Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News

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Grendel

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I don't think you have to believe in the divine in order to understand that there are forces that exist that are greater than us. I'm not sure what you mean by agnostics/atheists focusing on themselves. I doubt that there are many people who feel more powerful because they don't believe in the divine. I would think it is the opposite in many ways. In my experience, selfishness has no correlation to degree of religious belief.

Worshipping ourselves is in terms of seeing ourselves in terms of secular humanism. We see ourselves as the source of our own salvation as the owners of the earth and the architects of our own morality--whatever we conceive it to be at the moment. The fruits of this is that ethics no long has the force of truth anymore--just arguments and relative beliefs. Nothing that we do to ourselves and each other can actually be wrong in any actual sense. What future horrors will we visit upon ourselves because we only have to justify our actions to ourselves? Ask Stalin, Lenin and Mao. Their persecution and oppression of their own people dwarfs anything theists have done--and atheism as a statewide belief is still in its infancy.

Interestingly, the the things the myth tells us that we had in the garden, immortality, freedom from suffering and the capriciousness s of our physical environment, we have tried to use our knowledge and technology to create. We rejected the "garden" and then set out to recreate it alone without the help of God. Ironically, placing ourselves as lord over ourselves and the world has resulted in the potential for its ruin through war and pollution--particularly if climate change is to be believed. We strive for utopia under our own guidance, but seem to be building a dystopia.

The nature of human suffering is addressed in the myth of Genesis.

Human beings, through exercise of their free will estranged themselves from God. Instead of God rescinding the life of humanity completely for this disobedience, he allowed humanity to live on. The consequences of our chosen estrangemeant from God brought upon for human beings a change/corruption in our physical and spiritual nature. We will evil (sin) and we suffer physically. We pass this nature on.

God did not abandon us, though. He respected out choice by allowing us to live with it. And providied hope. Instead of naturally obtaining spiritual and physical health, we must work for it by employing reason and our faith in God.

He also promised redemption and reconciliation according to his plan.

Humanity's first sin was that of pride and turning from God in that we desired to set ourself up as our own gods. The life of Christ and his death/ressurection is God's answer. Humanity could not raise themselves to the level of God, but God can lower himself to the level of humanity. This act of divine humility is manifested in the life of Christ, born in a humble manger to a poor family in the poltical backwater of the great Roman Empire, Christ humbled himself utterly in his life allowing human beings to have utter power and control over him--turning the tables so to speak--giving humans what they want -power over God--but then using that as a means to saving them. Thus his human life becomes the ultimate example of humility, the virtue that answers the first estranging sin.

We still live with the effects of that sin-for now. We can choose to either worship God or ourselves. We suffer, but the answer and reponse that Christ gives is that suffering is temporary and that someday we will regain what we threw away. Does it make suffering in the moment easier? Well, yes and no. Christ in the garden, fully human and fully God, shows us that God understands how difficult the road we chose is on us, but offers us hope.

Believe it or don't believe it, but I for one do not think of it as some simple comic book plot. I think of it as a narrative that all can grasp regardless of education, background, or native intelligence. It is a story accessible to all because it is for all.

Sorry, if there are typos, but I am writing this on the fly on my phone and without my glasses.

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