Just channel surfed the Huckabee show on Fox and Gomer had Kirk Cameron on as a guest, touting a movie he's made called Unstoppable. After flouting the evil Facebook and evil YouTube for censoring Cameron's trailer, the child star of the TV sitcom Growing Pains said that the genesis of his movie was the death (of cancer) of a close personal friend whose demise set him to solving "the age-old question, if God is good, why does He allow bad things to happen?" Because this, the philosophical "argument from evil," lies at the very heart of my own personal non-theistic beliefs, I felt I knew the answer Cameron would give Gomer Shuckabee, and sure 'nuff, there it was. Cameron's friend died because his death served a "higher purpose." Shuckabee did not allow him to elucidate and the producers cut to a commercial.
Indeed, the question is literally age-old. Epicurus may have been the first to pose it, and in our own time, the Australian philosopher John L. Mackie wrote brilliantly on the subject, both pointing out that there is a logical fallacy inherent in any argument positing a good, omnipotent deity. Had he been well-versed in the arguments of Mackie's detractors, and in particular Alvin Plantinga, Cameron might have told Shuckabee "God gave man free will and it is man who chooses to do evil." (Arguably, in the context of death from cancer, this retort would be inapplicable, but to my way of thinking death is evil and it matters not a whit the cause: a clod has fallen from Donne's promontory and has affected all of Europe.) Something tells me Cameron is not too swift, and in any case I have always thought he embraced religion because he groused in the goodie a time too many as a teen idol. All that strange stuff waiving mons veneri in his face. He was a groupie's dream, a real cutie. (Even as he was writing things like "Blue Jay Way," the late George Harrison was screwing like a Black & Decker.)
Perhaps I should give Cameron the benefit of the doubt, thinking maybe he's read Plantinga and knows how we who disbelieve have refuted his refutation: why couldn't a good, omnipotent God make sure man always exercises his freedom of will in such a way as to avoid doing evil? No, on second thought, Kirkie Boy doesn't deserve concession. He and the Fox host are object lessons in proof of both Epicurus and Mackie. A good God would not suffer such mindless twits to live, or if He did, He would make sure that no one would put any faith in anything they have to say. The worst thing about religious fundamentalism is, ironically, its utter disregard for what are touted as Christian principles; in the main, empathy with all human beings.
Oh, in case you're curious, here is the trailer. The movie is to be "four-walled" so we know Kirk has learned a thing or two from his likely mentor, Mel Gibson. Get those evangelical dupes into the theatres is the film business equivalent of publishers like Regnery making people like Ann Coulter "best selling authors" by buying up the entire first printing.
Cameron made a movie? I guess that means he found the crocoduck.
Christians really should read the Book of Job. God says pretty clearly there that He Himself causes evil because He wants to, and anybody who thinks bad things only happen to bad people should think again. Funny, though; he doesn't say anything about a plan, just who the hell are you, Job, to question me? If I want to murder your children and servants, steal your livestock, and cover your body with running sores--all with the help of my buddy, Satan--what is that to you?
I would say it makes perfect sense to the True Believer, but they just don't read it.
I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
-- Isaiah 45:7
OK, so if they have a god who creates evil, why do they need a Satan? Oh, yeah, I forgot. We are not dealing with rational people here.
James, God does need Satan. I've said this before, but God needs Satan like Dudley Do-Right needs Snidely Whiplash, Rocky and Bullwinkle need Boris and Natasha, Flash Gordon needs Ming the Merciless, and the Lone Ranger needs the cattle rustler.
You can't have a story about a "good guy" unless there is a "bad guy" to defeat. In the fantasy world of religion, how can you define good without the hero overcoming evil? Especially when it comes to the Bible and DC Comics. Granted, hero worship is not a rational response to tragedy and immoral behavior which exists in the real world. But, it sure as hell works great in the fantasy world of Batman, Superman, YWHW and his bastard derivatives - Jesus and Allah.
Well, who is Satan for the Easter Bunny? The Tooth Fairy? Santa Claus? The Flying Spaghetti Monster?
As to the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy, I readily admit they are fantasy characters. However, they're not the focus of "hero worship." They don't need to defeat evil, since they're lesser characters who don't exist to defeat evil, but only make bring a touch of happiness periodically. Once a year in the case of the chocolate hare, and only before adult dentition in case of the molargeist.
Santa may be somewhat different. Prior to Dickens re-invention of the holiday, he was accompanied by Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) to take away the bad children. And, before the invention of his alter ego sidekick, he did his own dirty work.
The Flying Spaghetti Monster is too easy. His nemesis in the Kansas State School Board.
Or in this case, like Doctor Heinz Doofenshmirtz needs Perry the Platypus.
"Unstoppable", huh? There must be something similar to Imodium-D for this.
Too bad he didn't set out to solve the age old question of how to eradicate cancer. Oh well, it was a 50-50 chance he'd hit on the right question. Another opportunity lost.