Prayer, theodicy, and loving damnation

(The original post was about this)

God’s action in a godless domain. 

Is this how we’re supposed to understand supernatural activity on nature? Is it what we’re asking for in imprecatory prayer?  Is this miracles?

Say I’m praying for X. Am I asking God to enter a world from which he is absent and thwart the non-divine forces converging to rule out X? Assume these non-divine forces were bringing about X anyway. Am I, in fact, asking God to do nothing?

(But then I opened it days later and this happened)

Something here is true – nature is indifferent to individuals and is perfectly willing to countenance the death of higher individuals for the sake of lower ones. Parasites thrive in ways that bring about the death of a child; sea temperatures stabilize in ways that wipe out villages by hurricane. If we assume that it is reasonable for God to place the life of children above parasites we are asking him to act within a domain that does not share these views.

But if God is the author of nature why not assume he has a similar indifference to individuals, even humans? In fact, qua author of nature he must have such an indifference. I suppose with immense effort we might come to love the common good of the universe to the point of accepting a parasite thriving on the painful death of a sentient being, or even accepting the logical possibility that the whole human race would endure a horrifying and everlasting punishment for the sake of some greater common good than the fate of our species. Is it possible to love the common good of the universe enough even to accept one’s own damnation as possible? What’s the alternative?

(I thought revelation was a way out, but revelation builds on nature and is not an exception to it)

To be other than an infinite good is to accept that one might be sacrificed to immeasurable goods other than himself. To desire that I be saved even at the expense of a greater good is, in fact, just the sort of perversion by which we would make ourselves unworthy of an infinite good. So to seek infinite goods at all means accepting the possibility of our own possibly infinite suffering.

I suppose I should say that I don’t like this. How else should I feel toward something good enough for God to tolerate my damnation? Then again, the only reasonable stance to a good of such magnitude is love. So in this sense to love God at all is to accept the possibility of my own damnation, and even to love it at least per accidens as the necessary conjunct to some good.

 

%d bloggers like this: