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Thursday, January 06, 2005 

We assume God acts in certain ways, and then we get mad at Him for it

Good article in the New York Observer about theodicy and the problem of the tsunami, but whenever this comes up I can't help but think that there's a fairly easy way out if you believe in a God.

To quote, theodicy grapples with "the idea of an all-powerful, just and loving God who intervenes in history". It seems to me the part of that decription that must go, if you're committed to holding on to the rest, is the "intervenes in history" bit. But that's just me.

(To his credit, Rosenbaum does point this out)

Most theodicy (theodical?) debates come from the following suppositions about God:

All-powerful
All-knowning
All-loving.

No where in the Bible (which is where most Christians at draw their conclusions about God from) does God claim to be all-powerful, whereas God does "say" things that at least imply the other elements.

Agreed, but "all powerful" /= "interventionist". Not necessarily, anyway.

It's like a roulette game:
You decide to play. You choose your bet.
You can see everything that's happening.
You love the game, you love money. The guy running the game is pretty nice too.
But you just can't make the ball land where you want.

We are God's game of roulette. Bets in, players.

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Ian Mathers is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Stylus, the Village Voice, Resident Advisor, PopMatters, and elsewhere. He does stuff and it magically appears here.

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