Why does God make toothaches?

Pantheism, the multiverse, and the problem of evil – all in one paragraph:

On the principle that you can never have too much of a good thing, reality could very well consist not just of a single infinite mind, but of infinitely many. Even so, this situation wouldn’t be “perfect” in such a way that the ethical need for one thing never overruled the ethical need for another. Pantheism, the belief that nothing exists except divine thinking, doesn’t deny the facts recognized by science and by common sense, such as that our efforts can affect the world well or badly. If our universe is an ingredient in divine thoughts that are infinitely worth having, then why does it contain toothaches? Answer: because divine knowledge is better through not having gaping holes in it, holes corresponding to such things as knowing just how it feels to be a human with a toothache. Yet this doesn’t deny that there are good reasons for visiting dentists. Even inside an infinitely good reality, local benefits would be worthwhile.

That’s philosopher John Leslie, Professor Emeritus at the University of Guelph in Canada, writing on his book Infinite Minds. John Leslie says all sorts of crazy things.

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