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An essay donated by Alan Rogers

Theodicy: A parable

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Theodicy (adjectival form theodicean) is a specific branch of theology and philosophy that attempts to reconcile the existence of evil or suffering in the world with the belief in an omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent God, i.e., the problem of evil. [Wikipedia]

In a strange land far away, the established dogma is that the sum of the internal angles of a plain triangle is 200º. This truth was given by divine revelation and appears in the holiest book of the  religion of this land.
 
A young geologian (a student of the state religion) had the hubris one day to test this truth by careful measurement of a large number of triangles. His results varied slightly but he could not escape the conclusion that what he observed was a value of 180º with a measurement error of half a degree. He took his results to the priests and was duly ridiculed. "Since the truth lies within the holy book and our interpretation of its contents you must have made a mistake in your observations" they said. "That you make mistakes is apparent because your measurements are not identical".
 
But the more intelligent priests were worried. So they began to use all the powers of philosophical discourse they possessed to challenge this heretical idea. They founded a subject called geodicy (not to be confused with geodesy which, of course, is concerned with the measurement of the planet).
 
The priests constructed many beautiful arguments, often so complex that virtually no one could follow them. In this way they were able to continue believing in the truth of the holy book by means of their solution of the problem of angle?.
 
Observation demonstrates that the universe is indifferent to human suffering and consequently that there is no omnibenevolent god.

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