Judaism: In your essay raise the issue of theodicy, explore options for resolving the issue, and offer your own argument as to whether or not there is a totally good and all-powerful God governing a world in which there are horrible evils.

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  1. The book of Job and the events of the Holocaust raise the issue of “theodicy,” a term derived from two Greek words: theos referring to “god” and dike referring to “justice.”
  2. A theodicy, then, is a justification or God or an accounting of God’s justice.
  3. Theodicies deal with the question as to why there is evil in the world if there is a God who is all-powerful (omnipotent) and totally good (omnibenevolent). It would seem that a totally good God would want the best to occur, and it would seem that an all-powerful God would be able to bring about the best. Why, then, does less than the best occur?
  4. There seems to be a contradiction among the following three statements:

1. God wills the best (God is omnibenevolent);

2. God can secure the best (God is omnipotent); and

3. Less than the best occurs (Genuine evils occur).

Theodicies serve as responses for this apparent contradiction. Referring to the book of Job and events like the Holocaust write an essay in which you raise the issue of theodicy and explore the options for resolving the issue.

If you were God, would you test someone’s faith by killing his children, taking away all of his possessions, and making him ill? If you had the power, would you have stopped Hitler from exterminating the twelve million victims of the Holocaust?

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