Long time readers may recall a long and eventually fruitless argument I had with Stephen Law about the problem of evil. My concluding thoughts are here, and a link up is here.
Time and reflection haven't changed my thoughts much. I still think that the 'answer' to the problem of suffering is a life lived, and that the intellectual analyses rather miss the point. Most crucially, I believe that the essential path is to be like Job - to tell God that you have a bone to pick with Him - but to accept the answer that isn't given, and pray anyhow. Or, as Elie Wiesel describes, "It happened at night; there were just three people. At the end of the trial, they used the word chayav, rather than ‘guilty'. It means ‘He owes us something'. Then we went to pray."
I'm listening to Leonard Cohen a lot at the moment, and this theme runs through so many of the songs - I see Cohen as articulating the only faithful response that is possible. Consider this:
I don't smoke no cigarette
I don't drink no alcohol
I ain't had much loving yet
But that's always been your call
Show me the place, help me roll away the stone
Show me the place, I can't move this thing alone
Show me the place where the word became a man
Show me the place where the suffering began
The troubles came, I saved what I could save
A thread of light, a particle, a wave
But there were chains so I hastened to behave
There were chains so I loved you like a slave
And most clearly of all, this: