Uniqueness of Man   2 comments

“Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; … his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs,  are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms …. No fire, no heroism,  no intensity of thought and feeling can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; … all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and the whole temple of man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins.” (Bertrand Russell)

Man is different. We’re unique in this world. Our moral character, creativity, love, heroism, intellect and devotion to other people set us apart from every other living organism. Bertrand Russell acknowledged that, but could not explain it. Other thinkers of his ilk try to deny the uniqueness of mankind and insist that our only difference is in our complexity. For them, we are only a piece of complicated chemistry, not really different from a mouse or mosquito, but so complex we can be compared to a super-computer.

American psychotherapist Perry London appeals to this model for man. Man is as completely insignificant as the computer, for mechanical apparatus have no responsibility for what they do. In the end, man’s difference is illusion. Love, commitment, choice, creativity, rationality … none of it has any meaning in the end because they are merely tricks of the complicated human brain.

Are you depressed?

I would be depressed if I fell for the existentialist crap.

The Christian faith gives us an explanation for our uniqueness. Humans – believer and non-believer — are made in the image of God. We are reflections of God’s nature.

  • “God is love,” the apostle John wrote. God made us in love to love Him and to love one another.
  • God is righteous. We were made to distinguish between good and evil, to judge what is right and to choose the good and live it.
  • God is Creator. We are made to create life, beauty, order.
  • God is a communicator. Scripture speaks of communication between the Father, Son and Spirit both in this age and before the world was made. We are made to communicate in language with one another and God.
  • God is a God of order and not chaos, sense rather than nonsense, reason instead of absurdity. We are made as rational people, called to reflect on our lives and the world in which we live.

All of the aspects of our experience that set us apart are the characteristics of personality. Instead of being depressed that our experiences are merely illusions in an impersonal universe, Christians can rejoice that we are at home in a universe made by the personal God.

2 responses to “Uniqueness of Man

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  1. Reblogged this on That Mr. G Guy's Blog.

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  2. Reblogged this on Dead Citizen's Rights Society.

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