Monday, October 27, 2008

Creating a Perfect World

Frederica Mathewes-Green is an author whose works I follows closely. She introduces me to the Orthodox tradition. I like her because when I order her books from her (sometimes it is better to order books from the authors directly than buy it from the bookstores), she agreed to autograph her books and dedicate it to me by name, ahem.

Let's Create a Perfect World
Posted Tuesday, October 21, 2008
[; October 21, 2008]

So you think that the existence of suffering proves that there is no God. But can I ask a question? How would you eliminate suffering? What would a world without suffering look like? You have free rein-make it any way you like.

Why don’t we start with something specific. People often cite the story told by the character Ivan in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov: parents punished their little daughter for bedwetting by locking her in a frozen outhouse. Ivan cannot accept a God who would let that happen.
OK, how would you prevent it? Can you imagine a world where there is no child abuse? Not just that one awful case-there’s no point in stopping only one act of abuse. How would you stop child abuse entirely? Would you make it so that an angry parent could not think of any way to hurt a child?
Could a parent imagine striking a child, but be paralyzed and unable to raise an arm?
Could he strike at the child, but the blow would not land?
The blow would land, but the child would not feel it as painful?
Maybe you could make it so that parents could not get angry in the first place-how about that? Would that mean that no one, anywhere, could get angry? Why stop with parents?
(We’ll get to earthquakes and tsunamis later. One thing at a time.)

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Anonymous alwyn said...

i first came across her work in '5 views of church in emerging culture' - and quite a few times i've quoted her during sermons.

very deep-thinking lady (in a simple way).

10:35 PM  
Blogger Alex Tang said...

hi alwyn,

That's where I came across her too. Then I encountered her on the Ancient-Future Church Conference and later her books. She helped opened a window into the orthodox traditon which is so fascinating and so 'alien' to me.

1:49 AM  

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