Sunday, November 9, 2014

I have a nagging question for my atheist friends: if we’re nothing, why bother to convince us of our nothingness? Who cares?

 

Today’s secular science of human insignificance inspires its own theology. This secular theology assigns us a contradictory groveling insignificant, significance. We have evolved to a high enough level of ethical consciousness to understand that we’re guilty as charged, and are merely insignificant and yet, morally culpable destroyers of life.

We may not be saying “Lord have mercy” so often these days, but we’re still muttering “I’m unworthy!” As with past theology, a vast oeuvre of secular iconic art is dedicated to keeping us in our place. The old and new theologies of significant insignificance share joylessness. Hell awaits the backslidden unbeliever of old, and the extinction of life awaits modern-day polluters. A certain gleeful delight at our awaiting comeuppance seems to characterize both the old and new prophets calling for repentance.

Speaking of secular icons… in the early twentieth century Marcel Duchamp hung a porcelain urinal on an art gallery wall to debunk the pretensions of art and the pretensions of human significance. Duchamp created this work entitled “Fountain” in order to (as he put it) “de-deify” art. Carl Sagan did the same thing for cosmology when he wrote Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space. Sagan played for higher stakes than Duchamp had. He attempted to “de-deify” our entire species. His beautiful, secular psalm dedicated to our demotion is unsurpassed. In Psalm 8, King David described us as only a little lower than the angels while in Pale Blue Dot, Sagan takes great pains to obliterate any sense of cosmic significance:


Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/frankschaeffer/2014/11/i-have-a-nagging-question-for-my-atheist-friends-if-were-nothing-why-bother-to-convince-us-of-our-nothingness-who-cares/#ixzz3IaRL1R6F

No comments:

Post a Comment