Monday, August 14, 2006

Le meilleur des mondes possibles

Beux arts to illustrate theological imagination:

The phrase "the best of all possible worlds" was coined by the German philosopher Gottfried Leibniz in his 1710 work Essais de Théodicée sur la bonté de Dieu. It is the central argument in Leibniz's theodicy, or his attempt to solve the problem of evil. Leibniz was concerned with the question of theodicy: how, if God is good and omnipotent, do we account for the suffering and injustice that exists in the world?

Imagine that all the world is made of good and evil. The best possible world would have the most good and the least evil. Courage is better than no courage. Yet without evil to challenge us there can be no courage. Since evil brings out the best aspects of mankind evil is regarded as necessary. So in creating this world God made some evil to make the best of all possible worlds.

I think the Beaux-Arts style is an attempt, though conventions, to remind us that this is the best of all possible worlds: it is, in fact, orderly!

What do you think?

Ecole des Beaux-Arts image by D'Espouy. Click for more!

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