Many of the difficulties of atheists... come from the way God has been described to them.

They start wrestling with the question, "Can an infinitely good being be in charge of, be responsible for, this universe full of Historical Events and other forms of suffering?" They see some Christians in terror of this allegedly good and loving being, whom they are told intends to inflict eternal suffering on many people for having turned out Bad--or merely turned out impolite to deities, too inclined to speak truth to real power for their own good!" They can't understand this, because it doesn't make sense, doesn't sound at all like the universally beneficent Father described by Jesus.

I was just struck by a different way of putting the issue... "Can an infinite being find happiness (or rather beauty, which is something else) by inhabiting a multitude of seemingly-finite beings?" This is, as I see it, the question we are answering-by-living. I believe that we--the being who truly lives each of our lives--can and will make and has made the answer be: "Yes!" Many details of the process may remain to be worked out (or perhaps working them out is an element of the happiness we've seen too little of, the beauty that too much of the time has had to be extracted from anger and sorrow.)

That's it for today, kids; my finite mind is boggled!

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Comment by Richard B. Miller on 5th mo. 7, 2009 at 9:52am
Forest, I think your take on the problem of evil is helpful. An additional thought I find enlightening about this is to reflect that pleasure (and the absence of pain) is not the only good. Being a finite and vulnerable being in a world full of finite and vulnerable beings may seem like a cosmic mistake or tragedy, but it also makes many kinds of heroism possible. We can, despite the pain and the long odds, do our humble best to assist our fellow suffering creatures. The glory of Christ is that he chose to love and chose to suffer for those he loved. We can share in that glory because we are finite creatures. Living in a universe which allows us to make this choice is better (?) than being treated like pets kept in a comfortable cage.

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