Saturday, June 23, 2012

Evil is like holes in cheese

If there is anything I will forever remember and take away from JBR's epic work is the brilliant analogy that Good and Bad is like Swiss cheese. This is one of the most colourful and imaginative explanations of evil through via negativa - evil as the absence of good.
"Christian theologians would argue that evil is non being, literally nothing, no thing, a mere lack of goodness. Evil exists in the cosmos like holes in a Swiss cheese: the holes are there but they are there only as non cheese and have no existence apart from cheese As one cannot eat a cheese and discard the holes into a box, one cannot remove good and put evil into another category. Evil is merely the absence of good." (JBR, The Devil 1977:205)

If the analogy is transferred on to God and Devil it sounds something like this:
 God is the slab of Swiss cheese, the holes are the absence of God within God and are the Devil.
This really sums up the problem of the devil, evil and dualism in Christianity. By asserting that God is wholly Good there must be an explanation for evil - hence the Devil appears, so the evil is separate from God, yet everything comes from god and thus evil(Devil) should be from God - like Swiss cheese and its holes.

Cheesus - God of cheese



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