Yarrow (angelweed) wrote,
Yarrow
angelweed

Theadicy

It's often said that polytheistic religions don't have the same problem with the existence of evil that monotheisms do: when faced with the question of how the all-powerful, completely good deity could create a world with evil in it, we can just say "Well, not all-powerful" or "Nothing is completely good" and walk away.

Those two stands can be done a lot more justice than I just did; but it's also interesting to realize that a theory of multiple universes can help at least as much as a theory of multiple deities. Let's start by supposing that we don't live in the the best of all possible worlds because we can't, because there is no such thing: for every world, a better world is possible, and for that better world, a better world yet; but no best world. This is a familiar concept in mathematics: there is no largest number; there is no fastest-growing series of numbers; for every infinity there is another, mind-bogglingly more infinite.

So for the sake of argument postulate a Goddess who is (almost) all-powerful and (almost) completely good, and who can't create the best of all possible worlds because there is no such thing. What is she to do? Any world she creates will be infinitely less good than one she could have created.

Well, why not create them all, each more dazzlingly wonderful than the next?

Why not indeed? Of course there's still one niggling little question: why create the shitty ones? Why create a world with napalm? With Dachau and Hiroshima? Why create our world?

And part of the answer is that, in the end, most of us would rather exist than not, even in this sometimes-horrible world. And perhaps, to an almost completely good creator, a world that's good enough for most of its inhabitants is good enough. Or perhaps, however hard it may be to believe, the life of every single sentient entity in this universe has been and will be, on balance, worth living. Or perhaps that's only true for most of us, but all the tortured innocents have in some time out of time given their consent to exist, for us, that this universe might exist and so be a home for us.

None of those are easy pills to swallow. But they are easier to swallow than an omnipotent, omnibenevolent Being who could have created the best of all possible worlds and manifestly has not.

Offering:
Feet on the ground,
Ass in the chair,
I look around:
Nobody's there.
Subscribe

  • Calling on the lightning

    My sleep schedule has been disturbed recently by a cold. I fell asleep this evening, and awoke with the following dream: Thrid is explaining the…

  • Tracy Grammer

    Shana and I went to see Tracy Grammer tonight. She sang the one song she's finished (and I wish her a hundred more, for her sake and because it was…

  • The weirdest country on Earth

    According to a Pew report on Religion in America, twenty-one percent of atheists believe in God. Six percent believe in a personal god, twelve…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 10 comments

  • Calling on the lightning

    My sleep schedule has been disturbed recently by a cold. I fell asleep this evening, and awoke with the following dream: Thrid is explaining the…

  • Tracy Grammer

    Shana and I went to see Tracy Grammer tonight. She sang the one song she's finished (and I wish her a hundred more, for her sake and because it was…

  • The weirdest country on Earth

    According to a Pew report on Religion in America, twenty-one percent of atheists believe in God. Six percent believe in a personal god, twelve…