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Isaiah 45:7[edit]

The translation of Isaiah 45:7 is a KJV mis-translation. Can we get a better translation that does not attribute the existence of evil to God?

I have to agree with the above comment. The way Isaiah 45:7 is rendered in the KJV is a mistranslation that makes it sound as if God is a source of evil in the world:
"Is God really the one who created evil? To answer the question we must first look at how the word for evil, rah, is used in the Bible, examine the context of the Isaiah 45:7 passage, and look at other passages on the same subject. First of all, the Hebrew word for evil, rah, is used in many different ways in the Bible. In the KJV Bible, it occurs 663 times. Four-hundred-thirty-one (431) times it is translated as evil. The other 232 times it is translated as wicked, bad, hurt, harm, ill, sorrow, mischief, displeased, adversity, affliction, trouble, calamity, grievous, misery, and trouble. So we can see that the word does not require that it be translated as evil. This is why different Bibles translate this verse differently. It is translated as calamity by the NASB and NKJV, disaster by the NIV, and woe by the RSV."[1]
It would be best to just remove this passage altogether from this section, given it really does not have much to do with theodicy when properly translated.--Micahjahns (talk) 23:19, 4 February 2016 (UTC) fails WP:RS. You need more than that to remove properly sourced content. Tgeorgescu (talk) 00:32, 5 February 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Slick, Matt. "Does God Create Evil?". Retrieved 4 February 2016. 

How about adding a couple of more translations to that section as follows, since "evil" in the King James version in this context may not mean what we think it means,.. there is a section further down discussing the issue, 'evil " may not be the exact intent from the original source documents; In any case giving a wider latitude of consideration: Suggest adding these two currently popular English Bible translations for the verse:

I form the light and create darkness, I bring prosperity and create disaster; I the LORD do all these things(New International Version).

I create the light and make the darkness. I send good times and bad times. I, the LORD, am the one who does these things.(New Living Translation).

If no scholarly objections I shall return in a couple of weeks or so and make the changes SteamWiki (talk) 02:54, 6 March 2017 (UTC)

Moving stuff to The problem of evil[edit]

I am merging most of the material in this article with The problem of evil article, leaving just a few sentences to define "theodicy" as a term. There will probably be a short lapse of time before the material finds its way over to the other article. So, please don't be too trigger happy on the revert button. -- 15:59, 30 Aug 2003 (UTC)

As Slrubenstein correctly asserts, theodicy is concerned with more than "the problem of evil." Accordingly, merging the theodicy article with the "problem of evil" article would be a big mistake. --NetEsq 16:29, 1 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Whether or not this is true, most of the material in the article addresses the problem of evil. This material should be merged into The problem of evil. -- Alan McBeth 23:31, 23 November 2005 (UTC)
Someone with a little more wiki-experience and spare time might wish to compare this section of the article with this little link. There seems to be some copy-pasting going on. Is this page a reliable source? []
Just because it deals with the Problem of evil does not mean that it should be merged. Theodicy can, and does outside this article, deal with topics like death, illness, and various other topics that are outside the relm of human control. If you label, for example, death from stupid human error "evil" instead of just stupid human error, then one can merge the articles. As stated above, merging the articles is a mistake. (Jepugh07 (talk) 03:04, 10 April 2008 (UTC))

Is this a joke?[edit]

Theodiceans are those who seek to reconcile the co-existence of evil and God; a group of theodiceans may thus be called "a theodicy."

What is this? It sounds like something from list of collective nouns for birds...

Some previous versions of this sentence:

  • May 2007. An attempt to reconcile the co-existence of evil and God may thus be called "a theodicy".
  • October 2007. Theodiceans use this to reconcile the co-existence of evil and God may thus be called "a theodicy".

And now we have this since I think December or so.

