[This series is part of Section Four, Ethics and the Third Person. An index with links to all parts of the work as they are posted can be found [url=https://forum.evangelicaluniversalist.com/t/sword-to-the-heart-ethics-and-the-third-person/1335/1]here.]
[This series concludes Chapter 44, “The Fall”.]
I can look at two different sets of data and infer my next conclusion independently from either of them.
If I was in total harmony with God originally, then I think my relationship to this Nature would have been significantly different than what I find it to be now. Yet, I don’t ever remember being in that relationship with Nature. As far as my own memory goes, I seem to have been born in this condition.
But perhaps that is an illusion. However, I also have access to plenty of examples of other entities similar to my own type–other human persons, such as you, my reader–in all stages of life from cradle to the grave. All of them, or virtually all, are in the same relationship with Nature I am. There are some interesting hints of an improved relation here and there, among a few individuals or at particular moments in a person’s life; but those hints invariably ratify the principle that to be in harmony with basic reality (in other words, to be in harmony, even if in ignorant harmony, with God) results in a significant and indeed marvelous improvement of our relationship with Nature.
Otherwise, the vast bulk of data suggests to me that human beings come into the world ‘fallen’.
We come into the world in a relationship with Nature that seems to be the intrinsically hostile and dangerously inefficient relationship that would occur after we individually would choose to fall–the relationship, in short, that would signal to us something is drastically out-of-sync no matter how hard we’re trying to ignore the implications of our condition.