Friday, August 28, 2009

The Problem of Evil (part 2?)

One of the things about the Problem of Evil (and by the way, thank you Laura for reminding me that there is a technical term for the POE: "theodicy") is that it can't be summed up in a simple answer. You can't boil it down to a yes or no question.

For example, let's say you are confronted with a skeptic who says that he (or she) is upset about the idea of hell. He just can't believe that a loving God would consign people who don't believe in Him to a place like hell. Then he goes on to say that his mother was a good, kind person, who gave money to charity, helped out with the elderly, and cared for some of her friends when they were sick. But she recently had a terminal illness and passed away. And she was a non-believer. Then he asks you, "Do you believe she went to hell?"

Put on the spot like that, many of us (if answering truthfully), would have to say, "Yes." But it's so much more than a one word answer (even for those of us who believe "no").

What are your thoughts?