Alan Saunders, on the Philosopher's Zone, once joked that perhaps the appropriate collective noun for philosophers should be "a confusion of philosophers". Merzul (talk) 20:33, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

The free will theodicy[edit]

No offense to the authors, but this section reads like an opinion piece. I'm a newbie here but it seems to me that this is a textbook case of original research:

"Wikipedia does not publish original research or original thought. This includes unpublished facts, arguments, speculation, and ideas; and any unpublished analysis or synthesis of published material that serves to advance a position. This means that Wikipedia is not the place to publish your own opinions or experiences. Citing sources and avoiding original research are inextricably linked: to demonstrate that you are not presenting original research, you must cite reliable sources that provide information directly related to the topic of the article, and that directly support the information as it is presented."[1]

The entire section on free will is a clear violation of everything I've bolded. I almost deleted it but I don't want to create a disturbance. Maybe an admin will do it.

I only skimmed the rest of the article, but it all seemed equally unencyclopedic. Jdtapaboc (talk) 18:29, 22 May 2008 (UTC)

Just as a followup here, administrators probably won't get involved in content decisions. But if you (or anyone) feels that the article needs to be trimmed down, please go ahead. Take whatever actions you feel appropriate to bring the article in line with Wikipedia policies. If anyone disagrees, we can work it out at the talkpage. But for now, no one seems to be objecting, so go ahead.  :) --Elonka 21:08, 4 July 2008 (UTC)

difference between this article and problem of evil? --Firefly322 (talk) 19:18, 16 July 2008 (UTC)


"Various explanations of the exact relationship of Adam to his posterity have been offered, but what concerns us at present is only the doctrine of Adam's legal representation of the race."

Here another question presents itself. How could Adam be held accountable (and with him the entire human race), if he was not free to do other than he did do—if God really intended for him to do exactly as he did?

Persides the fact that most of this article seems like someones essay, or one persons point of view on the subject, the first sentence says "but what concerns us". I thought this was supposed to be fact based, and sentences like "what concerns us" shouldn't be here. Correct me if i'm wrong.

Serously persides the fact that the whole thing seems like original research, where does anyone say that adam was not free to do what he did? CITATIONS are required if an article is to be taken serously! What i am about to say is original research yet it seems i could also put this into the article as it has as many citations as the 2nd sentence. "Genesis depics Adam as not a normal human being, but a human with all the knowledge of GOD and thus, he's desicision to disobey God was done with full knowledge of what he was infact doing. Christians believe for this reason that Adam represented the human race, as Adams sin was purposely done with full knowledge of the concequences, he rejected god"

Now of course i wouldn't write that, persides the spelling mistakes, it hasn't got any citations. So why is it much of this article has been allowed to stay? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:43, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Another theodicy argument[edit]

I am just noting a theodicy argument I got from talking with a Greek Orthodox. I don't know if it standard Greek Orthodox theology. At any rate,

The argument goes that good has an essence (ousia) while evil does not. In some sense, good is real while evil is unreal. Evil is like a vacuum in a bottle, it is there and affects reality, but it is itself not real.

In this view, the answer to the problem of evil is that evil does not truly exist.

This viewpoint reminds me of the argument that God exists because "God is the greatest thing that can be imagined, and the greatest imaginable thing would have all good attributes, including existence." It more or less maps the good-evil dichotomy to the real-unreal dichotomy.

I think this view of evil may be related to ancient Greek philosophies of form and essence.

Sorry for the lame exposition. Maybe someone else can find more about these ideas. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:21, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Merge undoing and the definition[edit]

The article was merged without opposition to the problem of evil article. Recently one user has undone this and restored a version many months old (not the one prior to the merge). This seeems to be based on his view of what theodicy is. In order to avoid duplicate discussion, please see and discuus here: Talk:Problem_of_evil#Definition_of_theodicy_and_large_scale_changes.Ht686rg90 (talk) 07:14, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

This article was not merged without opposition. It was merged without comment. Indeed as Mangojuice told you, there is no consensus for a merge. A quick glance above indicates that there has in fact been ZERO discussion of such a merge on this article; except for the section 'moving stuff to the problem of evil', which both Netesq and Jepugh07 clearly objected to.

