> In a message dated 02/20/2002 10:24:43 AM Pacific Standard Time,
> firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> << > Lucy responds:
> > I have never held the popular opinion that "social Darwinism" or
> > "survival of the fittest" was in any way cruel or inhumane. Because of
> > this, I have also not had philosophical difficulties accepting that God
> > would design a system that seemingly works this way.
> > Consider...in the long run, it is much more humane and compassionate to
> > have some humans lose their lives so that others may not only live but
> > may live well. In the movies this is presented as heroic, but in
> > biology we somehow depict the process as inhumane. So, we can take a
> > small population of starving people and feed them, and forty years later
> > we end up with millions of starving people - because they reproduced and
> > still live on non-arable land.
> Mt.14:15-17 & its sequel are germane here. The attitude of the
> disciples is "We can't see how to feed these people with our limited
> resources so we're not going to try." One implication (certainly not the
> only one) of the story is that we should do the best we have to care for
> people's needs with the resources we have & leave it to God to determine
> I am skeptical that this passage has much if any relevance for social
> questions. Jesus is not aiming even indirectly at teaching the disciples to
> do the best they can with the 5 loaves and 2 fishes. He is setting up a
> problem that teaches them to look to HIM. It is above all a Messianic sign.
> I am delighted time and again with your many comments that take us back to a
> Christocentric viewpoint. Permit me this once to take you back.
Paul - Please note the way I qualified my suggestion above. Social justice
issues certainly aren't the main point of the story but Jesus does say first,
"You give them [_dote autois humeis_] something to eat."
It's not necessary to make a choice between a christocentric viewpoint
and social justice. "He who has once realised that God was made man cannot
speak and act inhumanly" (Barth).
George L. Murphy
"The Science-Theology Interface"
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