Audaces fortuna juvat

Working towards my dream

Theodicy

Posted by C Moon on December 7, 2007

As I do not have a set religion for myself (it does not mean that I am an atheist, though), I did not have chances to read the Bible closely. I just had a vague idea of God and the divine values each religion teaches. To briefly put what I have thought before, God values “good”-ness, devils may be the villains, God or Jesus supports the idea of Agape, Buddha supports the idea of mercy, and so on.

But today, I want to question my vague, but long-held beliefs. This year, I read some books that made me think of theodicy. (For more information on the topic, check out Solomon Blaylock’s The Problem of Evil)

In Shakespeare’s tragic play King Lear, the Nature, the equivalent to God, does not help the “good,” but let them go through sufferings. Eventually, not only the “bad” side but also the “good” side met the same fate, death. Also, reading John Milton’s Paradise Lost, I wonder whether the “absolute” good in God is absolute and whether the “good” God enforces is the same as the “good” the Fallen humanity believes as God’s teaching.

In Paradise Lost, as expected, God is omnipotent. He does not have any hesitation in enforcing his orders. But despite God’s power and ability to protect the “good”-ness of humanity and its innocence, he does not take any action. In fact, he knows that human will not follow his order, and is ready to punish and condemn humanity eternally.

Judging from my recent readings on God, God seems to be a mere observer. He does not care whether the good remains or whether His people commit “bad.” Rather, he just expects something to happen, and waits for the results. He is simply ready to punish those who could not attend to His values. Is God on the “good” side? Is it that the “goodness” that I believed in is different from that of Heaven? I do not know the answers. The only thing I can say is that while reading Paradise Lost, I felt that both Satan and God have good and evil inside them. Satan tempts humanity to fall (bad), but it was to save his own comrades from Hell (good). God leaves humanity to fall (bad), but gives them a chance to be redeemed (good).

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Photo Credits: “Lobster Head Sunlight” by mdmarkus66 on Flickr

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