Friday, October 04, 2002

"If the world was without any natural evil and suffering, we wouldn't have the opportunity, or nearly as much opportunity, to show courage, patience and sympathy."
Richard Swinburne -- The Philosophers' Magazine, Winter 1999

Does it mean that the presence of an object or idea necessitates or even enhances it's exact opposite? Following that line of thought, would we then say that if the world was without any natural ugliness, there wouldn't be any beauty at all? Or the opposite, that beauty is enhanced by the presence of ugliness?

Did i just deviate from Swinburne's original idea? I guess so. However, it is not quite comforting to tell that to someone who is undergoing suffering.

And if that be the case, that the presence of natural evil and suffering provides for the opportunity to show courage, patience and sympathy, then must we not rejoice in the presence of every natural evil and suffering? So that we may have the chance to show courage, patience and even sympathy? Then, those who show sympathy must be grateful to those who suffer, for without them they can't have the opportunity to show their sympathy. Yet, wouldn't those who choose to show sympathy feel superior over those who suffer? I for one would choose the former than the latter.

Then we can say, that the world must have needed a Hitler. What a dreadful idea.

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