Christianity/ Faith · Coronavirus · Liberalism

We Are Not in Control

A recent ODI before an empty stadium

The past week has been extraordinary, visiting widespread disruptions not seen since the close of the Second World War.

With every single Australian being affected by the outbreak in some measure, coronavirus has shattered the post-war consensus that we can assuredly control our own lives.

In a certain sense, the period from 1945 to 2020 can be viewed as ahistorical. During this time Western people saw no great calamity; meanwhile, material well-being, metrics of public health and technology continued to advance. These trends had the effect of lending credence to progressivism, the notion that modern society is uniquely exempt from the rule that civilisations inevitably corrupt, decay and go out of existence. At an individual level, because things were so good for so long, people assumed their lives would remain perpetually stable; nothing would impede the pursuit of private obsession.

However, coronavirus has proved beyond a shadow of doubt, that people cannot control their lives. Sure, people can make personal plans–attending a sporting event, travelling, landing the dream job, etc. Yet these plans can only be fulfilled in so far as a worldwide catastrophe does not transpire. If it does, as manifested in coronavirus, we are powerless from preventing drastic changes being imposed on our day-to-day activities. This especially holds true for ordinary people; coronavirus does not spare elites either, in the way of ramifications for their health and economic standing.

Regardless of how far technology has advanced, humans can *never* attain a complete and persisting mastery over nature. As coronavirus exposes this stark reality, it is likely that people will develop a humbler view as to their vulnerable state. When this occurs, a significant bar to placing faith in God will dissipate.

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