C.S. Lewis: His Theology and Philosophy - Lesson 28

Problem of Pain (Part 8)

For Lewis, heaven is the unending joyous life of God, the life of the Trinity. The only way I can be fulfilled is to find its proper purpose and relation with God. Heaven is the restoration of created personhood, what it was always meant to be. When we are on the trajectory, we begin experiencing it now. Hell is the lack of fulfillment for which we were made. 

Michael L. Peterson
C.S. Lewis: His Theology and Philosophy
Lesson 28
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Problem of Pain (Part 8)

I. Animal Pain (chapter 9)

A. Different than human suffering

B. Nature of pain and predation in the animal world

C. Clarification

D. Kant’s view

E. The animal kingdom participated in the fall and will also participate in the restoration of all things

II. Heaven (chapter 10)

A. Definition

B. Trajectory of finite personality

  • The purpose of the class is to directly engage Lewis’s philosophy and theology. He brings a Christian worldview to engage intellectual movements of his day. The trinity created us to bring us into the fellowship that has been going on with God forever. 

  • The mind is the organ of reason, imagination is the organ of understanding. To understand what real truth is, the imagination needs to be a part of that. We are created in the image of God and are immortal beings. Ordinary people are extraordinary. The Christian life is most deeply about being transformed resulting in participation in the divine life. It's more than just having one’s legal status changed. There should be transformation in the culture as well as personal. God is in the process of redeeming a wounded universe, including the whole of knowledge and truth in all subjects. 

  • There is a sacred quality to ordinary activities as well as symbolic religious rituals. Whatever is true in any field of study is God’s truth. The world is essentially good, but it’s been damaged. God has taken a great risk in allowing people free choice for good or evil. Evil has become present in many forms in the world and it is anti-creational and anti-human. We are not broken, but we are bent. God’s nature is relational because of the nature of the Trinity, so it makes sense that he would make a universe that is relational. We dwell in God and he dwells in us. As disciples of Christ we all share the single vocation of loving God and others.

  • Lewis wants to parlay theological doctrines into dynamic insights and track out their implications for intellectual engagement. He does is with a background of philosophical skill and theological understanding of historic orthodoxy. Instead of arguing about preferences, we need to focus on articulating the doctrines that are universal. Lewis’s ideas are expressed so they can be understood by people not formally trained in philosophy or theology but they have merit in the marketplace of ideas. 

  • The probability of morality as we know it in the human community, given that theism is true, is more probable than morality given any other worldview. Morality at the human (finite) level is anchored in morality at the infinite level. Morality has its most natural fitting worldview home in theism. In using the analogy of light shining through boards in a tool shed, Lewis says, “I believe in Christianity, not because I see it, but because by it, I see everything else.” 

  • In Hinduism, Brahman, the hidden inner essence of everything, is beyond human categories of good and evil. Brahman is the only reality. Everything we see is an illusion. The fundamental human problem is ignorance, not sin. Dualism is the idea that there is good and evil at war in the universe. Explaining morality in a dualistic framework is difficult. Dualism assumes good and evil are equal, so you would need a third element to adjudicate which one to choose, and that would be a higher standard. Otherwise you wouldn’t know which one to choose. Naturalism/materialism says there is no ultimate moral nature to the universe. 

  • Lewis begins by discussing our common moral experience as a triggering point to reason toward theism. Then he reasons for a deity that’s interested in morality that’s also a supreme power. With naturalism, we come from a source that is non-rational, non-moral and non-personal, so it’s difficult to understand how you get beings that are rational, moral and personal.

  • Theism is intellectually at least on par, if not superior to, other conceptions of reality like dualism, pantheism and naturalism. If there is a God that theism describes, only one deity of the living theistic religions said that this God invaded our existence. The question is that in comparison to other alternatives, what is emerging as a reasonable explanation of the reality we face?

  • Our rationality being reliable assumes that we can produce a large preponderance of true beliefs over false ones by using rational faculties like memory, abstract reasoning, perception and the testimony of others. The role of philosophy is to analyze and explain the common sense beliefs of the human race about morality and the external world. 

  • The scandal of the evangelical mind is that there is not much of an evangelical mind. Lewis thinks that we now do not have broad social consensus of Christian truth. He challenges individuals to have a more positive affirming attitude toward intellect and academics. In his view, Christians are ambivalent about the value of the life of the mind and using the gift of our intellect to serve him.

