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The Issue of Good and Evil from the Hume’s and Hick’s Philosophical Views

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From Hume’s point of view, he questions whether the architect (God) is actually real, and if this “architect” was real; why would he create something imperfect – isn’t he all-powerful? Hume is viewing God from a human’s point of view. Humans are obsessed with the idea of perfection or being close to it. Why do we assume the architect is perfect? If so, why would he make humans perfect? Maybe, we are the ones who are supposed to be imperfect. There are many questions and answers to address the doubt of the architect and his abilities. Hume gave several reasons that it is not reasonable to believe that God exists, and if he does, we cannot assume God is good. Hume goes on to paint an illustration, saying suppose we were to see a house and that house is “imperfectly” built. From there, you can see “it is the source of noise, confusion, fatigue, darkness, and the extremes of heat and cold…”, who is the blame for this imperfection? The architect of course–the simplest answer. Still seeing the architect from a human’s point of view, you will miss on key thing. The architect is not employed or servant of humans. Hume believes such an architect would have done better, or at least plan for it to be made better. The house is a representation of our flawed existent. We all know we live in an imperfect world. From the weather to everyday occurrences happening in the world. Do we blame God, or the architect for this imperfect house we live in. Some matters are from our own doing like death, war, and famine and other matters not of our doing like natural weather catastrophes. No one is to blame for these problems.

The problems we face are a part of our “soul making,” which can be summarized as our worldly experiences. The evil we experience is a part of the soul-making, it is a necessary thing to occur as a by-product of our free will. Hume argues that this world would be a better place if God prevented such “evils,” God has a fell short; however, this is the opposite of what Hick believes. Hick believes in “soul making,” which is a part of God’s plan, and that plan is to develop humans into the mightiest of creatures that are capable of following his will. This falls in line with the religious notion that God has a plan for us and this is all a test; whether we fail or not is up to us. From Hume’s point of view, God may be real; more so, he should be looked at as a creator and not a judge. Hick, who is very critical of Hume, believes differently. From Hick’s point of view, God is indeed real and there is no question about that. For Hick, what we understand as “evil” or “bad” is example of God’s plan for us.

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The problem of “evil” is manmade. When it comes to the problem of evil, Hume and Hick is wrong in their own ways. Evil is not a law of nature. Evil is the subjective perception of an action that we agree is ethically wrong and heinous. To Hume, we can conclude he believes God should prevent the evils of the world. Hume also believes the world would be a better place if God prevented these things. Hume can assume that since it answers one of our psychological need for safety/protection. Hick believes God has a plan for us and that plan is an extension of God’s will. How does Hick know this? Or, anyone for that matter, to simple put it – they don’t. Hume and Hick have a mortal understanding of God. Both Hick and Hume hold God to high regards due to the fact God is said to be all powerful and all knowing. Again, who are they to assume this, since we do not know. All we can say we know for sure is that we are here, “Cogito, ergo sum.” Descartes said that when thinking of his existence when in doubt of God. He concludes that as long as he has thought, or knowledge of self, his existence is real; therefore, God is real. The worldly things we go through is a consequence of life. Evil is something we cannot avoid in life because it is a part of life itself. The problem of evil comes from our choices or actions, none of which God can be blamed for.


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