Search Term Friday: Anton Chigurh Problem of Evil

I've done my fair share of blogging about movies and theology. The most popular post I've done in this regard was my post about theodicy and the movie No Country for Old Men. Search terms like these bring people to that post:

anton chigurh problem of evil

I talk about a few different things in that post and even coin a term: theodicy fatigue. Specifically, I suggest that theodicy fatigue is what Sheriff Bell is wrestling with throughout the movie, how Bell struggles to make sense of the evil he's chasing and feels "overmatched" by it, epistemically speaking. Sheriff Bell's expression of this epistemologically-driven theodicy fatigue from his opening soliloquy:
The crime you see now, it's hard to even take its measure. It's not that I'm afraid of it.

I always knew you had to be willing to die to even do this job. But I don't want to push my chips forward and go out and meet something I don't understand.

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4 thoughts on “Search Term Friday: Anton Chigurh Problem of Evil”

  1. The quote I remember well is from one of the last scenes when Ellis responds to Sheriff Bell's lament on the present evil: "Whatcha got ain't nothin new. This country's hard on people, you can't stop what's coming, it ain't all waiting on you. That's vanity"

    "...ain't got nothin new..." That seems to sum it up. I have relatives and old friends who have grown up in mostly rural and small town areas, who seem to be constantly pining for the "good ol' days" while lamenting the "evil present". But what I remember is that the "good ol' days" they long for, were the "evil present" in which my older friends and relatives pined for the past THEY believed to be the "good ol' days". In short, the very conservative mind has always revered the past while seeing the present as the most evil of times.

    You feel for Sheriff Bell, but admire Ellis' wisdom. It is vanity and a waste to expect the times to adjust to "me". Every "present" has been hard on its travelers. Whenever I hear some one wishing for the "good ol' days" I quote what my father once said. Being a moderately conservative individual he did not get caught up in what had been. When I was a child and I would ask him about the "good ol' days", his response to me was, "I'll tell you about the the 'good ol' days'... they weren't that good". He remembered his "younger present" as being hard, and I think that was the reason he could smile and laugh a lot in mine.

  2. I went back an re-read your post on No Country. The sheriff's struggle is so much like Job's, except the Sheriff Bell ended in a very different place... I wonder if it was because he did not have a pack of friends to help him try (rightly or wrongly) to make sense of it...

  3. Richard, I also went back and read your post on No Country. In it you mention the philosophical problems raised by the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755. I have spent a considerable time contemplating this event. Not only does it give rise to the problems you mentioned, but it also raises the issue of God's role as "Creator" - earthquakes being the result of plate tectonics. Not only do plate tectonics result in destructive earthquakes and tsunamis, BUT BY RECYCLING CARBON, THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY FOR LIFE TO EXIST!!!!

    For whatever it's worth, long ago I came to the conclusion that the images for my theology would be a crucifixion scene with the label "Sh*t Happens" and an empty tomb with the label "Amazing Grace Abounds" with me standing in the uncertain muddle in the middle.

  4. Richard, I read the No Country post on Friday, which totally changed the direction I was going for my final exam in Comp II. The final was to write a 3-4 page paper in the exam room on Happiness. Your post gave me a direction for the paper that I did not have before.

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