Re: [asa] Asteroid Apophis

From: Robert Schneider <>
Date: Mon Feb 26 2007 - 09:59:23 EST

The term "natural evil" has an earlier usage, in the philosophical theology of some medieval thinkers like Thomas Aquinas. It is used to distinguish events of nature that bring suffering upon human beings from those human acts that bring suffering. The latter arise from human choice, the former from events in nature that arise in the course of nature's activities.

  ----- Original Message -----
  From: Rich Blinne
  To: Dick Fischer
  Cc: ASA
  Sent: Sunday, February 25, 2007 6:55 PM
  Subject: Re: [asa] Asteroid Apophis

  On Feb 25, 2007, at 3:36 PM, Dick Fischer wrote:

    Who coined the phrase "natural evil"? Sounds like something Hugh Ross would cook up. Evil has a spiritual dimension prohibited by the word "natural." So does that make it a non sequitur or an oxymoron?

  The term goes back at least to the Enlightenment as the result of the 1755 Lisbon Earthquake. In Chapter XX of Candide, Voltaire addressed this issue, challenging Leibnitz' theodicy that this was the "best of all possible worlds".

    “And pray,” said he to Martin, “what is your opinion of the whole of this system? what notion have you of moral and natural evil?”

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Received on Mon Feb 26 09:59:59 2007

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