The Modern Dichotomy In The Human Being
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

The Modern Dichotomy In The Human Being

We are more than mere animals.

The Modern Dichotomy In The Human Being

In the last couple of decades of human history, there has been an explosion of movements attempting to remedy the injustices perpetrated against all kinds of peoples believed to be inferior. These crusaders held to the idea that human beings--regardless of race, gender, mental capacity, or religion--are all entitled to the same rights (called “human rights”) simply because they enjoy the privilege of existing. More recently, we have seen in the news that this war rages on. With the massacre of Christians beyond our borders and the murders of black youth in our own country, we know that the fight for human rights is far from over.

And fight on we should. Protecting the sanctity of all human life by standing up for the oppressed in the face of adversity is one of the basic tenets that comes with being a Christ-follower. If we believe God created human beings in His image and have inherent objective rights over all other things, then any offense against ourselves and, in turn, our Creator should be met with vehement opposition. But what puzzles me is a contrary idea about humanity also perpetuated by modern society, and that is the belief of man is purely chemistry and biology; that a human is no more than a somewhat rational animal, whose knowledge is illusory and existence, if he or she should call it that, is no more than a functioning mass of amalgamated atoms. Now, we are animals, and I don’t strive to deny that. It would be preposterous to assert I am a member of a race of supernatural entities floating about, made of some transcendental substance, since my every breath would be actively refuting that claim. No, we are subject to the same pleasures and torments of this reality as every other living thing on Earth, but that’s where it stops. Where the biological stops, the philosophical and the spiritual pick up.

My immediate reaction to the naturalist’s philosophy is to wonder if anyone actually believes it. If someone told you she wholeheartedly believes her existence is fictitious, you should respond with, “Who’s talking to me?” I would think a man would be very upset if he came to me in a moment of desperate crisis and I told him, “I’m sorry, but you’re simply a phonating mass of matter; therefore, you’re feelings are insignificant.” The entirety of human psychology is deemed irrelevant and the course of human history would have happened in spite of itself, for as G.K. Chesterton pointed out man’s existence is not purely “economical.” If it were, there would be no annals of human history shaped by its own free will but merely a short story about eating and reproducing, like goats or cows grazing in meadows.

For the argument’s sake, let’s assume people do believe existence is futile. Then what? The entire human struggle has been in vain. There is no origin and there is no point of arrival. What gives us any rights, then, or even any objective moral framework? Ourselves? History has shown we aren’t very good at that. We will all simply go about our own lives doing our own senseless things, perhaps having a few wars and battling for some invention of truth, until some cataclysmic event, either by some external phenomenon or by our own hand, causes our inevitable mass extinction. And who is to blame? The course of all evolutionary nature. In its indiscretion, evolution somehow found it favorable to make us thinking animals painfully aware of our own existence who, in a strange and possibly self-destructive moment of our primal youth, instinctively pointed to the heavens for guidance and purpose. If this is true, this was a vicious thing for nature to have accidentally concocted.

I would maintain this kind of bleak existentialist philosophy to be an absurd one and, on close examination, does not account for the overwhelmingly contrary ideology represented by the majority of mankind evidenced throughout its history. It is impossible to cling to modern science’s interpretation of the human being and maintain that our race is under the law of objective rights, privileges, and punishments. The dichotomy is irrational and counterintuitive.

Perhaps we should start giving credence to the idea that humans are truly more than the sum of their parts. We contain within us the image of something more everlasting and are equipped with an innate purpose to attempt to realize that image. That image is, of course, the majesty of God. And should that be too difficult to grasp, reflect on the incarnation of Jesus Christ; that God fully took on the nature He had created--our bones, our skin, our DNA, our atoms--to visibly proclaim that He is the everlasting image, the “I Am” our hearts yearn for. And when we do advocate for the basic rights of all image-bearers of God, what do we ultimately strive for? For light, peace, justice, charity, and love, all of these everlasting truths accomplished in the life and ministry of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments