God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them...

Discussion in 'Belief and Spirituality' started by Gordian Knot, Apr 7, 2014.

  1. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    This statement of the bible has always been an issue for me. Mankind is created in God's image? Seriously? Has anyone looked around this world in recent times, or the past hundred thousand years for that matter?

    The creature called man is hardly a shining example of godliness. At least not in the sense of the New Testament God. If how humanity behaves on this world and to this world is a reflection of God; well that is not a God I would want to have angry at me!

    This thread is not meant as an attack one anyone's religion or beliefs about God, okay? My question is more about the difference between the concept of humankind created in the image of a just, caring God versus how humankind acts on a day to day basis, which too much of the time is the antithesis of said caring God.

    And right up front, I will challenge anyone who will suggest the whole 'man was made with the right to choose' how he/she will act. That is not an answer from my perspective; it is a dodge.

    This is why I believe it is a dodge. Given that humans have the right to choose to do good or to do evil, if we are in God's image why does such a large percentage of the population choose the latter. (Or if we were to take the good/bad terms out, most people choose what is in their own best interest, which very often is the same thing).

    A race made in the image of a caring, just God would do the right thing over their best interests more often than not. Wouldn't they?

    If an alien visitor ever visited our planet and looked at how humankind has acted, taken as a whole; and then was told we were created in the image of our God; I do wonder if that alien would not be terrified of a god who acts even remotely as we do.
     
  2. Namaste Jesus

    Namaste Jesus Praise the Lord and Enjoy the Chai Moderator

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    This has always been a difficult question to answer. Mainly because, as you've demonstrated here, people tend to reject the answer before they've asking the question.
     
  3. Ducks and Witches

    Ducks and Witches Member

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    Man was created in Gods image. It's a pretty straight forward statement which I take on it's written word. One can argue if that was supposed to indicate a physical resemblance. However the behavior patterns of the two are the same.
     
  4. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    Yeah? Well I just directed Thomas to this place (manipulative genius here) for an epic battle. *sits back and watches the carnage*
     
  5. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Admin

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    I always take the reference in the Genesis story about God making Adam out of clay with regards to early pottery.

    Man can make clay figures, but none of them ever has life. It is a simple matter of deduction to presume that a "breath of life" is missing, and that only a great being - a god - can imbue man with this.

    And if Man looks about the world and see no one to challenge his own supremacy, and his gods are a reflection of his earthly rulers, then surely a god must have made Man in the god's own image?

    In Judiac monothiesm, it seems like a no brainer. However, in a polytheisic tradition, this whole concept must have been problematic - especially when you look how very different some of the Sumerian and Egyptian gods were.

    Pondering. :)
     
  6. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Hey Brian. Great to see you posting here again. I came here by way of CHRONS.

    I agree that my question was more pointed to the Abrahamic religions' creation story.

    Hi Tea. You do love to stir the pot. One of the reasons I like you! And that's okay anyway cause I would really like to see Thomas' thoughts on the subject.

    Hey Ducky. Can I call you Ducky? So am I to understand that you are saying that God acts just the way mankind does? That we are made in his image because the way we act is the way God acts?
     
  7. Tadashi

    Tadashi Well-Known Member

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    Hey, I just made a huuuuge bowl of popcorn, anyone want some?
     
  8. Tadashi

    Tadashi Well-Known Member

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    I finally had a little break from my business trip (though I have another one coming up pretty soon...)

    Looks like quite a bit of activity went on while I’ve been away... a lot to catch up... many new members joined too... so here’s my group welcome...

    “WELCOME EVERYONE!!”

    I look forward to reading you guys’ posts :)

    Tad
     
  9. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Sir! Sir! Please, Brian, sir, ACOT's trying to start a fight!

    He's knows I'm trying to be nice and warm and pink and fluffy and cuddly. He's stirring it up. Tell him, sir!
     
  10. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    No one says we live up to the image ... quite the reverse.

    Not everybody is thoroughly horrible. There were some nice people, scattered through the years ... :eek:

    I rather think that's our tendency to assume our anger is 'righteous' in the first place.

    Not at all.

    Work it the other way. We can agree, I think, that God hasn't got a physical body. And work that on, striking off those things that we are that God isn't.

    In the end your left with 'being' — I am, and God is. (The 'I am is an illusion' argument does not apply in this context, that's a whole other discussion.)

    God is ... and knows that He (for the sake of argument) is.

    There's a lot of discussion about what separates man from the animals, and my old benchmark, 'a self-reflecting consciousness' I find increasing inadequate as we discover depths of consciousness in the animal world that we had previously never assumed.

    So currently I'm thinking the difference is 'meaning'. In that man seeks the meaning of things in their own right, as themselves, not merely pragmatically with regard to my own needs and wants.

    Man alone, as far as I can tell, seeks the meaning of what it is to exist.

