Wednesday, 26 August 2009

An ex's comeuppance.

I think the unexplainable wonders of comeuppance and karma are going to be long running themes on this blog. I myself, like I'm sure is the same with many people, have experienced occurrences and events that have a somewhat, mystical, almost divine quality to them.  

Gottfried liebniz theorised in his Theodicy, (a term derived from Greek and literally meaning 'God' and 'justice'; or maybe more appropriately, our judgement of God) questioning the reasons to why a seemingly perfect and benevolent being could allow evil and suffering to exist. To extract from this laborious paper, he wrote that the world is as it is, and is 'contingent' upon everything else in it. Playing to a benevolent God, whom he believed to be all-powerful and all-intelligent, everything the world encompasses is both necessary and eternal.  This world was then created as it is the 'optimum' world chosen from an infinity of others because of significant reason and a rationale for the necessity of evil. Leibniz's reasoning hence created an optimistic solution to the existence of evil in one coherent world. He does address the counter argument by stating that some might protest that a world could have been created without 'sin and suffering' and hence, better from the outset.  But he dispels this by claiming that the existence of things in this world are all connected, and if you take away a displeasing element it would have an effect on the prevalence of a positive element.  Evil is then seen as a necessity in an interconnected world where good co-exists with evil. 

These thoughts are interesting and well, positive to say the least for anyone who is trying to understand atrocities or injustice, personal to them or not. Of course, Leibniz's Theodicy is contested, most notably and amusingly on occasions by Voltaire; who following an earthquake, resultant tidal wave and mass fires in the city of Lisbon in 1755, went on the attack of the Theodicy and wondered how an event that killed between 10,000 and 100,000 people and destroyed one of the worlds great cities could be justified with the view of God as an all-intelligent supreme being and loving creator. He satirises this in a poem he wrote about the event, where he describes the horrors of the disaster alongside the recurring statement "All is well".  Here he is mocking the absurdity of Leibniz's belief that evil is necessary and on the last line states 'T'is a mockery to tell me all is well".  His mockery of Leibniz continues in his later book, Candide, where the character Pangloss, is a manifestation of Leibniz himself. Pangloss justifies evil in the world and sustains his optimism throughout many horrifying situations by maintaining the rationale that, the world may not always be pleasant but it is the optimum world that can be created and hence his famous line: “those who say everything is well are uttering mere stupidities; they should say everything is for the best.”

Ok, now I seriously digress, comeuppance and karma, things occurring to keep the balance thats where I started.  I suspect we all feel the 'it'll come back to bite you in the arse one day' feeling.  The following is a copy of an e-mail my friend sent to me where just this happened.  It's pretty nasty, but quite amusing and a perfect example of that foreboding, ominous feeling.  It might be best to do an old 'right mouse click, save image as' maneuver to zoom in and get a closer read.



David said...

ah, so thats where candide comes from.

Sam said...

God's Justification rather than our judgement of him.