Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Sick, Sick, Sick

I’m fighting a cold right now and it’s like I once heard Ella Fitzgerald say to Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show: “You just can’t give.”

With a sore throat, runny nose, and achy joints, I’m able to go through the motions of my life, but can’t give any extra effort.

At the studio this morning, for instance, I only did half the primary series and even that fairly diffidently. Instead of riding out to school, I took the bus. I phoned in my philosophy class, even though we were doing Sartre, one of my favorites. And in an afternoon meeting I attended, I had to struggle not to be the grouchy old faculty member who put the kibosh on any suggestions involving change.

Naturally, there’s nothing more tedious than hearing someone complain about their illness, so I’ll try to shift gears here and get all philosophical about it.

It seems to me that human beings’ propensity for getting colds is further proof that no supreme being/cosmic designer is behind all things. I take this to be a corollary to the problem of evil: a perfectly good, all-powerful, creator of the universe wouldn’t permit me to feel this lousy—unless He weren’t either all-good or all-powerful.

Now maybe someone could respond that the existence of illness makes possible something wonderful: namely, an eventual cure for the common cold. (And wouldn’t we all like to have stock in the company that invents it?)

But shouldn’t an all-powerful Creator be able to manifest such a cure even in the absence of anyone ever getting sick?

I can hear some people saying that it’s the existence of free will that’s behind my getting sick. If I hadn’t spent all weekend freely choosing to be so hard on my body, then I wouldn’t feel the way I do right now. And that’s not God’s fault, that’s mine.

Maybe so, but who’s the one who made Scotch whiskey go down so easy?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

::Maybe so, but who’s the one who made Scotch whiskey go down so easy?::
You, of course. The enjoyment of whiskey is learned behavior; many people nearly gag the first time they taste it, and nearly everyone, at least as a child, has a natural revulsion to substances like alcohol. Which can of course be overcome and transformed into an attraction through assiduous practice, but I'm not sure you can blame God for that particular usage of your free will.

2:06 AM  

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