Problem Child

The beat goes on in this daisy chain of online commentary:

Holiday in Hellmouth [James Wood]

A History of Theodicy [Ross Douthat]

Terrified By Freedom [Daniel Larison]

Wood and Larison seem to agree that the “problem of evil” is essentially the outcry of a disillusioned adolescent, a “rebel believer” who would rather call himself an atheist than admit that God isn’t Santa Claus and does give each individual person freedom of conscience. This is apparently what happened with my own father.

Douthat calls for a sociological/historical analysis of why more people seem to be whining about it now than before.

I doubt that more people are complaining about injustice than in the past. It is more likely that communications technology has sped up the process of complaining, so that more people can hear complaints and responses. Thus there is more pseudo-intellectual analysis of social trends and evidence of more insecurity on the part of both rebels and reactionaries.

As one commenter for the above articles noted, an authentic atheist isn’t really concerned with the “problem of evil,” since evil should be seen as primarily an artificial concept if you don’t believe in monarchical theism. The problem of evil is primarily a challenge to the believer in fairytale gods, and his reaction is to hold his breath until he turns blue.


Instigate some pointless rambling

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