Monday 3 January 2022

Creative Providence versus either fatalism, or planning

Every person who - for a while - succeeds in thinking/ being outside of The System becomes (for that time) an instrument of divine providence.

The above is a sentence I wrote in the comments yesterday, a kind of credo for what I term Creative Providence; which was then highlighted and expanded by Francis Berger

Here is a bit more in the way of clarification...  

Creative Providence = the belief that all our personal acts which are in accordance with divine-will are taken-up by God into ongoing and eternal creation. 

Therefore, Creative Providence is a metaphysical perspective* that acknowledges both the validity and potential of our mortal life; and the supremacy for the divine and eternal. 

It is rooted in an understanding of divine creation as ongoing and developmental (rather than once-for-all and fixed); and participatory between God (primarily) and Men (secondarily, within primary creation). 

In contrast is Fatalism. Fatalism = the conviction that God's plans unroll indifferently to any-thing - positive or negative - that we might personally think or do. 

Fatalism is the common basis of most theorized traditional religions throughout history and still today (although it is now, apparently, seldom believed with conviction). 

Fatalism gives all value and significance to the divine and eternal; rendering our mortal lives irrelevant and futile. 

Planning = the conviction that my best future entails forming and sticking-to explicit strategies. This is the ruling assumption in the modern world. 

Planning does the opposite of Fatalism; by excluding (as false) the divine and eternal; and asserting that our lives are bounded by conception and death. 

Mortal life is all that is - for us. For us... but significant only during our lifespan and without intrinsic significance for others. 

Lacking intrinsic significance; the only significance of our mortal life is in terms of the consequences for other people's mortal lives - yet the lives of others also lack any intrinsic significance.

Therefore Planning shares with Fatalism the conviction that our mortal life is Irrelevant and Futile - but for Planning our life is I&F because it is all there is yet lacks intrinsic significance; rather than mortal life being irrelevant for Fatalism for the opposite reason: i.e. because only the divine and eternal really matter. 

I have come to the conclusion that only something-like the metaphysics of Creative Providence is able to 'do the job' of explaining why our mortal life is genuinely significant - and can therefore explain why there is any such thing as the mortal life of Men. 

Note: Metaphysics is the philosophy (and/or theology) concerned with describing the ultimate nature of reality. Metaphysics is not itself that ultimate reality - but is the description of it, a 'model' of ultimate reality. Therefore all metaphysics is necessarily partial and distorted hence false if taken literally. The truth is known only directly, unmediated, without language. But to communicate the truth about ultimate reality entails metaphysics; so it is the most profound type of description.


robert kendall said...

whats I and F ?

Bruce Charlton said...

@rk - Irrelevant and Futile (I have now capitalized the words to make it clearer). It's a 'homage' to the style of PG Wodehouse.