In fact, as you'll note mentioned above, As Slrubenstein correctly asserts, theodicy is concerned with more than the problem of evil.. For example, it includes attempts to justify the philandering behaviour of Greek gods[1][2].

Anthony on Stilts (talk) 21:00, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

Zero discussion means no opposition when the merger took place. On the other hand, you attempted no discussion before reverting to a version that existed several months before the merger.Ht686rg90 (talk) 21:57, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Zero discussion when the merger took place means zero consensus for it either way, which means zero criticism of restoration of the article as well. But that's ultimately irrelevant; there are at least three people (including myself in the count) who are on record on this talk page as being against a merger; four if you include Slrubenstein.
And as I've pointed out already, Theodicy is more than just the Problem of evil[1][2], and the Problem of Evil is more than just Theodicy[3][4][5][6][7].
That's 7 sites for them being different. Where are yours for them being the same? And I mean genuine cites, not original research based on improper synthesis of dictionaries. Anthony on Stilts (talk) 22:27, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Plus, I'd like to mention that there are three further editors at Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Theodicy who also want this article to remain. One of them called your viewpoint an idiotic hunch Anthony on Stilts (talk) 22:29, 5 May 2009 (UTC).
Drmies' first language is not English, and from very long past experience with him, I think it likely he did not mean to word it that strongly, nor to aim that remark at any particular editor.—S Marshall Talk/Cont 23:06, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I looked at your source regarding philandering. Philandering is seen as an evil so the use of theodicy here refers to the problem of evil. So your first two sources do not support you. Regarding your later sources. Yes, the phrase "problem of evil" or more generally problems with evil are used outside religion. Obviously there are lots of problems with evil. But as usually understood, the phrase refers to problem in connection with a 3-0 being. See the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.Ht686rg90 (talk) 22:34, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
No, you're distorting the source there; something called 'improper synthesis'. You can't just redefine anything naughty as 'evil'. And you cant say 'as usually understood' because that would be original research. The problem of evil is 'why does evil exist', not 'why are some gods not sexually loyal to their wives'. And you really should check out the meaning of 'usually' - it doesn't mean 'always'.
And you should really read the bit about mesopotamian religion - they have more than one deity, and none have all three properties of omnibenevolence, omniscience, and omnipotence; because its clear that they addressed the problem, it can't be restricted to just monotheistic circumstances or addressing those three properties. Anthony on Stilts (talk) 22:42, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Of course, almost any source mentioning evil will also discuss problems. Any problem can be seen as evil. Any evil can be seen as a problem. If the article should be so general, then the "Problem of evil" also includes how the problem of how evil should be stopped, the problem of how it should be classified, etc. But usually the phrase refers to a 3-0 being and the existence of evil. See See the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy and their entries on the problem of evil.Ht686rg90 (talk) 22:53, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
usually is irrelevant. Articles should be comprehensive, not restricted to just what is usually discussed.
The problem of evil is why does evil exist. This isn't restricted to theological circumstances, as I've repeatedly pointed out; to be honest I'm surprised that you can't see this includes the evolution of evil, and the secular problem of evil. But it isn't so general that it includes 'how do I stop evil' - I really can't see from what part of the four word phrase why does evil exist you get this.
Besides, this article's just won an AFD. So it can't be blanked now. Anthony on Stilts (talk) 22:58, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
If you want a broad discussion, why should the problem of how evil not include how it should be stopped, the problem of how it should be classified, the problem of what evils are worst etc?
I never wanted the article deleted. A merge is not a deletion. The AfD has no relevance for a merge discussion. Ht686rg90 (talk) 23:01, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
As I've already pointed out, the problem of evil should never include 'how can evil be stopped' or 'what evil is worst' precisely because the problem of evil is the question why does evil exist, nothing more. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Anthony on Stilts (talkcontribs) 23:06, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
A merge is covered within the rules of AFD. They voted for keep, not merge; these are distinct outcomes. Anthony on Stilts (talk) 23:04, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
No, a merge is not a deletion. See WP:MERGE. If you want a broad discussion of the "problem of evil", why should the problem of how evil not include how it should be stopped, the problem of how it should be classified, the problem of what evils are worst etc? All of these are also problems of evil. Ht686rg90 (talk) 23:07, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
(outdent) At AfD, a merge is a keep outcome. And in the matter of a merge, an AfD consensus should not and does not override a local talk page consensus; you do still need to defeat User:Ht686rg90's view here in order to prevent his proposed merge.

