Sunday, January 31, 2010

Why Do We Need Meaning?

A few days ago I was listening to a podcast of a theological debate between a Calvinist and a Christian of a different persuasion which I did not catch.  In the end it was pointless so I won't harm the world by linking to it.  However, there was an interesting exchange that got me thinking about the human desire for meaning.

The two men used a theoretical event where a fictional man rapes and murders a small girl.  Both of them were explaining their view of God's nature by suggesting how God might have allowed this to happen for the greater good of the world.

Why?  Why do we suppose that God is some sort of utilitarian?  Why do we presuppose some sort of cosmic justice or karma surrounds every negative that befalls us?  As if good and evil were like double entry accounting where everything zeroes out in the end.

When I say, "we", I need to exclude myself.  For whatever reason it is a phenomenon that I do not identify with at all.  This is not to brag, but I do not ever recall having gotten angry at God.  Never have I struggled with the lack of meaning in events.  I don't know if I'm missing a gene or if I simply never began to believe that God needed to justify the world that he created and we altered.

Even the greatly reveered Christian author C.S. Lewis struggles through anger and doubt towards God upon the death of his wife.  I've been reading his "A Grief Observed".

This is not a criticism of anyone.  Where did this idea come from?  Why do we believe this?


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