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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Iyov and the Goodness of Life and Existence

1. It is contradictory to maintain that one's life and existence as a whole is bad and still seek to support life and existence or mourn its demise. Therefore,

2. If one does support life and existence they implicitly believe that life and existence is overall good. Therefore,

3. If one believes that life and existence as a whole is good then the question of theodicy is greatly weakened. Since the overall expression of God's creation is good, the existence of evil elements is not as troublesome. Therefore,

4. Iyov (Job) is the primal book of theodicy since after his suffering Iyov wishes he would have never lived, i.e. that life/existence is bad. 

מַדּוּעַ, קִדְּמוּנִי בִרְכָּיִם;    וּמַה-שָּׁדַיִם, כִּי אִינָק
לָמָּה לֹּא מֵרֶחֶם אָמוּת;    מִבֶּטֶן יָצָאתִי וְאֶגְוָע
כִּי-עַתָּה, שָׁכַבְתִּי וְאֶשְׁקוֹט;    יָשַׁנְתִּי, אָז יָנוּחַ לִי


Mark said...

It is interesting to note that two memoirs on manic-depressive/bi-polar illness end with the writers affirming life with this illness and stating that she would choose life with this illness over a life without it (with appropriate medication).

See Jamison, An Unquiet Mind, and Johnson & Johnson, A Perfect Chaos.

Yaakov shalom said...

Couldn't you argue that since there are people in the world like Iyov who think the world and life is bad we can ask the question of theodicy as follows: how could God create a world where some people think it is bad?