Having said that, I think it entirely inappropriate to merge "Theodicy" with "Problem of evil". I think the two are separate, distinct, and each worthy of its own article.—S Marshall Talk/Cont 23:11, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

See [2][3] The "problem of evil" usually refers the existence of evil together with a 3-O being. Of course, there are many problems with evil, all problems can be seen as evils, all evils are problems, etc, but this is not how the phrase is usually understood.Ht686rg90 (talk) 23:13, 5 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Advice—Since this discussion is not moving towards consensus, and each party is becoming more entrenched in his position rather than less, you should now seek a third opinion.—S Marshall Talk/Cont 23:17, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
That is good advice. This particular dispute regarding the definition of theodicy and the problem of evil is of course only a small part of the bigger problem. User Anthony on Stilts have massively changed both articles without discussing this on talk page first. He has still not responded to all the problems this has created, some of which are pointed out in the talk page of the problem of evil article. Strangely enough he falsely criticized me for not having a proper talk page discussion while he has none at all before his changes. No double standard please.Ht686rg90 (talk) 23:26, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't agree with your assessment of User:Anthony on Stilts at all, and I think there's been some failure to follow process on your side as well. But since I participated in the AfD and closed it, mine doesn't count as a useful third opinion for dispute resolution purposes.—S Marshall Talk/Cont 23:31, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
Please have a look at how the Problem of Evil article looked before the recent massive changes that were not discussed on talk page first.[4].Ht686rg90 (talk) 23:38, 5 May 2009 (UTC)
  • User Ht86 is being facetious, purposely or not. Of course theodicy is concerned with the problem of evil, but it doesn't work the same way in the other direction. Hence the merge was unjustified. What Ht86 is trying to do, it seems to me (look at their recent edit to the lead), is to make sure that the "problem of evil" is intricately connected to God (or, perhaps, gods), thereby making theodicy almost synonymous with the question of evil. And than they can be merged. But there is a problem of evil outside of theodicy too--in irreligious context, or in the natural sphere, a natural evil--and that renders Ht86 argument invalid and the edits agenda-driven. Now, the first ref in the article, to this page, seems to support their way of thinking--but that ref says it explicitly, this refusal to see "evil" outside of a religious context is Anglocentric (first paragraph after the index). Thus, it is unencyclopedic, at least for our encyclopedia. So, now that the merger appears to be out of the way, the problem remains with Ht86's attempts to redefine "problem of evil" in a way that seems to suit them.

    BTW, S Marshall, I appreciate your coming to my defense--but I did say "idiotic hunch," and I meant it. HOWEVER, I was not aware that Anthony on Stilts gave a, well, somewhat skewed representation of the affair: I though they were really listing on someone else's suggestion, and that's not the case, I think, although it's hard to tell in what seems to be a pissing contest. In other words, had Ht86 wanted to delete "theodicy," that would be an idiotic hunch--but that was not what they wanted, ergo, there was no idiotic hunch. (So Anthony, don't go around quoting my words as if they support your point--right after "idiotic hunch," I reserved a trout slap for you.) There's a whole bunch of other things here--including Anthony's listing of the article at AfD, which was a gigantic waste of time for a lot of people. For the record, I think that in this discussion Anthony is more right and Ht86 is being much too "3-0 centric", and I think that Anthony used some pretty deplorable methods; both editors need to maybe chill out some, and I'm getting out of this one, since the discussion on pagan metal has much more at stake. S Marshall, I'll see you again, in a happier place! Drmies (talk) 00:48, 6 May 2009 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b Brooks Otis, Ovid as an epic poet (1970), page 132
  2. ^ a b John Alvis, Divine purpose and heroic response in Homer and Virgil, page 176
  3. ^ Peter Kivy, Melville's Billy and the Secular Problem of Evil: the Worm in the Bud, in The Monist (1980), 63
  4. ^ Nicholas J. Rengger, Moral Evil and International Relations, in SAIS Review 25:1, Winter/Spring 2005, pages 3-16
  5. ^ John Kekes, Facing Evil, 1993
  6. ^ Timothy Anders, The Evolution of Evil (2000)
  7. ^ Duntley, J.D., & Buss, D.M., The evolution of evil, in The social psychology of good and evil (2004). New York: Guilford. 102-123. Full text