  • Premise one: every natural desire corresponds to one real object. Premise two: There exists in us a desire that nothing in the temporal world can satisfy. Conclusion is that there must be more than time, earth and creatures that can satisfy this desire.

  • The Supreme Being, behind the universe as we know it, is a personal being, eternal and the model for how we are to understand our personhood. We can’t understand our own personhood fully, the way it’s supposed to operate, unless we understand what God is, as a personal being. We are not projecting our understanding on God but learning about ourselves by finding out about God. 

  • This is ultimately a book about a clash of worldviews. A worldview offers an explanation of the important features/phenomena of life and the world. In the West, the atheist worldview is often expressed in naturalism. Lewis argues for theism based on what is true internally of us, rather than argument from design. Discussion is not whether a particular miracle has occurred, but in principle, is it a possibility.

  • There is a supernatural power or being that is ontologically distinct from nature (transcendent). It is self-existent. Every world view must propose what is fundamentally real. For the naturalist, it is the physical world. For the theist, it’s a transcendent deity. Everything that is not God is dependent/contingent on God for its being. The theist says that the deity can bring about events that would not have happened by the regular operation of nature. 

  • What’s important to Lewis is freedom of rational thinking, free from physical causes. Naturalism undercuts the power of reason because everything is determined by physical causes. If evolutionary naturalism is true, then the probability of our cognitive faculties being reliable for truth is low.

  • If you believe in naturalism as a worldview, miracles are impossible. Since a naturalist worldview says everything is determined and thought is only adaptive, the ability to have free rational thought to logically evaluate naturalism undercuts the naturalist position.

  • Rational thought and moral consciousness are points of entry of the supernatural into the realm of the natural. It involves both. It’s not a dichotomy. Naturalists believe that the nature of human persons is limited to material processes. Substance dualists believe that mind and brain are two separate substances that are mixed for now, but at death one will cease to exist and the other will continue to exist. Emergentist sees the animal form taken to another degree of complexity by the natural realm getting increasingly complex and dualist in function as opposed to substance.

  • Scientific law is economical summary of what experience always reports: regular cause and effect. Laws are regularity based on coincidences. Causality is the basis of law. Hume says that laws are regularities based on coincidences. Hume says that you can only know regularity because that’s all the human mind is capable of. Peterson’s view is that a miracle is not changing a law of nature, it’s changing with the “ceteris paribus” clause – preventing all things from being equal and changing the nature of the item. 

  • There is nothing about nature that makes miracles impossible. The naturalist can’t see nature accurately as a creature, not just an independent fact but it can’t stand or explain itself. The cosmological principle is that only concrete beings, not general things, have causal power. Causal laws don’t make things happen, only the beings acting within the laws.

  • If God is in fact a living determinate being, and is outside the natural system, he might insert events into the natural system. The laws that we observe in the natural system may be a subset of higher laws that govern the universe. What criteria do you use to determine if a miracle has taken place? Evidence plus intrinsic probability. Whether or not an event is a miracle is also part of the discussion of the problem of evil. Why would God intervene in some circumstances but not others? 

  • In philosophy, it’s referred to as the problem of evil. Given a certain understanding of God and a certain understanding of evil, there is a tension explaining why evil exists in the world.

  • If God chooses to create a nature, this signifies a physical system which indicates a relatively independent nature independent from himself, it would make a lot of sense to say he is frequently intervening.  The same laws that make nature a stable environment in which rational soulish life can emerge, are also the same laws that make us vulnerable. Pain is God’s megaphone to arouse a deaf world. He might whisper to us in our pleasures, but he shouts to us in our pain. Question about whether God initiates the pain or he set up a system which results in pain because of the way it’s structured.

  • Lewis describes the story of the Fall as a narrative that has symbolic elements that convey significant truth. The truth in the first couple chapters of Genesis is that we were created by God, sovereign and loving creator, and that our only fulfillment as humans is to center our lives on God. Our proper role as a creature is to rely on God, so when we ignore that and rely on ourselves, our relationship with God is broken. 

  • God is his creation set forth the problem of expressing his goodness through the total drama of a world containing free agents in spite of, and even by means of, their rebellion against him. The risk is for the possibility of relationship. 

  • Aristotle would say that as a rational, moral being you build your character based on the hierarchy of good traits.  From a Christian perspective, our natural destiny should be on the same trajectory as our eternal destiny. The spiritual and theological virtues are faith, hope and love.

