[Fwd: Re: Darwinism/Compassion]

From: Lucy Masters (masters@cox-internet.com)
Date: Thu Feb 21 2002 - 10:18:15 EST

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    Lucy responds:

    I agree that we are to "take care of the poor." Where I disagree is in
    the action. We are **NOT** taking care of the poor when we increase
    their ranks. To me, "taking care of the poor" would involve liberating
    them from their dependence, teaching them (as the Chinese say) to fish -
    not giving them fish. Yes - Jesus did give them fish rather than
    teaching them to fish, but he didn't exactly become a welfare agency
    either. These were more like sporadic episodes.

    So again, I must say that working toward a world in which humans are
    healthy and living within the boundaries of their raw materials is a
    good thing. It is certainly the way "nature" would have it, and I
    believe God created all the systems in nature.

    These are extremely important questions in the science/religion debate,
    and they extend to all kinds of issues. We began, for example, mass
    exploitation of antibiotics about 30 years ago with the immediate goal
    of ridding third world countries of disease. And now look where we are
    - crisis. Nature (God?) would have controlled this situation with
    relatively low impact 30 years ago, but because we intervened we will
    now see millions upon millions of people dying because the antibiotics
    no longer work. This is humane? This is Godly? How can we call it
    Godly when, clearly (it seems to me), it is not the system God designed?

    There are those who read this list who do not believe we should consider
    the consequences of our actions when faced with immediate concerns. But
    I very much believe that consequences should be a portion of the
    Christian perspective. The consequences of sending food aid, of using
    mass antibiotics, of refusing to let the parents of severely retarded
    children sterilize those children before they become pregnant with
    children they cannot care for, of using stem cells to save or improve
    the lives of otherwise healthy individuals, and so on. THIS...this is
    the stuff of the science/religion debate...at least for me.

    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: Re: Darwinism/Compassion
    Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 09:25:00 -0500
    From: Jan de Koning <jan@dekoning.ca>
    To: asa@calvin.edu

    At 02:58 AM 21/02/02 -0500, PHSEELY@aol.com wrote (see below my reaction,
    to see where I am reacting against)

    I do think that (if you talk about men) "survival of the fittest" is
    inhumane and un-christian.
    Our Lord wants us to take care of the poor. What God does is something
    else. We cannot and are not allowed to judge God, But God does judge us
    when we do not take care of the "poor" who we have always with us.

    "Humane" to have some "humans" die, so that others live well? To say that
    is very un-christian. We must take care of the poor around us. The
    hardest thing to see in N.America is the lack of proper care for the
    poor. I am not the only one thinking that. A quote from "themelios" the
    Editorial of Vol.27 No.2, page 1:

             Of course, when I look at American society in general, I am left
    with profound doubts about the depth of much American society in
    general. The rates of abortion are tragically high; the ubiquity of drugs
    eats at the fabric of society; unbelievable levels of deprivation stand
    side by side with vast wealth and opulence; the awful urban violence easily
    (and ironically, given American help in the province) eclipses that of
    Ulster in numbers of dead and wounded; andd glib political blasphemies drip
    constantly from the lips of politicians who constantly identify the
    American way with God's way.
    End of quote

    Written by someone who accepted a position in Philadelphia, PA

    >In a message dated 02/20/2002 10:24:43 AM Pacific Standard Time,
    >gmurphy@raex.com 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.

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