If you add a new section, please move this section to the end of the page

Failed verification of claimed sources[edit]

Claimed sources for that theodicy refers to something more than answers to the problem of evil. Which is incorrect.

  • "Concise English Dictionary, entry on Theodicy" Which such dictionary? There are several. --- I see that you now have updated this to state Oxford. What is the quote exactly? The Oxford Compact Dictionary refers to evil. "noun (pl. theodicies) the justification of God and divine providence in view of the existence of evil. "
  • "Brooks Otis, Ovid as an epic poet (1970), page 132" Quote: "never quite negates the effective theodicy that is really at the heart of the Aneid's divine machinery" Talks about problem of evil.
  • "John Alvis, Divine purpose and heroic response in Homer and Virgil, page 176" Quote: "Jupiter providence produces a satisfying theodicy" Talks about problem of evil.Ht686rg90 (talk) 02:48, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
    • I'm having a hard time figuring out what you're trying to say, grammatically and rhetorically. Drmies (talk) 03:15, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
      • Anthony on Stilts claims that these sources support "Theodicy (IPA: /θiːˈɒdɪsi/) is a specific branch of theology and philosophy that attempts to justify the behaviour of God/gods". In fact, all of them refers to the problem of evil. Not to the behaviour of Gods in general.Ht686rg90 (talk) 03:17, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
  • Ah, OK. This is the opening sentence from the Catholic Encyclopedia: "Etymologically considered theodicy (theos dike) signifies the justification of God." See Drmies (talk) 03:26, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
    • And continues "Imitating the example of Leibniz other philosophers now called their treatises on the problem of evil "theodicies"."Ht686rg90 (talk) 03:27, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
      • You're affirming the consequent. That philosophers call their treatises on the problem "theodices" does not mean that "theodicy" means "treatise on the problem of evil" exclusively. Seriously, the article goes on to say, "The first and most important task of theodicy is to prove the existence of God." That sentence introduces a 430-word paragraph that does not contain the word evil. Drmies (talk) 03:41, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
        • Granted, the rather old (1914) Catholic Encyclopedia then continues "Thus theodicy came to be synonymous with natural theology (theologia naturalis) that is, the department of metaphysics which presents the positive proofs for the existence and attributes of God and solves the opposing difficulties." Which is not the same as Anthony on Stilts definition: "attempts to justify the behaviour of God/gods". But none of the other, newer sources I give below agree with either of these definitions and only metions the problem of evil.Ht686rg90 (talk) 03:35, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
          • Yeah, but those are dictionaries, and shouldn't be expected to give sophisticated arguments. It may well be that in common parlance they are thought of as synonyms, but I never did. I'm not saying I agree with the definition by the other editor, but if you'll open up your Milton, Paradise Lost, book 1, what is it? line 18? "justify the ways of God to man"--if you have a good edition (Shawcross I think has a note) there will be a note that explains that the meaning of "justify" was a lot broader then than it is now. (Pope would later have "vindicate the ways of God to man.") I don't know if Anthony reads Milton, and the definition sounds a bit strained, but to me (and I do read Milton) it doesn't sound wrong, only inelegant. Drmies (talk) 03:47, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
            • Language and meaning change as you state. Both Milton and the Catholic Encyclopedia are old sources. Possible theodicy earlier had a different meaning even including all proofs of God's existence. The best source is probably Encyclopedia Britannica which refers to the problem of evil. See [5]Ht686rg90 (talk) 03:52, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
            • We could state the today the term refers to the problem of evil but it may have had a more general meaning earlier.Ht686rg90 (talk) 03:55, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
              • No, that's too slippery: "theodicy" does not "refer" to the problem--you're confusing the dictionary with the encyclopedia--"refer" has a double meaning. Here's Livingstone's Oxford dictionary of the Christian Church: "Theodicy: That part of natural theology which is concerned to defend the goodness and omnipotence of God against objections arising from the existence of evil in the world." Theodicy is a response to the problem of evil; that's entirely different from "reference." Drmies (talk) 15:45, 6 May 2009 (UTC)
                • Response is fine. How about that it it may have had a more general meaning earlier?Ht686rg90 (talk) 13:41, 22 May 2009 (UTC)
        • See also the other sources I added below in the next section.Ht686rg90 (talk) 03:31, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Removal of sourced definitions of theodicy[edit]

