There is one singular question that persists in humanity from the beginning of time, a question regarding the existence of perhaps the most influential figure in the universe: God. In the memoir, Night, Elie Wiesel details his experiences in the holocaust, his journey from his small Jewish community in Transylvania to the subsequent concentration camps which housed him in his later youth. In this haunting account, Wiesel explores his own journey from a devout young man to one that will question his own faith, the existence of God, and how one could still believe in a “right and just” God after witnessing such atrocities.
The holocaust unleashed unparalleled cruelty and suffering to a great number of people; Elie Wiesel survived these hardships, but his innocence was shattered. For this reason, he wrote Night to share his personal memories of his time spent in the concentration camps and details the transformation of his faith and understanding of God. Each person Elie writes about attempts to reconcile their agony with their faith, albeit many fail or have their faith transformed. In this paper, I will describe how Wiesel’s understanding of God transforms as he experiences tragedy and how the various prisoners come to terms with their faith.
The Holocaust was a time where millions of Jews were killed, and for what reason: their religion. Over time, the Holocaust has been taught throughout the world as a learning experience about the horrendous incident that occurred .The word "Holocaust" is from Greek, which means "sacrifice by fire”. The people who were responsible for such a horrendous event in history had to have the power and the ability to do something so appalling. The two most responsible for the Holocaust were Adolf Hitler who was the mastermind that guided the Holocaust, and the Top SS who were equally responsible because they fulfilled Hitler’s ghastly mission and goals for the Holocaust. In this essay i will prove that the two most responsible for the horrible event
In Elie Wiesel’s Night, the Holocaust and its atrocities are presented to us in a detailed manner. However, this book takes us deeper than just the physical triumphs and horrendous encounters, but also the pain of loosing complete faith in God. Wiesel goes as far as saying “In the depths of my heart, I felt a great void” (60). Anyone who went through such an atrocity, where the most unfathomable things occurred, where children and families were ripped apart and murdered, would question or even loose their faith in a God.
Many religious conflicts are built from prejudice. However, only few will have a lasting effect on the world’s history. In Germany in the year 1933, a man named Adolf Hitler rose to power. His mission would be to “exterminate” all minorities, but most importantly, the Jews. "Holocaust" is a word of Greek origin meaning "sacrifice by fire". But as we now know in history, the Holocaust was the genocide of six million Jews by Hitler and the Nazi regime. Over the time of Hitler's reign, the Jewish population would be stripped of their rights, dignity, and most preciously their lives.
It is a universal maxim in the tenets of the main monotheistic religions, that, if a Christian/Jew/Muslim holds true to God, they will assert the continued existence of, “the self,” the monotheistic-trio’s idea being the most overt with Judaism, one of the trio, during the dark period of history titled the Holocaust. From 1933 to 1945, the Holocaust was essentially a methodical killing of certain categories of people - 11 million total, 6 million being Jews, the rest being Gypsies, homosexuals, and the disabled - by a party of cold, intelligent, unempathetic people, going by the name of Nazis. However, ‘twas not always direct killing, but sometimes the killing of “the self,” that being defined as a person’s ability to make personal decisions
Does the problem of evil pose a challenge for theists and the existence of God? The problem of evil argues that there is so much suffering in the world that an all-good and all powerful God would not allow such suffering to exist. Therefore, a God with those characteristics does not exist. Unless the suffering is necessary for an adequate reason. Some people argue that suffering is necessary for there to be good and for us to able to understand what good is. In this paper, I will argue that suffering does not need to exist in order for good to exist, because the existence of good does not depend on suffering. I will then argue that good and suffering are not logical opposites. Finally, I will conclude that since evil is not justified, then the God that we defined does not exist.
An argument against the existence of God is based on the presence of evil in the world. This deductively valid argument is divided into two categories; human action and natural evil (Sober, 2005, p. 120). Human action discusses how experiences makes us better people, while natural evil are tragic events that are not under the control of humans. Each category is used as evidence to refute God as an all-powerful omniscient, omnibenevolent, or omnipotent being. In order to understand the strengths of this argument, it is important for an overall assessment of how the presence of evil questions if a Supreme Being actually exists, by arguing why a being of all-good would allow evil, importance of evil in a good world, and questioning God’s intervention in evil.
