Theodicy Quotes

Quotes tagged as "theodicy" Showing 1-30 of 35
C.S. Lewis
“His Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to Him, but not nonsense. This is no limit to His power. If you choose to say, ‘God can give a creature free will and at the same time withhold free will from it,’ you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them the two other words, 'God can.' It remains true that all things are possible with God: the intrinsic impossibilities are not things but nonentities. It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of His creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because His power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God.”
C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Martin Amis
“It is straightforward—and never mind, for now, about plagues and famines: if God existed, and if he cared for humankind, he would never have given us religion.”
Martin Amis, The Second Plane: 14 Responses to September 11

Walter M. Miller Jr.
“Listen, my dear Cors, why don't you forgive God for allowing pain? If He didn't allow it, human courage, bravery, nobility, and self-sacrifice would all be meaningless things.”
Walter M. Miller Jr., A Canticle for Leibowitz

C.S. Lewis
“Even if there were pains in Heaven, all who understand would desire them.”
C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain

Christopher Hitchens
“You might think that, by now, people would have become accustomed to the idea of natural catastrophes. We live on a planet that is still cooling and which has fissures and faults in its crust; this much is accepted even by those who think that the globe is only six thousand years old, as well as by those who believe that the earth was "designed" to be this way. Even in such a case, it is to be expected that earthquakes will occur and that, if they occur under the seabed, tidal waves will occur also. Yet two sorts of error are still absolutely commonplace. The first of these is the idiotic belief that seismic events are somehow "timed" to express the will of God. Thus, reasoning back from the effect, people will seriously attempt to guess what sin or which profanity led to the verdict of the tectonic plates. The second error, common even among humanists, is to borrow the same fallacy for satirical purposes and to employ it to disprove a benign deity.”
Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens
“In ridiculing a pathetic human fallacy, which seeks explanation where none need be sought and which multiplies unnecessary assumptions, one should not mimic primitive ontology in order to challenge it. Better to dispose of the needless assumption altogether. This holds true for everything from Noah's flood to the Holocaust.”
Christopher Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens
“One of the questions asked by al-Balkhi, and often repeated to this day, is this: Why do the children of Israel continue to suffer? My grandmother Dodo thought it was because the goyim were jealous. The seder for Passover (which is a shame-faced simulacrum of a Hellenic question-and-answer session, even including the wine) tells the children that it's one of those things that happens to every Jewish generation. After the Shoah or Endlösung or Holocaust, many rabbis tried to tell the survivors that the immolation had been a punishment for 'exile,' or for insufficient attention to the Covenant. This explanation was something of a flop with those whose parents or children had been the raw material for the 'proof,' so for a time the professional interpreters of god's will went decently quiet. This interval of ambivalence lasted until the war of 1967, when it was announced that the divine purpose could be discerned after all. How wrong, how foolish, to have announced its discovery prematurely! The exile and the Shoah could now both be understood, as part of a heavenly if somewhat roundabout scheme to recover the Western Wall in Jerusalem and other pieces of biblically mandated real estate.

I regard it as a matter of self-respect to spit in public on rationalizations of this kind. (They are almost as repellent, in their combination of arrogance, masochism, and affected false modesty, as Edith Stein's 'offer' of her life to expiate the regrettable unbelief in Jesus of her former fellow Jews.) The sage Jews are those who have put religion behind them and become in so many societies the leaven of the secular and the atheist.”
Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir

Dorothy L. Sayers
“If God made everything, did He make the Devil?' This is the kind of embarrassing question which any child can ask before breakfast, and for which no neat and handy formula is provided in the Parents' Manual…Later in life, however, the problem of time and the problem of evil become desperately urgent, and it is useless to tell us to run away and play and that we shall understand when we are older. The world has grown hoary, and the questions are still unanswered.”
Dorothy L. Sayers, The Mind of the Maker

Boethius
“And so sovereign Providence has often produced a remarkable effect--evil men making other evil men good. For some, when they think they suffer injustice at the hands of the worst of men, burn with hatred for evil men, and being eager to be different from those they hate, have reformed and become virtuous. It is only the power of God to which evils may also be good, when by their proper use He elicits some good result.”
Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy

Christopher Hitchens
“In the aftermath of the recent wave action in the Indian Ocean, even the archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williamson [sic], proved himself a latter-day Voltairean by whimpering that he could see how this might shake belief in a friendly creator. Williamson is of course a notorious fool, who does an almost perfect imitation of a bleating and frightened sheep, but even so, one is forced to rub one's eyes in astonishment. Is it possible that a grown man could live so long and still have his personal composure, not to mention his lifetime job description, upset by a large ripple of seawater?”
Christopher Hitchens

