Archive for the ‘problem of evil as barrier to faith’ Category

Nothing justifies Auschwitz. Were the Lord Himself to offer me a justification, I think I would reject it. Treblinka erases all justifications and all answers

October 29, 2009

Nothing justifies Auschwitz. Were the Lord Himself to offer me a justification, I think I would reject it. Treblinka erases all justifications and all answers.

The barbed-wire kingdom will forever remain an immense question mark on the scale of both humanity and its Creator. Faced with unprecedented suffering and agony, He should have intervened, or at least expressed Himself. Which side was He on? Isn’t He the Father of us all? It is in this capacity that He shatters our shell and moves us. How can we fail to pity a father who witnesses the massacre of his children by his other children?…

…by allowing this to happen, God was telling humanity something, and we don’t know what it was. That He suffered? He could have–should have–interrupted His own suffering by calling a halt to the martyrdom of innocents. I don’t know why He did not do so and I think I never shall. Perhaps that is not His concern. But I find myself equally ignorant as regards men. I will never understand their moral decline, their fall. There was a time when everything roused anger, even revolt, in me against humanity. Later I felt mainly sadness, for the victims.

Elie Wiesel, Memoirs, vol.1, p.105

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God whispers to us in our pleasures

September 12, 2009

God whispers to us in our pleasures speaks in our conscience but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.

C. S. Lewis, Problem of Pain, 1957, Collins, p.81

Until the evil man finds evil unmistakably present in his existence, in the form of pain, he is enclosed in illusion. Once pain has roused him he knows that he is in some way or other ” up against” the real universe…Pain removes the veil; it plants the flag of truth within the fortress of a rebel soul.

ibid.,p.83

Suffering without purpose is unbearable

September 9, 2009

Until the advent of the ascetic ideal, man, the animal man, had no meaning at all on this earth. His existence was aimless; the question, ‘Why is there such a thing as man?’ could not have been answered….behind every great human destiny there sounded as a refrain a yet greater “in vain!” This is precisely what the ascetic ideal means: that something was lacking, that man was surrounded by a fearful void—he did not know how to justify, to account for, to affirm himself; he suffered from the problem of his meaning…

He also suffered otherwise, he was in the main a sickly animal: but his problem was not suffering itself, but that there was no answer to the crying question, “why do I suffer?”

Man, the bravest of animals and the one most accustomed to suffering, does not repudiate suffering as such; he desires it, he even seeks it out, provided he is shown a meaning for it, a purpose of suffering. The meaninglessness of suffering, not suffering itself, was the curse that lay over mankind so far…man would rather will nothingness than not will.

Nietzsche, Genealogy of Morals, Third Essay, 28

Why Communism is dangerous

September 8, 2009

Proletarian coercion, in all its forms, from executions to forced labour, is, paradoxical as it may sound, the method of moulding communist humanity out of the human material of the capitalist period.

Nikolai Bukharin, 1920

Communists often blame the excesses of the Soviet era on Stalin as a nasty individual. But even if they admit to the evil done by Lenin, it is clear that the root of the problem is in the system that denied a basic diginity to all humans regardless of class. The image of God supplies a trans or supra-class basis for the fair treatment of all. When Bukharin said this the revolution was just 3 years old. The rot didn’t take long to settle in.