Posts Tagged ‘Image of God’

What is man?

September 17, 2009

The field of philosophy in this cosmopolitan significance may, according to Kant, be marked off into the following questions. “1. What can I know? 2. What ought I to do? 3. What may I hope? 4. What is man? Metaphysics answers the first question, ethics the second, religion the third and anthropology the fourth.” And Kant adds: “Fundamentally all this could be reckoned as anthropology, since the first three questions are related to the last.” This formulation repeats the three questions of which Kant says, in the section of his Critique of Pure Reason entitled Of the ideal of the supreme good, that every interest of the reason, the speculative as well as the practical, is united in them. In distinction from the Critique of Pure Reason he here traces these questions back to a fourth question, that about the being of man, and assigns it to a discipline called anthropology…

Martin Buber,  Between Man and Man, p.149

So the key question is what is man? Answer this and the rest falls into place.

The loss of God and human personality

September 10, 2009

I believe that with the loss of God, man has lost a kind of absolute and universal system of coordinates, to which he could always relate anything, chiefly himself. His world and his personality gradually began to break up into separate, incoherent fragments corresponding to different, relative, coordinates.

Vaclav Havel, Czech playwright, dissident, later President

When humans are no longer deemed ‘human’

September 8, 2009

Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, Josef Goebbels, visited Lodz, Poland. Of the city’s 200,000 Jews he wrote back to SS headquarters: “They are no longer people, but beasts. There is therefore not a humanitarian, but a surgical task. Here one must make a radical incision. Otherwise Europe will be ruined by the Jewish sickness.”

If man is not the image of God, what makes Goebbels ‘wrong’?

Let me quote Heinrich Himmler speaking on October 6, 1943 to a meeting of Gauleiters and Reichsleiters in Poznam.

The quote was recorded by Erich Goldhagen

“I must ask you only to listen to what I tell you in this group and never to speak about it. We were asked: What about the women and children? I made up my mind to find a clear solution here too. You see, I did not feel I had a right to exterminate the men – i.e. kill them or have them killed – while allowing the children to grow up and take revenge upon our sons and grandsons. We had to reach the difficult decision of making this nation vanish from the face of the earth.”

This quote is from “Albert Speer: The End of a Myth” by Matthias Schmidt page 196 (English version St. Martins’ Press, New York, 1984).-

What a piece of work is man

September 8, 2009

What a piece of work is man. How noble in reason. How infinite in faculty. In form and moving how express and admirable. In action, how like an angel. In apprehension, how like a God. The beauty of the world. The paragon of animals. And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust. Man delights not me.

Hamlet, II, ii

Why Communism is dangerous

September 8, 2009

Proletarian coercion, in all its forms, from executions to forced labour, is, paradoxical as it may sound, the method of moulding communist humanity out of the human material of the capitalist period.

Nikolai Bukharin, 1920

Communists often blame the excesses of the Soviet era on Stalin as a nasty individual. But even if they admit to the evil done by Lenin, it is clear that the root of the problem is in the system that denied a basic diginity to all humans regardless of class. The image of God supplies a trans or supra-class basis for the fair treatment of all. When Bukharin said this the revolution was just 3 years old. The rot didn’t take long to settle in.

No age has known less than ours of what man is

September 8, 2009

“No age,” writes Heidegger in his Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics, “has known so much, and so many different things, about man as ours…And no age has known less than ours of what man is.”

Martin Buber, Between man and Man, p.219

What a chimera then is man!

September 8, 2009

What a chimera then is man! What a novelty, what a monster, what a chaos, what a contradiction, what a prodigy! Judge of all things, imbecile worm of the earth; depositary of truth, a sink of uncertainty and error; the pride and refuse of the universe! Who will unravel this tangle?

Blaise Pascal

Man is by his constitution a religious animal

September 8, 2009

Man is by his constitution a religious animal; atheism is against not only our reason, but our instincts.

Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France

But his religion may not be the true religion…

Football is our religion

Sky TV advert

He fornicated and read the papers

September 8, 2009

I sometimes think of what future historians will say of us. A single sentence will suffice for modern man: he fornicated and read the papers.

Albert Camus in Olivier Todd, p.300

Fornication can only be a meaningful moral concept in a world of moral purpose and design. But once again, when man runs from God, the price is meaninglessness.

Evolution robs man of significance

September 8, 2009

It has also been shown that purpose and plan are not characteristic of organic evolution and are not a key to any of its operations. Man was certainly not the goal of evolution, which evidently had no goal. He was not planned, in an operation wholly planless.

G.G. Simpson