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Gregorianum 2016 Fasc. 3

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07 - Rojka, Lubos-Halamova, Julia - Divine Justice and the Problem of Evil - P. 565

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Divine Justice and the Problem of Evil

ROJKA, LUBOS-HALAMOVA, JULIA - PAG. 565-578

ABSTRACT

Physical and psychological suffering often sheds doubts on the belief that the world was created by the almighty, omniscient, benevolent, and perfectly good God. The theism takes as granted that God does not intervene in most instances to prevent evils from happening for various good reasons. J. Salamon has recently suggested that God’s sense of justice as fairness effectively prevents God from intervening in any instance to prevent evil. A deeper analysis of this particular meaning of justice reveals that it contradicts the common Christian intuition that God can, wants, and does prevent some evils in the world and that he does not treat us equally. An equal treatment would exclude that God sometimes makes a miracle, and it would imply that Christian prayer for help and strength in difficult situations is useless. A psychological analysis of the religious aspect of personal growth suggests that God’s incapacity to intervene because of his equal treatment of all individuals would exclude something crucial in the religious life of people coping with suffering. Therefore, a different meaning of divine justice and fairness is expected in the context of nowadays philosophical theology.

Keywords: suffering, growth, justice, fairness, problem of evil, concept of God.

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Divine Justice and the Problem of Evil

ROJKA, LUBOS-HALAMOVA, JULIA - PAG. 565-578

ABSTRACT

Physical and psychological suffering often sheds doubts on the belief that the world was created by the almighty, omniscient, benevolent, and perfectly good God. The theism takes as granted that God does not intervene in most instances to prevent evils from happening for various good reasons. J. Salamon has recently suggested that God’s sense of justice as fairness effectively prevents God from intervening in any instance to prevent evil. A deeper analysis of this particular meaning of justice reveals that it contradicts the common Christian intuition that God can, wants, and does prevent some evils in the world and that he does not treat us equally. An equal treatment would exclude that God sometimes makes a miracle, and it would imply that Christian prayer for help and strength in difficult situations is useless. A psychological analysis of the religious aspect of personal growth suggests that God’s incapacity to intervene because of his equal treatment of all individuals would exclude something crucial in the religious life of people coping with suffering. Therefore, a different meaning of divine justice and fairness is expected in the context of nowadays philosophical theology.

Keywords: suffering, growth, justice, fairness, problem of evil, concept of God.

RIASSUNTO

La sofferenza fisica e psicologica spesso semina dubbi riguardo alla credenza secondo cui il mondo è stato creato da un Dio onnipotente, onnisciente, benevolo e perfettamente buono. Il teismo dà per scontato il fatto che Dio, per parecchie buone ragioni, nella maggior parte dei casi non impedisce ai mali di accadere. J. Salamon di recente ha suggerito che il senso della giustizia di Dio come imparzialità effettivamente impedisce a Dio di intervenire in ogni caso per evitare il male. Un’analisi più approfondita di questo particolare significato di giustizia rivela che esso contraddice l’intuizione cristiana comune secondo cui Dio può, vuole e previene alcuni mali nel mondo e non ci tratta allo stesso modo. Un trattamento egualitario escluderebbe il fatto che Dio, qualche volta, opera un miracolo e implicherebbe che la preghiera cristiana per ottenere aiuto e forza nelle situazioni difficili è inutile. Un’analisi psicologica dell’aspetto religioso della crescita personale suggerisce che l’incapacità di Dio di intervenire a causa del suo trattamento equo di tutti gli individui escluderebbe qualcosa di decisivo nella vita religiosa delle persone che affrontano la sofferenza. Perciò, nel contesto della teologia filosofica al giorno d’oggi si attende un significato diverso di giustizia divina e di imparzialità.

Parole chiave: sofferenza, crescita, giustizia, equità, problema del male, concetto di Dio

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