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.