John Kerry And The Problem Of Evil

This just came to my attention from the Wall Street Journal Best of the Web, and I thought it fairly amusing while shedding a different type of light on the age old question of the Problem of Evil and the existence of God.


John Kerry and the Problem of Evil

The Detroit News goes out for a drink with a visitor from the east:

U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., who was in town Sunday to help Gov. Jennifer Granholm campaign for her re-election bid, took time to take a jab at the Bush administration for its lack of leadership in the Israeli-Lebanon conflict.

"If I was president, this wouldn't have happened," said Kerry during a noon stop at Honest John's bar and grill in Detroit's Cass Corridor.

Now, our first thought when we read this was: Yeah, if Kerry were president, he wouldn't spend his days moping around some bar in Detroit. But then we realized that's not what he meant. He meant that if he were president, Hezbollah wouldn't be waging war on Israel. Just like, as John Edwards said in 2004, "we will stop juvenile diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and other debilitating diseases. . . . People like Chris Reeve will get out of their wheelchairs and walk again."

If Kedwards have the power to eliminate war and disease, why don't they use it? This is the age-old problem of evil:

Why does [John Kerry] allow evil? If He is all powerful, then He should be able to prevent it. If He is omnipotent and does nothing about evil, then we suspect that there are limits to His goodness, that there is something wrong with Him, that He is not all good. Perhaps He has an evil streak, or is truly malicious and we are merely His toys--expendable and counting for nothing.

Or perhaps, like Al Gore, he doesn't exist.


BK said…
Hey Quo,

Try again, you missed the point of why I posted it on a Christian blog.
BK said…
BTW, I should add that it isn't democrat bashing to point out the silliness of what John Kerry says. He has made numerous silly statements that rarely get scrutinized by the press. That isn't to say that Bush didn't and doesn't say stupid things too, and I don't consider it Republican bashing to point out those things. But that is all an aside. There is an apologetics reason that I posted it on this blog. Can you figure it out?
Siamang said…
I don't get it.

Is it that John Kerry wants us all to have free will?
Jason Pratt said…
Hm. Well, based on the context of the quote, I could guess that the apologetical reason is to imply open theism or something like that by analogy. {shrug...?}

i.e., Kerry is complaining that he would have solved the problem _if_ he had the power (where Pres authority == power), but (not being elected Pres) he _doesn't_ have the power, ergo.

Alternately, maybe the apologetic point is that if we give God the authority He'll solve the problem of evil? (Seems a bit less heretical anyway. {s!})

Note: I agree JK's statement looks silly on the face of it; but from long experience I wouldn't be surprised if it was taken out of context or something. (Or maybe he really does think that if he had been Pres he would have certainly succeeded in pressuring/forcing/convincing the Israeli government to do something that would have resulted in Hezbollah not shelling civilian populations--since it's even more difficult to believe he could have pressured/convinced the Hez! {wry snorf} Most likely, it's only political rhetoric, though.)
Anonymous said…
I like the link to the part on Al Gore. Very cool. I didn't know someone could insult someone that bad.
Tenax said…
The Al Gore essay reads like the jibberish inside spam emails. Or like an ancient gnostic text: Al Gore meets the Pistis-Sophia.

And the quotes from Kerry and Edwards...well...the Edwards quote, at least, relates to a larger, and not insignificant, issue. Those quotes may have been lifted, a la fundmantalist proof-text, out of context from either man's life, work, and values. Perhaps that's the apologetic lesson.

Needless to say, it feels like 'Dem bashing' to me, but then I've said some very strong things about the Bush administration, and sometimes wish I had said even stronger.

Jason Pratt said…
I agree with Troy about the put-down on Al Gore. I won't discount the possibility that it's actually a clever satirization of some philosophical position (Nietchzean nihilism being the obvious target), but Gore is a person, and should be respected as such. I'm not a fan of his (despite being a Tenneessean), but I don't see that he deserves to be treated that way. (I wouldn't even treat bin Ladin that way.)

Now, if Gore had been advocating such a position himself, _then_ I could see it being self-referentially applied back to him, in order to expose its weaknesses. I hadn't heard that Big Al was a philosophical nilhilist, though, or anything of the sort.
Kevin Knox said…
Highly amusing. Thanks!
BK said…
Yo, everyone. Sorry to be gone but I got pretty busy. I've put my answer above.

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