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Philosophy of Transcendence: Selected Problems

Series:

Jana Trajtelová

Does God exist? Is it meaningful to speak of the Infinite or the Absolute? What is to be understood by concepts such as soul, spirit, or love? Are religious truths philosophically relevant and philosophically tenable? The reflective critical thinking of philosophy tries to embrace each side of human reality, even the matters and themes which arise out of the religious experience. This auxiliary textbook intends to present several selected topics of the philosophy of religion and it is primarily intended for bachelor students of philosophy.

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3. The Problem of Evil and Theodicy

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  God – evil – justice – suff ering – love   Through dealing with the problem of evil and theod- icy, we now enter more evidently the sphere of exis- tential questions, which are not solved satisfactorily in a  rationally-argumentative way. Evil and suff ering are, to an extent, necessarily related to every person who has sought an answer and solution to the problem of suff er- ing since time immemorial. He or she has always asked questions concerning the meaning of suff ering. Meaning- ful philosophical or theological answers or allegorical tales usually have helped to take the load off of rational human beings. However, the existential character of Job’s questions and his helpless call has been present through- out all of human history – across traditions, time and cultural innovations. Evil and suff ering, to many people, seem to be the most serious “argument” for denying the existence of God. The problem of theodicy represents 70 the most frequent and problematic motive for the criti- cism of theism, and the strongest argument for atheism. As we can already anticipate, more than just a  rational argumentation is connected to it – it is also connected to the hope and hopelessness of a  suff ering person, of a person being confronted with meaning, love, and pain as well as his or her own freedom.      3.1 God and Evil   By the term theodicy we understand the theological and philosophical debate regarding the causes of evil and suf- fering in the world, which is created and maintained by a...

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