Let's Create A Perfect World

A world without suffering is literally unimaginable. Try it.

Continued from page 1

You have to change something. The way things are now, there’s a lot of suffering.

Maybe you don’t expect to eliminate suffering entirely—you just want to set some limits. But there already are limits. A bad guy can’t kill you and dig you up and kill you again. He can’t kill children you haven’t had yet. Even if he holds you captive, your thoughts are still free. And scientists don’t struggle to cure that terrible disease where your skin suddenly melts away in the shower; there are lots of diseases that don’t exist.

There are limits, but you think they should be in different places. Let’s keep trying to do that.

OK, earthquakes. Would you have constructed the world some other way, without plate tectonics? Great! That was an easy one.

 

But if “Earthquake” was the worst kind of natural disaster, whatever was number two now automatically becomes number one--tidal waves, maybe, or volcanoes. People won’t be grateful for the non-existence of earthquakes, like they’re not grateful for the non-existence of Skin Melt Disease. As long as there are any natural disasters, something’s going to be worst.

And, yes, it’s unfair that some victims of disaster are miraculously saved, while others die. How do you want to make it fair? Nobody gets miracles, or everybody does?

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Let’s just go ahead and eliminate all natural disasters, anything caused by changes in weather, earth, or sea. But even stuff that’s just sitting there can kill you. You can fall into a pool of water and drown.

Would you make it so that couldn’t happen? Would you do that by changing the nature of water, or changing the nature of lungs?

Maybe water would have a tough skin, so you’d hit the surface and bounce. But how would we drink it? Would you change the way our bodies take in water? Or maybe we wouldn’t need water? Would we need something else instead?

Don’t forget gravity. We’ve eliminated earthquakes, but what kills people in earthquakes is being crushed by things that fall on them. Stuff can fall, even without an earthquake. Would you make it so gravity doesn’t pull things down on people? …No, that whole train of thought is problematic.

When you say that if there was a truly omnipotent God, he could have prevented suffering, do you mean that God could have made things differently? Sure, that’s what we’re trying to visualize now. But if you mean that he could have made a world that was illogical, I’m going to have trouble following you.

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