The Intractable Problem of Evil
Earthquakes and Theodicy: Six Years Later
need to change the substance of what I wrote to The Spectator [UK]
on January 15, 2005 (appended below,
substitute for the Boxing Day tsunami of 2004 . . .
Haitian earthquake of January 12, 2010 . . .
the Japanese earthquake cum tsunami cum
nuclear disaster of March 11, 2011.
The spectacle of intelligent and morally sensitive religious
persons offering the lamest of rationales for why their
God—who, they insist,
can hold tectonic
plates steady, permitted them to shift
in these instances, to name no others—moves me to
offer my six-year-old letter to others for their
have come to accept that the all-knowing and all-loving
lure of the cosmos lacks any coercive physical
power. For me, asking why God couldn't prevent an
earthquake is almost like asking why you couldn't.
Almost, because you at least have some coercive
physical power, albeit not enough to prevent a tectonic shift.
has none, not even
enough to lift a pebble.
who say they cannot imagine worshiping such a deity say more
about themselves than about what it takes for
something to be God.
Visitors are invited to essay answers and
send them to me for my edification.
[February 1, 2010]
Updated March 17, 2011