So, are we in the mood for a little comparative theology?
The "Shit Happens" list has a been round for a long time, in different incarnations and variations (I swear I've seen it on a tea-towel), but it still makes me smile. At its best it is a wry look at the way different philosophies and religions have attempted to deal with the age-old Problem of Evil:
“Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
So here's the version I like best:
Atheism: Shit happens.
"New" Atheism: Look - shit just happens. Why is that so hard to grasp, dimwits?
Agnosticism: Shit probably just happens, but if there’s more to it than that we aren’t qualified to comment.
Confucianism: Confucius says, "If shit has to happen, let it happen PROPERLY."
Buddhism: Shit happens, but try not to care.
Zen Buddhism: Shit is, and is not.
Taoism: Shit happens, so flow with it.
Catholicism: Shit happens because it’s good for you. Anyway, you deserve it.
Protestantism: Let shit happen to someone else!
Islam: Shit happens if it is the will of Allah.
Hinduism: All this shit has happened before.
Moonies: Only really happy shit happens.
Televangelism: Shit happens because you aren’t Born Again. If shit is still happening, it’s because you haven’t sent me enough money.
Darwinism: Survival of the shittiest.
Unitarianism: Shit happens. Have coffee and biscuits.
Church of England: Shit happens. Have a cup of tea.
Quaker: Please, let's not fight over this shit…
New Age: Visualise shit not happening. That’ll be $300, thanks.
Christian Science: Shit is all in your mind.
Scientology: Shit happens if you're on our shit-list.
Judaism: Why does shit always happen to us?
and, of course..
Writer: My head is full of shit – let me share.