Monday, 13 January 2014

Why is our reality Good - why will Good win, in the end? (Pluralist theology)

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A pluralist understanding of God needs to explain why the universe is Good, and why Good and evil cannot simply be reversed.

In a pluralist universe of the kind I envisage - Good 'Just is- it is part of the basic set-up which preceded God - it is akin to existence of matter and the laws of nature.

Evil is not primary, because evil is the rejection of Good - the intent to destroy Good - it is Pride conceptualized as the chosen preference for the self and for self-definition above reality.

Thus Good exists and is a part of reality, then one or more free agents (which are also part of reality) choose to work against Good, against reality.

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Thus God is Good - at root - because He adheres to the nature of reality - rather than reality being Good because it is of God.

God is wholly Good by choice, not because Good is a property of God.

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This seems to be the necessary Christian concept of Good.

For a Christian, God is not simply reality to which we must submit - whatever it might be; but God is a reality to which it is Good that we submit.

Good is real - and God is much, much, much more Good than we are (totally Good) - but not simply by saying that everything that God does is automatically Good-by-definition... No - it is that God always does do Good.

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To a pluralist, there is a sense in which the triumph of Good over evil is contingent, and a matter which must be settled; Good actually has to win the war.

The result of the war of Good and evil is settled by superiority of forces.

But there is a kind of in-practice, 'pragmatic' necessity to the victory of Good.

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A thought experiment:

1. Evil is to be understood as the destruction of Good, the pride-full defiance of reality. Evil is chaos.

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2. Hence the triumph of evil in war is a triumph of destruction and falsehood - chaos eroding order (that order being Good and real). Evil (chaos) weakens itself, even as it defeats Good (order) - and insofar as evil (disorder) strengthens itself (organized, principled evil) - it lets Good in again by the back door.

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3. Hence evil cannot utterly destroy Good in a pluralist universe - because the basic stuff of things (matter, laws of nature, moral laws, and the spirit foci of intelligence which were the basis of humans and of God) are indestructible; indestructible because they are prior to evil.

Evil can weaken Good, simplify structure, reduce complexity - can create false models of reality (but these are still models, hence structures).

Evil can reduce and reduce the amount of Good but since power comes from structure, evil cannot eliminate Good.

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Thus if the forces of evil were, at some point in the history of things, stronger than the forces of Good, reality would be made more chaotic - but order could not be eliminated.

The emergence (the evolution) of higher levels of Good could be delayed. But if ONCE a wholly Good entity became dominant - became God - then His ultimate victory would become inevitable (although that victory could be delayed); however that victory need not be complete - evil will not be eradicated (because some or many foci of intelligence may choose to refuse to acknowledge it, and they cannot be compelled) - and that victory may not be permanent in the sense that evil may at times grow again and inflict more damage again, and need to be defeated again.

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It can be seen how, in this sense, God must be Good (or else He could not become God - could not attain the power of God) and - by the time that God IS - then Good must be stronger than evil and must win in the end.

(Win by making things right except for those who do not want themselves made right (those who choose hell); and making things right by healing the effects of evil, rather than any total and final obliteration of the possibility of evil.)

The war of Good and evil can only end finally if-or-when every single consciousness in existence has chosen to subordinate themselves to our Good God. If that cannot or does not happen, the War in Heaven will continue; or at least it has the potential to begin again.

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But we can also see that War in Heaven, Spiritual Warfare, is a reality - and an eternal fact of the universe - it is a real war, and must be fought, and not to fight it would lead in the victory (but not the ultimate victory) of evil; and it is but at some times it will be much larger and more destructive a war than at others.

(Because this is a plural universe that we have assumed, after all.)

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