Thursday, 24 February 2011

Epicurean Impotence or Malevolence?

I'm not a classicist, but I like a couple of quotations from the ancient Greek philosopher, Epicurus.

"If god is willing to stop evil but unable, he is not omnipotent. If he is able but not willing he is malevolent. If he is neither able nor willing then why call him god?"

I wonder what the religionist argument against this could be?  It seems hard to find a good answer without invoking the old chestnut that 'God works in mysterious ways'.  One quote I found said "You know, it's a valid argument in the sense that you can't expect every person to know the same living God as we do, nor is there an understanding of how he functions."  Yes - that's quite clear then.

Epicurus also had a rather cheerful approach to death - one that I find quite reassuring.

"Why should I fear death? If I am death is not. If death is I am not. Why should I fear that which cannot exist when I do."

No comments: