Evil Is Divided Into Two Main Categories Book Review

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¶ … Evil is divided into two main categories. First, there are moral evils. Moral evils are "bad deeds committed by agents who are capable of moral decision making" (p.415). Examples of moral evils include, but are not limited to: wars, murder, abuse of power, domestic violence, rape, child abuse. Second, there are natural or physical evils. "Natural evil refers to events that are not committed by human beings, but that have evil consequences for humanity or other sentient creatures" (p.415). Natural disasters are probably the most commonly-recognized type of natural evils, though things like birth defects could be considered natural evils as well.

How do process theologians explain evil?

Process theologians take a metaphysical approach to theology. They believe that suffering and tragedy are inherent to the human condition, and reject attempts to sanitize evil. However, that does not mean that they necessarily think that God is evil or uncaring for allowing suffering to occur; instead, God empathizes with this suffering, as exampled by the willful sacrifice of His Son / Himself. This requires abandoning the idea of an omnipotent creator-Father version of God, and embracing a more universal, empathetic, caring version of God. This still leaves room for an omniscient God, as Hartshorne would suggest, but leaves God unable to directly intervene in acts of either moral or natural evil (p.420). That might suggest a God that suffers even more than any member of humankind, because He knows of all the evil that occurs but is absolutely powerless to prevent it from occurring.

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3. How does Kushner explain evil?

TOPIC: Book Review on Evil Is Divided Into Two Main Categories. Assignment

Harold Kushner provides an interesting example of process theology. Kushner had previously accepted a very traditional Judeo-Christian approach to evil, placing natural evil as the consequence of sin. However, Kushner had a young son afflicted with the disease progeria, which not only caused his early death, but also caused him tremendous pain during his lifetime. Watching his son's death, Kushner changed his approach to the question of evil. Instead of assuming that evil things occurred because of punishment for sin, a difficult concept to swallow when an innocent child has been afflicted by such a natural evil, Kushner instead embraced the idea that evil and suffering were random occurrences. Kushner felt that his son's illness put him in the position of having to choose between an omnipotent God and a totally good God, because an omnipotent God who would refuse to intervene in a child's suffering conflicted with his concept of a good God. Therefore, while Kushner's version of God is still a creator being, it is a being that cannot continue to interact in the same way with the universe. God created universal laws and randomness. Moreover, while God may not be able to directly intervene in times of evil,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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