I feel like we are stuck in a rut at this point. The arguments of the friends are going in circles. If anything, they are becoming more entrenched in their positions, more parallel.
In the last chapter Zophar made a pretty straight forward case for materialism and greed being bad. While not denying that evil people don’t always get a comeuppance in life, he said they will not have spiritual satisfaction and death will make a mockery… You can’t take it with you.
To which job replies with bracing cynicism. The prosperous evil and the miserable good lie side by side in the grave, one having had a great time and the other having had a lousy time. How is that an argument for a moral life?
We see the wicked grow old, increase in power and prosperity, everything goes right for them and they die in peace.
Job doesnt address Zophar’s question of spiritual satisfaction directly, though he does address the superstition that their evil will be visited on later generations of their family. He says no one whose had a sweet life really cares about what happens to their family after they die.
Did someone zoom books by Camus or Neitzsche backwards through time to Job… (or were those guys less trail blazing than they thought?)
We’re half way though the book, we’ve gone from the victim and consolers being supportive and sharing, engaging over the calamities Job has suffered… to being disengaged, insensitive and entrenched in their own self referential world views based on their own narrow experiences.
I spoke to the disaster management people at work, and they will care for the victims of a flood, fire etc for years after it is in the press, after the appeals are over and after the urgent public cries for better responses have died down.
Regardless of our philosophy of suffering, we all practically face the fact that there is way more injustice and suffering in the world than we can process or affect. We deal with it by being insensitive to most of it most of the time.
And doing the NIMBY thing of howling most about stuff that directly affects us, like Job is.
So while I’m annoyed that job is stuck in a rut, it’s got to the place most of us are at, so it’s an authentic rut to get to.
God? Where are you? We’re slowly building to the appearance of God, the wisdom of mankind is running out. It’s an effective bit of literature because the absent player is being teased almost to breaking point…