“If God exists, He is evil….” Not.

For your consideration…


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Nicholas says:

    That was amazing, Father, pure gold.

    I will have to remember that one.

  2. Mr. Green says:

    Well, the metaphysics is quite correct, but I think someone’s confusing Einstein with Augustine. (Of course the notion of evil as a privation has roots in Aristotle, and before that in Genesis; but definitely not Einstein.) Some day someone ought to make a proper TV series about Scholastic philosophy.

  3. ASPM Sem says:

    I’m fairly sure Einstein didn’t actually do this and it’s just legend.

    Augustine, more like.

  4. drohan says:

    Great piece. And the logic of it is unmistakably from Augustine… But the ability to use science to forward a good metaphysical and theological point is something that can help us in our new Evangelization.

  5. OrthodoxChick says:

    Oh, Father, I’m afraid you have just opened yourself up to a lot of online attacks from critics and atheists. I posted a similar video as this in an online discussion on a different blog with some atheists and agnostics a couple of years back. I received back a trail of insulting comments with links to snopes, et al, telling me that I’m no different than any other fairytale believing, pink unicorn seeing Christian who must be dismissed as falling for every urban legend that comes down the pike – including, of course (according to the atheists) the biggest urban legend of all – belief in God.

    I post this link for you as an example of what I received, but certainly not as criticism. I found a similar video as you posted just as interesting when I first came across it.


  6. The Cobbler says:

    Orthodox Chick, I’m pretty sure Fr. Z, writing about any of the topics he goes on about, must already give his spam filters a workout dealing with the sort of people who don’t realize there’s no valid syllogism that begins with “Fr. Z believes in (God, urban legends about Albert Einstein, take your pick)”, does not contain as its other premise the obviously false claim that God (or a mythical version of Einstein) is literally identical with the Easter Bunny, and ends with “Fr. Z believes in the Easter Bunny.”

    (Warning: potential easterbunnyhole…) Now, if I could just get a time machine and take the atheists who were actually kinda sorta smart (in their demented, German-philosophy sort of way) back in the day and show them what their average disciple looks like by now… Not because bad disciples disprove anything, but simply to put to them the problem of how they’re going to actually improve mankind if the net effect of giving the populace at large the idea that atheism is smarter is to make the populace at large atheist without making them smarter. That’s a question I’d be curious to see the likes of Nietzsche, for instance, try to answer. (Well, ok, Nietzsche’s status as an atheist is a little… complicated, considering he’s famous for saying “God is dead!” rather than “God doesn’t exist!” but he’s the first guy who came to mind — and, honestly, probably the most interesting one of those available…)

  7. rcg says:

    OC, wouldn’t they be missing the larger point, and even missing that this is a major point of our understanding as Christians? It would be cool for Einstein if he had thought of it, but it was thought of, by Augustine, so that makes it better for the Christian philosophy. If the point of the film was to laud Einstein, then it would not be all that interesting. If we want to find German intellectuals from that era who succeeded at both German intellectualism and Christian and Catholic argument we could make a film of Edith Stein. Perhaps we should.

  8. Unwilling says:

    OC said “I post this link …certainly not as criticism.” Surely, no comment could be more relevant than that link. Always moving toward the light.

  9. Sonshine135 says:

    The larger point of the video, whether it is Einstein or not who said the words, was not lost on me. Evil is an absence of love. This is a profound and clever anecdote. It is one where the point is made and the logic is learned with few words. I would love to speak like this.

  10. moconnor says:

    Did anyone notice girls in the class? I may be wrong, but I thought gymnasium in those days was gender segregated. Anyone?

  11. Johnno says:

    Einstein was a practical atheist who detested the Jewish God, and would only so far as acknowledge a God as a divine but distant clockmaker who had no personal interest in the creation. He is also responsible for concocting non-existent physics to cover up the fact that for hundreds of years every attempt to detect the Earth’s revolution around the sun has failed. But his work, now under criticism for other various good reasons for its blockage of scientific advancement has long been used as a backbone by atheism and Protestantism to subscribe to relativism in practicality and morality and to attack and undermine the Church and the Papacy for authoritatively defending the Scriptures and Tradition that holds the Earth to be the immobile footstool of God to which the universe pays homage.

    [So, people are still stuck in the “Einstein” tar pit.]

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