Introducing key terms
Read the words and discuss what you think they might mean before revealing the definition.
– events caused by nature that cause suffering but over which human beings have little or no control e.g. earthquakes.
– events in which responsible actions by human beings cause suffering or harm e.g. war.
– a justification of the righteousness of God given the existence of evil.
– the characteristic of being all-powerful. Some philosophers exclude the power to do the logically impossible.
– the ability to make choices that are not determined by prior causes or by divine intervention.
– the characteristic of being all-knowing of all things actual and possible.
– a Latin phrase meaning ‘out of nothing’. Refers to the belief that God did not use any previously existing material when he created.
– the Augustinian-type theodicy in which people’s response to evil and God’s rescue plan decides their destiny.
– the Irenaean-type theodicy in which the presence of evil is deliberate and helps people to grow and develop.
– a distance of knowledge of God. God is hidden and so allows human beings to choose freely.
– moral goods that result from a response to evil.
– the belief in a personal deity, creator of everything that exists, who is distinct from that creation and is sustainer and preserver of the universe.
– the absence or lack of something that ought to be there. In relation to evil as a privation, then evil is seen as an absence of good.
– evil and suffering are justified because of the eventual outcome.