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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Theodicy, karman and other possible solutions


Problem: could a benevolent and omnipotent God not save all of us? In fact, some of us die without having obtained the boon of faith and, thus, seem not to have been chosen by God. But why should God, who is omnipotent, not bestow faith (and/or the ability to do good actions) to everyone?
Possible solutions:
1. (Augustin/Luther/Calvin like): God does not want to save us all, for reasons we don't know, he chooses some of us.
2. (Aquinas, Erasmus of Rotterdam): God does want to save all of us, but we have to do our best, too. Nonetheless, he can also save people who do not 'deserve' it (but this leads back to the question: why not in all cases?).
2. (Indian): God does want to save all of us, but he relies/depends on the law of karman. Hence, he always gives us a "second" chance by means of letting us be reborn again and again.
3. (Origen) God wants to save all of us and does it.

How could we then account for the fact that, as long as they were alive, some people seemed not to have been 'chosen' by God? Of course, one cannot judge according to human meters, such as richness or health, but what about faith? Can anyone be saved without faith? This could be answered as follows:
3a. The fact that some of us seem to have not been chosen depends on His wish to be served in different ways (in a devout way by people to whom he bestows faith and in a, e.g., 'humanistic' or 'enlightened' one by people to whom he does not bestow it).
I could not locate a precise defence of view 3a. anywhere.

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