Ep67-Natural Evils-The Plan of Atonement Theodicy (pt 4) - Vol 4






Show Notes:

Natural Evils:

Instead of enemy love, there is another type of love that is developed by facing natural evils: a love of united effort and oneness of purpose. 

Further, we all consented to confront a world that presented such challenges. We could have remained in a world free of such diseases and natural disasters; yet chose to confront this world so that we could be stretched beyond our self-absorbed and ego-centric existence. Just as with any given instance of moral evil, no particular natural evil is necessary to a greater good.


So how does God choose when and where such disasters occur? I don’t believe that he does. He chooses to allow the natural order to devolve as an organized cosmos to give us an opportunity to confront such challenges. However, he doesn’t plan or cause them. He has power to prevent all such natural evils, but he couldn’t prevent them all and still accomplish his purposes in organizing this world as cosmos to serve as an arena for soul-making and progression toward deification. However, he can justly allow indiscriminate natural evils to confront all of us because we have all consented to a world where such overwhelming challenges are possible.


On the view that I have presented, God brings about miracles by withdrawing his concurrence from the natural intelligences so that they cannot manifest their natural propensities that account for the regularity of the world. When the atoms and molecules that form a weather system would devolve into a tornado, God could intervene only by withdrawing his concurring power so that they do not form electron valence bonds and thus atoms of water and other compounds would not form. Yet the result of such action is not merely to stop a tornado, but to leave chaos in the wake of ordered structure. God cannot make it so that the oxygen and hydrogen atoms suddenly act like gold atoms and thus fall to the ground under their own weight instead of swirling at high speed in the atmosphere. He cannot make it so that these atoms suddenly act any way he wants.

Given the nature of the eternal realities with which God must work, God must choose between a natural world characterized by chaos or a cosmos governed by exactly the natural laws that obtain in our world. God is responsible for the fact that there is an ordered world, but not for the fact that the world has the precise order that it does once it is ordered. Thus, it is not possible for God to have water that quenches thirst, but which does not have the property of drowning. God cannot have electricity that conveys power to homes but does not kill when emitted as lightning in the atmosphere. God can stop the inertia of a speeding car only by introducing new and unpredictable consequences into the natural order. God could not have mass that doesn’t convert to energy or a car that develops speed without inertia that has enough force to maim a physical body when it is hit. God cannot have bodies that feel no pain and still provide an environment where persons can negotiate the natural world without destroying their bodies by the numerous small bumps, bruises and scratches that become enormous gashes and debilitating broken bones without the natural feed-back of physical pain. Some pain is biologically necessary for our survival. The point is that if God grants his concurring power to the natural realities, they manifest their inherent natural propensities as dictated by their eternal natures. God does not create the eternal nature of the most basic realities or how they can be organized. 

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