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…But Nature Does Not Weep

May 21, 2013

Moore tornado

A few days ago, I was discussing with someone over Terryl and Fiona Givens’ recent firesides slash tour of England, where they have talked about (among many things), The God Who Weeps. I’ve written some of my thoughts on The God Who Weeps and Givens’ other recently popular efforts (I’ll summarize by saying these works have not exactly impressed me),  One of the main things is that (HT: Nietzsche) to love is to be vulnerable…thus, to love infinitely is to be infinitely vulnerable. God infinitely loves, and thus is infinitely vulnerable. Cue weeping.

Anyway, someone suggested that if “God” were too weird a concept to handle, we might instead replace it with the “environment,” for in our modern understanding — even our modern, supposedly agent-deprived, secular understanding — most people still understand the environment in a similar way that people in the past understood God. In another comment, the person said:

“We don’t understand the environment (god). It is powerful in ways we cannot predict or control (viz. the recent tsunami). It is also incredibly vulnerable to our thoughtless abuse (viz. pollution, which exists and causes problems that are visible whether or not one accepts anthropogenic climate change as happening in any specific way, i.e. via measurable causal relationships existing predictably between known variables).

The environment is at once incredibly weak and incredibly dangerous, and its outcome in particular instances remains unclear (while I can be certain I and every other living thing will die, I have no way of reliably predicting how or when).”

I said then, and I’ll say it now: I can see the vulnerability. I can see the hostility and out of control-ness. I can see how you can replace “the recent tsunami” with the even-more recent tornado in Oklahoma.

But I don’t see much infinite love there.

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