Monday, October 24, 2005

Graham Greene quote

A friend of mine sent me the below quote, suffixed with 'discuss' (I think he was trying to stimulate debate and thereby avoid work.) My response follows.

“You can't conceive, nor can I, the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God” - Graham Greene


Well, if there is an omnipotent creator God (which I do not believe, but let's pursue the thought experiment anyway), then it would be impssible for a mind limited in space & time (ie. mine, which is more limited than most anyway) to conceive of any of its characteristics. Just as a worm could not conceive of my mind, and I could not conceive of (say) the mind of a whale, there is no way I could grasp the mind of such a being. I assume the omnipotence of this being because I know Greene was a Catholic.

On the specific point of mercy, I fail to equate mercy with condemning people to eternity in hell and/or killing them indiscriminately and randomly (Aberfan, the Asian tsunami, earthquakes, etc.)

Is it is mercy, it's a strange one all right. And it is appalling. It is not, therefore, mercy, and this may just be a wordgame of a question.

I am thinking on the fly here. It shows, I am sure!

I picked up on the FreeCopts blog today - the Copts are an ancient group of North African Christians who are now a minority in the lands they occupy. The blog is well worth a read, and as far as I know is unique. I'll try to link to some more interesting blogs, particularly those written by people living in interesting places, in the coming weeks. Some starters:
Irene Adler
Inuit art blog
Uighur blog
The news in Bhutan


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