Thought Leaders Series: 2018
I have observed that many have been theologising on the recent royal wedding. In fact in some quarters, God favoured Meghan Merkel to be blessed with Prince Harry.
While I am happy for the newly weds, in my view, If it was God who favoured Meghan over the billions of single women who would have wanted to be married to Prince Harry in the world today, then God would not be benevolent – at least as we understand the concept.
Fundamentally, the idea of God’s sovereignty often leads to more ethical and philosophical questions when we try to explain it using such examples.
By the way, the question of injustice, or the Problem of Evil, is a cross cutting theme in most faith. It is a debate that has been with us from our very existence.
In Judaism for instance, thinkers would often ask why God did nothing to save the innocent from natural disasters, famine, sickness, diseases, pain, suffering and death. In some cases, they interpreted it as judgement for one reason or the other.
They asked why change or redemption often failed to materialise for the poor, vulnerable and powerless. Why their oppressors seemed to prosper, in spite of their evil deeds.
Put in today’s context, why most of the richest and prosperous countries tend to be countries that have prospered through exploitative practices, aggressive policies, nationalistic goals, and industrial scale corruption; and their victims still languish in poverty.
These thinkers observe that some evil people prospered, and some good people suffered till death with no form of justice, while others were killed for doing nothing wrong or illegal. Then they began to toy with the possibility of life after death. And subsequently, judgement for our actions while alive in the shape of heaven and hell.
The questions for believers then, especially those of the Abrahamic faith is: will we still continue within the doctrinal and moral framework of our faith if we knew that heaven and hell were only ideas developed by Jewish philosophers as a means of regulating their community through fear against behaviours that endangered their existence and prosperity?
This question is vitally important because a humanist will still be fighting for justice, and doing what is ethically and morally right, regardless of the existence of God, judgement, heaven, or hell.
This is because they are not motivated by the fear of going to hell, or by rewards, rather, they are inspired by what they believe is morally and ethically right for peaceful coexistence and prosperity of all humanity, regardless of faith, colour, gender, social class; or anything else that religion teaches or instructs which alienates, or divides humanity.
Healingsrings fellowship: Human Capital Development
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