Dee Henderson
“God decided to create a world where free will was more important than no one ever getting hurt. There must be something stunningly beautiful and remarkable about free will that only God can truly grasp, because God hates, literally abhors, evil, yet He created a world where evil could happen if people chose it.”
Dee Henderson

Patricia Crone
“Reincarnation offers a better justification of evil than anything monotheism can offer, but it does so by blaming the victim and sanctifying the status quo.”
Patricia Crone, The Nativist Prophets of Early Islamic Iran: Rural Revolt and Local Zoroastrianism

Nikos Kazantzakis
“I felt sorry for the inhabitants and went into the forest to admonish the wolf in God's name not to eat any more sheep. I called him, he came—and do you know what his answer was? 'Francis, Francis,' he said, 'do not destroy God's prescribed order. The sheep feeds on grass, the wolf on sheep—that's the way God ordained it. Do not ask why; simply obey God's will and leave me free to enter the sheepfolds whenever I feel the pinch of hunger. I say my prayers just like Your Holiness. I say: "Our Father who reignest in the forests and hast commanded me to eat meat, Thy will be done. Give me this day my daily sheep so that my stomach may be filled, and I shall glorify Thy name. Great art Thou, Lord, who hast created mutton so delicious. And when the day cometh that I shall die, Grant, Lord, that I may be resurrected, and that with me may be resurrected all the sheep I have eaten—so that I may eat them again!"' That, Brother Leo, is what the wolf answered me.”
Nikos Kazantzakis, Saint Francis

Nikos Kazantzakis
“Thy designs are a bottomless pit. How can I descend into this pit to examine it? Thou lookest thousands of years into the future and then Thou judgest. What today seems an injustice to man's minute brain becomes, thousands of years hence, the mother of man's salvation. If what today we term injustice did not exist, perhaps true justice would never come to mankind.”
Nikos Kazantzakis, Saint Francis

Olaf Stapledon
“Even if the powers destroy us," he said, "who are we, to condemn them? As well might a fleeting word judge the speaker that forms it. Perhaps they use us for their own high ends, use our strength and our weakness, our joy and our pain, in some theme inconceivable to us, and excellent." But I protested, "What theme could justify such waste, such futility? And how can we help judging; and how otherwise can we judge than by the light of our own hearts, by which we judge ourselves? It would be base to praise the Star Maker, knowing that he was too insensitive to care about the fate of his worlds." Bvalltu was silent in his mind for a moment. Then he looked up, searching among the smoke-clouds for a daytime star. And then he said to me in his mind, "If he saved all the worlds, but tormented just one man, would you forgive him? Or if he was a little harsh only to one stupid child? What has our pain to do with it, or our failure? Star Maker! It is a good word, though we can have no notion of its meaning. Oh, Star Maker, even if you destroy me, I must praise you. Even if you torture my dearest. Even if you torment and waste all your lovely worlds, the little figments of your imagination, yet I must praise you. For if you do so, it must be right. In me it would be wrong, but in you it must be right.”
Olaf Stapledon

“Lamentations' testimony is bitter, raw, and largely unhealed. Its poems use 'wounded words' to illumine pain and resist God's acts in the world.”
Kathleen M. O'Connor, Lamentations and the Tears of the World

Simone Weil
“J'éprouve un déchirement qui s'aggrave sans cesse, à la fois dan l'intelligence et au centre du coeur, par l'incapacité où je suis de penser ensemble dans la vérité le malheur des hommes, la perfection de Dieu et le lien entre les deux.

'I feel ceaselessly and increasingly torn, both in my intelligence and in the depth of my heart, by my inability to conceive simultaneously and in truth of the affliction of humans, the perfection of God, and the relation between the two.'

Simone Weil, Lettre à Maurice Schumann, n.d. (prb Dec. 1942)”
Simone Weil, Seventy Letters

Gregory A. Boyd
“If we further consider this divine panoramic view within which all evil is supposedly a "secret good" is held by a God who, according to Scripture, has a passionate hatred toward all evil, the "solution" becomes more problematic still. For it is certainly not clear how God could hate what he himself wills and sees as a contributing ingredient in the good of the whole. If all things play themselves out according to a divine plan, how can God genuinely hate anything?”
Gregory A. Boyd, God at War: The Bible & Spiritual Conflict

Neal A. Maxwell
“Elder Maxwell on Wintry Doctrines
Elder Maxwell said that “if we are serious about our discipleship Jesus will eventually request each of us to do those very things which are most difficult for us to do.”
This was what he came to call the wintry doctrine at the funeral of a young father in 1996 he put it this way “There are in the gospel warm and cuddly doctrines and then there are some that are just outright wintry doctrines… one of them frankly is that we cannot approach real consecration without passing through appropriate clinical experiences because we don’t achieve consecration in the abstract. … sometimes therefore the best people have the worst experiences… because they are the most ready to learn.” (Bruce C. Hafen, The Story of A Disciple’s Life: Preparing the Biography of Neal A. Maxwell, p. 14)”
Neal A. Maxwell