    God alone knows the answer to that, but we're imbued with as much whatever as necessary to realise that our existence is open to the infinite, indeed our ability to know and to empathise with another is, dare I say it, infinite.

    On another tack ... God, being infinite, is unconfined, uncontained, etc., in short, 'free' in the Absolute sense.

    We are endowed with elements of that freedom. The freedom to act, to choose to do what he knows is the 'right thing', or do what he knows is the 'wrong thing' if, in the doing, it would appear as a short-term benefit.

    The argument of 'conditioning' and 'conditioned response' I accept, but I would argue that itself is a subsequent argument. The creature has to be free to respond in a way before it can be conditioned to do so.

    What strikes some is the idea that God created man a free nature, then didn't intervene when man made such a dog's dinner of it ... but then that's not real freedom, is it, freedom is then an illusion, as much as the apparent benefits of 'the wrong thing'?

    I bet he/she/it would have it's own story to tell ...
     
  11. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    You're not going to take that, G, are you? He's humiliating you! Come on, tell him what's what!
     
  12. Ducks and Witches

    Ducks and Witches Member

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    Ducky? Seriously? We haven't even been on our first date yet. :rolleyes:

    His actions as written, demonstrate human emotions. So yes. ;)
     
  13. Tadashi

    Tadashi Well-Known Member

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    Thomas, we cannot become a person who we’re not... Life comes from God and we are to use it as God intends... I don’t think God made you to be pink and fluffy and cuddly...:p I think God made you to be His defense lawyer and gave you a sharp tongue, so you gotta use it... :D
     
  14. Gordian Knot

    Gordian Knot Being Deviant IS My Art.

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    Tea, you break me up. You too, Tad.

    Though analogy of a defense lawyer does not necessarily equate to sharp tongued. There is also the silver tongued attorney. I have always found Thomas' comments to be straight forward. He says it the way he feels it and that works fine for me.

    Okay, enough of the fluffy, cuddly, good feelin' all around stuff. Onto the rebuttal!

    No one says we live up to the image ... quite the reverse.

    Not everybody is thoroughly horrible. There were some nice people, scattered through the years ...


    Yes there are some nice people. And one point I will grant you is that one of the more annoying habits of humanity is to forget about the good deeds and highlight the bad ones. History, after all, is full of all the worst of humanity for the most part. There isn't much history where it is said "here was a great man who lived a good life. Then he died."

    Can it truly be all a matter of perspective? That our species highlights and remembers the terrible; sublimates and ignores the good? This is a new thought to me and one I find potentially intriguing.

    Everyone complains that our modern (so called) news organizations always highlight the bad events in our day to day lives. There is very little in the news about good events that happen. Of course, this is hardly an accident because even though everyone complains about all the bad news, that is what they want to see; it gets the best ratings. If people wanted to see the focus on the news of good being done; if people watched what they said they want to see, such a news outlet would be successful. Such an outlet has never been successful.

    Yes there is the token good news story, three minutes duration tops, sandwiched in between the rest of the news hour on all the bad going on. An insincere bone thrown in to gain the pretense that only bad news is covered.

    Which, once again brings me to one of my initial points. If we are created in God's image, why do we focus on the evil in the world, and do our best to sublimate the good that is going on. Yes it is a matter of choice, which we have given the freedom to make. But again it seems to me that if we were created in God's image, we would act more like God than otherwise.

    And the exact opposite seems to be the reality. Taken as a whole, our species acts less like God the majority of the time. If we were made in God's image, it seems to me, our ability to choose would be to choose the good in the world more of the time that not. Which is not the case.

    This discrepancy is the foundation of my difficulty with the concept that we were made in God's image.
     
  15. Tadashi

    Tadashi Well-Known Member

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    Yep, you’re right. A silver tongue is a much better term. I stand corrected. I didn't mean to suggest Thomas can be ‘mean’ or anything... He has a heart of an angel, and it’s probably pink and fluffy like Hello Kitty :p

    But you know what GK, when anyone (believers or non) challenges religions or the Bible with a good reason, I consider that person attempting to be the defender of the Truth. You question the Bible and its teachings because you suspect it might have gotten the Truth wrong. It shows that you care ‘what’s right’ and what the Truth is.

    To me, the Truth means God’s will or His law, so anyone trying to get the Truth right is also a defense lawyer for God. And you know, lawyers who work for the same boss can disagree and argue, and that’s a good thing! So, GK, go! have at it!!

    Tad
     
  16. A Cup Of Tea

    A Cup Of Tea Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, with a katana. Thomas can have a very sharp tongue, he is mostly human, but in the end we all know he is a good man*.

    *sex assumed for rhetoric
     
  17. Tadashi

    Tadashi Well-Known Member

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    Right, watch out for his katana!
    (He’s not ‘mean’ per se, but he can cut you up into pieces. But that gives you the right to do the same, so go get a pair of scissors!)

