POSTED BY on 1:27 PM under , ,
An extended dialogue between biologist Richard Dawkins and Christian apologist Alister McGrath—originally shot for Dawkins’ BBC documentary The Root of All Evil but never used—has surfaced on YouTube. First Things takes it on in a very nice article - HERE.

For my part, the Problem of Evil argument seems to be answerable (in part) with the following points:

1. There is no growth in virtue without suffering. Eliminate suffering, and you eliminate growth in virtue. Without suffering (or sacrifice), there would be no growth of prudence, justice, temperance, or fortitude. To quote the modern philosopher Yogi Berra, "If the world was perfect, it wouldn't be." Give kids everything they want and you raise shallow brats. God's a better Father than that. He's going to make us Saints. If there was no suffering, there would be no compassion; no inequality, no charity. Try imaging a world like that and then tell me what's better. (In truth, I doubt you can imagine a world like that -- the people would all be two-dimensional automatons, and that's not a world of humans. Eliminate our depth and you eliminate who we are at our essence.)

2. The amount to which we are willing to endure suffering is the amount to which we love. As creatures self-determined and imbued with a will, we must freely exercise our will and choose to love. Suffering provides us that opportunity as nothing else does -- anyone can be grateful for a pleasure, but it takes love to be grateful for sorrow. (As a side note, all motherhood is born out of suffering -- this, perhaps, helps to explain the bottomless depths of a mother's love.)

3. The best stories are those where there is an initial benevolent state, a fall, a struggle and a redemption. Don't believe me? Try writing a book where nothing bad ever happens, then try to market it. If history is HIS-story, I'm really looking forward to seeing the dénouement -- I'm pretty sure you'd be hard pressed to find a better author than Almighty God. Not even M. Night Shyamalan or that guy who wrote The Usual Suspects.

But enough of my thoughts. Here's the debate:

Here's the MP3 version

Part 1 of the debate (approx. 30 minutes)

Part 2 of the debate (approx. 30 minutes)

6 comments so far:
    Anonymous August 28, 2007 at 5:04 PM , said...

    I read your comments on the debate while thinking about Our Lady and the suffering she endured for her Son. It puts a whole new perspective on Dawkin's viewpoint.

    P.s.: I LOVE your website!

    Kate April 13, 2013 at 2:31 AM , said...

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