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Anne Dalke's picture

a mean-spirited God

You are--as always--wonderfully sensitive to the implications of language use, Alice. The image I used to close my post is a painting by Giovanni di Paolo, “The Creation of the World and the Expulsion from Paradise,” and Morris uses it to close out his series, with this accompanying parable:

"When God created man (and woman), he gave them the ability to perceive the world, but withheld from them the ability to understand it.  We could come up with one cockamamie theory after another, but real understanding would always elude us.  It was mean-spirited on God’s part.  And to make matters even worse, God gave us the desire but not the wherewithal to make sense of experience.  One might easily foresee that this would lead to unending, unmitigated frustration and suffering.  But here’s where self-deception, anosognosia and the Dunning-Kruger Effect step in.  We wouldn’t be able to make sense of anything, but we would never be aware of that fact."

There's certainly a nastiness in this version--really a curious spot to conclude, given all the possibilities that "not-knowing" has opened us for us.... so I'll be thinking along w/ you for gentler alternatives to "cluelessness" and "ignorance"....


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