Saturday, April 17, 2010

Sting, the theodicy problem and bloggers' priorities

I usually eschew 'whatabouttery'. You know the sort of thing: "Why do you go on about Iran when you have nothing to say about Tibet?", or whatever. But I feel the need to make an exception today and question bloggers' priorities. Because everyone's having a go at Devil's Kitchen and his pathetic performance on the Daily Politics. Fair enough, in as far as it goes - and Chris Dillow's defence of the aforementioned Mr Kitchen is desperately silly in the way only very intelligent people can be.

But methinks a little perspective is called for here, people. Mr Kitchen isn't rich and has no influence - he's just a guy with a blog. Sting, on the other hand, has loads of money and, inexplicably, a certain amount of influence in the sense that his opinion on matters is sought and published by the media. Moreover, unlike Mr Kitchen the existence of Sting raises profound questions about the nature of the cosmos.

Take the theodicy problem, for example - re-worked to take account of Sting:

God is supposed to be all-loving and omnipotent. Yet Sting exists. This raises a problem for the believer because either God wants to be rid of Sting but is unable, in which case He is not omnipotent - or He is able but unwilling to do so, in which case His claim to be a loving God is in serious doubt.

This is the sort of argument that would appeal to the Dawkins/Hitchens school - but it is one that suffers from a failure to understand the emotional needs met by religion. For example, while the above formulation might be theoretically neat, it fails to take account of the consolations of religion. Who, for example, doesn't feel a little warmer at the idea that there's a special place in hell for people who display the kind of breath-taking hypocrisy that we see here?
"Once again we must ponder the question "how much money is enough?", inspired by reports that Sting accepted between £1m and £2m to perform for the glory of the brutal despotic regime in Uzbekistan."
Yet on this matter there is precious little in the land of blogs. Perhaps they are too young to remember the evil that is Sting? Personally I'm waiting for Bono to be in some way implicated with the whole Catholic abuse scandal and then my vindication will be complete.

Sting: not merely aesthetically repugnant.

Blog Archive