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"The simple fact is that for all our moral hesitation and stuttering, many people know goodness and excellence when they see it and they are overwhelmed by the magnetism of goodness. Goodness attracts. Goodness is proclaimed so that the circle of adulation can widen. So we have film critics who laud good movies. We’ve got restaurant critics to highlight the places where you will receive a truly good meal. And when an athlete shows excellence, sports fans find it irresistible. Excellence is magnetic and very powerful.

We like good things. Perhaps that is why in the long, sad history of this planet there have been very few people who have scratched their heads over the presence of goodness. 'Why is there evil in the world? Why do bad things happen?' These questions are asked routinely. But when was the last time you heard someone crying out, 'How can you explain the presence of excellence? Why do good things happen to people?' Theologians and ...

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