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Sunday, November 08, 2009

What is the purpose of this misery?

"What is the meaning of it, Watson?" says Holmes solemnly. "What is the object of this circle of misery and violence and fear? It must tend to some end, or else our universe is ruled by chance, which is unthinkable. But what purpose? That is humanity's great problem to which reason so far has no answer." Arthur Conan Doyle, in The Adventure of the Cardboard Box.

What refuge then when a man feels himself powerless in the grip of some unseen and inevitable power, and knows not whether it be chance, or necessity, or a devouring fiend?  There is but one escape, one chink  through which we may see light, one rock on which our feet may find standing-place, even in the abyss.  And that is the belief, intuitive, inspired, due neither to reasoning nor to study, that God is there also; the belief that these seemingly fantastic and incoherent miseries have in His mind a spiritual coherence and purpose, though we see it not.
Charles Kingsley, in Two Years Ago Volume I

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