er.evans at auckland.ac.nz
Wed Mar 20 16:36:42 EST 2002
> > Now I don't see how it could be morally satisfying for either a
> Christian or an Atheist to blame God for the sins of the Church (much less
the God of
> several worlds for the sins of the Church in one of them). A Christian
> know better, and an Atheist shouldn't have that option.
And Ania responded:
> Ok. I see your point. But that presupposes the existence of god/God as the
> original creator-entity. I personally do not believe in god at
> all, but I am willing to suspend disbelief in order to enjoy a work of
> or a damn good argument.
> Anyway, the whole thing makes more sense to my sceptical, godless self if
> the traditional view were reversed. (here comes my own take on
> this) God did not make us; we, or our distant ancestors, made god/s. God
is an entity
> which arose out of the collective imagination/ despair/ power of belief/
> whatever. It - the entity - became flesh, or more accurately,
> spirit. It can be as evil and twisted as its creators (that's us, folks!),
> compassionate. It can be blamed for the evil it wrought, or that
> was wrought in its name. It could cease to exist if no-one believed in it
any more (I
> owe Gaiman for that last insight).
I started out to think: huh? how can you blame something if you don't
believe it exists? But then I understood you to say that God does exist,
except that he's a man-made creation. So in effect we can blame God, but the
real blame must surely rest with his creators, ie. people. If I'm wrong,
here, please correct me.
> Also, I think that Pullman, being an erudite man, is probably aware of the
> old dilemma: how can god be both all-good and all-powerful? the two
> possibilities cancel one another out. If god is all good, and evil exists,
> and he can do nothing to prevent it, he cannot be all-powerful. If he's
> all-powerful, yet allows evil to continue existing, he cannot be all-good.
> And then, the other old saying: power corrupts, and absolute
> power corrupts absolutely.
> I realize that people who believe must have some satisfactory answer to
> these dilemmas. I do not. I am afraid that 'it says so in the scriptures',
> whatever they may be, is not enough for me.
Probably the reason that makes most sense to me is that evil is allowed to
remain in the world in order for the greater good to be brought out. I think
this all comes down to the fate of the individual - how dealing with evil
can make you a better person. (or a worse one, but the choice is up to the
individual). As you can see, my thinking is very woolly on this point. I
haven't been able to get my head around the relationship between the cosmic
and the individual, but I guess that's where faith comes in - one day I'll
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