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← Intelligent Design and the cruelty of nature

godzillatemple's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by godzillatemple

In my view, there would be little to be gained in bringing up this sort of argument with a Christian because there is quite a simple, standard response: we live in a fallen world.

I'm still not getting it, sorry. Are you saying that in a "fallen" world God is somehow powerless to intervene? I understand that he can't intervene in human affairs (at least not directly, or often, or reliably), since that would somehow deny us our free will or something. But even if Adam and Eve's shenanigan's in the Garden of Eden introduced death into the world ("nice job, guys -- you broke nature!"), how does that explain why the mechanisms of death in the natural world must necessarily be so cruel and vicious? Why not have a "fallen" world where creatures still eat plants and don't need to kill each other to survive, but where they simply grow old and die instead of living forever?

Did Adam and Eve's sin somehow force God to come up with the cruelest design possible for the "fallen" word? Was it somehow beyond his control and he is powerless to do anything but stand by and watch? So much for omnipotence.

I dunno, the whole "fallen" world concept just doesn't add anything to the discussion as far as I'm concerned. Either you claim that God did, in fact, design the entire natural world on his own (in which case he chose to make it incredibly cruel and is therefore a sick and twisted bastard for doing so) or else he had no choice in the matter (in which case he's not omnipotent and therefore not really much of a God in the first place).

Again, none of this has to do with the cruelty and suffering we inflict on each other while God necessarily stands by so as to not interfere with our free will. That argument at least has a leg to stand on. (although still fraught with plenty of unfortunate implications). But claiming that nature is exceedingly cruel because we live in a "fallen" world thanks to original sin doesn't change the fact that God would still need to have been responsible for designing that fallen world and he chose to make it as cruel as it is.

Wed, 16 May 2012 13:33:41 UTC | #941832