Is God Worse Than Thanos? Part 2

I recently wrote about whether God is worse than Thanos and got some questions about it. You can find the post here. The main question was:

But God did eliminate a large portion of the world with the flood?

It's really more like an accusation than a question, isn't it? Kinda like a jab-a-finger-in-the-chest type of question. I'm good with it. We can roll with it.

Now, my initial interpretation of the question was to think that the asker was comparing the percentages of these two events. Namely, God and the flood vs Thanos and his finger snap. It seemed I wasn't the only one when someone else said to me:

I agree ... God wiped out 99.9% of people whereas Thanos wiped out 50%.

Although I think this issue is beside the point I was making in my last post, I'll briefly address it now.


Percentages Don't Show the Number of People Killed

I think the percentages give a false impression as to the extent of the death. Let’s talk numbers. Without providing any justification in this post, I think the Bible dates the flood between 3000 BC and 2000 BC. While Thanos snapping his fingers happened a couple years ago in the Marvel movies. According to Our World in Data, the human population is estimated to be about 72 million at 2000 BC. In 2018, it was about 7.6 billion.


So, when we look at sheer numbers we see that God killed 72 million while Thanos killed 3.8 billion humans. Remember that we know that there is life throughout Thanos’ universe. So, his kill count is way higher than 3.8 billion, but we’ll just stick with humans on Earth. And if we do, then we see that Thanos killed about 53 times more humans than God did with His flood.


Do Kill Counts Matter?

None of that matters to me though, because I firmly believe that God kills 100% of the humans in His universe. We’re talking about a kill count somewhere to the order of 108 billion. That’s about 29 times more than Thanos. So, why doesn’t that bother me? There’s two main reasons.


1) The Nature of Death in God’s Universe

In my last post I talked about the universe being a province within God’s Kingdom. When I said God’s universe, I’m referring to everything related to the Physical Realm. This includes all the other universes in the multiverse or anything else theoretical physics can imagine. All of that is just a part of God’s Kingdom. God’s Kingdom also includes, what I’ll call, the Spiritual Realm, which I think is nonphysical and, therefore, not contained within the Physical Realm. I also think that it can be argued that the Bible teaches that humans are a composite of physical and nonphysical properties.


There are different types of “death” in God’s universe, following the different constituents of the human composition. The death that we are most accustomed to and what we generally talk about, where the heart stops beating and the body stops functioning. That kind of death I will call, “physical death”. In God’s universe, physical death in humans is not the most significant kind of death there is. In fact, it’s pretty much a nonissue because the soul is preserved and God can easily restore the physical body. As a matter of fact, that is what He intends to do for everyone at the final resurrection:

“For an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.” - John 5:28-29

Physical death is such a nonissue that Jesus doesn’t even call it death half the time. (John 11:11) “… ‘Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up’” and, (Matt 9:24) “…’Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep.’” The apostles also called physical death “sleep;” check out these verses: Matt 27:52; Acts 7:60, 13:36; 1Co 7:39, 11:30, 15:6, 15:18-20, 15:51; 1Th 4:13-16; 2Pet 3:4.


In the marvel movies, there’s no talk about the afterlife. Obviously, there is in the comics, but no mention of it in the Avengers films (to my memory). Which, again, was my focus. So when Thanos kills someone with his snap, he’s done all he can do. They’re done. He might have the power, with the infinity gauntlet, to bring them back. But was that his intention? Nope. He destroys the infinity stones after he’s done. And this leads me to my next reason.


2) The Purpose and Motivation Behind the Killing

This reason is way more complicated than the first as it goes into the whole of the Christian Theodicy regarding the Problem of Evil. I will not be able to fully flesh it out here, but here it goes.


Thanos kills hoping to make life more comfortable for those who are left behind. I believe that God kills for at least two reasons. One reason is, as stated previously, to execute justice. The other reason is to give the potential for rebirth and freedom from our slavery to Sin. I briefly talked about this when I discussed Original Sin.


In God’s universe, when a person dies, they are freed from the covenants that they were bound to while alive (Rom 7:6 [1Co 7:39]). God said that when Adam ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil he would surely die. I believe that God said that Adam would die in a spiritual sense in addition to dying in a physical sense.


Since, the body is simply a temple in the Physical Realm it is, therefore, incapable of dying in a spiritual sense. So, what does that mean? I believe to die in a spiritual sense is to be separated from a relationship with God and to be in a relationship with another (Sin). To sum up this concept; during physical death, the person’s Soul/Mind is asleep and the Body is destroyed. But during spiritual death, the person’s Spirit dies and is cut off from God and the person’s Soul/Mind is bound to Sin instead of God.


Hmmmmm. Jesus, during His incarnation, must have felt like he was walking among the dead.


At any rate, after Adam ate the fruit he died spiritually to God and was no longer under a covenant with God but was then under a covenant with Sin. Instead of God reigning in his members, Adam allowed Sin to reign (Rom 6:12). Adam, being the father and representative of humanity, caused them to be enslaved to Sin, because the child of a slave is not born free but is enslaved to the master of his/her father (Exd 21:4). Therefore, due to Adam’s transgression, all of humanity was born physically into slavery to Sin and become spiritually dead after failing to resist the commands of Sin, making it impossible to do choose Godly living thereafter (1Co 2:14). A Christian, after baptism, spiritually dies to Sin and is no longer under its covenant spiritually. But the body remains under the covenant of Sin until it too dies.


According to the Bible, there will be a final resurrection were Jesus will judge the people in His universe and either give eternal life to those who accept His reign and exile those who don’t.


Conclusion

Thanos isn’t eliminating suffering or death with his plan. As a matter of fact, since death is unavoidable, Thanos feels it’s a mercy to cause half of his universe’s population to die as “painlessly” as possible. At the completion of his plan, suffering is hopefully reduced but nevertheless remains.


God is eliminating suffering and death altogether at the completion of His plan.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” - Rev 21:4
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