Tag Archives: theodicy

David Berlinski defends God’s role in the Holocaust: “God did not protect his chosen people…[but] did…smite their enemies, with generations to come in mourning or obsessed by shame.”

Here’s David Berlinski defending God’s role in the Holocaust (from page 31 of his book, The Devil’s Delusion): “[T]he thousand year Reich…lies buried in the rubble of German cities smashed to smithereens,…[I]f God did not protect his chosen people precisely … Continue reading

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If God is Rational, Whence the Holocaust and Competing Goods (Such as the Pursuit of Beauty over Ethics)?

Thomist philosopher Edward Feser prefers intellectualism (reason leading the will) to voluntarism (the will leading reason). He thinks that neither desire nor imagination should lead our wills, and claims that God, as the supremely rational being, ought to be our example: … Continue reading

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“Somewhat Religious”: Ted Turner’s Faitheism

In a recent profile of Ted Turner, now 73, in the Hollywood Reporter, his views on religion are reported in the following manner: Once virulently anti-religious, doubt rather than certainty defines his thinking now. He calls himself “a little bit … Continue reading

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Japan’s earthquake and tsunami: there was a terrible noise. There was a terrible silence. There was a terrible noise. There was a terrible silence. There was a terrible noise.

The most heart-breaking and arresting sentence (or, rather, portion of a larger sentence) I’ve encountered on the Japan earthquake and tsunami was penned at Salon this morning by Matt Zoller Seitz: [W]omen and children walking and in some cases swimming through … Continue reading

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Leon Wieseltier on Roger Rosenblatt’s Journey into Hell Mouth

Sooner or later, and in one form or another, all human beings make their journey—and on more than one occasion throughout a lifetime—into what James Wood and others have coined “Hell Mouth”—the Job-like inferno in which we encounter unavoidable and extreme anxiety, suffering, … Continue reading

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More news from Chile in the immediate aftermath of this morning’s magnitude 8.8 quake

This from AP: Candia was visiting his wife’s 92-year-old grandmother in Talca when the quake struck. “Everything was falling — chests of drawers, everything,” he said. “I was sleeping with my 8-year-old son Diego and I managed to cover his … Continue reading

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Two books for thinking about Chile’s devestating magnitude 8.8 earthquake this morning

See here and here.

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Chile’s earthquake and a simulation from the National Geographic Channel

Chile had a magnitude-8.8 earthquake early this morning (Saturday, February 27, 2010). Here’s a National Geographic simulation of the damage a major earthquake in Chile is capable of causing:

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An 8.8 quake hit Chile early this morning (February 27, 2010). Will the damage and loss of life be similar to May 22, 1960 when the largest earthquake ever recorded (9.5 magnitude) hit the same area?

AP early this morning: A massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake capable of tremendous damage struck central Chile early Saturday, shaking the capital for a minute and half and setting off a tsunami. . . . The largest earthquake ever recorded struck the … Continue reading

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Physicist Stephen Barr on Natural Theology vs. William Dembski’s “Intelligent Design”

At First Things this week, University of Delaware physicist Stephen Barr has written an exceptionally clear-headed critique of Intelligent Design (ID)—contextualizing it beautifully. The essay really needs to be read in full, but here’s a taste: The emphasis in early Christian writings was not on complexity, irreducible or … Continue reading

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The Indifference of Generation-Spanning Stones to the Vissitudes of Human Experience

An introduction to Camus’s notion of the absurd, circa 1966, and a kind of theodicy prayer to the stones of Winchester Cathedral. And is the singer holding his nose?

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Conspiracy Theory Taken to a New Level: The Haiti Earthquake is Now the U.S. Navy’s Fault

This today at Reason: Both Venezuelan state-owned radio and television properties zeroed in on a secret U.S. “weapon of earthquakes” as the cause of the earthquake that struck Haiti last week causing a death toll [that] could exceed 200,000 according … Continue reading

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Charles Darwin on the Problem of Suffering

In a letter to Asa Gray (22 May, 1860): With respect to the theological view of the question; this is always painful to me.– I am bewildered.– I had no intention to write atheistically. But I own that I cannot … Continue reading

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Evil is the Shadow Cast in the Very Creation of the Universe?

Does God, by his (or her) very existence, necessarily cast an evil shadow? And does the creation, to even exist, cast an evil shadow? The youthful Einstein’s observation (echoing Thomas Aquinas) strikes me as very close to the gnostic idea that … Continue reading

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“A Brief for the Defense”: Jack Gilbert’s Great Theodicy Poem

A Brief for the Defense Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies are not starving someplace, they are starving somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils. But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants. Otherwise the mornings before summer … Continue reading

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Was God to Blame for the 2008 Chinese Earthquake that KILLED 80,000 People?

According to AlterNet today, maybe not: Last year, one of the most deadly earthquakes on record devastated China, killing over 80,000 people and rendering millions homeless. Yet last month, reports surfaced stating that the 8.0 magnitude Great Sichuan Earthquake could … Continue reading

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Stuff Happens: Donald Rumsfeld, the Free Will Defense, and the Problem of Suffering

After the invasion of Iraq in April 2003, George Bush’s Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, provided a free-will defense for the rampant street looting in Iraq. Why was it occurring, and why wasn’t the United States actively engaged in stopping it? Here’s Rumsfeld’s answer: Freedom’s … Continue reading

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