Wasn’t There Pain And Suffering In Egypt’s First Born?
Pain & Suffering is obviously what our Non-Theist friends believe applies in these UN-Natural events and just as obvious is the fact that we need only to remind them of a few key facts:
A— On Scripture’s definitions wherever we find someone in the Old Testament (…Enoch, Egypt’s First Born, Etc….) or in the New Testament (…Rapture, Christ, Harvest, Etc…) in these discussions we have to view all vectors through the Singular lens of the Singular Metanarrative of the Singular Christian Metaphysic and therein we find that all such individuals are obviously beneath/within the Decree of Non-Culpable or else Innocent or else a New Creation’s Redeemed.
B— There is (necessarily) no such thing as a Person or Man or Woman or Child who does NOT come to the End of his/her own self/being with respect to Being, Time, & Circumstance and, there, Traverse this specific boundary.
C— All such Traversals/Harvests necessarily entail (to make the obvious point) “Non-Metaphysical-Naturalism” when it comes to explanatory termini with respect to Means & Ends and thereby it’s obviously the case that all such cases are UN-Natural Traversals of Time’s Necessary Terminus (…being intentional there with the term “Un-Natural” used here not to mean “violation of physics” but instead in the category of cases being discussed here such as Enoch and Egypt’s First Born and so on to mean something akin to “via God’s immediate intervening” …).
D— All such cases are UN-Natural (in that sense) such that — given A & B & C — any such Pain & Suffering is for obvious reasons NOT “in-play”.
For context note that the question of “Wasn’t There Pain & Suffering In Egypt’s First Born?” is looked at more fully in the following three items:
PART 1: ETHICS, PHARAOH, EGYPT’S FIRST BORN, ENOCH, HARVEST, LOVE, & LOGICAL NECESSITY – We Are All Pharaoh – We Are All Enoch – We Are All Egypt’s First Born – at https://metachristianity.com/ethics-pharaoh-egypts-first-born-enoch-harvest-logical-necessity/
PART 2: ETHICS, ANANIAS, SAPPHIRA, HEROD, HARVEST, LOVE, & LOGICAL NECESSITY – We Are All Ananias – We Are All Sapphira – We Are All Herod – at https://metachristianity.com/ethics-ananias-sapphira-herod-harvest-love-logical-necessity
Additionally: “The Cursings” via The Psalms – at https://metachristianity.com/the-cursings-via-the-psalms/
We ask our Non-Theist friends, “Does God take them in pain?” and typically we have to wait. Then we watch their eyes look at the ceiling and you can literally see the dots getting connected. Then they retort in a bit of panic, “But da-bible! But da-bible!” Well, not exactly those shouts but some sort of a priori driven emotive heat typically manifests as our Non-Theist friends are too often bothered by the treatments here along the lines that “reality” actually does have one, singular metanarrative vis-à-vis Scripture and “therein” all definitions remain seamless. Or instead, at times, they’ll be a bit bothered by the treatments here wherein “God” just may be greater than Time & Circumstance.
At such points we reassure them that it’s okay, that there really are more than a few verses in Scripture, that it really is okay to embrace WHOLE Meta-Narratives, and that definitions matter. Of course this is all usually a topic that is found Pre-Resurrection within discussions in the Old Testament (Enoch, Egypt’s First Born, etc.), though not always as some discussions are around items in the New Testament, for example see We Are All Ananias – We Are All Sapphira – We Are All Herod at https://metachristianity.com/ethics-ananias-sapphira-herod-harvest-love-logical-necessity
As Christians educating our Non-Theist friends out of their uninformed One-Verse-Thinking and into the actual Christian Metaphysic vis-à-vis the concept of Metanarrative we have to recall that for the Hostile Non-Theist all such new data or new information can upset their assorted a priori driven objections – which of course means still more frustration on their end – which of course then means still more tedious work on our end. Fine. Whatever. We simply remind them that it’s okay because in the OT and then again in the NT we see the Cruciform Lens with respect to God and Angels and Harvesting and Man, Woman, Child, Creation, and so on.
At some point it becomes helpful to ask our Non-Theist friends the following question: “But why is there no pain in these cases given Scripture’s actual Metanarrative?” The reason why that is helpful is not that we expect an actual reply from them so much as to point out that yet again we have come to a juncture at which we have to answer for them, that they in fact haven’t read the whole book vis-à-vis the Singular Christian Metaphysic vis-à-vis the Singular Christian Metanarrative. Or, we can say the Singular Christian Metaphysic and that brings in the following:
Concurrentism, Death, Life, Being, Harvest, and Continuity
Concurrentism via Metaphysical Middle Man — https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2013/01/metaphysical-middle-man.html
Concurrentism via Causality, Pantheism, and Deism — https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/12/causality-pantheism-and-deism.html
Concurrentism finds our express being not only created by / sourced to Being Itself via the Principle of Proportionate Causality as described in https://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2011/07/first-without-second.html but also our express being is continuously sustained by Being Itself and it is that Both/And which the term “concurrently” or “Concurrentism” refers to (…as per the linked content…). We can say it this way also: It is Continuously the case that there is no logical possibility of this or that any-thing coming into being but for God / the Necessary Being and, also, it is Continuously the case that there is no logical possibility of this or that any-thing continuing to persist vis-à-vis being but for God / the Necessary Being.
