Theo Todman's Web Page - Notes Pages
(Text as at 12/08/2007 10:17:46)
The existence of ubiquitous corruption in the universe and man, resulting from a fall from initial righteousness, and of some form of universal need in man of salvation.
- Sin, defined as the premeditated or inadvertent transgression of a moral code, is real enough. However, guilt requiring expiation may, after Freud, be treated as pathological. What is required in response to sin is not so much expiation, which changes nothing, but repentance leading to right action (which is, of course, also part of the Christian message).
- It has been popular to suggest that the Second Law of Thermodynamics is a consequence of the Fall (either of Adam or of Satan). However, this is to go far beyond what the Bible says. We might ask ourselves what a world without the Second Law would be like ? It would certainly be an odd place. For instance, there would be no direction to the arrow of time in such a world, so there would be no causality.
- Even within the Biblical paradigm, a case may be made for the existence of death from the beginning of creation. The argument proceeds as follows:
- How could Adam be expected to respond to the threat of death if he didn't know what it was.
- If there was no death, there is an obvious problem with respect to the carnivorous animals. For instance, the whole bodily structure of the big cats, for instance, not to mention their digestive systems, are based upon their carnivorous nature. A vegetarian lion would not be a lion. It would certainly not be a well-designed animal.
- Denying the possibility of massive natural morphological change (if macro-evolution is false, as most fundamentalist Christians claim, then animals today must by default be of similar form to when they were created) we are left with the necessity of a sudden miraculous change.
- The fall of Adam is a favourite candidate for the event that triggered this change, though Genesis says nothing about large scale changes in the animal kingdom consequent on the fall of Adam.
- The only changes mentioned in association with the fall of Adam are, in chronological order, the transformation of the serpent into its present form, the increased difficulty of human childbirth, the cursing of the ground (leading to difficulties in husbandry) and the promise to Adam of eventual death. In any case, the whole passage has the character of a folk tale with a serious message.
- There is no problem with the near-universal need in man for salvation, at least in western society, though, as we have noted elsewhere, there may be cultural reasons (themselves not uninfluenced by the Bible) for this attitude. This feeling tends to be obscured by moderate prosperity, however.
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