Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Is the existence of suffering in the world the reason why you don't believe in God?

That's a good reason, as discussed in this New York Times article, but I like this commenter's reason too!

'” I came to the point where I simply could not believe that there is a good and kindly disposed Ruler who is in charge.” “The problem of suffering,” he recalls, “became for me the problem of faith.””

I’m a much more simple man. My problem of faith was talking snakes.

— Posted by jambo'

Snakes get a really bad rap, n'est pas? It's species-profiling. Do you know how many snakes are wrongfully accused each year of eating babies, hypnotizing children, and offering forbidden produce to women who don't see the big problem with grazing between meals? My grandma was a snake, dude.

Can you identify all these 'bad' snakes from popular culture?

What's that? You don't recognize the third snake down on the left? Oh, that's because HE DOESN'T EXIST. I just drew him up to prove a point; no where in media are snakes represented as benevolent, friendly creatures. As far as Hollywood is concerned (and let's be honest, global consciousness) snakes are lower than the dirt they slide on.

I still think the best writing on how you reconcile a suffering world with the existence of loving god comes from C.S. Lewis's 'The Problem of Pain.' It's short, it's smart, super-duper smart, and it does an excellently intelligent job of addressing the issue. I just found some quotes online from it.

"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world."

"We regard God as an airman regards his parachute; it's there for emergencies but he hopes he'll never have to use it."

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