While the problem of Nickelback’s music is a thorny one for the theist, the believing individual is not without an answer. Here is how a Christian could respond to the problem of Nickelback’s music.
God’s Inability Argument-Some people have denied that God is all powerful, all controlling or all knowing so he cannot be held responsible for Nickelback’s music. “It is too difficult even for God to keep Nickelback from claiming their innocent victims.” Rabbi Harold Kushner, When Bad Music Happens to Good Ears
Denial of Evil Argument-Some people who believe in God argue that Nickelback doesn’t really exist. It is an imagination of the mind. Mary Baker Eddy the founder of the cult Christian Science, wrote, “Nickelback and whatever seems real to material sense, is unreal.” Nickelback’s music, on this view, may appear to surround us, but this only an appearance.
Indirect-Cause Argument-Because God is the indirect rather than the direct cause of Nickelback’s music, he bears no blame for it. An example of this point is writing a sentence. God is the ultimate cause of the sentence, but he is not its author. I am. Therefore, I bear responsibility for its content, not God. God is not responsible for Nickelback’s music. Nickelback is.
Free Will Argument-God gives humanity free will so that genuine art can occur. The problem with free will is that is not only makes good music possible but it also makes bad music possible. God is responsible for the fact of music but he is not responsible for the abusive acts of creating bad music. Humanity with their sinful desires is the culprit for much of the bad music within the world.
Natural Law Argument-God created a world with an “order of nature” within it. This is a necessary feature for our existence. A piece of wood is hard so it can support pressures and things built upon it. Its very nature includes firmness. But, the same piece of wood that can be used to build a house for a needy family could also be used to make a guitar that the lead singer of Nickelback will use to make horrid music. What type of world would we live in if God intervened at every whim and suspended the laws of nature? What would happen if the musical instruments of Nickelback turned into jello every time a bad song was played? Chaos (which ain’t lookin too bad right about now…)
Soul-Making Argument-God allows Nickelback’s music to occur so people will choose to show their friends what good music actually is. We become better persons or souls by sharing good music and shunning bad music. We have to have the opportunity to share good music which requires bad music to exist. The soul-making theodicy rests on the idea that God allows Nickelback to exist because the existence of Nickelback’s discography is a necessary condition for individuals to develop or complete their musical souls.
Revelation Argument-Certain attributes of God cannot be known aside from the revelation of Nickelback’s terrible music. The best world is one where beauty exists. A world that has beauty requires some sort of ugliness to exist. Therefore, God allowed Nickelback within his world.
Greater Good Argument- The simplest suggestion is that God allows Nickelback’s music to exist in order to bring about some greater music—music which could not be brought about unless Nickelback’s music existed as its precondition.
Eschatological Argument-God allows or appoints a life of Nickelback’s music so we will appreciate the music in heaven.
Nickelback Music Assumes God Argument-The fact that people can judge between good music (not Nickelback) and bad music (Nickelback) to begin with assumes an objective standard. An objective standard of good and bad music is proof that God exists.
In the end, sometimes the best thing to do in the face of such bad music is to simply sit in silence. Job’s friends did more for him in silence (Job 2:13) than offering any argument for why Nickelback’s music continues to exist.