Guntherism and the Problem of Evil


Photo Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim/

Imagine a reality in which all that exists resonates from the mind of one man.  The imaginer is an elderly gentleman named Gunther.  Gunther is a widower, and has more than enough time on his hands. His pension is generous, and he really wants for nothing except company.  He overcomes this lack of companionship by spending long hours on the same park bench feeding the pigeons.  He really loves these birds, and has named most of the flock, and he and they mutually recognise each other.  As he sits and admires his ornithological friends, he imagines beautiful places outside the world of his flat and park existence.  Gunther has a keen mind, and is at heart benevolent.  His mental worlds of existence are idealised, and are filled with peace and beauty.  His musings bring about wonderful people and intricate details of their lives.  Though their lives are not without struggle, they,  in the end most always flourish, and have positive resolutions to their momentary predicaments.

But Gunther is not the only force in the world of the park.  Gunther has a nemesis, Heinrich.  While Heinrich has no creative power, and no direct influence on Gunther’s mind-world, he nonetheless effects it peripherally.  For Heinrich is a dark character, who enjoys the malicious consequences of his own deeds.

“What deeds?” you might ask.  Well, he has schemed to disrupt the good of Gunther’s world.  He has postulated that, if Gunther is distracted from his musings, then the world of his mind will be altered.  If an individual only exists as a thought in Gunther’s daydreams, then if he stops thinking of them, they will cease to be.  Or better still, they will befall corruption when not given Gunther’s full attention.

To achieve his malicious intent, Heinrich sits on the bench opposite to Gunther.  He comes equipped with breadcrumbs, peanuts, and seeds.  He daily strives to lure the beloved pigeons away from Gunther, to draw his attention away from the mind-world, to the flock.

Oh, do not get me wrong.  Heinrich is not a man to harm the birds, only to lure them away.  His maliciousness is not to the winged companions of the creator of the mind-world, but the inhabitants of the world itself.

His struggles are oft in vain, as Gunther is a man of intellect, and of vision.  But this does not deter the dark-motived one from the attempt.  If he tries long and hard enough, he is sure, that the paradise of Gunther’s vision will be lost.

The above musing was formulated by some very bored theology students in the campus coffee-shop in an attempt to address the problem of evil. The analogies are weak, but witty.  The flaws are manifest – Gunther is not omniscient, not incorruptible. Heinrich as well has far more sway over Gunther than any evil force is capable of scripturally.

That said, we did have some fun trying to formulate the tale.  I hope you enjoy the images and the deciphering of our reasoning. Please see it as a light entertainment, which tries to address some deeper meanings.


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