Reverend Dr Giles Fraser - Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral 
Friday, 15 January, 2010, 11:40 AM - Theology, Fraser
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

"Theodicy" was invented by Leibniz, a good, Godly, philosopher, to explain why a merciful God allows so much suffering in the world. This word comes from the Greek roots: Theos, meaning God and, idiocy. According to Leibniz things could've been much worse. Oh, you have no idea the chamber of horrors that God chose for humanity on the first few drafts. It makes the odd natural disaster killings thousands and destroying millions' more lives look like a walk in the park, So you just be grateful God was persuaded to add as many nice bits as possible,

Voltaire, a cold, soulless, rationalist philosopher, said Leibniz was talking rubbish. He satirised him as a fool and condemned Theodicy as a sick joke, always trying to get God off the hook. Voltaire may have thought believers were idiots, but I still believe and I'm a Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral, so obviously there's a bit more to it.

I have no easy answers to all these difficult questions. The simplest answer, that the Invisible Magic Friend doesn't exist, is obviously wrong. That would mean I had devoted my life to nonsense and would be ineligible for a clerical pension in a few years time. Instead, I think we should stop thinking rationally, and go beyond that to a world of deeper meaning. When you stop thinking about problems they usually just go away of their own accord.

So Invisible Magic Friend, please be nice and help the people of Haiti, who for some very good reason you have chosen to visit with death, misery and destruction on a colossal scale, and accept this candle from me so that I can worship you, your incredible mightiness, and ask you to help those who are so small. It makes me feel so much better.

Having a rational argument at times like this is in such bad taste.

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