Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Government-Run Health Care

My friend Jason D. links us to this short video which should be required viewing for anyone who thinks that the health care proposals of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are a good idea:

This is an illustration of what happens when people turn enterprises like health care over to the government. We certainly need insurance reform and tort reform, but we don't need socialized medical care, not if we want to be able to get the care we need when we need it.


Dancer, Farmer, Bottle

Bilbo at Telic Thoughts has an interesting post on the nature of God's action in creation. Bilbo dislikes the idea that God intervenes at intervals throughout history to tinker with things. This seems to him to be inelegant and so he offers a couple of alternative analogies:

The idea of a God continuing to intervene in the universe in a nonsensical hodgepodge repels our sense of the way things should be. That is why in the past I offered an analogy that might help make aesthetic sense of God as designer: a duet. I proposed that we see it as a dance between God and Nature, where God is Fred Astaire, and Nature is Ginger Rogers. Most of the time, Ginger dances on her own two feet, and God merely leads her, invisible to the probing eyes of science. But just as occasionally Fred might pick up Ginger and twirl her around, so might God do the same with Nature, when designing organisms. It's an analogy that might help us make more aesthetic sense of what might be God's relationship with the universe.

But there may be another analogy that might make even more sense of God's action: the image of a farmer planting seeds. In this case, maybe only two or three seeds. The first seed would have been the universe itself, which we are told started out as a very small thing, much smaller than a mustard seed. Yet it has grown into a giant tree, that all the stars and planets can find shelter in. The second seed would be the first microorganisms planted on our planet, billions of years ago. If Mike Gene's hypothesis of front-loaded evolution turns out to be correct, this is all the direct design intervention that may have been necessary. And from this tiny seed grew the huge tree of life that we see around us today.

On the other hand, there may be ways to think of God's relationship with creation which illustrate a more continuous involvement of God in the world. Perhaps we can think of God as a vessel, a bottle, and the world as a liquid that gradually fills the bottle. As the liquid pours into the vessel it takes the shape the container imposes upon it. God, by virtue of His intimate contact with the creation, impresses upon the world the pattern of its development, or unfolding, continuously as the creation moves through time. The biological and physical "shape" or structure of the world, in other words, is a perpetual moment by moment expression of God's intention and immanence, not an episodic phenomenon or a once-and-done event. God, in this view, is the template upon which the world evolves.