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Keywords:

  • ambivalence;
  • creation;
  • design;
  • evil;
  • goodness;
  • life;
  • nature;
  • pointlessness;
  • seven deadly sins;
  • PaulTillich

Many scientists have argued forcefully for the pointlessness of nature, something that challenges any doctrine of Creation. However, apparent design and comprehensibility are also to be found in nature; it is ambivalent. This trait is nowhere more evident than in the natural inclinations that lead to concupiscence and the “seven deadly sins” in human beings. These inclinations are dealt with as pertaining to the “pre-fallen” condition of nature and human beings. As a framework to make sense of the goodness of creation in this context, Paul Tillich's notion of the “vital trends of nature” is called to the fore. Being at the intersection of a philosophy of religion and a philosophy of nature, this notion hints at the goodness of Creation in fragment and anticipation.