  • As long as God chooses a stable physical order, that physical order will run by its own laws. Any system with  have the possibility of pain. Created nature with natural laws provide a framework/structure in which souls can meet. Some pain is produced by the natural system without regard to the desires of the beings. That humans can inflict pain on other humans is a reflection of the permission by God that he permits this. The wide range of freedom makes it possible for great good or terrible evil. 

  • Lewis thinks that God needs to pierce the shield of our ego and we are embodied creatures so pain is what does it by getting our attention by highlighting how frail and in need we are. 

  • For Lewis, heaven is the unending joyous life of God, the life of the Trinity. The only way I can be fulfilled is to find its proper purpose and relation with God. Heaven is the restoration of created personhood, what it was always meant to be. When we are on the trajectory, we begin experiencing it now. Hell is the lack of fulfillment for which we were made. 

  • Discussion of the movie Shadowlands. Discussion of the nature of relationships. Pain and happiness are not necessarily mutually exclusive.                                        

  • Lewis expresses anger toward God as part of his process of grief. Orthodox Christianity denies materialism which believes that your physical body is all you are, but it doesn’t require body-soul dualism where the soul is the real person that inhabits a shell. Whatever damage death completes in the reign of sin in this world will be undone and swallowed up by the resurrection. The restoration of human personhood will come after death. 

  • Heaven and hell are dichotomous. Whether life is heaven or hell depends on your future trajectory. God is true reality, fixed and can’t be altered. In GD, true reality is God. The descriptions are not meant to be literal. Heaven is the Trinitarian life of God. It’s not a place, it’s a state of being in proper relation to the love and joy of the Trinitarian relations. Lewis describes it as a great dance. 

  • Final comments about themes in The Great Divorce.

C. S. Lewis is an extremely good theologian who does his work for the thoughtful lay person.  But his writings reflect his erudite understanding of the great classics of literature, historical theology, philosophy, and other disciplines.  Lewis says in Mere Christianity that theology is like a map.  We may get where we’re going without it, but it is much easier to use the map.  The map of Christian theology is drawn over the early centuries of the church as the believing community interprets the Bible and its experience of God.  

Of course, the ultimate goal of theology, according to Lewis, is practical:  to draw us into the life of God, or St. Gregory of Nazianzus ((329-374 AD), called it, “the Great Dance.”  I know no theme deeper or more pervasive in Lewis than our need to get the steps right, to join the dance once again.  

In “Meditations in a Tool Shed,” Lewis says that there is a distinction between looking at a beam of light and looking along the beam of light.  He is speaking of looking at reason or using reason—a passage that forms part of his great case that presence of rationality argues for the truth of theism.  We will be doing a lot of looking in this course, largely, “looking at” Lewis himself.  But let us also try to “look along” the same line of sight as Lewis, to see things—God, humanity, spiritual life, and a host of other things—as Lewis saw them.  This means attempting to step inside Lewis’s worldview and learning to interpret fundamental realities the way he did and to deploy his distinctive strategies for engaging other worldviews.  In effect, we will learn to think Christianly by learning to think along Christianly with Lewis.

In 2020, Dr. Peterson published the book, C. S. Lewis and the Christian WorldviewIt is essentially his course lectures in written book form--covering Lewis on all key worldview issues--reality, knowledge, creation, trinity, christology, as well as issues of evil, religious pluralism, and the impact of science on faith. You will also see it listed in the Recommended Reading section. 

Dr. Michael Peterson

C.S. Lewis: His Theology and Philosophy


Problem of Pain (Part 8)

Lesson Transcript


If we go if we go on to the next chapter that looks like animal pane number nine, just discussing our way through. Oh, okay. Make sure the cameras roll. The camera rolling now. Okay. On animal pain. The question for Lewis, in part, is whether the Christian explanation. Like the considerations he's brought to the table to explain human pain, whether that can be extended to animal pain. And so he kind of frames it like that and begins to develop his thinking on this subject by by saying that there are significant differences. You know how to think about human pain and animal pain. Lewis says, for example, that animals this is Lewis's point. This is theory. He says animals, in a sense, don't suffer. Because suffering requires a level of consciousness and self awareness. But animals don't have it's not clear that they have self awareness. They may have awareness. But not self-awareness. Actually he's probably aware of what they cart said in the 17th century in the meditations and Descartes meditations where Descartes. His thinking is that there are two kinds of substances that make up reality. There is. Extended substance, pure extension. He calls that matter a very mathematic matter sized idea of matter. Be that as it may, we're not a class on Descartes. Pure extension. In other words, stuff that occupies any presence. Length, width, depth. In space extension. So it's very mathematical, but. So there's matter which he calls pure extension. As Descartes is dualist, he's a substance dualist. And there is. Mind and the essence of mind is not extension, but thought. So there are two substances that make up reality with two very different essences. The essence of what is is extension. The essence of the other is thought now in the human.