    [CORRECTION]
    My girlfriend has just informed me that Hello Kitty is not a pink cat. It’s a white cat with a red bow. I don’t know why I thought it was pink, probably because both of my girlfriend’s nieces love the character and have many of the items, such as purses, socks, beach towels and so on, and they all seem to be soooo pink!!

    Tad

    P.S. I apologize to the folks who read this post and felt that one precious minute of his/her life was completely wasted on reading this nothing-could-be-less-important matter :eek:
     
  18. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    Er, guys, I'm in the room?
     
  19. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    I think so.

    I think you may have put your finger on it with the word 'sublimate'.

    The OED defines sublimate as:
    "(In psychoanalytic theory) divert or modify (an instinctual impulse) into a culturally higher or socially more acceptable activity"

    I would say, in this context, we divert or modify the good that rises naturally, in us and around us, towards a self-serving end. That's what the story of the Garden is all about.

    Actually I think we act more like gods ...
     
  20. Thomas

    Thomas Administrator Admin

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    The analogia entis

    For two things to unite, there has to be something in common.

    There is a teaching in the Catholic Tradition: The Analogia Entis.
    The analogia entis (the 'analogy of being') says that the being (entis) of the created world offers an analogy by which we can (in a limited way) comprehend God. The Book of Nature is the first of two books by which we might come to know God. The other is the Book of Revelation (Scripture).
    The Reformation attacked this idea head on, and the Protestant traditions still reject it. In the last century, Karl Barth called the analogia entis the "invention of the antichrist" because the way to God is through Christ alone (the solas).
    Three points:
    One:
    In the words of the Fourth Lateran Council maior dissimulitudo in tanta similitudine, the Church asserts that although we are made in His image and likeness, creation’s unlikeness to God remains infinitely greater than its likeness. God is not defined by the world, it is we who teoo often and too readily seek to do that. The statement of the Council kicked monism, pantheism and panentheism (always a fudge, in my opinion) into touch.
    Such a statement carefully balances the apophatic and kataphatc dialectic.

    Two:
    The analogia entis, properly understood, preserves against a somewhat naive and sentimantal universalism (monism, pantheism and panentheism again) on the one hand, and a pseudo-mystical subjectivism on the other, whilst simultaneously affirming the basic tents of apophatism — that God transcends all predicates — but without the inevitable overdosing on negative theology: "God does not become more divine when we push him away from us in a sheer, impenetrable voluntarism" (to repeat Benedict).

    Three:
    The analogia entis is ontologically related to logos - the ordering principle by which God created all that is – and the logos is none other than the Logos, Jesus Christ. The reason that an analogy of being can make sense, even after God has definitively revealed himself in Jesus Christ, is because Christ is the one "through whom all things were made" and in whom "all things hold together", to cite Colossians.

    Therefore to contemplate an analogy between the being of the created world and the being of God is, properly understood, not something done independently of the Logos, Jesus Christ.

    In the Greek tradition, there is the Logos, and creation, which is the many logoi. Each logoi has its exemplar in the Divine Mind. Thus the 'quest within' is for each creature, each created thing, to naturally seek its own exemplar, which is its Final cause or End, its rest, and its peace, and its fulfilment. This is why Augustine said 'You are more myself than I am', because the logoi, which subsists in God, is 'more real' than the concrete actuality of being that is its shadow in the material world. Or its reflection.

    The soul is the created principle of the particular logoi by and through which its manifest itself, but it is not its own logoi.

    Karl Barth remarked that the analogy of being is the only good reason for not becoming a Roman Catholic. Recently, the Orthodox theologian David Bentley Hart suggested that the rejection of the analogia entis might in fact be 'the invention of antichrist' and 'the most compelling reason for not becoming a Protestant'!

    Hart offers a particular take on the tradition:
    For Hart, "the analogy of being … is the event of our existence as endless becoming" (ibid). In this continuum of being, this endless becoming, we participate in God’s own infinity: "God is the infinity of being in which every essence comes to be" (ibid).

    The analogia entis does not concern being as such, but rather the way in which the act of being participates in God’s transcendent act of being, and in this participation receives from God its own otherness and particularity.

    The analogia entis thus describes the freedom to be, an emancipation from the ‘totalising violence of identity’ (ibid).

    So, instead of the reduction of difference to its apparent similarities – both God and I share in the common something called "being", and therefore I share in God as such — Hart reverses this line of thought, so that "the analogy of being finds truth in the ever greater particularity of each thing as it enters ever more into the infinite that gives it being" (ibid).

    Augustine spoke of 'capax dei' – 'the capacity for God'. It is there that we find the image and likeness. In the exploration of what it is to be (the subject of his Confessions, because the quest to understand the nature of being is the quest to finds its source.
     

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