Please do not remove the sourced definitions of theodicy I added. If you object, then discuss here first so we can reach a consensus.Ht686rg90 (talk) 03:03, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

  • Encyclopedia Britannica: "(from Greek theos, “god”; dikē, “justice”), explanation of why a perfectly good, almighty, and all-knowing God permits evil."
  • Catholic encyclopedia: "Imitating the example of Leibniz other philosophers now called their treatises on the problem of evil "theodicies".
  • Random House Dictionary: "a vindication of the divine attributes, particularly holiness and justice, in establishing or allowing the existence of physical and moral evil."
  • The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition: "A vindication of God's goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil."
  • Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary: "defense of God's goodness and omnipotence in view of the existence of evil"

Removal of citation needed tags[edit]

Please do not remove the citation needed tags. If you object to them, discuss here so we can reach a consensus.Ht686rg90 (talk) 03:05, 6 May 2009 (UTC)


An RfC has been filed asking about the definition (From the Greek words 'Theos' (god) and 'Dike' (justice). Does it mean justification of god (in the sense vindication of the divine attributes[1]) or justification of the existence of god given the existence of evil? In other words, is it exclusively a synonym for problem of evil and nothing else, or does it also include any justification of a god/God, such as justification of the philandering behaviour of the Greek gods[2][3]. Consequently should the article be more like this version, something else, or should it not even exist as an article at all?)

It's clear that theodicy principally refers to the problem of evil but this is not the exclusive meaning - see eg here. NBeale (talk) 06:47, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
It certainly should exist, as it's a pretty significant category in religious studies. The Gale Encyclopedia of Religion discusses it primarily in the meaning of responses to or explanations for the problem of evil in monotheistic faiths, but notes that some analysts have extended the meaning to cover non-monotheistic religion. The current use in comparative studies seems to define theodicy as any rationale for explaining suffering in the world or the apparently amoral or immoral character of the world, in light of a world view that expects otherwise. Karma or the doctrine of multiple worlds can be seem as a theodicy in Buddhism, for instance. The classical sense seems to be an apologia for a monotheistic god to defend the idea of their righteousness in the face of bad things in the world. I don't see it being used in the sense of justifying the doings of the gods in mythical scenarios- it seems to just relate to explaining worldly phenomena. Classical monotheistic theodicy appears to take the existence and justice of god as a given, and attempt to reason from that to why particular events occur in the physical world. --Clay Collier (talk) 04:08, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
Theodicy is the approach to the problem of evil by people of faith. In particular, the strongest roots of the term reach into the Christian tradition (actually, coined by a 17th cent. Christian), and occasionally the Jewish as well. I don't know that you will find many writers in the Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim traditions who use the language of theodicy (although I am open to correction on that). That said, yes, theodicy is about the problem of evil. "The term goes back to GWF von Liebniz. However, Boethius had already given classical expression to the question of theodicu: Si Deus justus - unde malum?" (Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology, which then goes on to describe varies theodicies). "theodicy: A term coined by Leibnitz to refer to the justification of the goodness of God in the face of the presence of evil in the world." (McGrath, Christian Theology). Now there is, however, more to the problem of evil than just theodicy. That is, there have been secular and non-religious approaches to the problem of evil. AthanasiusQuicumque vult 16:23, 14 May 2009 (UTC)
Just to clarify the point I was making above in light of what Athanasius mentioned: 'theodicy' is not a term or category found within Hindu or Buddhist writing, but the idea of theodicy first articulated in the Christian tradition has since been adapted by some scholars of comparative religion or religious anthropology to use as an interpretive frame for describing the psychological or theological function of metaphysical aspects of non-Abrahamic traditions. All of the definitions I've seen relate to explaining this-world events in terms of the wider ordered and moral cosmology that surrounds them- why Father Timmy got mashed by a boulder while feeding orphans, not why it's actually OK for Zeus to deflower passing virgins. --Clay Collier (talk) 10:50, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Re Mankind's limited knowledge change[edit]

