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God complex: Christianity

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Well this thought started when John(we'll call him that due to privacy) said animals are just soulless husk and that human were the only creature made in "god's image" wouldn't this give mankind god complex in some way?

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Well this thought started when John(we'll call him that due to privacy) said animals are just soulless husk and that human were the only creature made in "god's image" wouldn't this give mankind god complex in some way?

No, mainly his followers.

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Only if all mankind agreed with this assumption.

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Well this thought started when John(we'll call him that due to privacy) said animals are just soulless husk and that human were the only creature made in "god's image" wouldn't this give mankind god complex in some way?

Sadly, he's not the only one.

To me, at least mammals have some kind of common 'operating system' underneath. Why do scientists study animal behaviors? Because that's the key to understand ourselves! I brought this up a few months ago but some UM members refused to acknowledge it.

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I didn't get sucked into the whole Abrahamic indoctrination of man's dominion over the Earth. Being part of a Neo Pagan belief system gives you a different perspective on our fellow creatures. We are all children of the Earth, creatures great and small.

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Well this thought started when John(we'll call him that due to privacy) said animals are just soulless husk and that human were the only creature made in "god's image" wouldn't this give mankind god complex in some way?

Two points I'd like to make...

1st the bible clearly states that all humans and animals have souls. What the bible does not say is whether animals have spirits. Man undoubtedly has. And yes there is a difference between soul and spirit.

The 2nd point is that most people do not clearly understand what is meant by "Man was created in the image of God".

It has got nothing to do with some characteristic or aspect of Gods character, it has everything to do with function.

We as humans beings were created with a single function in mind.... to be Gods "imagers" not in his "image. The text refers to a function or a responsability, not a defining charecteristic.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.

27 So God created mankind in his own image,

in the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

As God rules the heavenly and the physical realms, so has he created us to rule the physical realm. Just as angels were created to inhabit the spiritual realm, we were created to inhabit the physical realm.

Edited by Jor-el

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Two points I'd like to make...

1st the bible clearly states that all humans and animals have souls. What the bible does not say is whether animals have spirits. Man undoubtedly has. And yes there is a difference between soul and spirit.

The 2nd point is that most people do not clearly understand what is meant by "Man was created in the image of God".

It has got nothing to do with some characteristic or aspect of Gods character, it has everything to do with function.

We as humans beings were created with a single function in mind.... to be Gods "imagers" not in his "image. The text refers to a function or a responsability, not a defining charecteristic.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.

27 So God created mankind in his own image,

in the image of God he created them;

male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

As God rules the heavenly and the physical realms, so has he created us to rule the physical realm. Just as angels were created to inhabit the spiritual realm, we were created to inhabit the physical realm.

One could certainly/legitimately interpret the bible in the way you are suggesting, Jor el. In fact, there are all kinds of interpretations of the OT- to be fair to you -- you are within your interpretative protocol, to offer an opinion of the NT as a truth-- when it comes to the NT, but if it relates to the OT one has to include modern scholarship too. Simply because In the case of the NT-- there is not a criteria for consistency set (that I know of), other then it is left to the discretion of the various expressions/and individuals. But with the OT-- Biblical scholarship is the conclusion specified when dealing specifically with concluding about the OT, in other words; one concludes based on the consensus of modern scholarship.

So to encourage an all inclusive dialog I want to open it up for this way too. So I am including what modern scholarship has concluded about Genesis 1-3. In a nutshell there are two accepted conclusions- according to biblical scholarship, one interpretation of Gen 1-3 was the priestly promotion of honoring the Sabbath and the second accepted interpretation/meaning is that with the discovery of agriculture this resulted in a change to societal organization."

For the record: I understand that for you-- you have concluded what you have shared and for you this is near and dear to your heart and you believe this implicitly and will post in a way that seeks to persuade anyone of your passion and devotion to this personal interpretation. Just so you know my intents are not to create a going no where argument, but a conversation that looks at all perspectives including biblical scholarship.

