“I have not lost faith in God. I have moments of anger and protest. Sometimes I have been closer to Him for that reason.” (Elie Wiesel)
Question to Ponder:
There is a difference between believing in God and believing that God exists.
Believing that God exists means that I believe that He exists – but that does not mean that I believe in Him, in the sense that I trust Him. He may quite well be unreliable. Just as in the instance of my neighbor; I certainly believe that he exists but it does not mean that I believe in him, i.e. that I trust him.
Elie Wiesel’s observation seems to combine both these facets. Not only that he believes that God exists, but also that he trusts Him and yet simultaneously can be angry with Him.
Or do you believe that Elie Wiesel only believed that God exists but did not trust Him? What then does he mean when he claims that this anger and protest brings him closer to God? Does this anger increase his trust in Him? Does a child get closer to his father when he is angry with his/her father?
Or does Elie Wiesel mean to say that since he can not deny God’s existence, there must be a higher meaning to all this? For example, when God fails to interfere in matters of great evil, such as in the case of the Holocaust, or to prevent a terrible earthquake, there must be divine meaning to it.
And, since Elie Wiesel realizes that all this is completely beyond his understanding, which means that he realizes that God’s greatness is of such great degree, he can only stand in awe, since this evil leads him to the realization that God is completely beyond him.
In other words: Is Elie Wiesel saying that the enormous atrocities of the Holocaust (or the tremendous destruction wrought by natural disasters, like earthquakes) can only happen in a world that was created by God, since such absurd atrocities or terrible phenomena are of such abnormity that they can only happen in a world where there is divine meaning behind them? Yet this meaning is entirely unknown to human beings?
In other words: In a world not created by a God such atrocities would not be able to happen since there would not be any divine meaning behind them. And in such a world, human beings would never think of performing such enormous evil or earthquakes would never occur?
Thus, is it that God’s existence – which implies that that there is meaning to all the evil – is the very reason why such evil takes place? Would that mean that the world would be better off (if possible) without God?