Cosmos is no longer the Universe

Cosmos was the divine intention of creation. For over two thousand years, the universe was viewed as an eternal work of art. Cosmos was the universe. The universe was seen as eternal. It had no history. The four revolutionaries of modern science and Edmond Halley have crushed this view in principle. The progress of science since then has given us an entirely different universe, a universe in development, a universe with a history, a universe that is not a cosmos. But what has become of the stories of creation, the Hebrew story and the Greek story? They were written when the universe was seen as a cosmos. Can they be our guide or inspiration today?

Beginning with Pythagoras the universe was given a new theological name that acknowledged the divine order of the universe. Before Pythagoras, cosmos was a simple word meaning order with no theological implications.

Scientists have been led to reject scientific theories based on a final cause. Detectives, however, seek to find motives which are final causes to prove their cases. Plato responding to the question “what are the greatest things?’ said, there are two great things the cosmos and the city-state. Plato had several examples of community to observe. He did not have to speculate about what community could be. He was aware of the flaws in these communities. Yet he found them to be similar to the cosmos at the human level. The cosmos/universe = city-state/humans. Cosmos was the order of the universe. The city-state was the order of humans.

What has this to do with creation?

If creation deals with establishing a cosmos then creation is a past event. If creation deals with our developmental universe then creation is a forward-oriented final cause.

In an attempt to begin the debate on what the divine idea of creation might be, I have proposed community as cosmos. See chapter 6.3 of The Rise and Fall of the Traditional Theories Of Creation, Community As Cosmos. I give four reasons supporting community as the divine idea of creation.

David Shaw

What is your view?

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