Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Questions: Gnostic Theodicy - Last Response

[Somewhat redacted for language]
Reverend, I don't see how saying that Gnosticism is mythical rather than theological answers my question. I already knew what the problem of evil is, and I have no interest in reading a scholarly discourse or in reading a bunch of mystical mumbo-jumbo, so why can't you just answer my [emphasis] question? If you don't know the answer to the question (as I don't), then just say so and I would respect that. I know what you're thinking, [personal abuse]. You're thinking that you have attained gnosis and I haven't and therefore I am not capable of understanding your incoherent [dismissive descriptor].
While I can understand frustration with a question that is itself a problem and that has vexed many theologians for many centuries, I cannot understand your personal attacks.

The "question" itself is incoherent and self-contradictory. You are demanding a simple answer when to my knowledge none has ever been given to the problem of evil in the centuries since it has been formulated within the theological system in which it arose. You expect me to force the Gnostic mythos into some theological system it won't fit, then crank out a satisfactory answer.

I have tried in good faith to show you that it is the question that is incoherent. When you complained of my first attempt, I started again. This takes time and patience, with which I have been generous. The problem is philosophical and I used some basic tools of philosophy: analogy, logic, and epistemology; to try to explain the problems with the question. Jesus could use simple and direct symbols that worked on many levels, the Buddha could hold up a flower to preach a sermon, but I have only what small skill in trying to explain these things that I have. My failure to communicate is nothing that I find pride in.

If we look at it as a story, such a story is a way of explaining and understanding the general situation that we find ourselves in that we cannot otherwise articulate. It is a mirror in which we see ourselves, our situation, and the solution to it. If it did not unfold as it did, we would not see these things within it, we could not find ourselves and our way back.

Blessings on your journey.