Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Degeneration Part V

Theory revealed

I have come to the point that I must present a theory as to why I believe the degeneration in various forms I have described may in fact be a reality.

First, please allow me to digress. I began this series of posts as really nothing more than an online attempt to articulate what I have come to believe to be true. My arguments in support of the justifications I have presented have not been entirely solid in terms of empirical proof at times. I will admit that the logic I have used to express these thought has at times been both watery and maybe even at times absent.

The truth that I have arrived at is so simple. Many before me have expressed it in simple terms, based upon nothing more than mere faith. Oftentimes the faithless will view a reliance on faith as a sign of weakness. My attempts to rationalize and prove my faith may even appear to be an acknowledgement to those that disdain faith.

I would say that my meager attempts are not at all an admission that faith alone is enough. I have the greatest respect for those so strong in faith that they can overcome the human tendency to question and ponder to the degree that faith becomes impossible. I would also say to those that denigrate faith itself that we all, each of us, has faith in something. This is true whether we admit it our not.

To my theory.

Simply stated Sin is the prime cause of all degeneration in society and man. Imagine that, I have written four previous posts attempting to prove what every good country preacher already knows.

I thought it important to discuss the matter as I have because I have experienced a major shift in worldview and this shift has and will affect all that I think, write and do. Long time readers will recall that previously I have been of the opinion that the arguments over creation and evolution were not worth the effort invested in them. I was of the opinion that God is an all powerful God. As the architect of the universe I had no trouble accepting that he might have created the universe in any number of ways. It was conservable to me that evolution was a potential tool that he used and that the seven days of Genesis might have referred to celestial time.

There is of course a major problem with this view. If one accepts that the possibility that man evolved (guided by a divine hand) up to the point that man appeared and then God breathed life (a soul) into man you must be open to accept other theories.

Since beginning this work I have read with great interest the work of many in the creation science business. To be certain folks much more experienced in biological science as well as the creation story in Genesis have spent thousands of hours and have produced volumes of excellent work that dispute the theory of evolution on scientific terms. These items are readily available for anyone to read and study and I will not presume to restate their work here.

I will discuss an additional problem that evolution of species and particularly man presents is the notion of social evolution. We contest the notion of the evolution of species but I dare say many of us dispute the idea that society over time becomes better. This is what the public schools teach; it is a key tenet of progressivism. The entire American industrial/consumer system is built upon the idea of progress. It is the chief tenet of faith in statism.

The real problem with the doctrine of social evolution and its offspring progressivism is that historically it is unfounded. Societies rise and fall, progress and regress in cycles. Taken from a macro view it is apparent that in the aggregate progress in terms of more human freedom and general happiness decreases over time. (Yes I know people are often bought off with the idea of more gadgets but these do not really equate to true happiness.)

Back to my theory.

A few points or tenets to explain my view

- Creation occurred as described in Genesis
- Man, earth and all of creation was perfect
- At the Fall (first sin) a decay and degeneration began
- With each generation the cumulative effect of past sin is more evident, making it more difficult for even true believes to remain true
- With each generation the cumulative effects of decay and degeneration are evident (ever so slightly) in our society, physical well being and moral compass

That is the simple view. I mentioned back in my first post that I believed that an equation could be generated to account for the accumulation of the unknown factor influencing our general decay. If it were possible to measure sin in each generation I believe we could in fact prove this theory mathematically. Of course we cannot do that. Science can only comment on and theorize about things that can be observed. Sin is like the black matter of the universe that physicist and astronomers search for. We know it exists but we just cannot find it and quantify it.

If we accept that sin has an influence on all the items we can observe then we must also accept that all of our theories and equations are wrong in some way. There is a variable missing, unaccounted for.

I have heard is stated (falsely of course) that the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics did not begin until the Fall. This must be an erroneous view. Without some entropy life cannot exists. If, however, after the Fall a new variable was added to the law that we accept then it is possible to envision that sin may in fact increase entropy, decay and degeneration. The influence of this law would have to be so slight that we cannot predict it in a micro view. Consider though we are talking about the cumulative effect of sin over 6000 years. The effect would not have to be so great as to unbalance the equation. If we consider the universe a closed system, which from our perspective it must be, then the idea that entropy increases over time is acceptable. The notion that unseen variables such as sin may in fact affect the increase of entropy in this closed system is neither provable nor disprovable. It remains a matter of faith and a possibility.

Think of the influence of a variable we cannot see or measure but we as Christians know exists. We know mutations occur and science has yet to prove or demonstrate that mutations ever produce an increase in genetic information. Over time and generations information decreases. In the rare cases where mutations are of limited benefit there are dozens more examples of mutations gone awry.

Just why did folks in the Old Testament live so long? There are many theories and the unbeliever would simply say these are fables. I accept the stories to be true and I believe there is a perfectly reasonable explanation. Man was created perfect. The influence of sin is gradual in its lasting effects on each generation (if it were not so humanity would never have survived). Each generation adds to the total of aggregate sin in the world.

You say hold on a minute. How could folks that do not know sin as I believe Christians know sin have committed sin. Remember the discussion of universal truths? I believe all men, in all times have had the opportunity to hear and listen to a piece of the truth. When they failed to listen, they committed sin. In all ancient and primitive cultures there was at one time some version of the truth. When and where a people turned from the truth affects how far that people advanced, how much they were blessed as a people.

You may also say wait another minute. Jesus died for the sins of mankind so the slate ought to have been wiped clean 2000 years ago and the entropy clock restarted.. Maybe my understanding is wrong but did he not die for the sins of all that would believe in him? He did not wipe away sin entirely. His sacrifice made it easier for more men to turn to salvation. It is possible that this did indeed curb the tide of entropy and decay for a time. We might rightly attribute all of the advances resulting from the Enlightenment to a time when entropy was beaten back just a bit by a few centuries of more people receiving salvation. This is possible.

The possibility of this notion of genetic decay based upon the increasing level of sin has many possibilities. The principle that the sins of fathers will be visited on offspring may just have more than metaphorical meaning.

Our psychologist and geneticist tell us that certain bad traits are inherited. We often scoff at this as an excuse to release people from individual responsibility. Suppose that things like alcoholism, criminal proclivity, attraction to perversion and many other things can be inherited. This is not to say that if a person inherits a trait that they must become what their genes dictate, we all have free will. This only means that some people are born with an extra burden, a burden resulting from past sins.

If we accept this notion then things would seem to look grim for us indeed. It would seem that we are caught within a vicious circle. Sins in past generations combine to make it harder for current generations to resist sin. The cumulative impact of sin influences our health, judgment, wisdom, moral compass and our very genetic make-up.

I do not believe this theory is far fetched. In fact it is probably as suitable as any to explain why things are they way they are. It is the exact same thing preachers have said all my life. It just never struck me as being the core of all that is wrong. Sure I accepted that sin was the real enemy of good progress (as opposed to the current view of progress) but I have never stopped to consider just how sin impacts all efforts to make things better or just how deep the hold of sin, past and present has on any efforts we make.

Before you take me as someone that has converted to all doom and gloom just hang on there. I think there are historical examples of communities that have turned the tide in their time. I think it is possible to win battles even if mankind must eventually lose the war (we cannot win alone). The fight is well worth the fight and we can win battle in out time.

Until next time.

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