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Getting off the Omnibus: Rejecting Free Will and Soul-Making Responses to the Problem of Evil

Macallan, Brian (2020) Getting off the Omnibus: Rejecting Free Will and Soul-Making Responses to the Problem of Evil. Getting off the Omnibus: Rejecting Free Will and Soul-Making Responses to the Problem of Evil, 6. pp. 35-42. ISSN 2300-6579

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Abstract

The nature of suffering and the problem of evil have been perennial issues for many of the world’s religious traditions. Each in their own way has sought to address this problem, whether driven by the all too present reality of suffering or from philosophical and religious curiosities. The Christian tradition has offered numerous and diverse responses to the problem of evil. The free-will response to the problem of evil, with its roots in Augustine, has dominated the landscape in its attempt to justify evil and suffering as a result of the greater good of having free will. John Hick offers a ‘soul-making’ response to the problem of evil as an alternative to the free will response. Neither is effective in dealing with two key issues that underpin both responses – omnipotence and omniscience. In what follows I will contrast a process theological response to the problem of evil and suffering, and how it is better placed in dealing with both omnipotence and omniscience. By refashioning God as neither all-knowing nor all-powerful, process theodicy moves beyond the dead ends of both the free will and soul-making theodicy. Indeed, a process theodicy enables us to dismount the omnibus in search of a more holistic, and realistic, alternative to dealing with the problem
of evil and suffering.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Metadata Only
Keywords: Process Theology, omnipotence, omniscience, Hick, suffering
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220499 Religion and Religious Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Pure Basic Research
Subjects: C - Systematic Theology
College/Association with University of Divinity: STC: Stirling Theological College
Depositing User: Dr Brian Macallan
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2020 03:46
Last Modified: 30 Mar 2020 00:17
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/3847

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