Theodicy

“Epicurus (c. fourth century BCE), the ancient Greek philosopher, who held that it was impossible to hold these three propositions together:

  1. God is all-powerful.
  2. God is all-good.
  3. Evil exists.

Epicurus’ argument was revived in the eighteenth century by the skeptical Scottish philosopher David Hume. In Hume’s own words: ‘Is [God] willing to prevent evil, but not able? then is he impotent. Is he able, but not willing? then is he malevolent. Is he both able and willing? whence then is evil?'”

Richard J. Plantinga, Thomas R. Thompson, and Matthew D. Lundberg, An Introduction to Christian Theology.
Hume, David. Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion.

Tissot, James. Cain leads Abel to death. 1902..jpg
Tissot, James. Cain leads Abel to death. 1902.

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“The gods may love a man, but they can’t help him when cold death comes to lay him on his bier.” – Homer, The Odyssey

“In Greek mythology, for example, the Homeric gods cannot be conceived of apart from the world – they are ‘principalities and powers’ of the world (e.g., Poseidon is the power of the sea). If you take away the world, you take away the gods. In monotheistic thought, however, given creation out of nothing, when you take away the world, you still have God.” – Richard J. Plantinga, Thomas R. Thompson, and Matthew D. Lundberg, An Introduction to Christian Theology

Böcklin, Arnold. Odysseus and Polyphemus. Oil and tempera on panel. 1896..jpg
Böcklin, Arnold. Odysseus and Polyphemus. Oil and tempera on panel. 1896.

“Since empirical science can only proceed on the working assumption that nature is uniform and subject to universal and necessary laws, and since this presupposition cannot be established by the inductive method of science itself, the question arises: Whence come these larger suppositions? Many scholars today believe that Christianity’s creation doctrine slowly encouraged the requisite philosophy of science needed to supplant Aristotelian cosmology.” – Richard J. Plantinga, Thomas R. Thompson, and Matthew D. Lundberg, An Introduction to Christian Theology

Wright of Derby, Joseph. A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery. Derby Museum and Art Gallery. 1766. Oil on canvas..jpg
Wright of Derby, Joseph. A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery. Derby Museum and Art Gallery. 1766. Oil on canvas.