Re: [asa] Land Animals and the Flood

From: David Opderbeck <dopderbeck@gmail.com>
Date: Fri Aug 24 2007 - 15:08:28 EDT

Jon said*: I think I was looking at it from the point of view that, if the
animals were killed simply as a consequence ("collateral damage") of God's
chosen method of judgment, how can we justify God in killing these innocent
animals?*

I don't think it's properly considered "collateral damage," which implies a
lack of intentionality. But neither do I think it's properly considered as
God's wrath directed at the animals qua animals. I think it's best
understood as God's judgment on that human society, including its economic
means of production such as livestock and other animals. This would be
consistent with a hermeneutical position that the universal language
employed in the text concerning the animals is likely a literary device
referring to those animals involved in constructing human society in that
time and place -- e.g., livestock, symbolic or cult animals, maybe pets,
etc.

On 8/24/07, Jon Tandy <tandyland@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
> I think I was looking at it from the point of view that, if the animals
> were killed simply as a consequence ("collateral damage") of God's chosen
> method of judgment, how can we justify God in killing these innocent
> animals? But my comment was the result of thinking, what's the difference
> between these animals, and other examples, such as in Psalms where God is
> described as giving the carnivorous beasts their food (presumably at the
> expense of other animals) as a normal part of creation, or God's command to
> the Israelites to slaughter the livestock of their enemies along with all
> the people in the conquest of Canaan?
>
> Then there's also the idea (from a literal-historical view of Genesis)
> that God caused all beasts throughout history to die simply for judgment of
> Adam's sin, or from a TE point of view, that God caused millions of years of
> animal death leading up to the development of humans. In this context, a
> few thousand cows dying in Noah's flood doesn't really detract from God's
> "goodness" any more than these other examples, so if someone has a problem
> with it, they should simply answer the question of animal death in general.
> Of course, a global versus a local flood raises the stakes a notch, but
> doesn't significantly change the argument.
>
>
> Jon Tandy
> <http://www.arcom.com/>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> *From:* Robert Schneider [mailto:schneider98@gmail.com]
> *Sent:* Friday, August 24, 2007 1:07 PM
> *To:* Jon Tandy
> *Cc:* asa@calvin.edu
> *Subject:* Re: [asa] Land Animals and the Flood
>
> Jon writes:
>
> "The animals just happened to be collateral damage of God's chosen
> method of judgment, which might still be seen as a theological
> problem. But
> then it becomes part of the larger question of why there is so much
> (sinless) animal death throughout time."
>
> I would not think that the death of animals as "collaberal damage" should
> be made part of the larger question of animal death, because the story makes
> the death of these animals a deliberate part of God's action. Rather, it
> raises the common formulation of the problem of evil up a notch. How does
> one justify God's actions in this case, which differs from animal death as
> the normal course of nature?
>
> Bob S.
>
>
>

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Received on Fri Aug 24 15:09:03 2007

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