02/29/2004: "Is There A God"music: Enya - Storms in Africa Part 2
mood: Pretty good
Today, I woke up at 1:00, moved some things at Orson Clay's house, did a bit of yard work, played a little bit of CS, and then worked the rest of the night. So it wasn't too eventful. Instead, you get this wonderful morsel that I posted in response to the topic "Is there a God?" on the silverfir.net forums:
People have wondered for a long time about issues such as why children in Africa starve. The thought is summed up well in this quote from a play whose name I do not remember, but the play is loosely based on the book of Job from the bible.
"If God is God, he is not Good,
If God is Good, he is not God,
Take the even, take the odd."
In other words, if God were good, he would prevent bad from happening if he could. But bad things still happen, so he must not be all powerful, and therefore isn't "God." On the other hand, if God is all powerful, then he must not be "Good," because of all the bad stuff that happens in the world.
The logic seems strong at first, but in fact it suffers from the fallacy known as a false delima. Take a college logic or philosophy course for the full explanation, but basically this means that the question presents a limited number of choices when there are in fact more choices. Another possibility is that God is both all-powerful and very good indeed, but that there are more important good things that outweigh preventing starvation in Africa.
What could possibly be more important than that, you may ask - and to that I have one word: freedom.
If there is a God - and if he is good (although I think a God who was not good would be rather pointless) - then the reason that he doesn't prevent bad things from happening in this world is that it is so much more important for him to allow us our freedom to make our own choices - even if those choices lead to the death of innocent children in Africa, or the slaughter of millions in wars.
Anything that is more important than that is VERY important indeed, and knowing this you have the responsiblity to make your choices carefully. After all, look at the price paid for you to have that choice.
Its much more than the "freedom" puchased by the blood of revolutionary soldiers or preserved by patriots throughout the years. It is a true freedom to choose purchased by the suffering and death of billions of human beings. Use your power to choose responsibly.