Sunday, January 31, 2010

What is Wrong with Providence?

Providence has been understood to be "God's rule" or "over-ruling" of life in all its aspects. But, what is wrong with this view and providence?

Modern man does not understand 'all that is" as predestined, or providential, but contingent and a "possiblity" or chance. Parallel universes, where choice and contingency intermingle to form what is. That is what natural scientists and human scientists seek to disentangle. But, the more they seek to disentangle the "mystery", the more mysterious it seems to get.

All people in free societies have rights to opportunity, because free societies do not limit the individual. The disagreement happens in how the opportunity is to be understood. Are human themselves to create their own opportunity? This is the view of the "Protestant work ethic", where hard work, willpower and determination will result in success. These believe that innovation is the way of American dreams and possiblities.

The other side views the limitations to opportunity. Those born in environments that do not promote the necessary ingredients to be a 'success" are viewed as society's responsibility. Responsible people seek to take responsibility for those who cannot form their own life for success. This view seeks to prosper the whole by underwriting the "part". Society takes up the slack where individuals and families have failed.

These two views define for the most part, though simplistically, how our two party system views "life", people, value, and choice.

Providence doesn't have much to do with one's environment of birth, whether healthy and enriching, or unhealthy and demeaning.

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