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Meditation on the imperfect world - Phil's Rambling Rants — LiveJournal
May 27th, 2009
01:00 am


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Meditation on the imperfect world
This is something I wrote this afternoon at Kickapoo with an old-fashioned pen and paper.  I'm making myself sit down and post it because I'm keeping far too much stuff in my head.

I do not mean to threaten or disparage anyone else's beliefs with this.  I don't know that I believe it all myself, for all that I wrote it in definite terms.  This is spiritual, but not in agreement with fundamental doctrine of any religion I know.  If you're tetchy about your religion, please just don't read on, because while I'd welcome an honest discussion, I'm in no mood for a fight.

God is finite.  His joy in his creation is the joy of existence of the things in it.  He chose to make a world much bigger than He could directly wholly control and contain; He did this by creating the conditions from which it sprang, and every now and again tweaking something.  We have evolution, and all the suck that comes with it, because this is the only way finite God could have such a big universe.  He rarely intervenes because He is spread very thin just to know as much as He can.  To focus enough to change one thing would be to let His awareness of other things slip.  Thus, we should not resent that He does not answer our prayers.  Instead, it is for us to be grateful to take part in his glorious, though flawed, Creation.

The world is not imperfect because sin somehow snuck into the perfect creation of a perfect God who despite being perfect doesn't have the power to cleanse his creation of just the bad stuff.  The world is imperfect because God is imperfect; He did what He could with what He had.  Maybe He could do better if He wiped the slate clean and started over.  The notion that this is the best of all possible worlds depresses me.  But I'm glad He's not tired of this Creation yet.  There is much to take joy in, far more than enough to be worth the suffering; I prefer existence.


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Date:May 27th, 2009 08:03 am (UTC)
The thing about creation, on whatever scale you attempt it, whether you're God or just stumbling around in the dark, is that if it's a true creation, it grows beyond itself. It perpetuates and continues to grow. And true creation changes shape and adapts and does all the things that plants and animals and humans and rocks and ecosystems do.

If you think of God as a parent, it's easy to imagine the relationship between God and man as in Genesis might actually have existed. But then creations moved on and began fulfilling their individual and collective destinies of becoming whatever they were going to become. Mothers and children, or fathers and children, have close relationships in an ideal world. They have less close relationships with their grandchildren, because their children, their creations, have their own lives and must now direct their children. Ignoring human mortaility and getting back to the God idea, that's a lot of grandchildren and subsequent levels of great-grandchildren to keep track of. How much more challenging for them, and interesting for God, to let mankind go where it will and evolve as it will evolve. Occasional tweaks may be possible or even necessary, but God-as-weaver or watchmaker has put the pattern or the components in motion.

No arguments here; I was brought up by parents who taught God stories alongside science stories. My mother used to say, when asked how God could create the world in just seven days, that we had no idea how long one of God's days was. If you live forever, she suggested, time has a different meaning.

I'm not bothered by the different names people put on their faiths or their gods. I'm only bothered when injustice or dehumanisation or oppression or any number of other bad things are carried out in the name of some religion or other.
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