Robert Pollack, Rami Nashabishi, Lisa Lampman, Leon Weinstein, and M. Scott Peck on The Problem of Evil (Feb 15, 2002).mp3
DR. POLLACK: I guess I will give you an un-intuitive answer to that. I’m very much less patient with the forms of organized religious observance in my tradition since September 11th. I’m very much less patient with synagogues as community centers and with ritual diluted of its religious content so that it can be more comfortable. I’m very much less patient with collegiality in place of prayer. It seems to me this event demands first humility and then the commitment to make choices which are more caring of everyone around one. Not just family but everybody. I don’t see enough religious impetus to behave better.
I think that’s the best honoring of the extraordinary, incomprehensible goodness of people who, for their job’s sake or for their honor’s sake or for their blessedness sake, chose to go back into a place which everyone else was told to flee from for their lives and then died.
I don’t know of a more perfect example of doing the right thing at great cost to one’s self than the presumptive behavior of the people on the fourth airplane who, having got word of what had already happened, understood that their lives were forfeit and then chose to save some unknown person by changing the way they would die. It was the perfect mirror image of the terrorists’ intention. The terrorists’ intention were to kill people without knowing them and these passengers’ intention were to save people without knowing them.
MS. TIPPETT: Right.
DR. POLLACK: So there probably is the greatest strongest example I can come up with for what I mean by free will. The terrorists knew they were going to die and made the free-will act to kill strangers. And the people on that fourth plane knew they were going to die and made the free-will act to save strangers. If those people could make that choice, we all have choices we’re not making well enough right now.
It occurs to me…:
- FACT – we all live, we all die. How we choose to do our living is our free will. But, we do not have ultimate control over experiences. While we live we cannot totally control our physical environment and we cannot control the people in the world that affect our lives. We can try, and we can delude ourselves but we ultimately we CANNOT control it. And especially, we have NO control over death. We do have control over ourselves. We control how we act and react in response to our circumstances and our desires.
- “perfect example of doing the right thing ” = intention were to save people without knowing them — pure grace. Saving people that have done nothing to deserve to be saved through the working out and free will choice of someone who make a choice for death in a free will way.
- I see a parallel here with Jesus death on the cross. Was Jesus making the “perfect example of doing the right thing” when he, through his own free will, choose to follow through on God’s plan for him “ lives were forfeit “, predestined before the beginning of time to let himself be crucified, with the “intention were to save people without knowing them“. When we are living in sin, we have no relationship with God and he does not know us….