Just go back to bed…

      5 Comments on Just go back to bed…

You ever have one of those days when one thing goes wrong, which leads to something else, which leads to something worse… and before you know where you are, the day is irretrievably ….ed [insert expletive of choice] and it’s not even 8am yet?

I had one of those days today.

There is, of course, a sensible explanation, which is that when something goes wrong, you get delayed, stressed and flustered, which makes it more likely that something else will go wrong too. However, it’s often easier to believe that it’s actually because the universe hates your guts.

In circumstances like these, it sometimes helps to contemplate someone who is in a worse state than you are.

Take Ramses II, for instance. All he’s trying to do is make the targets on his public works program, and because of bolshie unionists with a powerful backer, his kingdom ends up getting trashed.

Or was it a series of natural disasters, each (mostly) proceeding logically out of the one before, in the classic manner of a day that just keeps on getting worse?

See here:
The Ten Plagues of Egypt

I remember watching the TV program when it first came out, and thought it was amazing. There’s even a book about it, which I want to get when I have the spare money:

The Plagues of Egypt by Trevisanato

Of course, before anyone gets up and fires off an angry comment telling me that God arranged all these plagues, I will point out that a natural explanation does not rule out miracle. As has been said before, the timing was certainly miraculous for the Hebrews. And isn’t it just a little bit presumptuous to assume that God wouldn’t have arranged a nice, tidy, labour-saving domino effect? Any God intelligent enough to invent mitochondria and with the sense of humour to create the duck-billed platypus would certainly not find such a beautifully logical progression too much of a challenge.

And to go back to my original point… if thinking about the poor Egyptians doesn’t make your day a bit brighter, you could always just go back to bed and hide under the covers until tomorrow, and hope the universe moves its malevolent attentions elsewhere.

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5 thoughts on “Just go back to bed…

  1. lowestofthekeys

    I had an argument with one of my brothers over the nature of miracles. He claimed that when a miracle occurred, it was just God causing the impossible to happen while I believed God works within the laws of nature.

    My other brother intervened and brought up a good point. Since he’s familiar with programming, he put it into an illustration. Typically when you build something with a programming language, it’s always based upon a foundational operating system like Linux. Every piece of code you use henceforth, works within that system, but has to be a specific syntax to work so you can’t just use random code. On top of that, if you have a functioning system, you usually can;t just add more coding to it, you have to manipulate the original.

    The tie-in was that God essentially manipulates the “code” in natural law to produce the desired effect, much the same way you can alter coding on a website.


    1. theophaniaelliott

      I like that.

      You could also add…

      If you believe that God created the universe, then presumably he invented the coding system (i.e., the natural laws). If God didn’t invent the coding system, then something else did, and that something must be greater than God (because it has introduced rules that God has to obey).

      So if God invented the coding system, then why would he invent a system that does not allow him to do what he wants (and therefore to produce the required miracle while still acting within the rules)?

      Another thing to consider is that since God is supposed to be omniscient and omnipresent, presumably he is capable of setting events in motion years, or even centuries, beforehand in order to bring about the required miracle at exactly the right moment.

      1. lowestofthekeys

        Good point, and you sound very Deist-like in your reasoning, which I like because the Deist approach is very much in the vein of thinking that God set up a system. I find that to be a very logical conclusion.

        Not to get sidetracked, but one of my favorite authors, Gerard Schroeder, a Jewish physicist, made a point tying in free will to this “system.” To summarize, he basically says that the system God created is built on free will and it includes everything, even natural law. To illustrate, he relates how weather can create good things like sunshine and rain, or bad things like natural disasters. In the same vein, humans can make either bad or good choices. The obvious difference is that we choose to do so, while the weather is just reacting. Either way it was a compelling thought.

        God being omniscient and omnipresent has always been one thing I’m keenly interested in. I feel that he uses a lot of self-fulfilled prophecy to inspire humans to act for him.

        1. theophaniaelliott

          I wonder if Schroeder ever met John Polkinghorne?

          Polkinghorne worked on the Question of Evil, and how bad things can happen in a world supposedly created by an omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent god.

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