Sunday, January 17, 2010

Salt: Why do we need it, crave it, love it?

Still more thoughts on salt. Why do we need it? Salt is in fact absolutely necessary to our survival; it is a vital biological mineral--an electroylye--that our bodies must have. Without adequate salt in our diet, we die. (Too much salt is bad for us too; I’ll come aback to that another time.)

But the fact that our bodies need salt doesn’t explain why we crave it. The fact that we should eat or drink or do something wouldn’t automatically guarantee that we would want to do so--or indeed that we would actively enjoy doing it.

Let me go back to Screwtape’s point (discussed in my last post) that God is a hedonist. God not only made things, and made so many of them beautiful, in some intrinsic sense--he also made us capable of recognizing and enjoying that beauty. God could easily have made things so that he alone saw and appreciated their beauty--but he also gave us pleasure in them.

He made us needing salt—and he made us craving and desiring salt, and then he even made it taste very good to us.

How very--well, I guess the word is--gracious of God to do it this way. And hedonistic.


  1. Homo amicus Dei. - Ivan Golub said that, and it seemed an appropriate thought to bring up in response to your thought-provoking post.

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