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 <email@example.com>
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,
><< > 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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