Gregory A. Boyd
“The core problem seems to lie in the classical-philosophical equation of power with control, and thus omnipotence with omnicontrol, an equation that forces the problem of evil to be seen as a problem of God's sovereignty. If it is accepted that God is all-loving and all-powerful, and if maximum power is defined as maximum control, then by definition there seems to be no place for evil. If goodness controls all things, all things must me good.”
Gregory A. Boyd, God at War: The Bible & Spiritual Conflict

Theodor W. Adorno
Das Bedürfnis, Leiden beredt werden zu lassen, ist Bedingung aller Wahrheit.

(The need to lend a voice to suffering [literally: "to let suffering be eloquent"] is the condition of all truth)”
Theodor W. Adorno, Negative Dialectics

Johann Baptist Metz
“Radi se mnogo više - i to isključivo - o pitanju kako uopće valja govoriti o Bogu pred neizmjernom poviješću trpljenja svijeta, 'njegovoga' svijeta. To je pitanje, kako ga ja vidim, glavno pitanje teologije; ona ga ne smije niti eliminirati niti svojim odgovorom prepuniti.”
Johann Baptist Metz, Memoria passionis: Ein provozierendes Gedächtnis in pluralistischer Gesellschaft

Immanuel Kant
“Job says what he thinks and feels, and how every person would likely feel in his position. His friends, on the other hand, talk as if they were secretly being watched by the powerful Ruler whose case is open to their verdict, and as if, in making their verdict, they cared more about winning His favor than about the truth. This trickery of maintaining something just to keep up appearances, contrary to their true beliefs, feigning a conviction they did not have, stands in stark contrast to Job’s candor, which is so far removed from flattery that it borders on audacity, but nevertheless casts him in a very favorable light.”
Immanuel Kant

Johann Baptist Metz
“Odakle dolazi dojam da je Crkva lakše izlazila na kraj s krivcima-počiniteljima negoli s nedužnim žrtvama? Nije li naša kristologija toliko pretjerano determinirana soteriološki da više niti ne dopušta teodicejsko pitanje (na koje se niti može dati odgovor niti ga se može zaboraviti)?”
Johann Baptist Metz, Memoria passionis: Ein provozierendes Gedächtnis in pluralistischer Gesellschaft

Ellen Debenport
“Most people bestow tremendous power onto those human beings we consider evil, who cause of threaten harm to others, even though we know they are acting from their own pain or fear. Would ignoring evil disarm it? Don’t dismiss the idea. As we have declared War on Terror, a War on Drugs, a War on Poverty, a War on Crime, the problems only seem to have gotten bigger. We cling tthe notion of evil as detrimental, unpredictable force in our world and refuse any suggestion that it is not real. We argue for our fear about terrorism or climate change or economic instability, heatedly trying to prove that things are only getting worse. And in doing so, we reinforce the principle that what we focus on grows. We create our experience by where we place our attention. What we resist, persists.”
Ellen Debenport, The Five Principles: A Guide To Practical Spirituality

David Bentley Hart
“I do not mean that there is anything intellectually contemptible in being formally "godless" -- that is, in rejecting all religious dogmas and in refusing to believe in the God those dogmas describe.

One might very well conclude, for instance, that the world contains far too much misery for the pious idea of a good, loving, and just God to be taken very seriously, and that any alleged creator of the universe in which children suffer and die hardly deserves our devotion.

It is an affective -- not a strictly logical -- position to hold, but it is an intelligible one, with a certain sublime moral purity to it; I myself find it deeply compelling; and it is entirely up to each person to judge whether he or she finds any particular religion's answer to the "problem of evil" either adequate or credible.”
David Bentley Hart, The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss

“Adept scholar, master of erudition,
you blaspheme in the anguish of your thoughts.
Divine purpose is as remote as innermost heaven;
it is too difficult to understand, people cannot understand it. […]
Even if one tries to apprehend divine intention, people cannot understand it.

(Friend XXIV, The Babylonian Theodicy
Babylonian Theodicy

Kallistos Ware
“If there is a "problem of evil" there is also a "problem of good." Wherever we look we see not only confusion but beauty. In snowflake, leaf or insect, we discover structured patterns of a delicacy and balance that nothing manufactured by human skill can equal. We are not to sentimentalize these things, but we cannot ignore them.”
Kallistos Ware

John Green
“I stand by my pre–Van Houten analysis of the Dutch Tulip Man. Not a con man, but not as rich as he was letting on.”
John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

“If we did not feel the bitterness of his anger, we would not so sweetly relish His love.”
Timothy Rogers, Trouble of Mind and the Disease of Melancholy

« previous 1