The terminus of our own irreducible being in all vectors sums to that totality in which all metaphysical fountainheads of all ontological possibilities traverse a full-on harvest with respect to Being Itself. We are too often lax and untidy in our thinking here in that we fail to navigate the nature of our own being through the lens of what is necessarily nothing short of Continuous Concurrentism. The result is that we have this lingering background notion that there must be SOME way or place or time or state of affairs when our own being is not constrained by the Necessary Being’s full-on Harvest in all vectors vis-à-vis Concurrentism.
Questions emerge, such as the following:
Question: Which “category” or “class” or “age” or “condition” of the contingent being vis-à-vis “The Adamic” is NOT constrained by the Necessary Being’s full-on Harvest in all vectors vis-à-vis Concurrentism? The answer is that it is necessarily the case that 100% of contingent beings of ANY category ARE ALREADY in the full-on Traversal of that same full-on Harvest (…wait ….for …it…) and such is the case continuously (…wait …for …it….).
Question: Let’s say we don’t fully think that through and instead we sort of stall too early in the middle of thinking through “Why-Death?” without realizing that WHETHER we are speaking of [Death] OR [Life] we are in fact traversing the SAME Continuous Concurrentism. So okay, let’s say that happens and we stall out too soon in our frustration that “Death” seems to be “Higher” or “More Ontic” than “Life” and so “The-God-Thing” seems like it’s all about the REAL-thing or the HIGHER-Ontic which is NOT “Life” but is instead “Death”. Well? Well so far there we’ve not thought it through and we’re frustrated and the God-Thing doesn’t seem to be about “Life”. Well? Well let’s keep going:
First of all the nature of our own being through the lens of Concurrentism dissolves that error and, second of all, if we somehow miss the “continuous and full-on nature of concurrentism” then the following can come in and dissolve that error: Isn’t it the case that we are in our frustration referring to and falling into a Metric which is in need of nothing less than eternal life with respect to our own contingent being and that of our loved ones? Is it the radical and bold and even rational intuition of “Ought Never Die” / “Ought Not Die”?
Question: If so then this: Whence comes Eternal Life with respect to ANY contingent being BUT FOR the Necessary Being? Even more emphatic (…as per http://disq.us/p/1muihvj and etc….) we can say the following:
a. Whence can the Contingent Being find Eternal Life but for the Necessary Being?
b. Whence can the Contingent Being’s necessary insufficiency with respect to self-sufficiency find Eternal Life but for that which sums to Necessary All-Sufficiency as the Necessary Being’s Self-Sufficiency?
In short: Whence can all things Adamic in fact find Eternal Life but for *God*, or, if it helps, but for The Necessary Being, or, if it helps, but for All-Sufficiency Himself, or, if it helps, but for that which is The Always and The Already?
It is not only in Knowledge where we find that sort of “necessity of descent” down Jacob’s Ladder but, also, it is in Life Itself or as some would say being itself wherein we find that very same necessity of descent down Jacob’s Ladder.
Both of those Descents or Doors or Trees (…Knowledge / Life…) are good and beautiful, yes, but, the order and manner in which we eat mattered, matters, and will always matter.
It’s uncanny. Given the unavoidable and necessary terminus of what D.B. Hart terms “….the metaphysical wellspring of all ontological possibility…“, we find that the syntax of that necessary descent never could have been otherwise. That it can and may come in different worlds in different ways contingent upon Divine Decree is true, but, in all worlds, Come It Must.
So Then Again: Why No Pain?
Again we ask them (…regarding no pain, Enoch, Egypt’s First Born, and so on….), “But why no pain?” And then (again we have to answer for them (…again they haven’t read the whole book…) with something akin to this or that quickly put together version of something akin to, “…Okay Mr. Non-Theist the reason is, well, because of a decree of righteousness…” juxtaposed to something like, “…Okay Mr. Non-Theist, slow down and let us ask you how many men is it that God’s Angels in fact “Harvest”? What percentage…?” Then, as before, still again….
Then we have to wait. Then we watch their eyes look at the ceiling and you can literally see the dots getting connected.
Then? Well then we just tell them: Given the nature of the Necessary Being, and our status as Contingent Beings, said Harvest is, by necessity, 100%. As in: Every. Single. Contingent. Being.
