WJEC GCSE Religious Studies - Origins of Evil Cheatsheet
St Iranaeus' Theory - Soul-making
St Iranaeus argued that suffering was the process to becoming more Christ-like. The Fall (Genesis) was the origin of evil but evil was used to transform us and create morals
Islam - Test of Suffering
Many Muslims believe that suffering is a test from Allah to ensure our dedication. By enduring suffering, we earn rewards in paradise. - "Be sure we shall test you [...] but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere" - Qur'an Surah 155
Inconsistent Triad Diagram
St Augustine's Theory - Original Sin
St Augustine theorized that God made a perfect world but gave humans free will. When humans sinned, original sin entered the world and that was passed down to us. Genesis 3 - The Fall
Humanists believe humans have a degree of control over our lives and that suffering is mostly caused by humans. They believe that natural evil is just the way the world is.
The Problem of Evil
The problem of evil is considered an inconsistent triad many scholars have suggested that if God is all loving and all powerful then he should have removed sin. Therefore, God is either not omnibenevolent or not omnipotent, as evil still exists.
Natural features of the world which cause suffering, and which have nothing to do with human beings
Actions done by humans which cause suffering
When people have to face and live with unpleasant events or conditions.
Potential Exam Questions
"Suffering proves there is no God" Discuss this statement
"God is the cause of evil" Discuss this statement
"Suffering has no purpose" Discuss this statement
"Suffering is a necessary part of life" Discuss this statement
"Mankind is the cause of all suffering" Discuss this statement