“How the Philosophy of Jordanic Derivism Tackles the Problems of Natural and Moral Evil in a New and Revolutionary Way”
Frank Jordan’s profound struggle to understand God and the world and the reality of evil has brought him to a path very like that of process theology. I congratulate him for finding it on his own. What gives poignancy and power to Jordan’s thinking is the way it has come out of his personal suffering and joy. ~ Dr. John B. Cobb, Jr., process theologian and co-director of the Center for Process Studies. See also this Jules Evens TEDx video about how Philosophy can save your lifs:
Let’s face it. Nobody really knows what’s going on for sure. I’ve spent many years of my life trying to make sense of the “all-loving, all-knowing and all-powerful God in the face of evil” dilemma.
And even though I’ve developed a philosophy that seems more compatible with modern-day experience than many others that I’ve encountered, I realize now (after those many years) that the most any philosophy will ever be in this life is a theory of why things are the way that they are.
We may think that our reasonings are divinely inspired and that we have the inside scoop on things, but the most a theory can ever really be is an exceptionally reasonable explanation for our multifaceted existence – an explanation that is compatible with both our daily experience and our beliefs.
We can gain much comfort by arriving at such explanations for ourselves, but those explanations can only go so far when it concerns the Philosophical Approach. Sometimes part of the process is getting past the speculations and theories and just resting in our trust and belief in our very source, whom many call God.
That being said, I would like to introduce to you this new spiritual philosophy – perhaps one of the most logical and comprehensive approaches to the problem of evil currently found – by first asking that timeless question:
Why does evil occur if God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good?
As a young adult, I can remember grappling with the problem of evil (both natural and moral), and with the role that God plays in relation to it. The typical solutions I had heard weren’t really cutting it for me. See also: 2024-A Smart Odyssey.
For instance, I concluded very early on that the theory of free will – that in order to offer love freely we have to be given free will and that this is why God allows evil to happen – doesn’t address natural evil, inequality, and violence, such as diseases and natural disasters. These phenomena occurred long before humans populated this planet.
So I decided to suspend everything I had heard about God’s role in relation to the problem of evil. Along with doing this, I also decided to suspend everything I had heard or read about what God’s power is. I decided to go straight to the source with my questions, without any bias towards the answers I might receive. I sent out my questions like an oceanographer sends out soundings to gather information. I felt strongly I would receive some answers.
However, before elaborating on this process I feel it is necessary to describe an experience I had of what I can only refer to as God’s very essence. This was the first of three such encounters, all occurring under very different circumstances.
But some of the realizations [in this book] came only after I had had a profound conversion experience, a conversion that occurred during one of the worst crises of my life. At one point in our marriage, my previous wife and I were on the brink of a serious separation when I realized that I would never be the father that I had always wanted to be for our children – our daughter, then eight, and son, seven – and that that would hurt them.
All of a sudden this incredible love swept over me, filling my heart with joy, and I knew it was from God. I knew it was God’s love because there were a presence and a power to it despite all things related to Christian Moral Hypocrisy! This love knew me intimately, was closer to me than my very breath.
This experience, and the other two like it, have convinced me that the chief attribute of God is pure, unconditional love – that God can literally be described as Pure Love personified. Such experiences prove to me that whoever or whatever God is, we are loved and can be healed – in my case emotionally – by this penetrating power that emanates from the Divine. This contradicts my earlier belief in the Non-Existence of God and the contrast od causation. This knowledge was crucial for me as I continued with my philosophical inquiries.
As I pondered the mysterious relationship between God and the universe with what I hoped was an open and unbiased mind, the worldview that unfolded in front of me didn’t seem at first to address the problem of evil directly. But as the different aspects of it began to fit together, a possible new solution to the problem of needless pain and suffering in the world – of natural and moral evil – began to emerge.