In his essay, "The Magnitude, Duration, and Distribution of Evil: a Theodicy," Peter van Inwagen alleges a set of reasons that God may have for allowing evil to exist on earth. Inwagen proposes the following story – throughout which there is an implicit assumption that God is all-good (perfectly benevolent, omnipotent, and omniscient) and deserving of all our love. God created humans in his own likeness and fit for His love. In order to enable humans to return this love, He had to give them the ability to freely choose. That is, Inwagen holds that the ability to love implies free will. By giving humans free will, God was taking a risk.
His argument is basically this: if God is omnibenelovent, omniscient and omnipotent then either evil does not exist, or, if it does, it is not really evil. Milton lays the groundwork definitions, aligning the parties in his illustrative argument early. "If then his providence / Out of our evil to bring forth good, Our labor must be to pervert that end, / and out of good still to find means of evil" (Milton I: 162-165). The word 'his' refers to God and relates the word 'good' with him, and relates Satan to the word 'evil'. The justifications for these labels are more implied than anything else, based in the relationship of the Christian God, and thus the Bible and the actions and motivations displayed by Satan. He becomes tied to " ... deep malice to conceal, couched with revenge" (Milton IV: 123) and "... ire envy and despair" (Milton IV: 115). Thus, good is implicitly the opposite of that: kindness with forgiveness, pleasure and joy. Milton's argument follows a path of self-discovery, illustrates a sympathetic character and describes his internal conflict and resulting horror of his situation. Mainly that he cannot ask for forgiveness and is thus locked into downward spiral between the reality of the situation, the expectations of his cohorts, and his own personal motivations. In the end, his actions
However, craving independence from God ferociously backfires on Satan when he finds out that even after leaving hell, he cannot escape it, “which way [he] [flies] is Hell, [he] [himself] is Hell,” (IV, 75). Satan finds his way to revolt against and separate from God to overrule Heaven and become king, instead however, he takes on the role of the representation of all evil which is evidently seen in his interactions with Eve.
Throughout many works of literature, a prominent theme has been &#8220;Good vs. Evil';. Many authors base the plot of their novels around &#8220;good guys'; fighting the &#8220;villain';.Robert Louis Stevenson contrasts good and evil through many of the characters thathe creates.
Now that’s all well and good, except for the fact that the logical problem of evil spends so much time focused on the omnipotent and the omnibenevolent aspects of God that is all together neglects the fact that God is also omniscient. He knows everything, past, present, and future. Therefore, it is only logical to assume that God also knows the best way to achieve the greatest good, which as established is the singular goal of an omnibenevolent being. If such knowledge is true, as it must be according to the laws of Omni-three, then it is possible that God has determined that the greatest good can only come by human-choice, also known as freewill, not by His force. In a bit, I will attempt to explain just
Another biblical example of a moral or intrinsic evil is the result of Adam and Eves disobedience of God’s free will in the Garden of Eden and becomes even more clear to them with the birth of their two sons, Cain and Abel. The birth of these two sons brings the evil of lethal violence to society. It begins with rivalry amongst siblings of jealousy and family fighting. Cain’s jealousy finally ends with him making the decision to commit murder and kill his brother Abel. This decision of moral or intrinsic evil made by Cain is the first taking of human life and the deterioration of humanity’s condition. The act of murder is not an act of God, it is an act of man and because of man’s action, evil succeeds in society. Again, the problem of
East of Eden is a book about the skirmish between good and evil, and about having the choice to be able to pick. The struggle between good and evil is constantly shown throughout the story.
