John Hick argues in this writing that the all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good Christian god is compatible with an abundance of suffering. He offers solutions to the problem of suffering which relies heavily upon a tripartite foundation. Hick divides evil into two: Moral Evil = the evil that human being cause - either to themselves or to each other. And Non-Moral Evil = the evil that is not caused by human activity - natural disasters, etc. He tries to explain that a world without pain and suffering, moral traits such as courage, patience and sympathy would not be developed.
Evil and suffering are two very similar terms. Dating back to the creation of the universe, evil and suffering have influenced our existence as human being. Many factors are responsible for how humans cope with, experience, and perceive evil and suffering. Evil can be defined as a moral or natural suffering that affects human beings (Reuter, 29 August 2016). Furthermore suffering can be defined as "a response to threat to integrity of self" (McFarland, 12 September 2016). One of the greatest challenges with evil and sufferings is the differences humans share in dealing with these particular issues both from a Christian point of view and a non-Christian point of view [thesis].
Reading the Book of Job and Goethe’s Faust, it triggered the urge of comparing Job of the Bible and Faust. Both men were knowledgeable and morally upright, and Almighty God has faith and confidence in their strength of withstanding any pressure directed to them. When comparing two scenarios, it is evident that Job was more loyal, but Faust was put under more pressure, and this made him succumb to greed.
The problem of evil has been around since the beginning. How could God allow such suffering of his “chosen people”? God is supposedly all loving (omni-benevolent) and all powerful (omnipotent) and yet He allows His creations to live in a world of danger and pain. Two philosophers this class has discussed pertaining to this problem is B.C. Johnson and John Hick. Johnson provides the theists’ defense of God and he argues them. These include free will, moral urgency, the laws of nature, and God’s “higher morality”. Hick examines two types of theodicies – the Augustinian position and the Irenaeus position. These positions also deal with free will, virtue (or moral urgency), and the laws of nature. Johnson
The view of fate the book of Job expresses, though similar in that it originates from God, differs in a few important ways. In Job, situations are predetermined to occur, but the personal choices of the people involved determine the outcome of the situation. The story of Job opens with Job's fate of suffering being planned. Satan presents himself in an audience before God. God makes example of Job, and Satan rebuffs, stating that Job's constancy is only because of God's preferential treatment. Satan tells God, "But put forth thy hand now and touch all he hath, and he will curse thee to thy face."(40). In response, power is given to Satan to torment Job as a test. Job's life and finally health are viciously mangled and destroyed by Satan. Though Job does not know the reasons behind his great suffering, we are told that "In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly."(41), and "In all this did not Job sin with his lips."(41). Self-pity creeps into Job's thoughts and words, but there is no disenchanted turn from God. Instead in Job the reader sees a turn to God for relief and
The Book of Job is a profound story about a man who was "perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil" (Job 1:1). Job was a man who had a loving family, prospered and was very wealthy. For whatever reason, Satan challenged God regarding Job. Satan told God that if everything were taken away from Job, he would surely curse God. It was a “bet” of sorts. So God gave Satan the power to destroy everything Job had with the exception of Job’s life. Satan took away Job’s possessions,
Job, “blameless and upright”, is described as a man who follows God and turns away from evil showing that he tenaciously fulfils his duties to God and makes it a priority that he lives by (Job 1.1). He is challenged in a bet between God and Satan that he will only be faithful to God when everything is going well for him; God chooses to test Satan’s theory (Job. 1.8-12). Job endures great suffering, but what makes him a pious man is that ultimately he shows the depth of his faith in God, despite the harsh suffering he endures. A paragon of his faithfulness to God is shown when he is given four sets of bad news: his oxen, donkeys, sheep, camels, servants and all 10 of his children were killed or stolen (Job 1.15-19). After hearing the news, Job “fell on the ground and worshipped”, saying that he “came from [his] mother 's womb
His nature, however, is problematic to interpret. The God’s concepts in the book differ from the ones described in the New Testament. Here he is not charitable, merciful, and kind God, we used to know. He appears as omnipotent and even egoistic God with uncoherent speeches and deceptive appearances. At the end of the book He has a conversation not only with Job but with the whole Earth population. He requires them to comprehend the complexity of the universe, to admit their ignorance, and to appreciate the difficult work done by Him ruling the universe.
In the book of Job we see that God takes Job around to show him the beauty of the world and his creations in response to Job’s protests of innocence. The message that God was showing to Job was that humans are not the center of the world and everything was created for God to enjoy. Things in the world just happen (not necessarily against or for a person), and evil exists as a way to reconcile ourselves with the reality that we make up a marginal place in the world.
The concept of faith and suffering in the Hebrew Bible has filled worshippers with fraught throughout the ages of its existence. The crux of the matter is that there is no definition of what exactly these things are and what they mean, leading to many different theories to emerge on the concept of whether suffering is necessary for faith in God. This has historically caused strife between many populations of worshippers, and continues to be a point of bitter disagreement between people. Wildly contradicting itself between various books, the Hebrew Bible is at best ambiguous in many of these concepts, but when analyzing small passages, certain themes can be argued for with much more strength. In the Book of Job, loyalty to God is questioned, and ultimately the theme of free will in faith is addressed through the pain and suffering of its characters.
Job has, if this is possible, an even lesser degree of agency after Satan afflicts him with sores. Before this, though he suffered great loss, he still maintained the ability to direct himself by means of his physical body. Now however, God, by placing Job in Satan&#8217;s power, removes that part of his agency. He is too miserable to move and because of this, he has no choice but to listen and argue with the comforters. For all we know, if Job had been able to walk away, he might have. However, he was not able to leave because his agency was now limited by the random events of destruction and his physical debilitation.
Why does God allow Satan to cause such tragedy in Job’s life, a man whom God has already acknowledged as “my servant Job, that there is none like on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil?”(1.8) From the beginning, it is known that Job is in no way deserving of his injustices, so a reason must be given. God gives Job an opportunity to prove that under any circumstances Job will still have faith. This simply a test for Job. The whole Book is a “double” journey for Job -- he shows God his faith and realizes the faith God has that Job will not stray from his path. Job knows deep down that God has not forsaken him.
In the book of Job God boasts to Satan about Job’s goodness, but Satan argues that Job is only good because God has blessed him abundantly. Satan challenges God that, if given permission to punish the man, Job would no longer worship him and turn from him and curse God. In one day, Job receives four messages, each bearing separate news that his livestock, servants, and ten children have all died due to marauding, yet Job continues to bless God in his prayers. Satan appears again with another test for job yet this time; Job is afflicted with horrible skin sores. Eventually he is also told by his wife to curse god but yet Job refuses her request and accepts the outcomes.
In the book of Job, Satan receives permission from God to inflict trouble upon Job. Job loses many of his possessions including his livestock, children, and servants. Distressed, Job calls upon his friends to comfort him. Not having much sympathy, his friends claim he is facing such hardships as a punishment for all the sins he has committed. Through all the troubles Job has faced, and the
Alas, poor Job is left to ponder why such misfortunes were heaped upon him, for God never really answers this question. Moreover, throughout history, people have been pondering the very same question. Many books and essays have been written on "The Book of Job" in an attempt to try to explain the cause of suffering, but the theories that have been extracted have had primarily western theological overtones.