What did God do sans time?
Why do we say "sans" time? Because to say "before" time implies that there was time before time. So, we say "sans" time to try to be a bit more accurate, although it is difficult for our minds not to think in terms of a linear time frame.
What did God sit around thinking about? What went through his mind? What was God kicking around in his thoughts? Did things actually "go through" God's mind? Probably not, since when we think we think one thought after the other after the other after the other, etc. So, we think in time and through time. We require moments to build arguments. But, of course, if God is existing "sans" time, then he wasn't really "kicking" anything around....But we'll go with it just for sake of an interesting discussion...
We know that God was planning what he was going to do with all of creation. He was getting ready to create something. According to Scripture the plan of salvation was a part of this creation. Of course, this gets sticky because if God is planning to save then he must have also planned for a failure from which to save us from. We know from a few thousand or so years of history that this failure has to do with the moral condition: Evil exists in the world. So, the reasonable conclusion is that God was planning evil sans time.
Did God have to plan evil? Or is evil a necessary aspect of a finite creation?
One solution to this is to say that God didn't "create" evil, rather he granted human kind free will. Humanity used their free will for evil and consequently we've got bad things to deal with.
Fair enough. I respect that position, but I don't agree with it. I'll spare you the reasons.
Let's take another route to answering our question. What if good and evil are not really two separate entities? For some us this might sound absurd at first thought. In western philosophy and thinking we draw sharp dichotomies and make distinctions. Good is the opposite of evil. Evil is the opposite of good. Something is either good or it is evil. It cannot be both. Classical western logic systems usually have some basic and fundamental laws: the Law of Non-Contradiction, Law of the Excluded Middle, etc. Something cannot be both A and non-A. We generally apply the same reasoning rule of thumb to morality: Either good or evil.
What if there is a closer connection between the two? That good cannot exist without evil or that evil cannot exist without good. That they are co-dependent in some sense.
How does good take on meaning without evil? And how does evil take on meaning without good. They feed off of each other. Those who feel most strongly about fighting evil are usually those who feel most strongly about the good. If you experience evil in a profound way you will typically have a more profound appreciation for the good. In this sense they certainly compliment each other, while simultaneously oppossing each other.
So, if God is to plan good he also simultaneously plans evil. To instantiate a world with morality necessitates the potential for both good and evil as it will occur in space-time.
This is not really an apologetic....well, maybe it is to some extent...but primarily I am interested in exploring the nature of good and evil and whether there is a closer connection than previously thought.
A LOVE SUPREME
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Wednesday, March 21, 2007
What did God do sans time?