from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A vindication of God's goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. A justification of a deity, or the attributes of a deity, especially in regard to the existence of evil and suffering in the world; a work or discourse justifying the ways of God.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. A vindication of the justice of God in ordaining or permitting natural and moral evil.
- n. That department of philosophy which treats of the being, perfections, and government of God, and the immortality of the soul.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An exposition of the theory of divine Providence with a view to the vindication of the attributes, particularly of the holiness and justice, of God, in establishing the present order of things, in which evil, moral as well as physical, largely exists.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the branch of theology that defends God's goodness and justice in the face of the existence of evil
I've always felt that one of his most important inquiries, into theodicy is revealing about the issues here, if one expands the term theodicy beyond the religious, and considers whether any contingent event such as the puritans' otherwise unexplainable good fortune can prompt a challenge of meaning.
Point 7, a passing reference to theodicy, is not specific to ID.
This question of suffering -- which theologians refer to as "theodicy" -- has, since the emergence of human consciousness, prompted many different theories and possible answers.
The best work on Darwin's theodicy is Cornelius G. Hunter's "Darwin's God".
The song grapples with a classic, enduring theological knot sometimes referred to as theodicy: If God is benevolent and all-powerful, why does evil exist?
There is, in fact, a theological field of inquiry called "theodicy", which investigates the basic question: If God is all powerful (omnipotent), all knowing (omniscient), and all-good, (omnibenevolent) how can evil and injustice exist?
My points were simply pointing out the huge problem of evil/suffering, which there is a whole field called theodicy that tries to hand-wave away.
The problem relating to the question about divinity being unambiguously good is traditionally called the theodicy problem, and it raises the question about the relationship between the general religious assumption that the world has been created by a transcendent power and the specific religions.
I haven't the time or inclination to expound here, but I'll offer an educated guess that Maher never thoroughly studied the branch of theology called theodicy, else he wouldn't adopt such a position about the "apparent" disregard of God for others.
This orgie of philosophic thought, identifying error with existence itself, and developing the axiom of Proudhon -- "Evil is God," will bring back the mass of mankind to the Christian theodicy, which is neither optimist nor pessimist, but simply declares that the felicity which