As Elie Wiesel was taken through the Holocaust as a result of being a Jew, he began to ask himself this: “Blessed be God’s name? Why, but why would I bless him? Every fiber in me rebelled. Because he caused thousands of children to burn in his mass graves...Praise be Thy Holy Name, for having chosen us to be slaughtered on Thine altar,” (45). As many enter into wars and horrific events stemming from wars, they begin with strong and unwavering faith. As the war continues and nothing is relieved, people begin to question their faith as they lose sight of all hope. This loss of faith results in a shift in one’s mindset and point of view. As danger and violence seem to increase in wars, so does the struggle to maintain faith. As people continue on in horrible conditions for so long, they eventually reach a breaking point, causing them to abandon all hope, pride, or spirituality they have; because if their world is falling apart, being shattered, and becoming what seems to be unamendable, why has a leadership or a higher being not intervened? As wars continue to be waged throughout history, is has become apparent that the struggle to maintain faith is a theme seen universally as a result of dancing with violence, unsafety, and death.
It was once suggested that evil was simply the absence of good, and while this statement is not entirely false, it is a vast understatement to the reality that is an all-powerful, omnipotent, God, or good, and ever scheming, ever tormenting enemy of all things good, or evil. This false dichotomy is equivocal to the argument that black is simply the absence of white. It is correct to state that there is no white in black, but the reality is much more complicated than that. Black is an amalgamation of all colors on the color wheel, not just the subtraction of white. Likewise, evil includes the absence of good, but also includes many other elements such as, “people [just being] people; petty, self-absorbed, stupid, unadmirable, but not wicked” (Ryken, 307) in the words of Susan Wise Bauer. Or, as she later states, “this is how the evildoers of Scripture are portrayed, as ordinary men and women who, for whatever psychological reasons, open the door to transcendent evil—and willingly leave it cracked.” (Ryken, 310) There is good, there is evil, and there is a great deal of ambiguity in the middle. These ideas provide evidence that evil is much more then simple the absence of good. This knowledge, as well as addressing the modern world’s perception of good and evil will be further scrutinized through the course of this essay.
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.
In contrast, the innocence of God was tested after Lieble’s story of the abduction of his three sons, and the Nazi presenting an ultimatum allowing Lieble to save only one. Consequently in that depressing story we never found out the decision Liebele made, but one of them countered this story with the privilege God gave to man known as “free will.” Although a perplexing, but equivalently effective argument was corroborated in Lieble’s defense; “Where was Lieble’s free will when he had to choose between his three sons, when the officer said he can only keep one.” Furthermore, that counter was reversed with the explanation of evil in the world existing as a result of the misuse of the privileges awarded to all from God. Specifically, one claimed “God gave man free will as a privilege, and its not his fault that some choose to do evil with free will.” In the end, the idea that should’ve been addressed in that trial, is what we could’ve done to help each other as humans. If conflicts were resolved and discussed, such trials, and catastrophes such as the Holocaust wouldn’t have
Eckardt presents the idea that the Holocaust was a result of three distinct factors; that it was the culmination of the church's teaching of contempt, the culmination of the church's absolute theology and finally the culmination of modern man's self-liberation from the shackles of God and morality .
Pain and suffering in the face of the idea of an all powerful and good God has presented difficulties for philosophers and theologians alike for centuries. The 20th century Jewish French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas attempts to explain pain in his essay, Useless Suffering. Levinas suggest through an abbreviated phenomenology and subsequent thrashing of theodicy that suffering is best understood as “meaningful in me, useless in the Other.”1 While Levinas 's phenomenology is logically consistent, his assessment of usefulness of theodicy in light of the suffering of the 20th century is suspect, however this does not impact the validity of his understanding of suffering in the inter-human order. Levians 's attempt to address the phenomenon of suffering from his observations led to a flawed mindset that excused the work of theodicy rather choosing to explain “useless suffering” from an inter-human perspective apart from God.