God didn’t make a world of robots

To the editor:

David Keranen is mad at God (or somebody) for not making a permanently perfect world. We don’t know why God didn’t create a world peopled by cheerful robots. He chose to give people choice, and many chose sin. God allowed that sinful world to be complex and painful rather than simple and painless.

Clues may lie in concepts of mutuality and reciprocity. Much of the Old Testament points to God wanting to better the world by working with and through His people. In the process they would acquire wisdom and depth.

Ultimately, God even entered into human suffering through the horrific crucifixion of His Son, in order to make salvation more understandable and attainable than ever before. Our world was illumined by hope. Of course, even with that radiant hope, life is hard. So Jesus chose to spend His time on earth imparting moral guidance that would prove timeless, rather than expounding scientific theories.

For, as Jesus knew, though scientific progress does alleviate some kinds of suffering, it does not insure moral progress. Despite huge advances in secular knowledge, the 20th century was the bloodiest to date. Had the message of a humble carpenter who lived twenty centuries earlier been taken seriously, it would have been a different century.

Many atheists pride themselves on leading ethical and fulfilling lives, seemingly without God. They remind me of the spoiled “trust fund babies” who are contemptuous of capitalism–the same capitalism whose success gives them the option of being contemptuous.

Most atheists live in societies rich in what is sometimes called “social capital” – a complex web of cumulative technical knowledge and cumulative moral/legal institutions. Those institutions have profoundly universalistic potential-but sprang from predominantly Judeo-Christian roots.

How long does even a mighty tree survive when torn from the roots that give it nourishment and stability? What moral compass will we get from an elite too prideful to acknowledge its debt to “those Stone Age tribesmen” of the Bible and their descendants–who, over long centuries and very probably under divine guidance, gradually recognized as fundamental the principle that all human beings as equal children of God have equal rights?

Don’t kid yourself. The godless brave new world of these supposedly “smart” people will not be kind to dissenters from its capricious edicts. Even an atheist may learn too late that “The revolution eats its own.”

Pat Reed