Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Hubris of Christian Humility

Christians often pride themselves on their sense of humility. It is as if the mere fact that they believe in a religion that requires them to be humble somehow makes them humble, no matter how insistent they are about being right. As Alanis put it, "isn't it ironic?"

When Charles Darwin looked at the world, he concluded from his investigations that, much like the universe, our planet must have evolved over time. And over the course of this processes, different species must have evolved as well, through what he referred to as "the processes of natural selection." Although the theory wasn't perfect, and some have argued that many holes have  been punched in it since Darwin was alive, it seemed to make more sense than any other ideas that science had come up with to that point. It seemed to make sense, that is, unless you were a Christian.

For the die hard Christian, Darwin's theory was pure heresy. Everyone knew, as far as the Christian was concerned, that the universe was God's version of Shake-n-Bake - ready made - fast food - "presto-magician"- viola! - instant potato! And only an idiot would think we "evolved"!

The problem with Darwin's theory, ironically enough, is that it did not allow humanity to see itself as the masterpiece of God's master plan; for which the universe and everything in it were simply stage props. From an evolutionary perspective, that is,  humanity is simply an infinitesimally small piece of something that could be potentially infinite. Christians, however, can only accept such a perspective if they consider that "potentially infinite" thing to be God.

Since there is absolutely no scientific evidence for the belief that the universe is simply God's version of instant popcorn, the only way to come to such a conclusion is to simply "believe" it (as if this is a far superior way of reaching a conclusion whenever "there is absolutely no scientific evidence" to support a particular theory). 

But to assume that the most awesome being we can imagine made the universe, and everything in it, specifically for our benefit, and that that "being" was once just like us, does anything but inspire humility. On the contrary! It requires the most egregious act of hubris humanity can muster! (In fact, we even see some of this hubris being expressed in the way each country tends to fashion pictures of God and Christ in their own ethnic image.)

For if there is no scientific evidence to support such a claim, than the only way to "know" such a thing must be true, is too necessarily assume to know the mind - and thus to understand "the divine plan" -  of God himself.  Darwin, on the other hand, based his theory on an interpretation of the only evidence he had at his disposal. Hence, even if Darwin is one day proved to be wrong, at least he was making an honest educated guess at trying to understand it all.

By believing that humanity is God's special Claymation, however, the Christian assumes to already "know it all," and thinks it is the exclusive role of science to simply prove what (at least to the Christian anyway) has been so bloody obvious all along. How Christians can claim to have such Godlike insight into the origins of everything, and still claim to be "humble" is a mystery of faith. 

And since Lucifer was God's "most wise and most beautiful angel," according to Genesis, one has to wonder which one appears to have fallen more in love with their own "wisdom" and "beauty" - Darwin, who suggested we were made in the image and likeness of apes, or Christians, who claim to have been made in the image and likeness of God?  For as one sees humanity through the lens of an anthropologist, the other has fallen in love with a reflection of its own "image and likeness," like Narcissus.

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