Friday, September 30, 2011
Fire can be good, Fire can be bad. Good fires, burn up what we don't want and give us heat. Firewood, garbage, unwanted vegetation. Sometimes in the past, unwanted and dangerous people. Bad fires, burn up what is good- houses, businesses, material we need for some other purpose. This applies to the imagery of the Catholic afterlife as well- the good fire of purgatory burns away what is left of our sin- so that Heaven can be preserved *as heaven* for other people. The bad fire of Hell burns up all but the sin, leaving us alone with our sin for eternity. It also applies to our own behavior here on earth- passion is said to burn, but there is both the passion of sin, which takes pleasure in the moment to destroy our lives in the long run, and the passion of virtue, which takes pain in the moment to make our lives better in the long run. A long time ago, I noticed that evil is stupid- for it destroys what is most profitable in the long run. This also applies to economics- for instance Communism, which seeks to eliminate inequity at the cost of the one thing that can bring equity, private property. And Capitalism, which seeks inequity and so destroys the very right that brings equity, the right of private property, for the poor. Communists see the inequity and blame the private property, capitalists see the private property and blame the equity. For the fire of life burns in us all- some for good, some for evil- but all still burn.