• The Laws of Nature: Philosophical and Theological Perspectives of Evil in Nature

    Radiša Antić
    Tom de Bruin (see profile)
    Spes Christiana (journal)
    Theology, Philosophy
    Item Type:
    Evil, suffering, H (humanities)
    Permanent URL:
    In contrast to “natural suffering,” the phenomenon of moral evil in the world is easier to comprehend and explain because it is caused by conscious, free acting agents. On the other hand, the so-called “natural suffering” of human beings could be triggered by irrational natural forces such as solar radiation etc. It transcends human rational potentials and makes us often ponder in silence without being able to utter something meaningful. This complicated question of evil in nature is discussed here from the perspectives of David Hume, Gottfried Leibniz, and the biblical Book of Job. According to Hume, the existence of evil in nature demonstrates that there is no God, that our ideas about Him are irrational and empty, and that nature is blind and unconcerned about human and animal suffering. Leibniz, on the other hand, claimed that at the time of creation of the world God had examined all the probabilities and realized only those which would result in the maximum of metaphysical excellence. For any substance in the world there is a reason why it exists and why it exists the way it exists. For Leibniz, it is self-evident that there is a close correlation between human sin and human suffering, between moral and natural evils. In the Book of Job human suffering is like behemoth, incomprehensible at the moment but not fully irrational, because God gives plenty of evidence that he created and sustains the world and consequently invites Job to trust him that the liberation is coming.
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Last Updated:
    2 months ago

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