How humanity's optimism bias is different than Christian hope

Jason E. Summers

Dan Butcher
July 17, 2011

"But, while our own optimistic denial of death is sufficient for us to take and eat the fruit, once outside of the garden, it can neither sustain us nor ultimately address the problem of death."<br>I would make this a little more short-term in focus: optimism cannot deal with my sin problem right now. The same optimism that allows me to think (like Adam and Eve) that I won't have negative consequences for my sin fails to show me a way out of those consequences or out of the sin itself. Only God can help me with the consequences and free me from my sin. That, indeed, is "a gift of something new."

Jason Summers
July 18, 2011

Dan,<br><br>Thanks for your thoughts; that is indeed a more immediate and personal way to make this point.  I would not disagree with what you've written.<br><br>What interested me is that, both biblically and in terms of the evolutionary record, for humankind to know it's estate required a denial of the consequences associated with that knowledge: to know what we are apart from God required us to choose against God, which was only possible by our denial of the consequences for that.  I'm not a concordist, but I find that sort of parallel interesting and illuminating in some ways.  <br><br>It sets up this interesting nature/grace dichotomy between how our brains are predisposed to deal with our human condition (optimism) and how God provides for us to deal with it (hope).  This is both eschatological and (as you point out) ongoing. <br><br>js

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