I think we can simplify this theory of “reward and punishment” by Nature.
We have to consider Nature as a deterministic, lawful system. Everything in Nature is built on unbending, “iron laws”. There are laws we already know — for example, the law of gravity — thus we can learn how we use them, how to adapt ourselves to them. As a result, for example, we learned “how to fly” by using what we know about the law of gravity.
Then there are laws we either do not know yet, or we ignore. Thus when we act, go against these laws. build systems that ignore natural laws, then we inevitably fail, enter crisis situations and suffer as a result.
So then is it Nature that punishes us, or are we punishing ourselves by not keeping the laws of the system?!
We collected enough conclusions, evidence about natural reality to understand, know without any doubts that we exist in a fully integrated and interdependent system, with laws that sustain a fragile balance, homeostasis. Our own biological body is working on the same laws, and the successfully sustained balance, homeostasis or the lack of it determines health from disease, survival from death.
So how is it possible that we Humans — a species that is born from Nature, still exists in Nature, evolving together with the closed, integral natural system — think that we can build a Human paradigm, that does not keep Nature’s laws of integration but goes directly against them?! How could we believe that we can build a bubble as a foreign body inside Nature, which bubble acts like cancer?!
What can we expect if one injects active cancer into one’s own body, or injects oneself with a dangerous virus?!
But this is exactly what we are doing to ourselves with our past/present egotistic, excessively consuming, exploitative socio-economic system, a lifestyle that is spreading, metastasizing everywhere!
So is it really Nature that is punishing us with all the recurring historic vicious cycles the worsening crisis situations?!