Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cutting Remarks

A perfectly good God is…hardly less formidable than a Cosmic Sadist. The more we believe that God hurts only to heal, the less we can believe that there is any use in begging for tenderness. A cruel man might be bribed – might grow tired of his vile sport – might have a temporary fit of mercy…. But suppose that what you are up against is a surgeon whose intentions are wholly good. The kinder and more conscientious he is, the more inexorably he will go on cutting. If he yielded to your entreaties, if he stopped before the operation was complete, all the pain up to that point would have been useless. But is it credible that such extremities of torture should be necessary for us? Well, take your choice. The tortures occur. If they are unnecessary, then there is no God or a bad one. If there is a good God, then these tortures are necessary. For no even moderately good Being could possibly inflict or permit them if they weren’t.

- C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed, pp. 49-50

1 comment:

  1. Scott Marshall30 July, 2009 08:24

    Very useful analogy! We willingly undergo surgery, chemotherapy or other painful medical procedures because we trust the advice of our physician ... that we are better off suffering some now to avoid far worse consequences later.