See the original post here. Because I changed from one blog to another, below are the comments I did not want to lose.
First Comment – firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you. I appreciated your clear thinking and clear presentation in this series.
Question: I understand your case for holding Hick’s soul making theodicy inadequate. But it appears you then say the LDS view succeeds to account for evil based on Hick’s idea.
From your section titled, An Eventual Rest: “God could allow rest without allowing evil, but the “soul-making” necessary to become gods could not be accomplished without it.”
So on one hand I think I hear you saying Hick fails, then I think I hear you saying LDS succeeds because of Hick.
I must be missing something. Thanks in advance for helping me understand your thinking.
That’s a good question. Perhaps this will help you understand my view better.
Hick’s argument, as I see it, is basically this:
(1) Man exists in an incomplete state
(2) Experiences with evil/opposition allow man to grow and mature towards completion
(3) This growth and maturation could not happen without these experiences involving evil/opposition
(4) God allows evil to exist so that this maturation can happen, and this is just because of (2) and (3)
I see Christianity and Mormonism diverging from here on out.
Christianity would add:
(5) Man, more complete due to their experiences with evil and opposition, enter an eternal rest with God.
With only Christian theology, this argument falls victim to the failing I talked about in Part 2. It leaves itself open to questions like, “Was all of that evil necessary?”
Mormonism, on the other hand, would add:
(5) Man, more complete due to their experiences with evil and opposition, enter an eternal existence where they continue to grow until they live the life God lives, and in fact until they become gods themselves.
The problem of Hick’s original argument is overcome by the doctrines unique to the teachings of the LDS Church, those we believe were restored by Jesus Christ through Joseph Smith the prophet.
I was somewhat brief here, but perhaps with this outline the sections in Part 2 and Part 3 will make more sense. Keep in mind that the focal point isn’t necessarily Hick’s argument, but Hick’s argument in light of two different perspectives – the Christian perspective (ex nihilo creation and eternal rest) and the LDS perspective (co-eternal beings and eternal godhood).