The two are somehow a composite. We have a body that occupies space and it's a material body, but we have a mind, and the mind has the unique ability to think. And we're that two part kind of thing. God is has no extension. God, in a sense, for Descartes, is. A pure non material rational being. Anything below the human level is just extension. This is. And so Descartes says, animals are machines. No, I'm not saying that Louis is just drawing from Descartes, but I'm saying there are different ways to get to kind of that conclusion that animal pain and suffering can carry. I think it can be brushed aside. A bit kind of brushed aside and the and the Christian explanation of. Pain and suffering then really pertains to humans. And clearly, that's that's a major area that has to be addressed, why the humans suffer and so on. But I actually don't think Lewis's approach here is adequate at all. And now these are Cartesian, but he gets to about the same result. But animals lack self awareness. He says, a sufficient degree of of consciousness where they could recognize and understand. The significance of their own pain states. And for Lewis, that seems to do a lot of work for me that I don't see how that works at all. But so maybe I should just pass this chapter by because it means I have criticized Lewis and it would be like criticizing a member of the Trinity or something in a lot of religious circles. But Lewis I think discounts the the significance of. Of the problem in this area that there's no reason to say the problem of pain is about human pain. It's about pain in the created order, an order that God somehow originated and presides over and at least can sense.


To how it operates and what happens within a lease is consenting. He's allowing. So it still goes back to God's doorstep, it seems to me may not have quite the stature of the problem of human pain, but the problem, animal pain I don't see can be dismissed this, which is what kind of the way I take it. So that's that's kind of like my most salient objection to what Lewis is saying here. He says a lot of other things seem right. I mean, he's discussing how the evolutionary process in the organic world means that most animals have to survive by preying on others. And by the way, I found a weekly series on the National Geographic Channel just called Predators. Ghostly is to die for, but that would be a good word. So it's it's really interesting. My wife to talk to me, I was watching it the other night and she she said, either turn that off or never. But, I mean, it's just amazing how the animal world, how the whole biological world has to. Has to work. And interestingly, a lot of that pain and predation actually has the effect of creating greater health and greater functionality for biological organisms. Those that can't survive or whatever, pass on genes that are more survivable. And so in Lewis, Lewis is in this area. He knows that something like that is just a truth about the way the world works. But he also has a little bit of John Milton, doesn't he? And we mentioned this earlier. He has a little bit of John Milton in him theorizing that the animal realm has been corrupted. So it strikes me that there is this interesting tension between saying is part of the essential mechanism of of of organic nature, pain, predation on the one hand, or this mechanism has the pain and predation because it's been screwed up.


I hear him saying both. And I don't think you can easily do that. And I don't have a well-worked out way of harmonizing it or coming down on that issue. It's an issue that really there needs to be a lot more work in. There really needs to be a lot more work in that. I'm actually supervising a doctoral dissertation on this topic. And because it's just there's just not much work done. There's Christopher Southgate's book, Nature in Tooth and Claw. Murray, who's now at the Templeton Foundation, has a book called. I'm sorry his his nature rubbed tooth and claw and it this edit this Mike Murray has the nature in tooth and claw book and Christopher Southgate has the I just can't think of the of the is called the groaning of creation the groaning of Chris that's Southgate British theologian. You know you start having a hard time finding finding more treatments of animal pain from any kind of a theistic or even specifically Christian point of view. And a lot of the problem of animal pain is. Is giving shape and in a sense, more substance. More teeth. Want an image, but pretty more teeth because of what we're learning from science is that science, religion, relationship once again, where science is telling us stuff. So what you can say in religion has to be aware of just what we know from science. So I don't know how Lewis is going to square the circle here and say both that the evolutionary process inherently involves pain and that maybe the animal realm has already been corrupted, he says, by some mighty created power before humanity even came on the scene. Because we came into this, we came into a painful world in evolutionary terms.