I acknowledge that I wrote the referenced page. It is, however, not just my work, but represents the beliefs of the Church of Christ congregation which controls that web site. (I don't control that site.) Davrids (talk) 18:44, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Another theodicy: God's ultimate conquest of evil[edit]

Perhaps this is addressed in the article, but I don't think it is: One theodicy I've heard a lot recently is that God will remove all evil from the world, during the end times. (A counter-argument being that justice delayed is justice denied.) So this should be included in it, once some good citations are found.


it could be just as true that god is evil rather than good... Thus Spake Good (talk) 16:43, 24 December 2010 (UTC)

Reciting of definitions is (IMHO) inappropriate[edit]

It sounds like a grade school assignment to cite definition after definition from different dictionaries and encyclopedias. And it is a citing of secondary sources.

I would recommend giving the best definition of theodicy that you can. If there is so much disagreement that this is impossible, then say that, and give the most pertinent meanings in common usage, with citations to original sources.

DMJ001 (talk) 04:58, 30 October 2010 (UTC)

Referring to the 'Islamic God'[edit]

Can't say I'm comfortable with it. Not a personal beef, mind you, I just expect Muslims to find it offensive. God is a thoroughly Christian word, and Jews seem to have accepted it in lieu of Yahweh (which is actually just YHWH), but Muslims insist on Allah, don't they?

Allah is simply Arabic for "God"; Christian Arabs use the same word. -- Jibal (talk) 17:51, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Merge proposal[edit]

The entire cosmodicy article is only two paragraphs and an extended quotation - the Theodicy article is not so long that the content couldn't fit there. ESPECIALLY since the quotation does not use "cosmodicy" in the way defined in this article. In fact, it would appear that the identification with Nietzsche is using the same definition as Ashley, neither of which is anything like an "attempt to justify the fundamental goodness of the universe." eldamorie (talk) 17:18, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm inclined to agree. There is not a great deal on cosmodicy, and it seems to be more of a development on theodicy, than an independent movement. A merge would be a good idea. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 20:41, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Moving specific theodicies to the Problem of evil article[edit]

