Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Earthly life is very short

We have good a priori reason to think that:

  1. If God exists, persons exist forever.
Persons are the sort of non-fungible beings whose cessation of existence would be a cosmic tragedy, and we would not expect that in a world created by God. (Sometimes atheists write as if the hypothesis of an afterlife was an additional posit, brought in ad hoc to counter the problem of evil.)

Our earthly life is very short, then. At most about a hundred years. Which is 0% of eternity. And by (1), we have good reason to think that if God exists, there is infinitely more later.

It is not that surprising that there is evil in a very good existence if the evil occupies only a small portion of the existence. And 0% is a small portion. Moreover, if we were to guess where the evil might be met with, the beginning of existence would be a reasonable guess. For improvement is much better than decay. And while we cannot be self-existent like God, being in some way the co-authors of our goodness is a great value. But that requires the possibility of not being good. And makes plausible the actuality thereof.

1 comment:

Dagmara Lizlovs said...

"Our earthly life is very short, then. At most about a hundred years."

Some of us have a little more than that. My maternal grandfather lived to 102 yrs and 11 months, passing just 3 weeks shy of being 103. Here is a list of some of the oldest people around (verified):

Here is a probable 123 year-old:

Or possibly this guy:

Or this Chinese woman:

Like all good wines, we get better with age.

When I was 14, I got to stay in the Sequioa National Park, it was quite the experience to see trees that were seedlings at the time of Christ. The oldest Sequioa was the Muir Snag which lived for 3,500 years, that would be what? A seedling at the time of Moses? Sequioas are way cool. This makes for a very interesting observation. If living to 100 is 0% of eternity, so would be living to 3,500 be 0% of eternity. That means that a 3,500 year old Sequioa and us have both lived 0% of eternity, wouldn't that make us then the same age?