Necessary Evil or Unnecessary God?: Evaluating the Problem of Suffering

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In this thesis, I discuss the philosophical problem of evil and, as a response, John Hick's soul making theodicy. First, I discuss the transformation of the problem. I examine how

In this thesis, I discuss the philosophical problem of evil and, as a response, John Hick's soul making theodicy. First, I discuss the transformation of the problem. I examine how the problem has shifted from logical to evidential in recent history. Next, I offer a faithful rendition of Hick's position - one which states the existence of evil does not provide evidence against the existence of God. After reconstructing his argument, I go on to exposes its logical faults. I present four main contentions to Hick's theodicy. First, I analyze the psychology of dehumanization to question whether we have any evidence that soul making is happening in response to the suffering in the world. Second, I argue that Hick's theodicy is self-defeating if accepted because it undermines the central point on which his argument depends. Third, I claim that Hick's theodicy is self-defeating given his eschatological views. Finally, I discuss how Hick's theodicy does not account for the animal suffering that widely exists in the world now, and that exists in our evolutionary history. My hope is to show that Hick's theodicy fails to solve the problem of evil. I claim that the amount of gratuitous suffering in the world does provide evidence against the existence of God.