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Intelligent Design and the Interdependence of Human Lives

Granville Sewell
Photo credit: prananta haroun via Unsplash.

In a series of posts, of which this is the fourth, I am considering the problem of pain, but also indirectly, the “silence” of God. See my earlier posts herehere, and here.

As I have mentioned, a wonderful little article in UpReach, by Batsell Barrett Baxter, entitled “Is God Really Good?” contains some useful insights on the subject. I have been following Baxter’s outline in presenting my own thoughts. Since it is our human free will which makes our relationships with others meaningful, Baxter considers this point to be important enough to merit separate consideration.

Much of an individual’s suffering is the direct or indirect result of the actions or misfortunes of others. Much of our deepest pain is the result of loneliness caused by the loss of the love or the life of a loved one, or of the strain of a bad relationship. How much suffering could be avoided if only we were “islands, apart to ourselves.” Then at least we would suffer only for our own actions, and feel only our own misfortunes. The interdependence of human life is certainly the cause of much unhappiness.

The Design of Real Love

Yet here again, this sorrow is the inevitable result of one of our greatest blessings. The pain which comes from separation is in proportion to the joy which the relationship provided. Friction between friends is a source of grief, but friendship is the source of much joy. Bad marriages and strained parent-child relationships are responsible for much of the unhappiness in the modern world, but none of the other joys of life compare to those which can be experienced in a happy home. Although real love is terribly hard to find, anyone who has experienced it — as I did for a few short years — will agree that the male-female relationship is truly a masterpiece of intelligent design, when it works as it was intended to work.

As Baxter writes, “I am convinced that our greatest blessings come from the love which we give to others and the love which we receive from others. Without this interconnectedness, life would be barren and largely meaningless. The avoidance of all contact with other human beings might save us some suffering, but it would cost us the greatest joys and pleasures of life.”

Next, “Intelligent Design and the Value of Suffering.”

This series is adapted from Dr. Sewell’s book In the Beginning and Other Essays on Intelligent Design.