Theodicy is a problem for monotheists, not theists

A polytheist doesn’t have to ask why an omnipotent good God allows evil. He can always just chalk it up to Loki or Kali.

Similarly, a satanist isn’t going to be too troubled when an internet atheist demands to know why satan allows bad things to happen. It’s the dude’s *job*, man.

The problem of evil does not become an issue when you posit the existence of an unseen supernatural realm transcending what is knowable to the senses and beyond the realm of time, space, matter, and energy measurable by the sciences.

It only becomes an issue when you say that there is one omnipotent, omniscient, and *good* God who is utterly perfect.

Just so you know. That’s but one reason that polytheism had a prima facie appeal to ancient pagans and why, as Christian culture fades and we return to knee jerk assessments of the universe based on first glances and “It seems to me…” philosophising around the water cooler, there’s no particular reason that polytheism shouldn’t reassert itself again. When a culture stops believing in God it doesn’t believe in nothing. It believes in anything. A culture that is pagan in habits will eventually become pagan in intellect and fall for all the old lies and errors again, polytheism among them.

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  • Andy, Bad Person

    A culture that is pagan in habits will eventually become pagan in intellect and fall for all the old lies and errors again, polytheism among them.

    Lex orandi, lex credendi.

  • David

    Recent posts that have mentioned Kali seem to suggest that you may have gotten your information about her from “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” rather than what Hindus actually believe. Here is a good article explaining Kali and the symbolism of her iconography:

    Interestingly, the article does support your larger point about theodicy, which is not much of an issue among Hindus because they see good and evil as being reflective of personal karma rather than the actions of God.

  • Ted Seeber

    I agree with David. You meant Shiva when you said Kali. And quite possibly the Ice Giants when you said Loki. Kali and Loki are trickster gods- and Satan does have that power to some extent- but there are specific gods of destruction in polytheistic systems.

  • Observer

    I think the lep’s are fighten back. The strike may not necessarily come from Thor. Maybe Thor is trying to make peace with them by the rainbow. But those greedy, grumpy, and mean leps dont want any of it. So they strike back (possibly.)

    Does lightning strike from the sky down, or the ground up?

    Does lightning strike from the sky down, or the ground up?
    The answer is both. Cloud-to-ground lightning comes from the sky down, but the part you see comes from the ground up. A typical cloud-to-ground flash lowers a path of negative electricity (that we cannot see) towards the ground in a series of spurts. Objects on the ground generally have a positive charge. Since opposites attract, an upward streamer is sent out from the object about to be struck. When these two paths meet, a return stroke zips back up to the sky. It is the return stroke that produces the visible flash, but it all happens so fast – in about one-millionth of a second – so the human eye doesn’t see the actual formation of the stroke.

  • Paul M

    Why yes: polytheism makes enormously more sense than monotheism in many respects.
    Not sure I see your point.

    • Mark Shea

      Well no. Actually it doesn’t, as the great pagan Aristotle pointed out. It offers some prima facie obviousness, but then falls apart in light of reason. But we do not live in the age of reason (that was the High Middle Ages). We live in the age of Suggestion.