October 07, 2009
In his response to my argument for divorcing Christianity from Western identity, Mark Hackard could have made any number of temporally valid arguments. He could have submitted that, even in the absence of an omnipotent being to whom we must appeal for salvation, Christianity?s bestowing of order, morality, spiritual well-being, etc. make it worth preserving as a key component to Western identity. He could have stressed its potential, as a long-established, though weakened, part of our sense of self, for renewing our lost confidence. These would have been strong arguments to those of us who do not assume the divinity of Christ, and would require a good amount of space for refutation.
However, most if not all of Mr. Hackard?s response rests on the assumption, as its title suggests, that there is a divinity who inhabited the body of a Levantine individual 2009 years ago, who is still watching us now, and who establishes the rules whereby we will live in bliss or agony for eternity after our death. Allow me to make my position clear: If I shared this assumption, I would agree with every single point in Mr. Hackard?s post. If I accepted the empirical truth of Christ?s supremacy, I would likely not bother to be on a computer at the moment or perhaps even own one, because I would realize the ultimate futility of such worldly pursuits. If Christ is literally God, then Nietzsche is roasting at the moment, Europe?s adoption of Christianity is, indeed, the ?providential crowning? of its development, and I should make haste to Zambia in order to convert every last heathen.
Obviously, I and many others do not share this assumption, upon which such statements as ?the ?pauper? is Pantokrator, and every knee shall bend before Him,? asceticism as the ?highest form of struggle and ascendance to higher existence,? and ?the fullness of Truth and Love bestowed by the Galilean? are based. I have much respect for such erudite and probing intellects as Mr. Hackard?s, who correctly demand proof, take nothing for granted, and meticulously pick apart the politically correct dogmas of our time. It boggles the mind how these same individuals assume the literal truth of a compilation of quasi-historical texts that we now call the Bible.
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