Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Freewill theodicy

Scenario #1

Drake is a recovering heroin addict. It was a real struggle at first. He relapsed a few times. But over the succeeded months the craving has atrophied. He still feels the occasional urge, but it’s not overpowering. He’s kicked the habit. Turned a corner. He can now resume dating, get married, have kids–in a nice suburban home with the white picket fence, the hybrid car, and the Golden Retriever.

But his roommate Gerald is determined to get Drake hooked all over again. He straps Drake to a chair and prepares to inject him with heroine. Drake resists with every fiber of his being. Strains every muscle to break free. He begs Gerald not to do it. But Gerald plunges the needle into the arm of his unwilling roommate.

Scenario #2

Jake is a recovering heroin addict. It’s a constant struggle. He’s on a knife-edge everyday.

His roommate Gerald is determined to get Jake hooked all over again. Gerald senses the fact that Jake is at a tipping point. He catches Jake at a weak moment.

He offers Jake heroin. Jake easily succumbs to the temptation.

But Gerald didn’t force him or pressure him. Didn’t give him the craving. Didn’t make him stick the syringe into his arm, against his will. Jake was more than willing.

Gerald merely made it available to Jake. Gerald merely let Jake inject himself. Did nothing to stand in his way.


  1. I'm curious--to which heroine are Drake and Jake addicted? Wonder Woman? Princess Leia? Hermione Granger?

    Sorry, couldn't resist. But there are some things spell checkers can't catch.

    Oh, and verification irony: frateriz

  2. Well, back when I was a kid I found Emma Peel addictive, although the younger generation might prefer Lara Croft (=Angelina Jolie).

  3. As long as it's not the pixelated Lara Croft of the video game world. :)

    My son (who is 10 and an avid gamer) has a friend who remarked at how cute a character in a video game was. My son responded "How can you think a bunch of pixels is cute?"

    Methinks he has "the knack".

    Great post by the way. I find it funny how often non-Calvinists accuse us of believing in an evil god divinely raping people, and dragging them kicking and screaming into heaven. All the while oblivious to the fact that their view raises different theodicy questions.