instruere...inlustrare...delectare Disputations

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Peace of mind through ignorance of Scripture

In a comment on the post below, CowPi points out the parallel between the Lord giving and the Lord taking away in Genesis 2-3 and in Job 1.

Which led me to this thought: The Book of Job makes it pretty clear that the Lord might taketh away for reasons not related to the sin of the one from whom it's taken away. "In all this Job did not sin."

Yet the Gospels also make it pretty clear that the Jews of Jesus' day, even those who had been Jesus' disciples for some time, thought that bad things were caused by sin. “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” "Or those eighteen people who were killed when the tower at Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than everyone else who lived in Jerusalem?

My guess: By nature, humans want to understand what's going on. We are happier with an explanation. Even when we're told again and again that we cannot discover God's ways, we still try to come up with an explanation consistent with our observations. And "this bad thing happened as punishment" is a nice, neat hypothesis, with the advantage over other potential explanations that, as long as we don't do something bad, that bad thing won't happen to us. Superstitious? Sure, but comforting.