Mr Conor Ward, Roses point, Sligo (writing in Letters "Sunday
avers that God, whomever He/She is, "allows sickness
and disease to flourish in our world, according as sin multiplies, but
this is the price mankind pays for the gift of genuine free will."
a boy attending school in Sligo, (to misquote Joyce) "at half
past-eight", a nun declared to the class, "It is a sin for anyone other
than a priest to read the Bible". To this day, I have taken her at her
Ergo, I cannot refute Mr Ward's
interpretation of Scripture on theological grounds per se, but as a long
time scholar of the Yeats family; James Joyce; AE and other literati
whose lives, and work involved spiritual and religious interests, I
respectively suggest, the very idea that "sickness and disease" is
inversely proportional to the "multiplication of sin", would be beyond
the belief of any serious theologian, let alone philosopher. Perhaps,
the latter may dismiss Mr Ward's inference as "theological casuistry".
Ward infers that God, who so loves his children, deliberately inflicts
pain and suffering on people, because He/She knows they have sinned,
ergo all whom suffer cancer and disease, are deserving of such
afflictions, and the resulting pain.
human being is endowed with talents for the good of mankind, one of
these is healing: thus if God was giving a 'free pass' to sickness and
disease, He/She would not have created cures and remedies, nor endowed
mankind with the wonderful talent of healing.
claim that the Judeo-Christian God is male is another absurdity, which
of course has been used for millennia solely to 'control' the female
population. It is my considered opinion that "God" is a He/She and that
there is a greater element of female, than male, in "God". Why? Because
only a female has a bodily organ solely for pleasure. Now, why would an
all male God do that?
Yes, we do have free
will, along with moral obligations to each other: obligations that
include enlightening and broadening our minds, utilizing our talents for
the greater good of mankind. Mother Nature has provided every need for
us. In fact, I would aver without an iota of doubt, there is no
requirement, or need, for any suffering on this earth. Suffering arises
from mans greed, to rejection of nature, allied to a rather tenuous
belief that a loving God wants us to suffer, before we are permitted to
live in His/Her realm.
A loving God would wish
we live life to the full, for if we cannot live in harmony with nature,
and each other, here on earth: how can we expect to live in harmony
with God when we metamorphosize into metaphysical beings?
epitaph on the grave of W B Yeats "Cast a cold eye/ On life, on death,"
is Yeats's nod to the importance of the higher spiritual life we must
attain to, to take our place with the Gods. Death is not a finality, it
is a change of existence. The time of change should be peaceful and
untainted by totally unnecessary pain and suffering.
last words I will leave to the noted (9 Century) Irish philosopher,
John Scotus Eriugena, on refuting predestination: "For God, therefore,
suffering, sin, and evil do not exist and so cannot be predestined. God
only knows what is real." Eriugena also believed "neither sin nor
punishment comes from God himself, but only from the sinner. Nor since
the universe is one, could there be any place of perpetual punishment.
All things proceed from the good and in the good they must end. The only
hell is ignorance."