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The sinful grenade

Not so long ago in a universe much like our own, there was nothing happening. Not one sound to bring into contrast the eternal and pervasive silence, and no ear to hear it.


A grenade explodes. Fret not about the origin of the grenade, who made it and who pulled the pin, but the damn thing goes off and shoots hot fragments of metal in every direction.

These fragments, over a very long period of time, begin to cool, bump into each other as their initial trajectory would determine, and continue to fly off from the central explosive force.

Over a very very very long period of time, the relationships between these fragments become more complex, some fragments gather into large round pieces and attract smaller, orbiting fragments. The play of heat, light and cold eventually encourages a generation of simple then more complex self-replicating fragments. Life begins.

As these fragments continue to evolve and change, they develop the ability to become sensitive to heat, cold, and the location of resources necessary for their survival and reproduction.

Along with these newly developed traits comes the ability to forecast into a possible future and remember a little way into the past. The now cooled-down and evolved fragments of the grenade begin to think not only are they responsible for their individual trajectories, they believe that something just like them but bigger and more powerful gave them this ability - and the ability to move in the wrong direction.

In a way, they are right to want to take responsibility for their own trajectory, but they are wrong in thinking they made a choice as to which direction they are flying. They are right to want to take responsibility because this helps all the fragments live better lives.

The fragments are not ultimately responsible for the initial explosion and the pattern of

distribution of fragments, nor are they responsible for the fragments bumping into one another and causing all kinds of disturbances. But they can say "Hey, sorry about the bump - I recognize you are something like me and can be hurt, and it is nice to know another fragment can be aware of that and try to make a connection".

The fragments of the grenade cannot sin. Sin insists the wrong trajectory has been chosen among possible better options. Only if there were an intelligence responsible for the initial explosion could there be ultimate responsibility. If there were an ultimate intelligence in this universe much like our own, then that intelligence would have to take all the responsibility for its creation, evolution and consequences of the initial explosion. If it tried to imply the fragments were to blame for their trajectory, this would be not only incorrect, it would be malevolent to suggest in the deepest sense of the word.

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