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While one of these matters above all others, it is also the one that takes the longest to achieve -- and you'll see why in a minute. Here are the seven commonalities she found.


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If you want to give your working hours a makeover, you've got to know how long your activities take. Then, she uses that knowledge to set goals for specific time periods — i. There's no one way of tracking your time, so just pick something that works for you. As Vanderkam said by phone from her home outside Philadelphia, "The goal is to be helpful, not to make you hate your life.

Another person might want to do it more frequently, using a computer or smartphone app. Whatever you choose, make it something convenient that will also allow you to faithfully track what you've been doing. I can't tell you how many people tell me by the second day, 'I got so sick of saying, "checked Facebook," for the tenth time that I stopped doing it.

The next step to being more conscious with your work time is to plan out your hours. This might seem really obvious, but many harried workers find themselves in triage mode — only answering urgent matters and never taking a moment to strategize about how best to spend their time. She recommends having a planning session at least once a week -- or a big one weekly and then smaller ones as projects get finished. She also suggests planning over different time frames. For instance, at the end of the year, you could plan your goals for the year, and then, in your weekly planning sessions, make sure you are steadily working toward those goals.

With a new plan, it's easy to start getting excited about your goals, become over-ambitious But you are more likely to reach your dreams as long as you set discrete, doable tasks for yourself -- and then make sure you're held accountable. First, break down big projects into small steps, and try to limit yourself to tackling three to six a day. Then, make sure you get to them. Everyone has a different accountability system, says Vanderkam. She personally uses an accountability partner, with whom she has weekly check-ins on Friday. Others might want a more punitive or public approach, such as making a promise on Stickk , a web site in which people can set goals and then promise to do something dreaded, such as donate to an organization they loathe, if they fail.

Many of us end up spending inordinate amounts of time answering email. Augustine argued that God could not have created evil in the world, as it was created good, and that all notions of evil are simply a deviation or privation of goodness. Evil cannot be a separate and unique substance. For example, Blindness is not a separate entity, but is merely a lack or privation of sight.

Thus the Augustinian theodicist would argue that the problem of evil and suffering is void because God did not create evil; it was man who chose to deviate from the path of perfect goodness. Saint Thomas systematized the Augustinian conception of evil, supplementing it with his own musings. Evil, according to St. Thomas, is a privation, or the absence of some good which belongs properly to the nature of the creature.

All realities are in themselves good; they produce bad results only incidentally; and consequently the ultimate cause of evil is fundamentally good, as well as the objects in which evil is found.

Both Luther and Calvin explained evil as a consequence of the fall of man and the original sin. Calvin, however, held to the belief in predestination and omnipotence, the fall is part of God's plan. Luther saw evil and original sin as an inheritance from Adam and Eve, passed on to all mankind from their conception and bound the will of man to serving sin, which God's just nature allowed as consequence for their distrust, though God planned mankind's redemption through Jesus Christ.

Christian Science views evil as having no ultimate reality and as being due to false beliefs, consciously or unconsciously held. Evils such as illness and death may be banished by correct understanding. This view has been questioned, aside from the general criticisms of the concept of evil as an illusion discussed earlier, since the presumably correct understanding by Christian Science members, including the founder, has not prevented illness and death.

Jehovah's Witnesses believe that Satan is the original cause of evil. Satan caused Adam and Eve to disobey God, and humanity subsequently became participants in a challenge involving the competing claims of Jehovah and Satan to universal sovereignty. God's subsequent tolerance of evil is explained in part by the value of free will. But Jehovah's Witnesses also hold that this period of suffering is one of non-interference from God, which serves to demonstrate that Jehovah 's "right to rule" is both correct and in the best interests of all intelligent beings, settling the "issue of universal sovereignty".

Further, it gives individual humans the opportunity to show their willingness to submit to God's rulership. At some future time known to him, God will consider his right to universal sovereignty to have been settled for all time. The reconciliation of "faithful" humankind will have been accomplished through Christ , and nonconforming humans and demons will have been destroyed. Thereafter, evil any failure to submit to God's rulership will be summarily executed.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints LDS Church introduces a concept similar to Irenaean theodicy , that experiencing evil is a necessary part of the development of the soul.

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Specifically, the laws of nature prevent an individual from fully comprehending or experiencing good without experiencing its opposite. By allowing opposition and temptations in mortality, God created an environment for people to learn, to develop their freedom to choose, and to appreciate and understand the light, with a comparison to darkness [] []. This is a departure from the mainstream Christian definition of omnipotence and omniscience , which Mormons believe was changed by post-apostolic theologians in the centuries after Christ. Islamic scholars in the medieval and modern era have tried to reconcile the problem of evil with the afterlife theodicy.

Alternate theodicies in Islamic thought include the 11th-century Ibn Sina's denial of evil in a form similar to "privation theory" theodicy. According to Jon Levenson, the writers of the Hebrew Bible were well aware of evil as a theological problem, but he does not claim awareness of the problem of evil.

