An oldie but a goodie

March 21, 2006

God Almighty

Johnson McCleod sends the Ethicist an old chestnut:
If God exists, why is there evil in the world?

If, IF? Well, first off, God doesn’t exist. If we are to engage your fantasy
world then what conclusion can be drawn? I assume you mean the Western unigod
known as Jahweh or Allah who is all powerful and all seeing and has only the
best intentions for humanity and the universe. In which case we come to the
paradox Homer Simpson once asked, “Can God microwave a burrito so hot he
couldn’t eat it?” There really is no answer to that question or yours, which is
why we must assume God does not exist or settle to live in a world that
naturally produces paradoxes… an untenable postion in logic, and therefore an
untenable position all around.

A fellow ethicist has proposed to me that the evil in the world may be a product
of God’s divine plan or God’s divine plan to allow humanity to fuck itself up.
If that is so and humanity is supposed to learn a lesson or develop from its
mistakes and evilness then their are much better ways of doing this than just a
sort of laissex-faire, do-as-you-please ethical free market. In a divine
welfare-state we could have an interventionist God to educate people without all
the bloodshed just like nearly all Western democracies have a universal health
system. Is it better that we fend for our own health or that a structure is put
in place to provide health-care fairly and evenly? I would say the latter. And
the fact that the 20th Century was the bloodiest in many centuries shows that
God’s plan, or plan to give us free will and come to terms with our better
natures, has failed horrificly.

Sincerely, Michael “the ethicist” Goldman

Any more questions?


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