Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Theodicy, broadly considered -- with a shot from Mathewes

The word 'theodicy' originates with Leibniz.  I am considering lately the possibility, borrowing some language from Mathewes, that theodicy is really a subsumption of facts to a theory of history or progress.  More recently it is a theory of secular progress.  In Christian theodicies, the evils of the the current age were justified by the apocalypse, when everything comes together and makes sense.  Secular theories are not of the every sparrow that falls counts variety, but there is always a nonempirical theory that subsumes them.  Suffering is thus bereft of its own moment and its own meaning and is put in another, theoretical construct.  What would it mean to our compassion if instead of subsuming suffering under the eye of eternity, we gave to each moment of suffering its own unique moment, again I'm borrowing from Mathewes. 

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