That's the Hamiltonian picture of a pretty mundane fall. And then it results, among other things, that results in the spoilage of the way nature works. Questions. Comments? Yes. So. Approaching that text as I read it, I think. For me to say that when he says that. I mean, that it was. They do get hurt, but they don't have a reason to have words. Yes. Become aware of their pain in the same sentence. Yes. Is that about right? That's about right. And it kind of goes like this. I mean, if you say, I'll pull over here, you know, the rents would be. Surprisingly, because he talks about himself. Yeah, right. That's right. So if you if you look at pain states as momentary things, I don't even know if this a good way to do it. But you look at pain states going along through time and self awareness. See this would be awareness. You'd be if you're an animal, you feel pain, you feel it when you feel it. But self awareness is this other level. But Lewis is trying to get at. So there's awareness and that's not enough. I think it is enough for sentient creatures who have nerve endings and can feel pain. There's a huge question. It's not the only question, but the problem of evil really ends up being a cluster of various problems human, moral, evil, natural evil. But also there's just this problem of animal pain. Why would a good God, you know, all of this create a world in which untold amounts of creatures can feel this, this pain, suffering, fear, all of that. And Lewis was answer there. So they're aware. They've got awareness Moses answers, but they don't have self awareness where they understand the significance of their own suffering states that this is really bad and I should resent this or I should compulsively wish it to go away, you know? And they don't have that mental process that he's calling self-aware.


So I think that's for him doing more work in his mind that I think it does. I think. In high school. I got a lot of weight loss. Oh, no. I argued with the teacher because it was the kind of dog nobody's best friends. But I said yes. The teacher said no. So I actually got a lower grade. And that probably set your life on a trajectory of the look so much more to or the dog being self-aware. Yes. Yeah. And could the dog have a county of goodwill? I don't know. Probably not. No need to go back. Yes. And they were using the word knowledge to apply to a dog In a way we don't really apply to what happens in a human with higher levels of radiation. You know, so but we get along with that word and we apply it to dogs. My dog knows this. My dog knows that, you know. But but on a sliding scale, we're talking about something else. We say knowledge in humans. That's true, too. But that doesn't mean, in my view, that animal pain can be so readily. I think he's dismissing it largely. I don't think he has these theories. Well, maybe it's built into the evolutionary process. There's a lot of truth to that. Or maybe maybe the creation was spoiled long before humans came on the scene and spoiled. But. And it's not operating like it should. That's that's that mill tone in somewhat Augustinian background belief functioning. But those are hard. Like I say, those are hard to reconcile. Are there other comments? Questions? Yes. What my thoughts is about the nature of what it means to be self-aware and maybe there's a levels of being self-aware, I think about the concept of mental.


Yeah. Um, my old dog used to have a long time, so. So he would just try to sleep around here, man. Which often meant that in between, sometimes after. The rest. It needs some cleaning. Thank you for that image. Here's some scissors. And the dog was upset and established her will to say I did not appreciate that saying that was to take your water, food, dish and knock them over and turn them over. That's something establishing a little thing that was not pleasant. I did not like that. Yeah, and I find that interesting more in the story. I heard about it out in India being freed after years of captivity, like years since I was a child, had spikes in his chains around his ankles and this guy was using it to get money of his own. People heard about it and found it and rescued it. And as they were moving the chains, it all of a sudden became aware that what was happening is that it was actually being free. And they saw tears streaming. And that's fascinating because I had a sense of. Enjoy. I'm not sure if that's the right word. That's right. Yeah. Those are amazing stories. I. I do think. You've got to preserve for theological reasons. You've got to preserve the unique status of humanity in the image of God. All of that means all that. On the other hand, the what do how do I put this? The continuity that we share is pretty significant with with the animal kingdom, particularly the higher primates and so on. But even on down the line, the dogs, the elephants or whatever, and there are continuities, they have brains, they're not as complex, some of the lobes aren't as developed, blah blah.


So they can't have the some of the thought processes we do. But are there matters of degree here? Matters of degree? They're showing a foreshadowing of what was to come into full bloom in humans. All these are just really interesting questions. But those who think that in every regard there is complete and utter discontinuity, I think particularly in an age of of of science now speaking into religion. And it needs to in some regards, we just can't say that any longer that there's complete absolute on every level. It's continuity in brain structure. It's not identical. But if there's a continuity, a matter of degrees and those things you mentioned are kind of like matters of degrees of, of response from a sentient conscious creature and showing maybe some some shadow of self-awareness. I don't know the answer to that. I know Brother Lawrence is credited with with this particular saying about self-awareness and the soul that we are soulless creatures. And it goes like this I long to give myself to you all, Lord, but I cannot until you first give my self. To me. That's really interesting quote. But selfhood, self awareness. Knowing that I'm a creature who has to make some ultimate choices. Is there something God gives us the capacity for? But he may have done it in a way that we could be religiously naive about. It might have been through an evolutionary process contributing to eventually the awakening that we have. All these are matters for really, you know, a lot more discussion than we could give it in the time we have. I think of the continent, and this is in the first critique, the critique of Pure Reason talks a lot about this kind of thing. And even though I ain't no Kantian, this is really interesting.


