Thursday, July 30, 2009

On "Knowing" and Government

We all like to think our opinion "matters" to someone and that our choices have impact and influence. That is, if we care to engage the world we live in. But, last night's movie, "Knowing", did not have that "take".

"Knowing" presented a world whose "accidents" were "pre-determined" and known by a troubled young girl. Nothing anyone seemed to do to stop these "predictions" helped as the "course was set".

Americans and those who live in free societies do not believe that "the course is set"in the details, but that there is a more or less "way to live and be in the world". We call the "ordered liberty". We believe that our vote "counts" and that our leaders "listen". And that we can choose our "own course" and our "own story" for our lives. We live in a free society.

The movie presented horrifying situations that "played out" before the main character, even when he was "trying to make a difference". This was just as de-humanizing as the former belief that the world was chaotic and things happened by "chance". Now, he was faced with a "world" that was computorized or "Calvinized".

The message, at least to me, was that the world is the way it is and our understanding of it is limited, though we attempt to "label" and understand the world. We live in paradigmic understandings and when these do not "work" we are baffled, as we cannot function without an understanding of some kind. Scientists have made their discoveries based on these "common physical laws".

But, higher mathmatics, and quantum theory stretches the imagination to understand one formula, as it seems to say that what we choose determines reality. That is different from theology's "foreknowledge of a Sovereign".

Our government does not intrude into its citizens private lives, and allows the individual the right to "live at peace", as long as he is "law-abiding". Some American Christians term this "God's Povidence", but do so without understanding the larger implications of that belief.

Those who live under dire circumstances, face horrendous tragedy, and unforseeable evil are not to be "pacified" with platitudes of "God's control and knowledge". The suffering do not nned theology, but solutions to their problems. And these solutions are political, as we live in a politicized world.

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