Thoughtlets. XLV. Theodicy revisited.

News media characteristically brings us one story after another about the kinds of things humans to do each other which are broadly characterized as ‘evil.’ And these stories tend to generate accusations of ‘evil-doers’ which are then dispatched with the speed and clamour of emergency vehicles headed to a five alarm fire.

I’m not here concerned with the media or the contentious topics being covered. Rather it’s the human responses to this thing some call “evil”, pain and suffering, that interest me. Particularly the category of responses subsumed under “theodicy”.

A theodicy is an attempt to answer what analytic philosopher J.L. Mackie coined The Problem of Evil. Roughly, Mackie argues that the existence of an all-loving, all-powerful god and the existence of evil are incompatible.

I wrote a Theodicy primer that I published here some time ago. Here’s the link:

Thesists and Atheists alike have a stake in the The Problem of Evil and corresponding theodicies since each arise from living with each other and from the material circumstances we find ourselves in.

If you have time to give my primer a read, you might thereafter be surprised not only to recognize elements of theodical dialogue in the media but also in your own appraisal of the people and stories covered.

So? What good will that do?

Philosophical reasoning tends to downgrade emotional dispatches from a five alarm fire to a two or three. And hence leave a little more time to assess and respond to the fast and hot media stage.

Categories: Thoughtlets

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