Randi (part 2)

I was discussing Randi with a friend of mine, and he asked if it was a problem having a character who is all-knowing and all-powerful, since, well, she can do anything. In other words, if there is a problem, she can just solve it, so how can you explain it if she doesn't?

My reply was:

So, I have to answer the "if God is all-powerful and good, why is there so much suffering in the world?" question? 🙂 I remember that bothered me a lot when I was younger.

But, and this is sort of the point, Randi is not God. Obviously, in terms of her motivations (and limitations, or lack of them) we have to take her word. But it does seem we can say that she is not in any way divine, and doesn't have any interest in being god-like (this is indicated a couple of times in U-town). She is more interested in drinking, having sex, gossip and so on. She is willing to assist her family, occasionally, but she has no interest in curing the ills of the world (though, of course, we don't know what she may do without talking about it).

The analogy is to superheroes. In comic books, someone gets superpowers and immediately they put on a funny suit and go out to fight crime. If you had superpowers, would you put on a funny suit and go fight crime? I don't think I would (and I've been reading superhero comics for 40 years).

It's appealing to think that, were we given enormous power, we'd use it to cure all the ills of the world, but evidence indicates that most people don't do as much as they could with whatever they have already.

As Vicki says to SarahBeth, "All the powers you do have, what have you ever used them for?"

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2 Responses to Randi (part 2)

  1. everydayepic says:

    Randi is a fascinating character. Though very different, she’s reminiscent of the Q in Star Trek. They are omniscient beings, but they also aren’t divine or in any way God-like. They don’t solve all the problems, and in fact, one occasionally creates problems for the crew in the Next Generation. From the posts I’ve read about her, it sounds like she plays an intriguing role in U-town.

  2. Good analogy, though the biggest difference is that Randi is (or was) human. And unique. She is not explained at all for quite a while, and even later the details only come out gradually (and some not at all).

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