Homework Help- If you are a believer how do you reconcile your belief in an all-powerful all-loving God and the immense evil that surrounds us?
REL101(WI): World Religions
Reflection Paper #2
The Problem of Evil
The most formidable challenge a believer in God must face is known as “the problem of evil.” This problem, which goes back to ancient times yet is no less distressing today, asks about the relationship between belief in God and the existence of evil in the world. If God is truly good and cares for us, why do bad things continually happen to good people? How can there be so much unmerited evil and suffering in the world if an all-powerful and all-loving creator governs the universe? Like many other faiths, Judaism has had to confront such questions head on. While much of Jewish history is full of pain and suffering, nothing has tested the Jewish faith like the mass slaughter of Jews during the Holocaust (or Shoah). Given God’s covenantal promise of a blessed existence and God’s declaration that the Jews are his “chosen people,” many wonder today how they can possibly square the extermination of 6 million such people with belief in a deity who is said to be both compassionate and just. For this second Reflection Paper, you are asked to weigh in on this conflicted debate. Before you begin to write, consider the discussion of Judaism in class, read carefully the article “The Problem of Evil” posted under “Course Materials” on Blackboard, and research at least two other articles of your choice that address this topic. Then, in your paper, expand this difficult issue to all of the Western religions and offer your best insights on the ongoing attempt to make sense of the problem of evil. If you are a believer how do you reconcile your belief in an all-powerful all-loving God and the immense evil that surrounds us? Which of the many solutions to the problem of evil (officially known a “theodicy”), do you find convincing? If you are not committed to a religious belief, what is your opinion about the problem of evil? Is this problem great enough to lead one to atheism, as many have argued? Is one of the counterarguments presented in this discussion particularly powerful?
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