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Some people identify sickness as a consequence of sin to such an exaggerated degree that the issue needs to be addressed.  On one hand, sin (violating God’s moral law) can lead in many cases to sickness and its accompanying pain.  The examples of such situations are so abundant that they don’t need to be stated.  But, on the other hand, when the situation is laid out in the following syllogism, the fallacy is clearly seen.

  • P 1 – “Sin results in sickness (pain) in the same person”
  • P 2 – “John is sick (in pain)”
  • Conclusion – “Therefore, John is guilty of sin.”

The fallacy in this syllogism is that of affirming the consequent rather than the precedent of the first premise.  To be a valid syllogism, the second premise needs to state that John is guilty of sin, with the conclusion being that John is in pain.

Nonetheless, even when correcting the syllogism by restating the second premise, the issue is not resolved.  For example, let’s lay out the following syllogism, which is valid, but which is not sound –

  • P 1 – “Sickness and / or pain is the consequence of sin in the same person”
  • P 2 – “John is sick (in pain)”
  • Conclusion – “Therefore, John is guilty of sin.”

In this case, the second premise has affirmed the precedent of the first premise, and thus is not guilty of affirming the consequent of the first premise. The conclusion of the syllogism is valid.  BUT, is the first premise true to the facts?  No, it is not

Picture a person training for an Olympic event, such as a marathon.  Such training will inevitably produce a certain amount of pain.  Such is the reality for getting into the necessary condition to realize some particular goals or purposes.  We use “no pain, no gain” as a catch phrase for this scenario.  The body is being “forced” to do things it will not be able to do without the training and its accompanying pain.

In the process just mention, the athlete moves from “pre-training normal” to “training normal” to “trained” normal”  To finally get to the “trained normal” with its resulting benefits, the athlete had to accept pain as part of the program.  The pain simply was not the consequence of sin, but the consequence of training.

Is it possible that the athlete’s motivation could include ungodly elements?  Of course.  But in any case, it was not the motivation that brought the pain; it was the training, which is amoral, not immoral.

Stated bluntly, it is simply not true to reality to claim that universally sickness and / or pain are consequences of sin in the same person.   In fact, some pain and sickness may be part of the training that results in heightened morality.

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