So, that said, before going on to potential conflations, there is this from the linked item:
“…Isaiah writes that there is an age before a child is able to “know to refuse the evil and choose the good” (Is. 7:16 NASB). The children of Israel were not held responsible for the sins of their parents during the Wandering, because they had “no knowledge of good or evil” (Deut. 1:39 NASB). David said he would go to be with his infant baby, who had died (2 Sam. 12:23). David believed in an afterlife, and he thought that he was going to be with God after death (Ps. 16:10-11), and the New Testament authors claim that he is in heaven, too (Rom. 4:6-8). This demonstrates that his infant must be in heaven. In addition, Jesus implies that little children will be in heaven (Mk. 10:14; Mt. 18:3; 19:14). Because God judged the children of Egypt, he would have brought them immediately into his presence in heaven, because they are below the age of accountability….”
As interesting as that always is, there is a more subtle point here, and that is the bit about objections which are merely conflations. When it comes to “Judgment” via God we cannot (rationally) conflate it for, or equate it to, “Evil” via God (evil as privation, etc.). That though loops back to the earlier paragraphs about Time, Timelessness, Eternity vs. Aeviternity, Reference Frame, God, Privation, Continuous Concurrentism, and so on. The contingent being (me and you and all of us, etc.) just cannot land in an ontic location which sums to the necessary and sufficient in its own (in our own) being, it (we) cannot in fact sum to its own (our own) explanatory terminus.
“…By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God….”
By force of “ontic-necessity” via the nature of the Necessary and the Contingent, 100% of us find, at some ontological seam somewhere that in fact our All-Doors-Open Volitional landscape comes to an end as Timelessness (…Aeviternity perhaps, etc…) replaces Time, as Mutability is replaced by Permanence .…as again we are talking about *Christian* metaphysics and theology after all (….btw – where Time and Circumstance fit into the reach of God, of Christ, with respect to Pre/Post Resurrection, Enoch, Pharaoh, and so on is interesting all by itself, but that is a different topic….).
It’s understandable that some of our Non-Theist friends may be angry at God for showing His anger (and His Judgment) at people (…for example the Egyptians for killing children by drowning those children alive immediately upon birth…) and the Non-Theist’s anger is good in one sense because no one “Likes” Judgement, including God (…according to Scripture…) just as no one “Prefers” Judgment, including God (…according to Scripture…). We don’t want “More” Rehab or “More “War” or “More” Life-Saving-Surgery in the sense that “those things” are “Satisfying as Good-Full-Stop”. No. Not at all. The concept of “Morally Excellent Vectors Within Privation” is itself a redutio ad absurdum (…see “Divine Command Theory Collapses Into A Metaphysical Absurdity” at https://metachristianity.com/divine-command-theory-collapses-into-a-metaphysical-absurdity/ …).
We find then anger on the part of the Critic at the odd locations of  the reality of or fact of that Judgement by God and at  the fact that the First Born of Egypt involved in fact did not suffer at all and the reason is that both of those areas begin to reveal facts which are not in line with their a priori driven objections. Yet it’s just painfully obvious that those two areas of anger are inexplicable but understandable given an uninformed sort of one-verse mode / one-chapter mode of analytic when it comes to logic, reason, premises, conclusions, whole-bookish sort of complex thing-y‘s, metaphysic-y thing-y’s, T.O.E.-y thing-y’s, and so on.
We can work with that. It’s tedious. But workable. Given some of the a priori driven hopes we get that some of our Non-Theist friends are angry at God for His pain-free Traversal/Harvest of decreed-innocence there in Egypt’s First Born (…and so on as per the facts surrounding terms such as a. Harvest and b. 100% of All Things Adamic and c. Logical Necessity…and Etc..). For all the same reasons we get that some may be angry at God for giving baby-drown-ers chance after chance after chance to stop drowning babies and just walk away without any consequence right there with Moses’ Freedom-March out of slavery (and so on). And we get that our Non-Theist friends there may also be angry that even after judgment ensues God still makes room for the Egyptians who decided to leave with Israel. HECK just think it through: after TEN of THOSE plagues I think most of US would have been right there with Moses and the gang….even after we had been baby-drowners…. and God took them all in just as He would have taken all of us in. The terminus is never about our sins, it’s always (and only) about which resumé one delights in, trusts in, loves, prefers, chooses — the resumé of the Self which is necessarily contingent & insufficient — or the resumé of The-Other (God’s Own Self-Outpouring) which is (as God) Necessary v. The Necessary Being and (in His Self-Outpouring) All-Sufficient (…but all of that resumé content is a different topic…).
Question: “…didn’t God kill the firstborn in Egypt….?”
Reply: You’ll have to clarify. Which category or class or age or condition of the “contingent being” with respect to “the adamic” is NOT constrained by the Necessary Being’s full-on Harvest in all vectors (…via concurrentism…)? Is there something unique to babies or really old people there? By your question it seems that perhaps it is not just babies and really old people but (for some reason) babies in really, really ancient places that is supposed to be unique and/or problematic. You’ll have to clarify. After all 100% is, well, 100%
Slightly “Off-Topic” Here:
To round out some of the context here we can add a few items in the topics of — “Israelite Conquest” and/or “Divine Command Theory” as per the following: