Sunday, January 22, 2012
Hard not to like Stephen Fry.* In his case, it's not just the English accent, which confers an aura of intellect on anyone. He's witty and an extreme polymath, and his comments above on polytheism mirror what I've written here before: if you look at the world as it is, and feel the need to explain it by invoking deity, it makes a lot more sense to believe there are lots of them, generally screwing around with themselves and us. (And I like his pointing out the inverse relationship, historically, between knowledge and religion.)
Christianity admits the inconsistency and inadequacy of its monotheistic claim by tossing in Satan. As explanations go, it fits a little better with what we see than the idea that there's only one guy in charge, a guy who's all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving. Has a plan for us all. Knows everything about us before we're born. And since, simply by looking around, it's evident god has way more on his plate than he appears able to handle, we also get saints and guardian angels to clean up his little messes, as needed. Judging on outcomes, though, they must be in over their heads most of the time, too. In any case, other than semantically, this is monotheism the way homeopathy is medicine.
Satan, I guess, does offer believers an explanation, more like an excuse actually, for why there's evil in god's perfect world. The unspoken extrapolation, though, is that his existence also fully negates the view of god as perfect. Either that, or Satan, like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell and Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry, is actually carrying out their omniscient and omnamorous god's will.
I don't think I've heard anyone argue, though, that Satan is the cause of a child's bone cancer. That, I'd say, pretty much disproves the all3 idea of god. Given that children die of cancer every day, if there is/are god/gods then he/she/they have to be some combination 0f incompetent, inattentive, or uncaring.
In which case, what's the point?
*For Stephen Fry fans, by the way, this video is a must-see.