The Problem of Evil - 03
PS 0158 - 03
Why is there so much evil in the world? Where does it come from? Is all suffering evil? Is all evil not merely unfortunate but unjust? Why is it so common to treat our intellectual opponents as evil rather than innocently mistaken? This class will survey answers to these questions drawn from literary, psychological, sociological, theological, and visual depictions of evil. Some of the thinkers we will consider claim that evil is a disposition, others that it is objectively rooted in the world, still others that it is nothing but an illusion. Some treat it as a property of human will or character, others as a consequence of nature, others as resulting from society itself. In tracking these issues, we will examine some radical historical shifts. Where evil was once seen as emanating from a perverse individual will, now it is often seen as stemming from systemic or structural sources that range beyond individuals. And where evil was once seen as posing a problem for God (why would God allow evil to exist?), it has now become a question for society (why does society cause and allow evil?).
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Basic Enrollment Requirements: Unofficial Transcript - Bachelor's or progress towards a Bachelor’s Degree + 3.0 GPA.
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Remission Eligible: Yes; first day of term; all university policies apply.
School of Arts & Sciences