Monday, May 31, 2010

50 blogs on disbelief - Evil

50 Blogs on Disbelief
My thoughts on the book, 50 Voices of Disbelief, Why We Are Athiests, edited by Russell Blackford and Udo Schuklenk. Written as I read them in no particular order. The page number of the essay is provided at the top of each entry.
p. 157 Gregory Benford “Evil and Me”

Gregory was raised Christian and in a military family immediately following World War II. He saw some rather gruesome scenes in Japan and Germany at an early age. So, as like many of the essayists, he confronted the problem of evil. He covers it quickly and succinctly.

In this century, he lost his wife and his father in a matter of months. When he took no comfort with them being in a heaven he couldn’t believe in, it was the “emotional conclusion” of his loss of faith.

He concludes with a paragraph on the possible genetic origins of religion, ideas that are covered in more depth in other essays. And that he now does not believe evil is a problem to be solved, “It’s just a feature of our world.”

The machinations that people go through to solve the problem of evil can get rather out of hand. It seems we might have better things to do. The only solutions are choices of faith; that is accept that there is a plan you don’t understand or is beyond human conception. Sin and free will get used to create some logic, but get complicated when concepts of heaven, hell, redemption and End Times get thrown into the mix. The Bible can be most unhelpful in sorting all this out.

Gregory has pondered these ideas and concluded his experience of the universe makes more sense without God. I don’t think that is a necessary conclusion, but we could put aside the arguing about it for a while.


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