The problem of evil: with special reference to P.T. Forsyth, John Wisdom and Ludwig Wittgenstein
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Chapter one begins with a definition and exposition of the concept of theodicy, and a topology for characterizing comparative theodicies is suggested. It is argued that the basis on which theodicies might be compared is the foundational ontological principles on which they are built. Chapter two is a lengthy discussion regarding the meaning of terms such as omnipotence omniscience omnibenevolence, moral evil and natural evil. Chapter three begins with a critical analysis of a variety of theodicies found throughout the history of Christian theology. The final conclusion drawn in this chapter is that none of the proposed answers is acceptable. Acceptability is measured in three important ways: First, is the position logically consistent, second, does it conform, at least in a broad way, to the major tenents of the Christian form of life, and third, does this position take the individual sufferer seriously? In chapter four a foundation is laid for a response to the problem of evil which is to follow in chapter five. In this penultimate chapter an analysis of the Book of Job is offered which centers on the interpretation of Yahweh's speeches out of the whirlwind. It is suggested that the crux of Jobs repentance is to be understood in connection with Job "seeing God." In chapter five, an attempt is made, using the help of Karl Barth, D. M. Mackinnon, P. T. Forsyth, Ludwig Wittgenstein and John Wisdom, as well as some insights gained from chapter four, to argue that there is a teleological response to the problem of evil that is logically consistent, true to the Christian form of life and sensitive to the needs of the individual sufferer.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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