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Christian Tractatus

(Text as at 12/08/2007 10:17:46)

Christianity attributes this universal weakness in man to the Fall of Adam, and treats the alleged consequence of the fall, death, as an evil.

  1. On the contrary, the modern view attributes weakness, decay & death to other causes (eg. to entropy).
  2. Another possibility, supported by Richard Dawkins, is to view bodies as "survival machines" for their genes: once survival of the genes into the next generation has been ensured by reproduction & a period of parental protection, further longevity may become an evolutionary disadvantage in that scarce resources are consumed by less productive individuals. This may explain why, in general, human grandparents live just long enough to assist their children to rear their own children.
  3. The fact that Dawkins' view may appear morally repugnant, with its "Brave New World" overtones, is not relevant to its truth or falsity.
  4. It is also possible to think of ultimate death as in some sense a good, or at least not as an evil. For example, we may consider it:-
    • As a benefit (to the community as a whole, allowing for more rapid evolutionary development).
    • As a necessary evil (given the relationship between randomness [and hence error and decay] and creativity, or given the limited resources available to sustain any community, or given the joys of parenthood [which would be foregone in a static, immortal society]).
    • As the lesser of two evils (to the individual), treating eternal life in an increasingly morbid state as an evil.
  5. The main problem seems to be with the premature death of those (of whatever age) who still felt they had "work" (or "life" or whatever) before them and who died unfulfilled. However, if the dead know nothing (as Ecclesiastes 9:5 suggests!) the main regret at the waste involved in unfulfilled potential is felt by the living. Conversely, the Christian hope of survival after death, wherein the missing fulfillment may be recovered, is of no assistance to the living who are "left behind".

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12/08/2007 10:17:46 475 (Problems - Bible Psychology - Fall) Problems - Bible Psychology

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