The problem of evil gained renewed interest among Jewish scholars after the moral evil of the Holocaust. The 10th-century Rabbi called Saadia Gaon presented a theodicy along the lines of "soul-making, greater good and afterlife". The ancient Egyptian religion, according to Roland Enmarch, potentially absolved their gods from any blame for evil, and used a negative cosmology and the negative concept of human nature to explain evil. The gods in Ancient Greek religion were seen as superior, but shared similar traits with humans and often interacted with them.

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Later Greek and Roman theologians and philosophers discussed the problem of evil in depth. Starting at least with Plato, philosophers tended to reject or de-emphasize literal interpretations of mythology in favor of a more pantheistic , natural theology based on reasoned arguments. In this framework, stories that seemed to impute dishonorable conduct to the gods were often simply dismissed as false, and as being nothing more than the "imagination of poets.

Influential Roman writers such as Cicero and Seneca , drawing on earlier work by the Greek philosophers such as the Stoics , developed many arguments in defense of the righteousness of the gods, and many of the answers they provided were later absorbed into Christian theodicy. Buddhism accepts that there is evil in the world, as well as Dukkha suffering that is caused by evil or because of natural causes aging, disease, rebirth.

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Logical Problem of Evil

Evil is expressed in actions and state of mind such as cruelty, murder, theft and avarice, which are a result of the three poisons : greed , hatred , and delusion. The precepts and practices of Buddhism, such as Four Noble Truths and Noble Eightfold Path aim to empower a follower in gaining insights and liberation nirvana from the cycle of such suffering as well as rebirth.

Some strands of Mahayana Buddhism developed a theory of Buddha-nature in texts such as the Tathagata-garbha Sutras composed in 3rd-century south India, which is very similar to the "soul, self" theory found in classical Hinduism. This premise leads to the question as to why anyone does any evil, and why doesn't the "intrinsically pure inner Buddha" attempt or prevail in preventing the evil actor before he or she commits the evil. Further, the Tathagata-garbha Sutras are atypical texts of Buddhism, because they contradict the Anatta doctrines in a vast majority of Buddhist texts, leading scholars to posit that the Tathagatagarbha Sutras were written to promote Buddhism to non-Buddhists, and that they do not represent mainstream Buddhism.

Mainstream Buddhism, since its early development, did not need to address a theological problem of evil as it saw no need for a creator of the universe and asserted instead, like many Indian traditions, that the universe never had a beginning and all existence is an endless cycle of rebirths samsara. Hinduism is a complex religion with many different currents or schools. Further, deities in Hinduism are neither eternal nor omnipotent nor omniscient nor omnibenevolent. Devas are mortal and subject to samsara.

Evil as well as good, along with suffering is considered real and caused by human free will, [] its source and consequences explained through the karma doctrine of Hinduism, as in other Indian religions. A version of the problem of evil appears in the ancient Brahma Sutras , probably composed between BCE and CE, [] a foundational text of the Vedanta tradition of Hinduism. In his interpretation and commentary on the Brahma Sutras , the 8th-century scholar Adi Shankara states that just because some people are happier than others and just because there is so much malice, cruelty and pain in the world, some state that Brahman cannot be the cause of the world.

For that would lead to the possibility of partiality and cruelty. For it can be reasonably concluded that God has passion and hatred like some ignoble persons Hence there will be a nullification of God's nature of extreme purity, unchangeability , etc. Thus on account of the possibility of partiality and cruelty, God is not an agent.

Shankara attributes evil and cruelty in the world to Karma of oneself, of others, and to ignorance, delusion and wrong knowledge, [] but not to the abstract Brahman. There is evil and suffering because of karma. According to Swami Gambhirananda of Ramakrishna Mission, Sankara's commentary explains that God cannot be charged with partiality or cruelty i.

If an individual experiences pleasure or pain in this life, it is due to virtuous or vicious action Karma done by that individual in a past life.

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A sub-tradition within the Vaishnavism school of Hinduism that is an exception is dualistic Dvaita , founded by Madhvacharya in the 13th-century. This tradition posits a concept of God so similar to Christianity, that Christian missionaries in colonial India suggested that Madhvacharya was likely influenced by early Christians who migrated to India, [] a theory that has been discredited by scholars.

Madhvacharya asserted, Yathecchasi tatha kuru , which Sharma translates and explains as "one has the right to choose between right and wrong, a choice each individual makes out of his own responsibility and his own risk". According to Sharma, "Madhva's tripartite classification of souls makes it unnecessary to answer the problem of evil". Epicurus is generally credited with first expounding the problem of evil, and it is sometimes called the " Epicurean paradox ", the "riddle of Epicurus", or the "Epicurus' trilemma ":.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able?


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  • Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?

    Problem of evil

    Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God? There is no surviving written text of Epicurus that establishes that he actually formulated the problem of evil in this way, and it is uncertain that he was the author. Epicurus's argument as presented by Lactantius actually argues that a god that is all-powerful and all-good does not exist and that the gods are distant and uninvolved with man's concerns.

    The gods are neither our friends nor enemies. His wisdom is infinite: He is never mistaken in choosing the means to any end: But the course of nature tends not to human or animal felicity: Therefore it is not established for that purpose.