Saturday, July 10, 2010

Apes, Man, and Man-Apes

Either the god of thunder or a google account named Thor has commented with a simple message:
I love reading discussions of atheists. My simple message is this: Nothing can comprehend the love of God. He created Charles Darwin to discover His amazing creations and wonders of the world. Now, men claim to be so brilliant and try to make their own gods, big or small, and claim that we evolved on single micro-organism, then to apes or monkeys...Thank God, I don't look like one.
Thor doesn't say what he loves about reading discussions of (by?) atheists, but I think he's trying to sound bemused, so I don't think he actually loves reading discussions of (by?) atheists, so there is no reason. Whatever.

As to the last part, I will charitably assume Thor is mistaken in saying he doesn't look like an ape. To look human is to look ape-like (via):

Then again, maybe Thor is not human. It's not as though I've sequenced his genome and compared it with extant reference genomes. Who knows? Who cares?

More interesting is Thor's assertion that "nothing can comprehend the love of God." Thor has a point, if you squint hard enough: what is it like? Is it like a puppy licking your face? Is it like the way you remember your grandmother? Is it like a boot stamping on your face forever? Is it like the joint housekeeping with a county-sanctioned marital partner? Is it like a slice of chocolate cake? Is it like the uncanny softness of a juvenile bunny's fur (before or after it dies)? Is it like motherly love, fatherly love, avuncular love, home-team love? Is it sometimes what we call lust, fear, friendship, kinship, reverence, loyalty, intersubjectivity? Is it like forbidden love (everybody loves that kind)? Opinions differ markedly from book to book, tradition to tradition, sect to sect.

This thread began with the claims of Anonymous Christian, who claimed to so clearly "comprehend the love of God" that he/she/it was prepared to throw out all earthly love and connectedness for its sake. Thor says we don't have any purchase on what it's like; Anonymous Christian says it is awesome, so much so as to render all other kinds of love superfluous. They should get their story straight and then present it.

Until then, for my part, I say it's like the love we imaginatively ascribe to all other inconsistently-drawn literary characters: another just-so story of limited relevance. It is nothing to live or die for, nothing to justify conflict, and, in the final analysis, vanishingly close to nothing.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nothing CAN comprehend the love of god because it is totally incomprehensible, especially as depicted in the Bible. It doesn't make any sense. It's not logical, and maybe it's supposed to be that way so those who want to control and manipulate the masses can have an easier time of it. If you can get people to believe and follow rules and laws in religious texts, imagine what else you can get them to believe and do in the name of "god."

Although "god" has endowed us with a logical brain, we're asked to abandon reason and accept on faith that which has no basis in our reality and experience, such as virgin births and the dead coming back to life to name a few examples.

But I've gone far afield of the original issue, which raises the question: Was Charlton Heston into bestiality? I'll take my answer off the air. Thanks.

Dale said...

Anon., YES, Charlton Heston's two biggest passions in life were guns and chimp-love. Acting was just a way to pay for the pool. And the chimp chow.

In most cases, when we encounter something odd about which we don't know enough to formulate a meaningful statement, we note that and then move on, or shut up until we know more. Not with god, for some reason. People spend half their time saying he's beyond comprehension and the other half telling us what we ought to comprehend about him.

It's dumb.