Monday, 8 September 2008

God on Trial.

Here is a comment i posted on the Guardian's comment is free in response to a theologian's egregious op-ed.

Here is the article

I wrote in response.

Sentimental, condescending, self-righteous drivel.

But thanks for telling me the conclusion to the BBC show God On Trial (missed that)

Let us entertain the notion of theodicy.

Two thousand years after the coming of Christ, when human society, knowledge and technology had ascended to a previously unimaginable apex-what were we rewarded with? Fascism, the holocaust, the A-Bomb, Dresden, the rape of Nanking don’t forget also millions who perished in the Gulags and under the yoke of Stalin. Christians have been waiting for Christ to return trailing clouds of silver glory to judge the living and the dead for over two millennia. (it is getting a bit long in the tooth We are also told that things are going to get very bad indeed before this momentous event occurs. I am of course talking about the rapture. Would any reasonable person of any belief not wonder after viewing the calamity of fascism and its brutal demise-wonder or worry how bad things will have to get before Jesus returns. If there is a God, a Jewish or Christian one he has just sat through the worst example of human outrage in history. Even if his plans for rapture were still a bit off would it not be merciful or loving to prevent the disaster? Or at least attempt to redress the carnage? A miracle perhaps?--all German guns suddenly stopped working upon the invasion of Poland?

There is of course no rebuttal to this, of how a loving just God could stand by and let this misery unfold. Justin writes that suffering is explained through human free will and that God has on countless occasions shown love and compassion. Could anyone provide a clear unequivocal example of this without recourse to the bible? Furthermore what has childhood leukaemia, Downs Syndrome or any of the numerous genetic diseases got to do with the notion of free will? How can free will or unconditional love explain away whole families of women ravaged by breast cancer or painfully having to surgically remove their breasts when they come of age in order not to end up like their unfortunate mothers?

Justin Thacker’s answer is not only an insult to our intelligence but our dignity as well. He bleats that Atheists just focus on the pain the “insane pain” of suffering. That is of course the dignified grown up way of behaving. Not running off somewhere to seek consolation in magic and fairy tales.

A wise mortal from the East once said that life was suffering that it was the first noble truth of existence. That everything that begins to exist will one day desist. Our suffering in this world is lessened by letting go of delusion, letting go of attachments and childish wish thinking. You simply live in the present and experience every moment as it comes. Suffering will come but we must face it stoically and with no illusions but the life hereafter or indeed this one.

Best and be well

Michael Faulkner.

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