Monday, January 30, 2012

More on God

More childhood question answered. Lewis Mumford on God:

"For mark this: if one puts God at the beginning, as the creator of all things, he becomes a monstrous being, as the God of the Old Testament in fact seemed to the sensitive Manichees, who took note of his irrational angers and his bloody commands long before Voltaire. That God is a god of matter, bestiality, darkness, and pain: not a god of love and light. If, on the other hand, one attempts to unbind deity from responsibility for having produced a world half lost to the powers of darkness and death, by promising some redemption, at least for man, in an eternal future which will balance up accounts and make love prevail: if one does this one seems to turn a brutal god into a demented one, a creature capable of condemning human beings to an eterneity of torture for sins committed in the briefest of lifetimes: a savagely disproportionate system of punishment repulsive to reason and justice. If the God who permitted the slaughter of the innocent in the Lisbon earthquake shocked Voltaire, what would he have said to the God who permitted his creatures to invent the insane horrors of Buchenwald and Auschwitz?

Neither faith nor reason could bring such complete defilements and miscarriages of life within the compass of human acceptance, if a divine purpose actually presided over all the occasions of human life. Plainly, if there is a loving God he must be impotent: but if he is omniponent, truly responsible for all that happens within his domain, capable of heeding even the sparrow's fall, he can hardly be a loving God. Such contradictions drive honest minds to atheism: the empty whirl and jostle of atoms becomes more kind to human reason than such a deity." [Lewis Mumford, Pg. 71, The Conduct of Life]

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