‘For … Sake!’4 Letter Words etc.


It is most likely a coincidence that some of the most profane and profound words in the English language only have four letters; more than likely several words come to mind—words that, nowadays, form a part of General English Usage. Here are three others that may not have immediately come to mind: ‘evil’ ‘love’ and ‘pain’. All three of these words have a connection. Love can cause both pain and evil. Pain is often thought to be the result of evil: something inflicted, by God, as punishment for wrongdoing, by another party as an act of malevolence or as the consequence of a physiological malfunction.Pain can also be thought of in the positive sense in that ‘pain’ is that which alerts the recipient to something that is ‘wrong’–a bit like an alarm going off . In the case of ‘higher order creatures’ such as humans, one might argue that the acute discomfort experienced is a necessary ‘evil’ in that it is the ‘price to pay’ for advanced sentience.

Owl & mouse [Pred&Prey]Evil could be considered a kind of generic term for many of the world’s ills. The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word ‘Evil’ both as an adjective and as a noun: Adjective: (a) deeply immoral and malevolent. (b) embodying or associated with the devil. (c) extremely unpleasant Noun. (a) extreme wickedness and depravity, especially when regarded as a supernatural force. (b) something harmful or undesirable. The problem of ‘Evil’ is an insurmountable hurdle for many people; for those who affirm the notion that God is good, the evidence, from the (human) perspective, for that goodness remains rather elusive.

The Problem of Evil is most certainly a barrier to faith i.e. the problem of how it is possible for God (in particular the God of the Judeo/Christian Scriptures) to have allowed for the evolution (i.e. predation,parasitism,plague) of life on earth and to retain his goodness—remains a mystery. However, ‘the problem of evil’ is not usually perceived as a personal problem—something related to me personally—that ‘I’ might, in some way, be culpable–that ‘I’ might have caused the unnecessary suffering (mental or physical) of another (sentient) being(s).

PhD [thesis pic]

Bookshelves are replete with titles such as: ‘Horrendus Evils and the Goodness of God’, ‘The Problem of Evil & the Problem of God’, ‘Evil & the Love of God’, ‘The Groaning of Creation’, ‘Nature Red in Tooth & Claw’, ‘The Flaw in the Universe’,‘Evolution,Evil and the Goodness of God’, ‘Goodness, Omnipotence and Suffering’, ‘God is not Great’. And there is (among others) weighty tome of Thomas Aquinas, ‘On Evil’. God, it seems to me, has had too much bad press at the hands (computers) and from the mouths of those who think that God is unjust or simply cannot exist as the contradictions are far too great. Continue reading