[Uucf-bible] What does Scripture Say About Universal Salvation?
tarvid at ls.net
Sun Oct 8 20:14:23 EDT 2006
I like jiffy's argument. My guess is that Paul and Calvin were right
in that God will do with us as she will.
Somewhere along the line, we acquired "self consciousness". Whether id
or ego really doesn't matter to me but my here we are and I feel
compelled to deal with my own self image and to struggle with those
eternal questions, who are we, why are we here, what should we do, is
this all there is?
On the other hand, I am sufficiently mature to forgo speculation on
the survival of my self image or my ego after physical death (and
yours either for that matter). But we are here and the only god I can
imagine would have us make the best of this. This does require that I
recognize and respect you and I and every creature, rock and crystal
that I can perceive.
Thus I wholeheartedly prefer universal salvation to selective damnation.
On 10/8/06, jiffyzebra <jiffyzebra at yahoo.com> wrote:
> "when in our evolutionary history did we acquire souls?"
> Perhaps it would help to define "soul." The phrase "our evolutionary history" seems to imply that WE existed before we were humans, and how is that possible? Were WE "us" when "we" were apes or rodents or ambibians or fish or single-celled organisms going back in "our" history? In my personal view, the soul does not literally exist at all, but is a very useful mythical concept, depending on how we choose to define it.
> "Will creatures, who lived a billion years ago and who are our ancestors, inherit eternal salvation?"
> I would say, this depends on our definition of "salvation." What do non-human animals, whether they're are ancestors or not, need salvation for? They do not sin, do they? Sin seems to be a uniquely human concept, depending on our defintion of "sin."
> "Will they continue to evolve in the hereafter?"
> This depends on the definition of the "hereafter." Is the hereafter simply another form of our world where departed creatures continue to mate and reproduce? I don't see how. If they do, this implies growth, and therefore change, aging, and this implies the possibility of sickness and death. It makes no sense for already departed creatures to die all over again, does it?
> "Will we continue to evolve in the hereafter?"
> This seems to imply that individuals "evolve." Of course, there is individual growth in all living creatures. That's the life cycle. But neo-Darwinian evolutionary theory does not address individual growth, but rather the changes in species over time, in particular the emergence of new species from ancestral forms. Or, does this imply that creatures in the hereafter continue to reproduce, to compete for scare resources, to be subject to environmental pressures necessary for natural selection to operate? Because without such things, evolution makes no sense.
> "If I am going to believe in a hereafter, it will have to be a restoration of all creation - not just an elect few humans."
> Why would all creation need to be restored? Restored from what exactly? This implies there is something wrong with creation. The Garden of Eden story and the Fall of Adam and Eve are sometimes interpreted to mean that not only did the first (mythical) humans sin and be cast out, but also that all of creation was somehow downgraded with them, from paradise to the corruptible physical universe as we have known it since. This is a literalist view, however, where before the Fall, Nature was perfect, had no death, etc. Presumably no disease or aging. But in effect, this would be like Heaven. Seemingly a form of non-existence. Is this even a desirable condition? To be non-living? It's paradoxical to be living yet non-living, anyway. And I do not like the idea that death is punishment for sin. I believe death is natural and morally neutral.
> However, it is not necessary to interpret the Fall literally, is it? Perhaps the story expresses a change in perspective rather than condition. Nature remained the same as it ever was. Rather, man's viewpoint changed. He lost his innocence. He became aware of his mortality. He discovered evil, and with it came ethical discernment. This would be consistent with humans' connectedness with all living things, indeed with the entire biosphere, and the cosmos as well. Perhaps salvation is not a change of condition either, but a rediscovery of our inherent oneness with the universe.
> But these are just some of my rambling thoughts in response.
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