Another major question that is raised to Irenaeus is, does suffering always result in moral growth? The answer to this is no. some people are not affected by the suffering of others and may still inflict pain on others. Some people grow to become even more immoral, for example a child who was a bully may grow up to be a murderer, this is an example of moral degredation. How can we say that something bad happening motivates someone to be good. For example, it a child was shot, why would this change the behaviour of another person. Random acts of evil behaviour cannot be prevented by a person being good, if another person is still bad. Instead, perhaps suffering can cause a person to act immorally. For example, some murderers blame their actions on their bad childhood, and some rapists blame their actions on themselves being abused when young. Some evil and suffering leads to more evil and suffering.
Furthermore, is suffering the only way to create moral development? Irenaeus says that it is, however can we not encourage people to do good by looking at the good example of others? It is not possible for God to have created a world with no evil and suffering, and instead include other challenges to motivate people into being moral? All of these questions cannot be answered by the Irenaean theodicy as he stated that suffering has necessary for goodness. He argued that good cannot be appreciated without evil. For example, we could greet someone by slapping them in the face and it would mean the same the same as greeting someone with a hug. However, why should ‘soul making’ involve suffering? Rather than learning from pain, we could learn from pleasure.
Moreover, surely ‘universal salvation’ is not fair. If everyone goes to heaven, it seems unjust as heaven is meant to be a rewarding place for those that have been good, yet Irenaeus says that those who have wronged are as well going to go to heaven. If we can be bad in our lifetime now because we have the opportunity to be good when we go to heaven, there would not be a judgement. If these is no judgement day and we are all going to heaven, then actions now do not have a consequence. If we can all go to heaven then morality becomes pointless.
In conclusion, the Irenaean theodicy is not strong enough to be a solution for the reason behind the existence of evil. There are too many questions that cannot be answered with the theodicy and it does not prove the existence of God. If God is all loving, then suffering cannot be justified just because the overall outcome is good. It is cruel for God to allow suffering, just to make humans appreciate the good in this world. The problem of evil is still left unsolved.