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Posts Tagged 'Gods. Stem cells. Graven images.'

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The shape of gods to come

I see that sufferers from multiple sclerosis in its early stages have responded well to stem cell surgery and wondered, as usual, what road we are on as a species. Some time ago I posited the view that our capacity to develop ourselves in dramatic ways, using the full range of medical interventions, was essential if we were to get off this planet before we made it completely inhospitable. We will eventually be able to design humans for all environments and social and political demands.

Until now the majority of us have projected our need for a god on an Immortal, outside ourselves, thereby attributing to Him or Her or It the power of omniscience and omnipotence over our affairs. Thus, in Ghana, the winners of the December election, the NDC, thanked Him (in this case) for prevailing upon the electorate to vote them in. The opposition would have done the same if they had won. Sadly, the opposition have not held No-Thanks-giving services for their defeat! I didn’t realise, until I read The History of God by Karen Armstrong (a nun who leapt the convent wall), that the Jews fell for the notion of Jehova at a time when there were competing gods in their pantheon, because – Big New Idea – he rewarded when things went well and punished when they didn’t. This was a Mark 2 god, I would guess. Before this, in Mark 1 times, you needed a god for each good outcome you might desire, weather, harvest, victory over your enemy, love… and there were even gods who dished out the bad stuff. Having one god who acted judge and jury was innovative and since He dealt with all possible events, he beat off all challengers.

Now we are quickly moving to the aforementioned position of recreating and constructing ourselves in a myriad ways. Not in a god’s image, presumably, but according to our own sense of purpose. The Mark 3 God now exists inside our human consciousness. It will mean a radical rethinking of whatever underpins our moral precepts. We are at a stage of Gods R’ Us. It is distinctly at odds with the Mark 2 Ten Commandments, for example and the denunciation of (graven) images that are not a likeness of Him. On a website:
it is reported that even the Anglican Church seems predisposed towards this irrevocable change in outlook, if its quote is anything to go by: “Only 68 of 200 Anglican priests polled could name all Ten Commandments, but half said they believed in space aliens.”


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