'How could the Outsider have chosen such a bungler? ...When had he ever offered a single sacrifice, however small, to the Outsider? Never! Not one in his entire life. Yet the Outsider had extended infinite credit to him... Certainly he would never be able to repay the Outsider for the knowledge and the honor, no matter how hard or how long he tried.' (Gene Wolfe, Nightside The Long Sun)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Silk Takes a Stab at the 'Problem of Evil'

Silk: ‘The Outsider, as he showed me, has no reason to fear our leaguing against him. We’ve done it innumerable times, just as we betray him daily as individuals. His fear—he is afraid for our sake, not his own—is that we may come to love other things more than we love him. When I was at your manteion on Sun Street, foolish people used to ask me why Pas or Scylla permitted some action that they regarded as evil, as if a god had to sign a paper before a man could be struck or a child fall ill. On my wedding night, the Outsider explained why it is that he permits what people call evil at all—not this theft or that uncleanness, but the thing itself. It serves him, you see. It hates him, yet it serves him, too. Does this make sense to you, Horn?’

‘Like a mule that kicks whenever it gets a chance.’

‘Exactly. That mule is harnessed like the rest and draws the wagon, however unwillingly. Given the freedom of the whorl—and even of those beyond it—evil directs us back to the Outsider. I told you I rejected Echidna; I thought I did it because she is evil, but the truth is that I did it because he is better. A child who burns its hand says the fire’s bad, as the saying goes; but the fire is saying, “Not me, child. Reach out to him.”’,

(Epiphany of the Long Sun, p. 673)

1 comment:

Daniel Otto Jack Petersen said...

This seems to be a 'freewill defense' of the problem of evil, one that gives great weight to both divine sovereignty as well as divine love.

I find it rather compelling.