Friday, December 16, 2005

the hidden harmony defense

I have no reason to accept the "hidden harmony" theodicy-- the idea that the existence of evil and suffering in the universe have their place in an incomprehensibly larger divine cosmic structure, plan, etc. I find the argument morally repugnant because it diminishes horrific phenomena like the Holocaust or slavery.

One reading* of the Buddhist approach to the world is that it, too, is basically a "hidden harmony" strategy: our ignorance clouds our perceptions; true understanding of the nature of reality leads to the cessation of suffering. I'm somewhat partial to a Buddhist metaphysics, but if I reject the hidden harmony defense, am I also obliged, as a matter of self-consistency, to reject the Buddhist perspective?

I'll write more on this later, but the comments section is open for your reactions.

*This phrase is important for subsequent musings. I also wrote "the Buddhist approach," as if there were only one Buddhist approach. Obviously not true.


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