Sunday, November 18, 2007

"is good evil?"

As you might imagine, a subway station is a repository of all sorts of the nastiest trash. Among the filth in one station I noticed a magazine, Harper's, with the following question emblazoned provocatively, idiotically, on its dark blue cover: "Are Christians Evil?"

Well, this is an interesting question to ask in a society that takes the lives of its offspring by the millions; probably a reasonable question, given that perspective. I am sure minds much more supple than my own can render such rhetorical waste its just due.

What first came to my mind, then, was this: here is a curious question. It is Christianity that proposes the existence of evil to begin with. Well, OK, let's say the origin of the concept of evil lies with Judaism. Nonetheless, Christianty asserts that it is the fulfillment of Judiasm, and that it, by definition, is good, and that which rejects it, evil. So here we have that which apparently rejects Christianity, invoking a Christian concept by which to judge it. There has to be a Latin term for this sort of twisted reasoning, but I don't know what it is, although I suspect "reductio ad absurdum" might come into play there somewhere. A less erudite but probably no less accurate term might be "intellectual incest."

It seems akin to a person asking, "is black, white?" And presumably, after you fork over 5 bucks for the magazine, you get to read how it is. This makes me think of my post below, which I called "Safety in Numbers." Yes, this is the sort of thing that intelligent people pay to read about, in a time when they can't decide if "is" really means "is."


Blogger Jeff said...

If you'd read the article, you'd find it actually has an interesting thesis; if God insists on sending those people unaware of him into unimaginable agony for all eternity, how can you square that with the actions of an omnipotent, all good being? The author couldn't do it, and frankly, neither can I.

9:11 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home