Edited by Sherapy

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One could certainly/legitimately interpret the bible in the way you are suggesting, Jor el. In fact, there are all kinds of interpretations of the OT- to be fair to you -- you are within your interpretative protocol, to offer an opinion of the NT as a truth-- when it comes to the NT, but if it relates to the OT one has to include modern scholarship too. Simply because In the case of the NT-- there is not a criteria for consistency set (that I know of), other then it is left to the discretion of the various expressions/and individuals. But with the OT-- Biblical scholarship is the conclusion specified when dealing specifically with concluding about the OT, in other words; one concludes based on the consensus of modern scholarship.

So to encourage an all inclusive dialog I want to open it up for this way too. So I am including what modern scholarship has concluded about Genesis 1-3. In a nutshell there are two accepted conclusions- according to biblical scholarship, one interpretation of Gen 1-3 was the priestly promotion of honoring the Sabbath and the second accepted interpretation/meaning is that with the discovery of agriculture this resulted in a change to societal organization."

For the record: I understand that for you-- you have concluded what you have shared and for you this is near and dear to your heart and you believe this implicitly and will post in a way that seeks to persuade anyone of your passion and devotion to this personal interpretation. Just so you know my intents are not to create a going no where argument, but a conversation that looks at all perspectives including biblical scholarship.

I understand completely your approach here, but would like to ask how that in any way changes the meaning of the words I quoted?

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The problem with the Biblical idea of man ruling over animals is bears, tigers, lions and sharks haven't read the Bible and when you encounter one unarmed you might look more like dinner than God.

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I understand completely your approach here, but would like to ask how that in any way changes the meaning of the words I quoted?

Awesome!

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The problem with the Biblical idea of man ruling over animals is bears, tigers, lions and sharks haven't read the Bible and when you encounter one unarmed you might look more like dinner than God.

True, but the bible also says that we lost that authority when we sinned, we actually gave it away for an "apple"...

As the Targum Jonathan says:

And the woman beheld Sammael, the angel of death, and was afraid; yet she knew that the tree was good to eat, and that it was medicine for the enlightenment of the eyes, and desirable tree by means of which to understand. And she took of its fruit, and did eat; and she gave to her husband with her, and he did eat. And the eyes of both were enlightened, and they knew that they were naked, divested of the purple robe in which they had been created. And they saw the sight of their shame, and sewed to themselves the leaves of figs, and made to them cinctures. [JERSULAEM. And they made to them vestments.] And they heard the voice of the word of the Lord God walking in the garden in the repose of the day; and Adam and his wife hid themselves from before the Lord God among the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called to Adam, and said to him, Is not all the world which I have made manifest before Me; the darkness as the light? and how hast thou thought in thine heart to hide from before Me? The place where thou art concealed, do I not see? Where are the commandments that I commanded thee?

THE TARGUM OF JONATHAN BEN UZZIEL, ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS. - SECTION I:III

The purple robe of kingship was lost, the purple robe of royalty was lost, we abdicated being Gods representatives on earth, Jesus whole purpose is to bring us back to this destiny.

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Awesome!

Does anything you said change the meaning there Sherri?

I don't think so but maybe I'm not seeing something that you are...

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True, but the bible also says that we lost that authority when we sinned, we actually gave it away for an "apple"...

Strictly speaking, the bible does not say that. One person's interpretation (whether right or wrong) of some of the OT narrative says that.

The OT narrative relevant to this opinion (Genesis 3) is silent regarding Adam's rulership status over the animal kingdom; it does not state this rulership was rescinded by expulsion from Eden [falling from Grace].

Edited by Leonardo

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Strictly speaking, the bible does not say that. One person's interpretation (whether right or wrong) of some of the OT narrative says that.

The OT narrative relevant to this opinion (Genesis 3) is silent regarding Adam's rulership status over the animal kingdom; it does not state this rulership was rescinded by expulsion from Eden [falling from Grace].

Strictly speaking the bible does not infact say that clearly but it is implied.

The parallel with Nebuchadnezzar's life is quite interesting here...

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The problem with the Biblical idea of man ruling over animals is bears, tigers, lions and sharks haven't read the Bible and when you encounter one unarmed you might look more like dinner than God.