He uses this term that we have moment by moment experiences and yet something has to think those experiences, something he has to have those experiences. He talks about the I think that that embraces them all and holds them all together before one's consciousness. There's a ability to stand back and reflect. And then what Lewis is denying is that animals have that capacity. Consciousness sentience. Okay, but not self conscious, not the ability to stand back and kind of say, this is really bad. I am really suffering. This ought not be so easy. I don't know. That strikes me. What Lewis is doing is, is making more of an absolute divide and between humans and animals than he should. And therefore thinking that the problem of animal pain is just solved. And while humans are distinct, why do these innocent creatures suffer? Still remains. The question talks a lot about memory to. But if I lost my memory after every moment of pain to make the content point, I lose some of the significance of myself. So the I think depends very much on memory. To stitch these things together. My various conscious state talks about that. Just this absolute subject of debate. But you. Yeah, well, I'm taking a walk down memory lane. We've talked so much. Can't today. I wanted to see my prof yesterday. So I do my Masters UK. And he was at that lecture and I missed him. He got out the door and so I took quite a bit of my day yesterday doing stupid stuff like looking for a car that's big enough to hold all my grandchildren, things like that, and, and all the car seats that go with it. But that's okay. I'll go in there, see, Damn Brazil.


And. But, but once it's a walk down memory lane. So part of what kind of saying because of because of the distinction between the the the numeral and the phenomenal consciousness, the numerals self and the phenomenal self. So this would be my phenomenal self. Wow. And that's what is rich and textured and colorful in my experience, by streaming my experience colors. Sounds too much sound from that thing over there, that heater. But that gives me my phenomenal. So in a way, this is all human recognize. It's all that classical Buddhism recognizes, you know, And what kind of saying is there couldn't be a phenomenal self structuring its experiences like it is unless there is also a numinous self there was doing it. And that gives you that self awareness language we were using a minute ago. So there's more here than we can discuss. But that's that's calm is in it's not two selves I don't have to self there's the self as I cannot know it directly and then there's the self as it contains the stream of experience. What people think is phenomenal. Luminal stuff is kind of two different things. The new little world, the phenomenal. There's one thing. Right. So the new little world is just the world as I cannot know it directly. Uncategorized by the categories of the mind. And I can't know my normal self, but I can infer it this way. That's part of the transcendental deduction, right? That I infer that is transcendent by experience. There's something back here that is. And if there's a world sending signals to me, I can infer that there's something behind those signals. So he makes the inference both ways. Okay, that's way too much of a walk down memory lane.


Dan told me yesterday his 37 year old daughter married 37 and her husband, 37, is dying of a brain tumor. And a hospice has been called. I mean, we didn't talk philosophy, if you know what I'm saying. And I've seen it forever, decades. But I want to see him since I saw him at the lecture. And and he just couldn't hang around and talk because he was going home to be available. Friday night, you know, it nothing amazing. So you never know. Speaking from a pain. We've got children. My wife's doing a funeral on Saturday. Same thing. Somebody died late. Thirties of heart attack. And father of three children, I think two children, one on the way. It's amazing. Dan is a Nietzsche scholar. And so I'm not sure we didn't get we didn't get to talk too much at all by saying how he looks at all that. But. To whatever extent my visit was somewhat passed, maybe a tiny bit past all. Hope for the best. Um. I'm thinking we've probably done the chapter on animal pain. I do think that he signals near the end of the chapter. He signals that somehow and again, the question is how so some how the animal kingdom participates in the fall and will also participate in the resurrection of all things. Result I mean, restoration in the restoration, whatever culmination of of God's redemptive work there is that somehow nature and the animal kingdom will will somehow participate in that. Those are very general statements. Somehow it participates in the fall and one would think logically or theologically, then it would also participate in God's redemptive work and and restoration. Almost the minute one tries to put details, more concrete specifics on such a general statement, we almost run into potential error.


