I am writing on John Hick’s piece entitled There Is a Reason Why God Allows Evil. In the selection Hick explains a theodicy, a justification of God’s goodness because of evil, the soul-making view of life in this defense of God’s way in the face of evil. The dilemma of the problem of evil is, if God is perfectly loving he must wish to abolish evil. If evil exists then God cannot be all perfectly loving. Hick’s theodicy, the soul-making view, states that God intentionally placed this evils on earth so that we can over come temptations.
God wants humans to go through these test of our convictions so that they can choose good, and they can ultimately undergo spiritual growth. Hick believes that this is not evil but good, and most cannot see though the belief that the world is supposed to be a paradise. Hick talks briefly about how man creates its own evils, by its inhumanities and ignorance. He states that stemming from that comes oppression, poverty, and war. Then he goes on the explain their is also natural evils such as earthquakes, tornadoes, and floods. If man was created by God as a fully functional creature, and world is a place that is our paradise to live in.
How could it be plausible for an all loving God to have the natural and moral evils to be seeded in his creation, therefor he could not be all-loving. This theory also has the basis of free will, the fact that we can chose the path that we want to take in the face of temptation. The soul-making view is also known as the Irenaean theory. This traditional view comes from the Greek Church, and was added on to by John Hick. It states that God is working with humanity to help with social interactions, moral behavior, and reflection.
Hick says that we go through two stages, first is that we are created and have imagination and creation, second is that we struggle and suffer. Doing this process makes us more like God. The other type of theodicy is the Augustinian position. That is that Go created humans without sin, and humans misused their freedom then created evil and sin. It states the evil is something good that has gone wrong, all things start out good. When saying that good things have become corrupt, means that you are saying something is negative and that means it was not created and willed by God, if he is all-loving.
Hicks theodicy is much like the free will theodicy, both of them justify God’s evil on the basis of the greater good of humans. Yet the soul-making theodicy is more teleological than the free will. Another difference is that free will theory ends in human freedom. Soul-making ends with the human character being created. Some objections to Hick’s theodicy say that God could not create a person that is morally free but is guaranteed to make the right choice every time. Another one is that if we deny God’s omnipotence and admit that he is unable to create humans that are free from risks in personal freedoms.