The Evangelical Universalist Forum

Disgustingness an invention of God, priviation, or a false perspective?

I was thinking about this subject today and I decided to share a modified version of something I wrote in the past(not on this site).

I believe God rejects the “circle of life(death)”. I think it is incorrect to believe that he is the creator of death or certainly to believe that it is a permanent part of his creation. I have thought a lot on this(especially since I often pass decaying animals on the side of the road on my walks) and wondered whether God was the creator of decomposition or whether it is an automatic effect of the fall(whether privation or perversion of nature). There are awkward situations where I don’t know whether to give credit(or blame) to God or to the enemy, whether something is wrong with a thing or whether my perception of it is wrong. I have decided that I think God created decomposition and gave us the capacity for disgust and even our ability to perceive things as ugly, not because God is all “zen” and “enlightened” about it nor that he considers death, disease, and other evils to be good! I strongly doubt God sees any beauty in rotting bodies, ugly disease symptoms(plague boils, leprosy), etc nor does he intend for us to.

Have you considered that God could have made decomposition a beautiful process if he wanted it to be seen as beautiful? My theory is that he made them(decay and ugliness) to mark those things as evil, because we might otherwise not perceive them as evil or maybe he thought it simply befits an evil thing to be ugly or disgusting. because he saw that if the evil of those things were not easily perceivable to humans, humans would content ourselves with it or even be led into all sorts of misguided or twisted behavior. I suspect that the world might look like some sort of horror movie if death did not result in decay that rightly disgusts us! I suspect that in many cultures, people would keep the dead bodies of their loved ones around as permanent fixtures in their house(this may seem far fetched, but it is actually a reality in some parts of Indonesia, despite the decay ), people would form abominable spiritual teachings about the dead and maybe even idolize them, maybe the dead would be used as props or so on. Many of our rightful taboos about how we treat corpses may not have become taboo to begin with if not for decay.

So in one counter-intuitive sense, God may have designed decay to be detestable so that we would treat the dead in a more dignified way! Not only treating their bodies with dignity, but more importantly, treating the person themself with dignity. Dignifying the dead by rejecting their death as evil/tragedy that it truly is rather than trying to misconstrue it as beautiful and holding on to false hopes and false immortality. God wants us to put our hope in real immortality, and real resurrection! The world clings to all kinds of false hope/comfort by construing death as beautiful and natural, but I believe that God himself sees it as an enemy that he will destroy(1 Corinthians 15:26). The world says that people can live on in memories or through posterity or even as ghosts but we all know that isn’t really living. That is not to say that death should be meaningless to a christian that is confident in the resurrection, we can still acknowledge it as tragic, and as an indignity that needs to be set right and I am sure that God can and will set it right. I believe that God wants to tear down false hopes when those false hopes stand in the way of a greater, truer, and more satisfying hope!

So I guess I might go so far as to call disgustingness(the sight and smell of a rotting body, perceivable symptoms of disease, etc) and the quality of being disgusted by things that are made to be disgusting to both be good things. Not that the disgusting things are good but that it is good that they are disgusting to us so that they reveal the truth about them that they(death, disease, evil) are evil things. It is also good for our health and safety to find things like decomposing flesh to be disgusting.

Disgust goes wrong when we are disgusted by things that God has not “marked” as evil, like when people are disgusted by how God designed their body(body hair, parts, or so on), disgusted by people(sins themselves and symptoms of disease merit disgust), disgusted by virtues, disgusted by truth, or so on. Disgust is a gift to be thankful for because it repulses people from evil and unGodly things.

It is worth mentioning that there are some things that I don’t believe are evil(or could even be considered good in some ways) that God may have designed us to be disgusted by, such as feces(which it benefits us to be grossed out by for health reasons).

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Your post addresses a number of issues.
My personal belief is that:
a) God made us bi-partite beings - body and spirit. At death our bodies return to the dust from which they were created. Our spirits never die but await the Resurrection Day when they will be reunited with our resurrection bodies.
b) All non-human life will cease to exist in any spiritual form after death.
c) Heaven will likely contain newly-created animal and plant life for our use and pleasure.

Based on what? Why would God throw their spirits(or souls or consciousness or whatever) away? Does God love animals less than we do? Does he have less regard for their lives than we do? I have found no Biblical basis for rejecting that they will be resurrected or rejecting that they will live forever. I also don’t think God would give them the appearance of being alive if they were just philosophical zombies or something.

I also reject the idea that there will be needless killing, suffering, and death in the afterlife.

If there is an absence of biblical evidence one way or the other, we should ask which reality would be most good and say with confidence that if it[whatever we imagine to be most good] truly is the ideal, that is what God will do. We can not overestimate God’s love, power, the value he places on life, or any good quality. We don’t need biblical evidence that God will do what is most good, the only question is what is truly ideal. I can’t see how abandoning anyone to mortality(without resurrection) is ideal compared to giving them the gift of unending life.

$5 says Randy will turn up soon with captioned cartoon in tow… :smile: