The Problem of Evil

When bad things happen to good people…


When bad things happen to good people, or at least to people who clearly do not deserve to endure the horrors of misanthropic crime we see occurring so often in this world, it seems to underlie the extent to which the meaning we each may personally make, interpret or project upon the world is ours (humanity – that is) alone and apparently not of some Thing or Someone else. In some ways, the question of the existence (or not) of Divine purpose or the possibility of ultimate reasons and teleology for any of the myriad chaotic events or the semi-controlled disorder evident in this shared world of ours seems to be a largely futile endeavour. If there does exist a Divinity, how could they not intervene to interdict the rampant and ubiquitous Evil which is so regularly spoken and enacted across the globe ? Why should it be that if the Divinity (of any shape, kind, personification, manifestation or othersuch presence) exists, they exist in such a way as to appear not to exist ? The Divinity that “helps those who help themselves” is mysteriously not helping anyone at all beyond being a comforting existential blanket and psychological shock absorber for all the inevitable and uncomfortable facts of poverty, sickness, old age and death.

While I acknowledge that an inability to disprove the existence of a Creator does not immediately equate to a valid counter-argument and subsequent proof of the existence of such a Being, I find the distinct lack of evidence confirming the existence of this Being to indicate one of two probable states of affairs. The lack of compelling, rational and logical evidence either implies that there is: 1) no Creator; or, 2) that human beings are not actually clever enough to understand the world to a sufficient degree of complexity or sophistication to understand what the existence of a Creator might actually require, what it may actually mean. Beyond the accumulated and convergent mythologies of tens of thousands of years of history and their associated emotional and ideological narratives, it may be that the essence of whatever a Divinity might actually consist of is of such immense conceptual and intellectual sophistication that it may forever lie outside the narrow available spectrum of reckoning or assertion intrinsic to homo sapiens’ relatively limited mental processing powers.

Applying Occam’s Razor, we might consider admitting anything into consideration that is necessarily beyond our ability to conceive of as being an unnecessary (logical) fallacy of thought. Simultaneously, however – to not admit the possibility for the existence of modes of consciousness or sentience significantly more advanced than our own seems to be a failure of not only imagination but also of self-conscious comprehension of the perennially open-ended and fundamentally incomplete process of the advance of knowledge itself. We appear to be here trapped in one way or another within our own (limited) minds. The terrible mistake that seems to be serially perpetrated and which bears on the existence of (the initial consideration here of) there being so many utterly repugnant and Evil acts in this world is that there are so many who are able to claim to be acting on behalf of a Divinity but are clearly only doing so in ways which are intending to benefit what appear to be very small, very selfish and singularly futile ends. Actions allegedly made on behalf of a Creator in ways which are clearly destructive would appear to be bound (perhaps shackled) by purely limited human goals and abject poverty or otherwise failures of reason.

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