Re: [asa] red in truth and claw?

From: <>
Date: Thu Dec 11 2008 - 17:29:24 EST

While I agree with these sensible outlines of possible responses, let me play
"YEC-advocate" here to help Bernie anticipate some objections.

It's too easy to hide behind the "we don't really know what might be good in
some ultimate sense". Of course suffering may lead to future growth, or even
species wide improvements or selecting for new species as evolutionists claim.
But as a marauder tortures, kills, rapes & pillages a community none of us needs
any deep philosophy or theology to know that we are beholding evil. And we can
try to knock out the troubling animal aspect of this by claiming "well --they
don't comprehend the meaning of their plight anyway." But as your dog is
howling & bleeding to death with a leg caught in a trap, none of us would
contest that the dog is suffering regardless of its inability to produce a
theological treatise about the meaning of it all. In the end, isn't a major
aspect of the creation theology the assertion that at some point humanity came
to "know good and evil"? Sure, we can't come up with clean definitions for
every situation (maybe even *most* situations) --but we sure recognize a lot of
it when it happens around us, or to us and ours. The "good & evil" theology
from the creation account may be the rare remnant left unmolested by you TEs,
and now you're calling even that into question!

Okay --maybe that was a little too fun. Anyway --taking my YEC hat off, I'll
only add that I don't think anybody escapes the paradox of suffering producing
stronger people; and by extension that species wide suffering may lead to future
better species. And yet we seek to avoid suffering (probably nearly by
definition). So therefore we don't seek what is really good for us in many
situations. I recognize that in my own life. I want to be comfortable, and yet
I stagnate when I get what I want. Christ calls us to be compassionate towards
and care for the poor. This, courtesy of H.Spencer, will be recognized as
evolutionarily counter-productive. (Ebenezer might add "let the poor die and
decrease the surplus population...). Perhaps wars and famines do craft future
strength in an evolutionary sort of way. But the call of Christ to us as we
encounter the suffering of the world is a clarion call to the faithful that
clearly opposes any such self-justification.


Quoting Jim Armstrong <>:
> I think that one of the central difficulties lies in the fact that we
> are understandably inclined to understand and define "good" in human
> terms. In that light, we are similarly disposed to classify pain and
> death (the immediate unpleasant implication of "red in tooth and claw")
> as "ungood" or even "evil". But that is, in short, presumptuous because
> we do not know what is "good" in the big picture to achieve the
> Creator's intent in the universe of which we are a part. So it would be
> appropriate to be slow to identify the "red in tooth and claw" aspect
> of Creation with an evil or corrupted world. Pain and death suffuse all
> of living creation so thoroughly and integrally that most of life could
> not exist without the fundamental dynamics that are the sources of pain
> and death. So,
> I would be inclined to approach this by questioning the certainty of
> the common understanding of "red in tooth and claw", perhaps starting
> by simply asking how well we understand what is meant by "good" in
> Genesis 1. Is it "good" in human terms, or "good" in God terms? Are
> they for sure one and the same?
> JimA [Friend of ASA]

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Received on Thu Dec 11 17:30:09 2008

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