Wednesday, February 4, 2009

worth a read - thanks D-bear

The university professor challenged his students with this question.
Did God create everything that exists?

A student bravely replied "yes, he did!"
"God created everything? The professor asked. "Yes sir", the student replied.

The professor answered, "If God created everything, then God created
evil since evil exists, and according to the principal that our works
define who we are then God is evil".

The student became quiet before such an answer.

The professor was quite pleased with himself and boasted to the
students that he had proven once more that Christian,Judaism & Muslim
faiths are a myth.

Another student raised his hand and said, "Can I ask you a question professor?"
"Of course", replied the professor.

The student stood up and asked, "Professor, does cold exist?"
"What kind of question is this? Of course it exists. Have you never been cold?"
The students snickered at the young man`s question.

The young man replied, "In fact sir, cold does not exist. According to
the laws of physics, what we consider cold is in reality the absence
of heat. Everybody or object is susceptible to study when it has or
transmits energy, and heat is what makes a body or matter have or
transmit energy. Absolute zero (- 460 degrees F) is the total absence
of heat; all matter becomes inert and incapable of reaction at that
temperature. Cold does not exist. We have created this word to
describe how we feel if we have no heat."

The student continued. "Professor, does darkness exist?"
The professor responded, "Of course it does".

The student replied, "Once again you are wrong sir, darkness does not
exist either. Darkness is in reality the absence of light. Light we
can study, but not darkness. In fact we can use Newtons prism to break
white light into many colors and study the various wavelengths of each
color. You cannot measure darkness. A simple ray of light can break
into a world of darkness and illuminate it. How can you know how dark
a certain space is? You measure the amount of light present. Isnt this
correct? Darkness is a term used by man to describe what happens when
there is no light present."

Finally the young man asked the professor. "Sir, does evil exist?"

Now uncertain, the professor responded.
"Of course as I have already said. We see it every day. It is in the
daily example of man`s inhumanity to man. It is in the multitude of
crime and violence everywhere in the world. These manifestations are
nothing else but evil."

To this the student replied, "Evil does not exist sir, or at least it
does not exist unto itself. Evil is simply the absence of God. It is
just like darkness and cold, a word that man has created to describe
the absence of God. God did not create evil. Evil is not like faith,
or love that exist just as does light and heat. Evil is the result of
what happens when man does not have God's love present in his heart.
It is like the cold that comes when there is no heat or the darkness
that comes when there is no light."

The professor sat down.................


Anonymous said...

Did the "student" drop the class or did he stay and the professor failed him?

Anonymous said...

"...and according to the principal...."

The principal was there?

Shorty said...


Jessica said...

Oh snap!

Garnel Ironheart said...

Old medical story:
The professor is teaching a class in biochemistry and the student puts up his hand:
"Sir," he says, "can you show me proof that everything you're teaching us is true?"
The professor is taken somewhat aback and says "Well, not right now but the scientific literature upon which this lecture is out there."
"Oh," says the student. "Until I've read it all to confirm you're right, can I consider you a liar?"
The professor thinks for a moment and asks: "Tell me, are the two people you call your parents really that? I mean, is your father your real father?"
"Of course he is," the student answers.
"You have proof, like DNA testing?"
"Well of course not," says the student, "but I could get it done to prove it."
"Okay," says the professor. "Until you do, can I call you an illegimitate bastard?"

DoubleLife said...

You're right - worth a read.

Jewish Side of Babysitter said...

It's good to think of it in this way. That really there are only good people, there are no evil people. Everybody has the potential to be good, but when people don't act good, that's what makes them evil.

Miri said...

MM- I KNEW you were a closet lubav. have you been studying chasiddus???

loved it :)

Garnel Ironheart said...

Now, having had your fun, here's the BIG problem with the story: God did create evil, as it says in Navi, "who formeth light and createth darkness, who makes peace and createth evil, I am the Lord" (Isaiah somewhere).

So the professor was onto something, right? Except it's a well established philosophical position in Judaism that while God did create evil, how He did (is evil merely the absence of good and therefore by limiting the expression of His goodness, he tacitly creates evil past those limits) is an old, well-debated question.

But the bottom line is: the students were actually wrong.

Moshe said...

Actually, evil, like insane or wrong, is a sociological concept. All of these are defined by the society where you live.

Anonymous said...

You really find this compelling? How old are you?

Yeshivish Atheist said...

A cute story, but fallacious on so many levels.

Firstly, even if the professor could indeed prove that God was evil and had no good in him, it still wouldn't mean that religion, like Judaism for example was a myth. It could very well be that God is evil and Judaism is true, since we have no objective definition for evil. What we may consider evil to be one thing, and Judaism may consider that thing to be good. Simply because we live in a society where different moral standards exists does not mean the morality of Judaism also needs to change, and thus, there would be no contradiction to an evil God and Judaism being true.

Personally I have never really found the problem of evil convincing as an argument against God. There are arguments against God that are compelling with relation to "Did God create everything that exists?", but this(problem of evil) is definitely not one of them.

Secondly, the professor could just as easily argue that it's Punkt Fakert: It's not good that should be compared to heat, it's evil that should be compared to heat.

And thus his counter would be that there is no such thing in the world as "Good", since all good is just the absence of evil. Only evil exists, very good people have little evil in them, and very evil people have a lot of evil in them.

Thirdly, the whole notion of modeling good vs. evil a one-existing / lack-of-existence manor brings up even more questions

Does this mean that realities that have noting to do with the spectrum of "good" in this sense are ALL evil?

Are parallel universes evil?
Are viruses evil?
Are quantum fluctuations evil?
Is dark matter evil? Dark energy?

What about actions that seem to have nothing to do with "good"?

Is wearing polka dot socks with open saddles a good thing? If not, does that mean wearing polka dot socks with open shoes evil since evil is the absence of good?

Of course the list goes on, but you get the point.

Anyway, I actually do think the problem with evil is not such a good argument. The problem with time sounds more compelling to me.

Mikeinmidwood said...

G-d did create darkness.

Garnel Ironheart said...

If you're intrested in the subject, read Daas Tvunos (Feldheim sells an English-Hebrew version called The Knowing Heart) which deals directly with this issue in depth.

Anonymous said...

According to Chassidus (Chabad Chassidus) G-d did create evil, or rather He concealed His presence in order to allow evil to exist. But He actually had a reason for this. The whole reason that G-d created the world is so that a world should exist in which G-dliness is concealed! He wants the evil to be there only so that there will be a balance of good and evil in the world. Then He tells us to make the right choices, to control our inclination to evil. And it's hard. And we do it anyway. And when we use this world for good, we are revealing the G-dliness in everything in this world.