My wife and I just streamed the first season of the CBS drama “Evil,” which CBS gave to Netflix to goose interest in Season 2, soon to begin. The series raises a series of questions about morality, ethics and theology as it tells the adventures of three paranormal investigators: David Acosta, a former journalist studying to be a Catholic priest who works as an assessor, investigating and sometimes confirming events such as miracles and reports of demons; Dr. Kristen Bouchard, a professed atheist and a forensic psychologist hired by Acosta to help him distinguish between legitimate instances of demonic possession and insanity; and Ben Shakir, a Muslim contractor who works with both of them as a technical expert, problem solver and equipment handler. Much of the series also focuses on Bouchard’s lively family of four pre-teen girls, her frequently absent husband, and Bouchard’s annoying live-in mother, played by the always interesting Christine Lahti.
The series is the most recent creation of the husband and wife creative team of Robert and Michelle King, best known previously for “The Good Wife.” Robert King won permanent Ethic Alarms brownie points for engaging here when I raised legal ethics objections to some aspects of “the Good Wife” in its early years. “Evil” routinely suggests religious controversies, particularly those relating to Satan and the Catholic Church. I would love to know Amy Coney Barrett’s opinions on it.
Ethics Alarms has had a resurgence of sorts of new rationalizations, and the series reminded me of what might be one of the most frequently used rationalizations, and the most respected of them all: “God works in mysterious ways.”
This statement comes up a lot in the Marshall household. My wife, the daughter of a Methodist minister and Harvard theologian who himself thought the statement was a too-common cop-out for those unable or unwilling to address the real issues faced by Christianity, pretty much flies into a rage every time she hears someone use it. It would definitely be a rationalization if the statement were applied to anyone but God.
I’m not going to say any more at this time; I’m interested in the perspective of the diverse ethics community here.
Should “God works in mysterious ways” be added to the Rationalizations List?