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Catholic theodicy

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Catholic theodicy is a defense of the Catholic conception of God in the light of the problem of evil, problem of hell, argument from free will, and other arguments against the existence of God.

Providence and evil[edit]

State of journey to predestined perfection[edit]

God did not create a perfect world where evil could not exist at all because he has not yet made the world so perfect that evil cannot exist at all, but created the world in a "state of journeying" to its predestined perfection,[1] since God can always create a more perfect world.[2]

Good and evil allowed to abide together[edit]

God's plan of perfecting the world involves physical and moral good, and so, physical and moral evil as well: "the appearance of certain beings and the disappearance of others, the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect, both constructive and destructive forces of nature."[3] Hence, while it may seem like God is powerless in the face of evil,[4] or that the world itself is evil,[5] God created a world that's good, contingent, interdependent, and ordered, whereby nothing is self-sufficient but everything is diverse and reflects God's goodness.[6]

Taking everything into account so as to draw out of evil a greater good[edit]

God's plan of perfecting the world both takes into account all the good and evil in it[7][8] and draws out of evil a greater good, as evidenced by the paschal mystery: by sinning we have murdered Jesus, yet by his self-sacrifice Jesus has redeemed us.[9]

Goodness and sin[edit]

God did not prevent Adam from sinning or original sin from affecting all mankind for the same reasons why he did not prevent some of his angels from rebelling and falling out of heaven.

No coercion to love[edit]

God created men and angels so that they could enjoy the beatific vision, and so that men could enjoy deification,[10] by freely loving him, and so, he respects their free-will,[11] knowing that they can choose to not love him.[12] As a spouse may not force the other to marry,[13], so neither does God force men or angels to love him, but treats them with parental tenderness.[14] God's desire for free love is shown by the Immaculate Conception of Mary, since Mary, like Eve, was created free of original sin; yet, unlike Eve, Mary chose to never sin throughout her whole life.[15][16]

Predestined gifts of Jesus[edit]

God predestined Jesus[17] and created the world through him,[18] since, through his baptism and his resurrection, God predestined to restore sanctifying grace and grant deification to mankind, through baptism,[19] after Adam had lost sanctifying grace and immortality;[20][21] and predestined to definitively end death, suffering, and sin through the resurrection of the dead.[22][23]

Radical redemption, radical possibility[edit]

Since God's redemption of mankind is radical - baptism taking away original sin, the general resurrection ending death, martyrdom, the evangelical counsels, etc. -[24][25][26][27] so too is the possibility of mortal sin and damnation radical.

Mercy and hell[edit]

In the context of eternal life[edit]

Since life with God is eternal in heaven, and some people choose to self-exclude from eternal life, so hell - the state of self-exclusion from life with God - is eternal.[28]

In the context of the beatific vision and deification[edit]

Since God created man to enjoy the beatific vision and deification, so the damned suffer from the self-deprivation of ever seeing God.[29]


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