God Is Great, God Is Good, Kelly James Clark

An insufficiently scriptural account of God's goodness drives improper conclusions to some useful philosophical questions.





As long as the damned continue to exist, their existence is good and, hence, God is good(great) to them. Augustine argues that existence is sufficiently good that it outweighs the suffering of the damned: ‘And truly the very fact of existing is by some natural spell so pleasant, that even the wretched are, for no other reason, unwilling to perish; and, when they feel that they are wretched, wish not that they themselves be annihilated, but that their misery be so.’ (City of God XI, 27) Here the argument assumes that the natural impulse to exist, which often prevents even people with the most wretched existence from committing suicide, persists in those who suffer in hell. Indeed, it persists in such a fashion that it outweighs one’s desire not to exist given one’s sufferings.
Some lying here, a little adultery there, a spell of petty theft here, a bit of coveting there.... Surely the punishments merited by these offenses adds up to a sum considerably less than eternity. Even the worst of sinners, Hitler say, might deserve 100 years per person killed; supposing Hitler killed 20 million people, he would retributively merit 2 billion years of punishment-- again, considerably less than eternity.
Tagged .