Look: I am eager to learn stuff I don't know--which requires actively courting and posting smart disagreement.

But as you will understand, I don't like to post things that mischaracterize and are aimed to mislead.

-- Brad Delong

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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tsunami and Enlightenment

Goethe was six when the earthquake and tsunami devastated Lisbon . . .

In his memoirs Goethe wrote:

“By treating the just and the unjust in the same way, God had not behaved in the fatherly manner that I had been attributing to him in my catechism…. The wise and learned people around me seemed to be unable to agree on the way in which the phenomenon should be described….”

Personally, I get a rather large kick out of philosphers struggling with their perceptions of god's behavior.

And Voltaire referred to the Lisbon earthquake when he made fun of Leipniz’s optimism. He wrote these verses:

And can you then impute a sinful deed
To babes who on their mothers’ bosoms bleed?
Was then more vice in fallen Lisbon found,
Than Paris, where voluptuous joys abound?
Was less debauchery to London known,
Where opulence luxurious holds the throne?

OTOH, I get no kick at all from the hateful pseudo-Christians of the Westboro Baptist Church.  If god were to behave in the fatherly manner Goethe had come to expect, he would  . . . I dunno -- send them to bed without any supper?  Take away their cell phone?   Ground them for two weeks?  Spank "their naked bottoms until the imprint of the rugged cross is plainly visible on both cheeks" and their righty-tighty, starchy asses glowed bright Repugnicant red?   (Do not follow that link.  It is genuinely psychotic.  You have been warned.)

That last image is just too precious.  Never saw it in any catechism, but I do kinda like it.

H/T to The Sandwich Man.

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