otherwise the entire series would be aimless." The test by which we may determine whether any object of pursuit is the ultimate end is: "Does it satisfy all desire?" If it does not, it is not adequate to complete man's perfection and establish him in the possession of his highest good and consequent happiness. Here St. Thomas, following St. Augustine, examines the various objects of human desire — pleasure, riches, power, fame, etc. — and rejects them all as inadequate. What then is the highest good, the ultimate end? St. Thomas appeals to Revelation which teaches that in life to come the righteous shall possess and enjoy God himself in endless fruition. The argument is summed up in the well-known words of St. Augustine: "Thou has made us, O Lord, for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee". The moral condition necessary to this future consummation is that our wills be here conformed to the Divine will as expressed in the moral law and in His revealed positive law. Thus the attainment of the proximate good in this life leads to the possession of the Supreme Good in the next. Another condition indispensable is that our actions be vivified by Divine grace. What precisely will be the act by which the soul will apprehend the Sovereign Good is a disputed question among theologians. The Thomist theory is that it will be an act of the intellect, while the Scotist opinion is that it will be an act of the will. However this may be, one thing is dogmatically certain: the soul in this assimilation shall not lose its selfhood, nor be absorbed according to the pantheistic sense in the Divine Substance. A word or two may be added upon a point which owing to the prevalence of Kantian ideas is of actual importance. As we have seen, the moral good and the supreme good are ends in themselves; they are not means, nor are they to be pursued merely as means to pleasure or agreeable feeling. But may we make the agreeable any part of our motive? Kant answers in the negative; for to allow this to enter into our motive is to vitiate the only moral motive, "right for right's sake," by self interest. This theory
does not pay due regard to the order of things. The pleasurable feeling attendant upon action, in the order of nature, established by God, served as a motive to action, and its function is to guarantee that actions necessary welfare shall not be neglected. Why, then, should it be unlawful to aim at an end which God has attached to the good? Similarly as the attainment of our supreme good will be the cause of everlasting happiness, we may reasonably make this accompanying end the motive of our action, provided that we do not make it the sole or predominant motive. In conclusion, we may now state in a word the central idea of our doctrine. God as Infinite Being is Infinite Good; creatures are good because they derive their measure of being from Him. This participation manifests His goodness, or glorifies God, which is the end for which he created man. The rational creature is destined to be united to God as the Supreme End and Good in a special manner. In order that he may attain to this consummation, it is necessary that in this life, by conforming his conduct to conscience, the interpreter of the moral law, he realizes in himself the righteousness which is the true perfection of his nature. Thus God is the Supreme Good, as principle and as end. "I am the beginning and I am the end."
Comments Sources St. Thomas, S. Theol., I, QQ. v, vi, xliv, xlvii, lxv; I-II, v, xvii-xx, xciv; IDEM, Summa Contra Gentiles, tr. RICKABY, God and His Creatures (London, 1905). II, xxiii; III, i-xi lxxxi, cxvi; ST. AUGUSTINE, De Natura Boni; IDEM, De Doctrina Christiana; IDEM, De Civitate Dei; PLATO, Republic, IV-X; IDEM, Phaero, 64 sqq,; IDEM, Theatetus; ARISTOTLE, Metaphysics, I, II, IV, VI; IDEM, Nicomach. Ethics, I, i-iv; IX; X; BOUQUILLON, Theologia Fundamentalis, lib. I; lib, III, tract. i; lib. IV; all textbooks of Scholastic philosophy-goo is treated in ontology and in ethics; RICKABY, Moral Philosophy (London, 1901); MIVART, On Truth, sect. iii, iv (London, 1889); TURNER, History of Philosophy (Boston and London, 1903), passim; JANET AND SEAILLES, History of the Problems of Philosophy, ed. JONES (London and new york, 1902), II, i, ii; FARGES, La liberte et le Devoir, pt. II, iii; MCDONALD, The
principles of Moral Science, bk. I, chs i-vi, xl; HARPER, The Metaphysic of the School (London, 1884), vol. I, bk. II, ch.iv. About this page APA citation. Fox, J. (1909). Good. In The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved May 8, 2017 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/06636b.htm