In a world of chaos, he who lives, lives by his own laws and values. Who is to say that the death of millions is any worse or better, for that matter, than injuring a cockroach. And in the case of an existing power in the form of God, who is presumed to be all which is good, presiding and ruling an organized universe, why then does evil exist? The prosaic response of "without evil, there is no good" no longer holds any validity in this argument as the admitted goal of good is to reach an existence without evil. So even if a God does exist, I think it is fair, at this point, to say that he is the embodiment of both good and evil. And if humoring those who would answer the previous question with the response that there can be no good
First of all, it is possible that God has his reasons for allowing evil to exist that we just do not understand. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” There is not much we can do in this case, we just have to have confidence in God and understand that his ways are above our ways. God may also just be letting evil run its course. He might want to prove that anything contrary to what he says will cause pain and suffering, eventually leading to death. Personally, I don’t think God created the world how it is now but rather evil was created because of man. God created man because he wanted people to love him just as he loves us. However, natural love can only exist through free will, and thus man was given free will to either accept or reject God’s love. When Adam and Eve disobeyed God they brought evil into the
Being a Christian we fail to understand sometimes why God allows bad things to happen to good people or bad things to happen in our life when all we are trying to do is live it the best we can. Or like that old saying goes “when it rains, it pours”. Why does evil exist in the first place if God created the world to be holy and sacred? Honestly we have all asked ourselves this question at least one in our life if not multiple times a week!
If god was all good, all powerful and all knowing, he would not allow the existence of evil.
Satan encourages his followers and reminds them of their original cause. He shows great leadership skills by re-emphasizing their ideas that at least when they are reigning in Hell, G-d doesn't interfere, and although it is Hell it is still worth ruling rather than serving in Heaven. Satan is dwelling on his power which could be seen as his tragic flaw. He is allowing his pride and ego to surface by glorifying Hell (calling it "profoundest") and declaring himself in possession of Hell. He starts to think of the idea of Heaven and Hell as a mindset. He starts to believe that the mind is what creates a place as Heaven and a place as Hell. Satan feels as though Heaven is Hell because he must serve G-d there, but in Hell, he has a true Heaven because he is served and worshipped. This could be determined as his tragic flaw.
In addition, here, as throughout much the poem, Satan continues to hedge the other side of the argument, insisting that he isn't forced to do evil by opposing God, but that "to do ill our sole delight" (160). This belief that he has a choice in the matter is tied up in the misconception that he was, and continues to be, equal to God, as "reason hath equall'd" (248) them. Quite to the contrary, Milton makes it clear that "the will And high permission of all-ruling Heaven Left him at large to his own dark designs" (211-3). And it is only Satan's perverted sense of reason that convinces him that "The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n" (254-5). He believes that his reason and contemplation will help him discover "How overcome this dire Calamity" (189), or failing that, change his will such that it fits his current circumstance. This is the classic method of the delusional and disenfranchised, holding out hope for change, but at the same time putting forth the belief that the current situation can actually be beneficial. The sophistry has shown through Satan's speech, as he declares that there is no way for God to beat him, in his mind, when we know he is already defeated.
Satan is indeed “Hurled headlong flaming from th’ethereal sky” (Book I, line 45) and into Hell where he will live in fire. But as a leader, and a true protagonist, Satan chooses to accept his situation and rise as a hero for the pack of fallen angels he has led from Heaven. Even if God is his enemy, at least he is not serving anyone. He possesses his own heaven now, though not joyful and happy as the heaven he was just expelled from, “Farewell happy fields/Where joy for ever dwells: hail horrors, hail/Infernal world, …/ Receive thy new possessor” (Book I, lines 249-253). Satan makes Hell his Heaven with his mind, as he says, “The mind is its own place, and in itself/Can make a Heav’n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n” (Book I, lines 254-255). Satan acknowledges that he has made a Hell of his previous Heaven, but he also uses that reasoning to make Hell into his own Heaven. His anti-heroic qualities are apparent, though, when he tells his followers in Book I, “To do aught good never will be our task/ But ever to do ill our soul delight” (lines 159-160). It cannot be forgotten that Satan is evil by his creation and through his free will. God created Satan with all of his imperfections but makes it clear that he had a choice by
John Milton's epic “Paradise Lost” is one that has brought about much debate since its writing. This epic tells the Biblical story of Adam and Eve, although from a different perspective than what most people usually see. Milton tells the story more through the eyes of Satan, whom most people usually consider the ultimate villain. The way in which Satan is portrayed in this story has caused speculation as to whether Satan is actually a hero in this situation. He certainly has heroic qualities throughout the story, yet still is ultimately responsible for Adam and Eve's sin. Satan can easily be classified as a hero in this story, as well as the main antagonist, depending on the viewpoint of the