On Job

We all know the story of Job. The devil makes a bet with God that Job will lose faith and curse his Lord if he loses all his good fortune. And so God takes the devil up on that bet and Job’s life is soon all fucked to hell. Dear!

So this leaves us with a few options. First, God decided to gamble with the devil. Second, God led the devil to believe there was a chance Job would lose faith. Third, God is an inexplicable dick. What to choose, what to choose.

I don’t like our first option. If we’re going to bother arguing about the characteristics of God, we can’t use difficult- or inconvenient-to-explain scenarios to override the things which are necessary to God’s very existence (omnipotence, moral perfection, etc). Since gambling would be a sin for God to commit, and since God does not sin, there must be some other explanation.

This second option isn’t so bad. In fact, it’s exactly what God did. Since he knows everything, he clearly was not gambling (not to mention the fact that being morally perfect precludes him from gambling anyway, as just discussed). And he did get the devil to believe Job wasn’t going to curse the name of God. But wait. That would make God a liar. We can’t have that.

So we have the third option. This one seems to be the most parsimonious with the evidence, so I’m going to have to lean this way. Once the theologians figure this one out, maybe I’ll change my position. But remind me again…what objective method of inquiry are they using to interpret the actions and words of God? I don’t seem to recall ever hearing about one.

Oh. And there’s also the chance that this is all just a made-up story designed to show people that faith is important even in the face of great pain. A rather bullshit point, yes, but it strikes me as just a tad more plausible than all the others.

No highway through the Serengeti

The Tanzanian government has plans to build a road through the Serengeti. And it sounds like it’s going to be pretty ugly. But the only reason I even know about this is that someone wrote a letter to the editor of my local paper.

Why can’t we leave anything alone? Why put a major highway through the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania?

Majestic animals such as elephants, wildebeests and zebras, use this region as their major means of getting around. The plains have been here for millions of years without human interference.

Why change it? These animals will be killed daily if a road is put through there. Let alone human life. I don’t believe you can run an elephant over and live to tell about it.

I don’t believe for one minute that God wants this to happen, either.

In America, we have taken most of the woodlands away from our animals, including moose and deer, and we wonder why these animals move into town. Then we end up killing the animals because they are interfering with humans.

Children often pay the price because they are easy targets for predators. This is not fair to the animals. Please leave the Serengeti alone.

Beverly Brickett


I agree with the writer, though I’m not sure what any of this is doing in a letter to the editor of a Maine newspaper.

But she’s right in her sentiment (as for facts…well, I doubt there will be a lot of dead elephants on the side of the road). There is no good reason for destroying a place as special as the Serengeti. It seems to me the money allocated to a road project could be better spent on all that abject poverty I saw during my time in Tanzania.

But maybe I’m just crazy.

Thought of the day

We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us.

~President Obama