The Problem of evil article already has an en extensive discussion of various defenses and theodicies. In order to avoid a duplicate discussion in two different articles I propose we move the material about specific theodicies in this article to the appropriate sections already discussing these theodicies in the Problem of evil article. Acadēmica Orientālis (talk) 09:26, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure where I stand on this. On the one hand, we do not want to duplicate content; on the other, we cannot really have an article on theodicy which does not detail the major theodicies. I would suggest, therefore, that the problem of evil article has a brief section on each of the major responses to the problem (theodicies and other responses), and that this article has greater detail on just the theodicy responses to the problem. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 12:29, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Seems confusing. How about merging this article with the Problem of evil article? Acadēmica Orientālis (talk) 12:48, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
I'd considered a merge, but I am not sure. The problem of evil article covers the whole of the problem of evil, from Epicurus to Mackie (actually, it's critically lacking Mackie, but that's another issue), including the evidential and logical problems, with the vast range of responses from philosophers and religions. The problem of evil article is an overview article and, by nature will be very broad. Thus, it will not be able to go into incredible detail about anything, but should cover everything to a basic degree. We then need articles on each of the separate areas (on both the logical & evidential problems, on theodicy, on free will arguments, on Jewish responses, etc etc) which can go into more detail about the relevant topics. Then there should be articles one step below that on specific responses (such as the Augustinian and Irenaean theodicy articles. I think there is a lot of work to be done on Wikipedia's coverage of the problem of evil, but it will require more than just an article on the problem of evil itself. ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 17:50, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
Not sure that we need a separate theodicy article. It is rather short. Specific theodicies are already discussed in specific articles as you point out. More such specific articles about specific theodicies can be created if needed. There is also the issue that people may disagree regarding what is a defense and theodicy. For example, most would agree that Plantinga's free will defense is not a theodicy and thus it should not be mentioned in this article. To me it also seems doubtful that the other material in the "Non-Catholic post-Holocaust theodicy" is really theodicies and are not defenses or something else. Such problems of classification are avoided if both defenses and theodicies are mentioned in the same overview article. Acadēmica Orientālis (talk) 20:15, 13 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree that the current article is in poor condition. As you rightly say, Plantinga should not be included, and the Non-Catholic post-Holocaust theodicy needs either a serious rewriting or to be removed. However, I still believe that the existence of the article is useful. As well as documenting the major theodicies, the article allows us to give a detailed account of the history of theodicy itself (especially the contributions of Leibniz and Hick). ItsZippy (talkcontributions) 21:40, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Usage of word 'evil' non consistent[edit]

"Evil" is used in both its 'natural' and 'moral' form in this article without clarification (see It is also unclear whether 'evil' refers solely to human behavior, as some instances imply it does while others imply it does not. If someone with more knowledge in the area could tidy this up it would be great as the article is clumsy and hard to read in the present form. If "evil" has no established technical meaning I suggest it not be used unless referring to a well defined concept (such as 'Problem of Evil'). — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:20, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

Isaiah 42:7 says nothing like the quoted passage in any translation.[edit] I think the writer meant 45:7.

However this interpretation and use in this context requires KJV era English use of the word "evil" to be equal to "evil" as defined by the article which it is clearly not from the surrounding verses. Additionally the vast bulk of translations appear to not use "evil" as the preferred translation of the Hebrew. I don't know the protocol but I would source this passage to a scholar who has argued this specially based in original languages or remove the line of reasoning as a spurious artifact created by english homonym. 2600:1017:B009:25AB:A4C6:246E:D889:99EC (talk) 18:38, 29 December 2013 (UTC) Robert

Biblical theodicy[edit]

This section should mention that the Biblical explanation is found in Genesis 1-3, especially Genesis 3: 1-5. Specifically the reason why God allows evil is not because of lack of power or knowledge or such, but because there the challenge of God's right to rule, God's sovereignty, was made. The adversary Satan made the claim that God lies and that humans are better off alone, without God as their ruler. This can't be settled by power, but the only way to settle it is to let time pass, let humans live without God's rulership and instead have Satan as their ruler for a limited time, and see what the result would be. As we now know, the result is terrible, but it's not for lack of power of God, but it is a legal precedent that needs to be set lest someone else in the future make the same claim that Satan made in Eden. References: gen 3:1-5 , job 1,2, james 1:13, revelation 12:9-12; 21:1-5, daniel 2:44, etc. (talk) 18:05, 8 April 2014 (UTC)

Biblical theodicy section suboptimal[edit]

This looks like the writer's personal view since he's citing one (poor, old, inferior) translation to support his arguments and then saying "it's hard to reconcile a early modern English phrasing of this scripture taken out of context with the generalized beliefs of some Christian sects about the goodness of God" I'm certainly not going to go stomp the section or anything but I'd really like to see direct quotation of peer reviewed scholars describing this rather than a wiki writers exegesis of KJV text. I especially want to see original language analysis or at least small cross translation comparison. KJV is not a good source and I bleive this runs afoul of citation and argument building wiki policy.

Trebor42k (talk) 05:46, 25 January 2015 (UTC)