Quote, August 8 2011 – Dueling opinions and not looking up the background of your argument

‘Fr James Keller (1900-1977), a distinctly evangelical Roman Catholic, surely risked heresy in remarking that if miracles occured, they implied that God was not just or fair: “If God intervenes to save your life in a car crash, then what was he doing in Auschwitz?” Keller’s fatuous argument has been well stuffed by the present Archbishop of Canterbury, who has point out that the Holocaust was (rather obviously) a product of human free will, not of God’s ‘permission’; and those us familiar with Viktor Frankl’s work have evidence enough that God was in Auschwitz, if not of it. Richard Dawkins (b.1941 and miraculously still alive), whose nose is everywhere but is nowhere wanted, considers miracles a violation of the principle of Occam’s razor (Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem: “Do not multiply hypotheses unnecessarily”). Fair enough; and we’d like to know more about how William of Occam reconciled his insight with his vocation as a God-fearing Christian friar.’

– “The Fortean Times Random Dictionary of the Damned – No. 39: Miracles”, by the Hierophant’s Apprentice, Fortean Times, July 2011, pg 53

For those of you not familiar with the Fortean Times, it is a magazine that follows in the footsteps of Charles Forte, who spent years in public libraries in the 1930s researching stories of unusual happenings reported in the newspapers. The “Dictionary of the Damned” part refers not to theological damnation, but to the scientific damnation (and limbo) that strange or unusual events are often consigned to.

 

For those of you not familiar with Viktor Frankl (as I was not prior to reading this article), here is a Wikipedia link. He was an Austrian psychiatrist who specialized in depression and suicide prevention, starting in 1924. From September 1942 until April 1945, he was held in various Nazi concentration camps. While he was liberated in 1945 by American troops, his wife and both parents died in concentration camps.

While he was in the concentration camps, he still focused on suicide prevention and on helping the other prisoners find meaning in life and the will to go on. After the war, he wrote books & founded a school of psychiatry based on finding meaning in even the most miserable of existences. ” . . . those us familiar with Viktor Frankl’s work have evidence enough that God was in Auschwitz, if not of it” indeed.

One thought on “Quote, August 8 2011 – Dueling opinions and not looking up the background of your argument

  1. Why God intervenes at certain places and times for certain people and not in other places and times for other people has been a burning question for as long as people have had time to think. The book of Job’s answer to the question is simple but frustrating: God is God and we aren’t. In other words, it is impossible for us in our limited frame of reference to understand why God acts (or doesn’t act) in the way he does.

    Generally speaking, we loathe a conclusion like that, perhaps as much as Job himself did. It pricks our pride and doesn’t soothe our anger over injustice. Yet in the grand scheme of things, we are left with no other choice but to be reconciled to the concept and trust that God knows what he’s doing. That’s what Job ended up doing, and is the main reason the book was included in the canon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s