What does Wiesel think of theodicies? Here are a few theodicies to consider: 1. Evil/satan: the devil is responsible for evil 2. Process of philosophy: problem with God and evil 3. Augustinian:...

What does Wiesel think of theodicies? Here are a few theodicies to consider:

1. Evil/satan: the devil is responsible for evil

2. Process of philosophy: problem with God and evil

3. Augustinian: we can't blame God

4. Irenaeam: we are not perfect humans and it is inevitable that we make mistakes

5. Liberation: God has a fence for the poor and if the evil was redeemable, then it is undermined and it betrays those who suffered through that evil. 

1 Answer | Add Yours

readerofbooks's profile pic

readerofbooks | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

From one perspective, this is a very easy question. Wiesel, at first, was a devout Jew. Even when he faced the horrors of the concentration camp, he held onto his faith. However, when the evil persisted, he lost his faith. In a very gripping passage, he concluded that God was dead. Here is what he says:

Then came the march past the victims. The two men were no longer alive. Their tongues were hanging out, swollen and bluish. But the third rope was still moving: the child, too light, was still breathing...

And so he remained for more than half an hour, lingering between life and death, writhing before our eyes. And we were forced to look at him at close range. He was still alive when I passed him. His tongue was still red, his eyes not yet extinguished.

Behind me, I heard the same man asking:
"For God's sake, where is God?"
And from within me, I heard a voice answer:
"Where He is? This is where—hanging here from this gallows..."

That night, the soup tasted of corpses.

Later he says more succinctly: "It's over. God is no longer with us."

In light of these points of atheism, Wiesel would not believe in any kind of theodicy. The assumption of a theodicy is that you actually believe in God. Without this belief, the thought of a theodicy is absurd. 

However, if I had to pick one view that Wiesel would feel most comfortable with, I would say that option four would make most sense, because God is least in the picture. There is a God, but he allows humans complete freedom.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,924 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question