“Philosophy Drive” on Theodicy & Puzzlement

Here’s the latest “Philosophy Drive” episode!

It’s 14 minutes long and discusses theodicy, our response to problems of evil and suffering in order to neutrally defend a belief in God.

It also talks about a “second order problem” called “the problem of gratuitous puzzlement.” I claim that this benignly reduces to the plain-ol’ problem of suffering, and give my take on theodicy broadly.

0:18 – What theodicy means. Two kinds: Experiential (also called “evidential”) and abstract (also called “theoretical”). The former is above our paygrade. The latter looks like a hand-wave, but technically works.

2:21 – The “problem of gratuitous puzzlement.”

3:08 – Quick nags. “Gratuitous” as a subtle question-begging. Wouldn’t God have inspired somebody to give us correct theodicy? (He did!) Why hasn’t it caught on, then? Questioning “earliness.” Remarks on the state of the world and where we’re going.

5:28 – Unpacking “surprising.” Remarks on humanity’s dearth of “RAM slots,” the wobbly crutches on which we depend, and how woefully unequipped we are to draw any experiential theodicean conclusion, whether or not such a remark is for or against a good God.

8:34 – Our woeful underqualification for this task leads to a Job-like confession. Remarks on the Book of Job and its role as the Bible’s theodicy.

11:14 – Theodicy requires “CIWAMIS” (circumstantial incommensurability within a manifold interest set). Remarks on God’s “natural garden” preference.

12:34 – Summing up abstract theodicy (which, of course, looks like a hand-wave). Conclusion: If it works for “basic” suffering, it handles “surprising puzzlement,” too.

Bonus Material


About stanrock

Husband, father. Professional game developer, software engineer, & social product analyst. Theology debugger. Fun theology experiments at http://StanRock.net

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