Saturday, June 7, 2008

A great read, and a response to a comment

First: A story of friendship A great read in and of itself, and quite an interesting journey.

I have to take particular exception to a comment, because it comes from the same vein of anti-religious religious fervor that idiot Christians tend to do: be annoyingly petty and assume that, because they read something somewhere, it's all that needs to be said to people who don't *get* the reference, or don't respect it.

The comment:
do you honestly believe you wouldn't know how to act this way without the watchful eye of one of the most vile, selfish, vengeful creatures man has imagined (Yahweh)?
quick little quote that hope will spark debate and not name calling:

"is god willing to prevent evil, but not able?
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?
is he neither able nor willing?
then way call him god."

People who pose such questions don't consider these questions in the context of being a parent.

Is a parent willing to prevent a child from being hurt? Probably.
If he's able to prevent the child from being hurt, but not willing to do so, is that possibly because he's allowing the child free choice? Is that malevolent?

Whence cometh evil? The same place as "cold" comes from. It doesn't exist. Evil is simply the removal of good from a situation in the same way that cold is the removal of heat. People who view God as vile because God allows free will are using the wrong argument. One could be fed intravenously in a bubble in a box and kept from all harm and if this argument was applied to a parent, the parent would be evil. If this argument would be applied to God, according to the quote, God could be considered not-malevolent.

Another point raised in the comment is whether it took God as supernatural to make the events occur rather than simply the goodness that is (apparently, according to the commentor) inherent in all mankind. I have yet to find any great number of people who do things merely out of altruism -- or mere Christianity, for that matter. However, I'd consider that the idea of doing good to uphold an ideal of Good is a worthy cause, even if it doesn't make sense because Good can't be quantified or measured or "sensed".

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