We're getting married to some theory. So I myself like endorsing the generality. I have every confidence that nature is going to be redeemed and whatever, and it's hard to say exactly what's wrong with it. Now that was wrong with it before moving of tectonic plates and earthquakes are just not inherently evil. They're not good if people live on top of them. Yeah, you know, and it's really the animal pain thing. That's the harder. Point to address. The dog was master. Yes. Yes. Since we don't relate to God, probably desperation can be as. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, the price. If there's any chance we'll never get into that. Right? Yeah. Yeah. And then the planets are. Are. Right. I mean, he does they talk about the pets that we make a pet. We almost humanize it. We in other words, we draw it into ourselves. Likewise, he's Catholic. He's he's broadly ecumenical. Orthodox, Catholic, small. C he's saying, likewise, God is inviting us into his life, just like we domesticate an animal, make it more, you know, reflective of our world. I think there's something to that. But what if we did? What if we didn't draw animals into our own life? There's still a problem that their his creation may suffer. And is there any is it going to be any kind of a positive resolution of that? Just on its own terms. And so or if they're just dependent upon us, I don't know. But the idea that all is all is out of joint. There's damage everywhere. Saying exactly what that damage is, is really hard when you move outside the human realm, the human realm, our inhumanity to each other, you know, all of that, our hate, our lying, all that stuff, that's easy.


Then, you know, in some ways, even though the animals don't have the significance, it would seem in God's economy that humans made in God's image have. It's maybe for that reason we've got we've got more explanation, but we don't have as ready an explanation for the animal pain. And I frankly don't like the core of Lewis's explanation of a loss that he builds around that core. Very interesting. Okay. It would be just heavenly if we could finish this book today. Which reminds me, the chapter ten is on heaven. I mean, you can't get a more masterful transition. Than that. See how I did that? Take note. Chapter ten isn't heaven. I think this is pretty key for Lois Heaven. I can't think of any place in the writings of Lewis where he speaks of heaven as a place or a location, per se. And likewise hell. And that sets you up to give to give the most fundamental and essential definition of heaven and hell. We're talking about heaven, of course, directly, but heaven and hell, in terms of what Louis would say and what Louis does say. But heaven for Lewis is the unending, joyous life of God, the life of the trinity of unending love and beatitude and blessing. That's the characteristic of the internal life of God. Period. That's heaven. It's not a place. It's not up. Hell is not a place that's down, you know, or has fire, that kind of thing. But rather hell than would be being apart from the in unending joy and love and beatitude of the life of God. So we're really talking about ways of thinking at the deepest theological level, ways of thinking about. The trajectories of finite created personality. And if one is on a trajectory into the life of God, one is in heaven.


Heaven starts now, a.s.a.p. And boy, the great divorce really picks that up. Hell, then, is not to be on that trajectory. So right now, equally, people can be in hell. So what then, is the life of God? According to the Augustinian tradition, according to Louis, According to Thomas as well. The fulfillment of my of my created personhood is defined as its its proper purpose in God relation to God. That's the only way I can be fulfilled. So heaven then is the restoration fulfillment of created personhood what it was always meant to be. And hell is the lack of the fulfillment for which we were made. If if he's a hole person kind of guy, so the whole person gets transformed, uplifted, redeemed and fulfilled in the life of God. The integration of broken finite personality. So then hail, by contrast, would be the dis integration and the lack of fulfillment of created finite personality. That's the most fundamental level of theological description. Of heaven and hell. So imagery is fine of streets of gold and or flames, you know, depending on the context and what symbolisms play in a given culture, you know. But if you if you're looking for the universal definition of heaven and hell, you got, I think you've got to get about where Louis gets on that. And we'll have much opportunity to discuss this further in the great divorce stuff. Yes. But, you know, we have talked about such a relation to our environment. Environment. What are you dealing with the in fact. So a place where every creative person. Moriarty. Yes. Moore More. But still. Yes. But reflects. That's a very good point that our that our diversity and our uniqueness blossom in a positive way, that heaven is not just plain vanilla.


You know, and we all kind of bland, but but the things that are totally positive and legitimate differences can flourish in heaven, be this amazing society. Indeed, a family of of different but inter-related created persons. Yeah, I think we're we're done for time, and we'll see you next week. I guess next week is our last week before Turkey break. So we only have two more weeks of instruction. And I'm going to pile it on.