Christ as Rebel?Submitted by Molusk on Sat, 02/15/2014 - 01:35
This is a tough post to write, sure to be controversial. Try to bear with me for the next five or ten minutes as I unroll some thoughts.
Many of us, in our intellectual sojourning, have come to consider ourselves as hard agnostics, or atheists, harboring severe doubts about the existence of any God, and about whether Jesus of Nazareth was anything more than a mere man.
Some philosophers have taken the implications of these doubts all the way to their logical conclusions, and announced the hopelessness and despair of all objective purpose in life. So be it! Let's consider for a moment how things stand if that is the case.
Suppose that the puerile conclusions of the Dawkinses and the Hawkings are on point, that their verdict on Man be true, that he is mere animal, servant of instinct, slave of genetic demands, fool of his own crooked cognitive faculties, led by the nose to the advancement of reproductive interests, a cosmic accident and a blip in a random history, unfolded and destined to be blanked out in another cosmic moment, of no account, whatever the outcome.
If such a description be true, what then?
Are we not just little toys, tools, playthings of this accidental algorithm -- nature -- and its arbitrary rules?
Well then! What of Christ?
Is not Christ, in such a world, the ultimate rebel against the demands of this blind Nature, with all its hard and irrational claims on conscious and unconscious creatures? What is 'Nature' then but the most irrational of all dictators?
Is not the life of Jesus, then, a giant Fuck You to the blind, robotic taskmaster nature, which demands and justifies a pointless competition, cruelty and service of genetic "progress"? Is not lowly Christ then the epitome of human independence from this cold machine, and the strictures of it's 'instinct'?
Was not Christ, then, the most essentially human Man to ever live, a rebel against this mindless nature, wholeheartedly embracing and leading a revolt against its pointless demands, shouting a resounding No! - "We refuse to comply"?
Was not Christ then the iconoclast, the revolutionary, fearlessly jamming steel defiance into the gears of this biological-genetic taskmaster and soul-destroyer, which leads us perpetually into conflict, conformity, fear, keeps us in check, going through the motions until the little cosmic clock runs down. To what end?
Since nothing stands to be achieved in the end anyway, and we are just grist for her mills, ground to no purpose, ultimately dead matter, why not run headlong into her, butt heads with her, turn on her, jam something into her jaws, come to a final reckoning, achieve Man's true meaning, as the opponent of nature, her thwarter, her contradiction and answer, as Man Against Nature.
Isn't that what Christ on the cross really represents?
For a sincere naturalist, philosophically it doesn't matter anyway in the end. What is there still to hang onto? What could be more heroic and more great, more human, than to stand against nature, against instinct, against fear, against pain, and just refuse to play the game? To welcome and accept all the nails and thorns and penury, to defy the mechanistic wheels of Fate and its petty demands?
Smiling on the cross and having the last laugh... what could be more courageous and more human?