The Zebra Effect


Some questions I had about Judaism, I got answers that worked, to a point.

There were explanations that fit within a larger framework. And as long as that framework was intact, the answers worked.

“Why does the Torah tell us to do this or that?”
“Because God said so.”

Fair enough.

I can struggle with accepting or implementing that answer, but as long as I believe that God really did say so, the answer is a valid one.

Other questions, one that are deeper, that question core philosophies, are harder to answer.

And this is one of them. How do we know that God is essentially good? This is the operating assumption behind all of Judaism (and most other religions, I can only assume).

But who says? Even if we experience exactly 50% of both positive and negative experiences in the world, we’ll suffer more than we’ll enjoy because of the negativity bias.

I was never able to satisfactorily wrap my head around the assumption that God is essentially good and all the suffering is there as a lesson, instead of, say, a sadist who occasionally throws you a bone.

“So why did he create this world with all its pleasures, if not for our benefit?” Well, firstly, it wasn’t very hard for him to do, all the pleasure that he maybe threw in just to distract us from the pain he was causing us. Maybe we should rephrase the question: “Why else would he create all of these afflictions if not to make us suffer in creative ways?”

Dunno. I never got an emotionally convincing answer to this one.

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