Tuesday 12 September 2023

Death is a type of evil, and the only path to pure Good

Entropy (the tendency to decay, the inevitability of death) is dominant in this mortal world and the known universe. 

Entropy is a type of evil: because so long as entropy is, then whatever is Good will decay, will die. 

Thus decay and death are an evil. 

And yet, since Jesus Christ; death is also potentially a path to everlasting life in Heaven... In other words, to a mode of existence without entropy, without decay or death.

(Because all evil - including entropy - has been left-behind.) 

Indeed, death is the only path to eternal, sinless life. 

Therefore; while death is an evil, for a Christian death of the mortal body it is also the death of evil: the one and only path to Good. 

Exactly such is the Christian's experience of the fact of death: 

For us; death is a terrible and unavoidable evil. 

And death is our necessary path to an otherwise unattainable everlasting, wholly-Good, way of being. 


WanderingGondola said...

This doesn't sound quite right to me. If death is evil, why would God -- a pure Good -- want us to experience it?

The way I've come to see it, with change being a constant in our universe, creation means nothing without its opposite, loss. Together, they give value to something/someone that exists/lives even for a short time, however flawed. Part of that value is the potential for Good to increase.

Bruce Charlton said...

@WG - I think what you may mean is that this understanding (which is surely a psychological fact for Christians?) conflicts with your assumption that the creator is an Omni-God who is also (somehow) completely Good:


But if you are prepared to drop the Omni-God, and adopt a developmental, time-including understanding of reality, then there is no conflict.

William Wright (WW) said...

This seeming paradox, of death and entropy as an evil thing and yet a Good path established, might be one of the best examples of the fact that there is nothing so bad and evil that Jesus can't turn, in the end, to Good.

As you say, he is not an omni-God that could turn back time and erase the effects of entropy introduced into Creation. What has been done is done. But he could understand it and harness it for Good purposes... even going so far as to be the one that extended death (as a gift) to Men in order to set them on the path to freedom, and then follow this path himself.

Bruce Charlton said...

@WW - My understanding is that this is the only way it can be done, the only way that Men (etc) can be resurrected (and that to be embodied is part of what is needed). We all must follow the same path that Jesus took through incarnated mortal life, to incarnated eternal life.

WanderingGondola said...

The "omni" concept hasn't been part of my beliefs for a while now. Admittedly I'm still developing my thoughts, and have some difficulty translating them into writing...

I think the conflict here is down to my seeing reincarnation being primary over resurrection -- primary, though not universal -- which makes death a necessary part of Creation. I realise you see that as wrong, so this is probably a case of agreeing to disagree.

Bruce Charlton said...

@WG - I believe that reincarnation (of one sort or another, and there are apparently many kinds) was probably usual until the work of Jesus made resurrection possible.

Since Jesus; I would regard reincarnation into this mortal life as a choice.

For myself, resurrection into Heaven is very clearly preferable!


Epimetheus said...

Agreed. If given a choice on the other side, I have no intention of coming back to this place.