But that is the essence of the ongoing debate.
If it isn’t true, then how can it be comforting? We have to believe the illusion.
And if it is true, if we do live in a just universe, then how will it affect us? How will we fare in the face of the kind of implacable justice that sees all and knows all and shows no mercy?
That truth is dangerous.
For there is one other, last reality that we all must face which is rooted deeply in our very natures – a reality that many would recognize (even if they try to explain and interpret it in different ways). That is the reality of “evil” in our own natures.
The concept of “evil” here is a value judgment based on our experience that this “lack” or “incompleteness” or “perversion” within us (however defined) is not in our own best interest.
Peter Byrne speaks of “evils afflicting the pursuit of the good” in the world around us (suffering, pain and death) but he also speaks of “imperfect wills” and a “self (that) is enmeshed in evil.” At one point, he speaks of the “cussedness of the human will” and the fact that we are “prone to choose evil over good.”
This is a mystery.
Why would that be the case? Is it related to the defense mechanisms that we all develop to protect ourselves in a dangerous world? Perhaps. Perhaps it is more than that. But in the end, the reality of it is there and some sort of answer must be given to account for it.
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Footnotes and references included in the original manuscript.