Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Democratic Perspective is replaying some of our most popular shows. This interview with Michael Austin from 2015, on his book Re-reading Job: Understanding the Ancient World’s Greatest Poem attempts to answer one of humanity’s most important questions: “Why are concepts such as the wages of sin irrelevant to a true understanding of guilt, redemption, and compassion?”
Austin makes the point that the concept of divine retribution, i.e. responding to reward and punishment, does not result in moral behavior. Rather it’s an example of enlightened self-interest.