Baby The Knife Development Blog

Baby The Knife Development Blog

Here you can read about the development of Baby The Knife

Baby The Knife is a game about a 6 year old christian girl, who has lost her parents.

The priest always told her that everything is the will of God, so now she has decided to find him and ask him why they are gone.

The Problem of Evil

Baby The KnifePosted by Anders H 2011-06-21 12:39:16

(Above: Veselin Stoilov has been modelling Baby)

One of the ambitions with Baby The Knife is to work with topics that normally aren't dealt with in games. Our basic ideology is that if it's a fitting topic for a movie, it is also a fitting topic for a game.

That being said, I know that any game that has a critical approach to religion will be controversial. People have already expressed these concerns and one member have left the team because of the topic.

Baby The Knife is based on a wellknown and substantial theological problem and the purpose of the game is to raise awareness of the problem. Some might consider this an agressive and negative treatment of christians and christianity. But I want people to understand that this is not an attack on christianity or christians; Baby The Knife is merely a piece of art that deals with a theological issue.

The theological issue behind the game is the problem of evil. It is also know as the problem of God's justice, the Theodice-problem.

This is a simpified description of the problem.

It starts with the ontological proof of God. This was first described by the munk Anselm Of Canterbury in 1077. It goes like this:

God is explicitly defined as the most perfect being possible. Having real existence is better then just being an idea. So God must exist, - or else he isn't perfect. (If you are thinking about the most perfect non-existing being, you're not thinking about the most perfect being).

So God’s real existence follows by definition from his nature.

We still haven't defined how God is; only that he is perfect (In fact, we haven't even analyzed if God is male or female).

Now we need to define God's traits. I'll focus on the traits that are relevant for the Theodice-problem.

Being good is better then not being good, so God must be good.
Being all-knowing is better then not being all-knowing, so God must be all-knowing.
Being all-powerfull is better then not being all-powerfull, so God must be all-powerful.

So God is all-knowing, all-powerful and good.

Now, it is evident that there is evil and suffering in the world. People do evil things to each other and on regular basis thousands of people die in natural disasters. All of us have and inevitable will loose loved ones. One day we’ll leave our loved ones behind. And even if we’ll meet again in Heaven, the loss is still heartbreaking.

So if God is all-knowing, good and all-powerfull, why does he allow suffering and evil?

He's all-knowing, so he should know about it.
He's all-powerful, so he should be able to do something about it.
He is good, so he would want to do something about it.

Why doesn't he?

On a less theoretical and more practical level, this is experienced by believers as a unwillingness of God to aid them. God must clearly hear their prayers and know their suffering, but no matter how righteous lives they live, they still suffer. Why do God let their prayers for solace go unanswered?

Baby The Knife takes this issue and portrays it through the eyes of a 6 year old girl. We hope that the game will raise awareness about the issue and that christians will understand that we do not want to attack them. We just want to discuss religion through games.

As always, feel free to comment in here or contact me if you want to discuss this further.

(Henrik Harksen from HPL Mythos helped me to make sure that the above description of the Theodice-problem was correct).

Love,
Anders

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Posted by Anders H 2012-11-24 17:18:49

Hej Ina,det handler lidt om definitionerne af godt og ondt. Det ontologiske gudsbevis - Gud er perfekt, ergo må han eksistere - gør at Gud nødvendigvis har skabt alt der eksistere, da det er bedre at have skabt alt end ikke at have skabt alt. Ondskab forudsætter en intentionalitet: sten er ikke onde, men folk der slår andre folk i hovedet med sten er onde. Så ondskab forudsætter en vilje. Det skaber en masse teologisk problemer. Men hvis Gud har skabt alt, er han også ansvarlig for "fejlene" - afsavnene. Så når folk dør af naturkatastrofer, er det Guds skyld. Når de dør unge, er det Guds skyld. Når de dør og efterlader sørgende familie, er det Guds skyld. Så problemet eksisterer selvom der ikke er ondskab. Så selvom der ikke er ondskab, kan "naturlig" lidelse være nok til at skabe problemet. Men dit argument (at man skal kende lidelse for at værdsætte det gode) vil blive fremført i spillet; alle de forskellig argumenter bliver præsenteret inden spilleren skal træffe valget om hvorvidt Gud skal holdes til ansvar for sine handlinger. (Ps. mht litteraturvidenskab: hvis du gerne vil arbejde med computerspil, skal du fokusere på non-lineær narrativer og eventuelt tage din overbygning på IT-Universitetet. Klassiske litteraturmodeller har svært ved at forholde sig til interaktivtet). Kærlig hilsen,Anders

Posted by Ina Prætorius 2012-11-20 15:33:46

Hej Anders,

Jeg elsker jeres projekt! Thumbs up. Jeg har selv gået og tænkt rigtig meget i de samme baner - hvilket selvfølgelig gør det lidt ærgerligt, at I startede det før mig ;)Mht spillet kom jeg til at tænke på, om I udvikler det sådan at det kan gå både "med og mod Gud", hvis man kan sige det sådan. I skriver, at der skal være plads til ambiguity - bliver der det? I Gud-dilemmaet kan man jo godt tale for, at har man ikke oplevet det onde, værdsætter man ikke det gode. Uden ondt intet godt, so to speak. Forsøger I at få den vinkel med?Glæder mig til at følge med i projektets gang!

Bedste HilsenerIna, kommende litteraturvidenskabsstuderende (vi ses i branchen om nogle år ;) )

Posted by Anders Højsted 2012-08-07 20:22:26

Hi Tim :) You bring up a good point: "good" depends on perspective. And if God is good in the most general way - for as many living beings as possible - then humans probably aren't on the top of his list of priorities. It's a very non-antropocentric perspective in God. It's a bit like the philosopher Leibniz defense: that with all necessary things that God have to take into consideration, he created the best possible world. In your example God has to take overpopulation into account so hae makes us mortal, so the old will die and leave room for the new. But given that God can do anything he (it?) desires, why wouldn't he remove overpopulation instead, so dying wouldnt be necessary?

Posted by Tim Kofoed 2012-07-20 15:21:49

When I read the sentence "So if God is all-knowing, good and all-powerfull, why does he allow suffering and evil?" and I immediately thought that if 'God' is all-knowing, all-powerful and 'good'... wait, good from who's perspective? If 'god' is the perfect Being - not a perfect human being - then he would care for all living creatures and all life on all planets... and naturally it's a good thing for evolution to have the old generations give way for the new, so stopping death would be bad for evolution. The human beings also vastly outnumber any of the other mammals (to my knowledge) on the planet, so we as a species could stand to suffer some deaths... so my point is simply that if 'God' is a perfect-non-human-being, who cares for all life, be it plant or animal, he will not cater to every whim of every human on the planet, as that would be bad for the bigger picture.