Don't forget gorillas, hyenas, rynos, elephants, gators, many snakes, wolves, and even a deer.

And of course the most deadliest thing in all of history. The Mosquito.

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Don't forget gorillas, hyenas, rynos, elephants, gators, many snakes, wolves, and even a deer.

And of course the most deadliest thing in all of history. The Mosquito.

And all the spiders in Australia, yup - they will make a nonsense of any God concept you might be harbouring if they get to you.

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And all the spiders in Australia, yup - they will make a nonsense of any God concept you might be harbouring if they get to you.

I told my kids about the funnel web and the box jelly, now every spider and every jellyfish is one of them despite my assurances they are on the other side of the world.

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Does anything you said change the meaning there Sherri?

I don't think so but maybe I'm not seeing something that you are...

Does anything you said change the meaning there Sherri?

I don't think so but maybe I'm not seeing something that you are...

I'd conclude that I know what Jor el concludes about Genesis.

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Snakes, I forgot snakes. My last encounter with a Water Moccasin was a close one and was right in town. They are a one grumpy snake and will chase you. He ended up striking my wheeled book bag.

We don't rule the Earth. We use it and abuse it and we will pay for it I am sure.

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True, but the bible also says that we lost that authority when we sinned, we actually gave it away for an "apple"...

As the Targum Jonathan says:

And the woman beheld Sammael, the angel of death, and was afraid; yet she knew that the tree was good to eat, and that it was medicine for the enlightenment of the eyes, and desirable tree by means of which to understand. And she took of its fruit, and did eat; and she gave to her husband with her, and he did eat. And the eyes of both were enlightened, and they knew that they were naked, divested of the purple robe in which they had been created. And they saw the sight of their shame, and sewed to themselves the leaves of figs, and made to them cinctures. [JERSULAEM. And they made to them vestments.] And they heard the voice of the word of the Lord God walking in the garden in the repose of the day; and Adam and his wife hid themselves from before the Lord God among the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called to Adam, and said to him, Is not all the world which I have made manifest before Me; the darkness as the light? and how hast thou thought in thine heart to hide from before Me? The place where thou art concealed, do I not see? Where are the commandments that I commanded thee?

THETARGUM OF JONATHAN BEN UZZIEL, ON THE BOOK OF GENESIS. - SECTION I:III

The purple robe of kingship was lost, the purple robe of royalty was lost, we abdicated being Gods representatives on earth, Jesus whole purpose is to bring us back to this destiny.

I have never heard it phrased in this way but if you are correct then I can certainly see why His followers are the one's who should be managing things. True followers would seek to love and heal first. They would do unto others as they would be treated. Can you imagine a civilization built on such realities? :) The possibilities of where we could go and how much we could learn would be nearly endless.

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When we see animals worshipping or displaying other similar characteristics of spiritual belief/awareness, we will know they have a soul.

Humans evolved this ability to construct and recognise symblic entities.

We also have the capacity (using a number of related cognitive functions) to know "good' from "evil" and to be able to chose (in this knowledge) actions with known consequences for good or evil.

Again, other animals have not yet evolved these skills, An animal other than man cannot "chose" good or evil because they are not even aware of the concpets, and thus cannot be held responsible for their actions. Again, they thus have no self aware 'soul capable' of being nutured or harmed by self aware ness. When a man kills, he has full self aware ness of what he has done, and how it will affect others .This (and all other actions thoughts etc) creates a feed back inhis mind which may grow or damage his soul.

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It's my belief that if Genesis story is based on any kind of actual event, it's pretty reasonable, but depressing, to believe that the whole book is pretty much a one-sided propaganda that withholds a lot of actual details of events.

Now, I am eager for this year's Woodland Critter Christmas. Blood orgy! Blood orgy!

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I'd conclude that I know what Jor el concludes about Genesis.

Of course you do... :) after years of being on this board I don't think my views surprise anyone at all.

Edited by Jor-el
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I have never heard it phrased in this way but if you are correct then I can certainly see why His followers are the one's who should be managing things. True followers would seek to love and heal first. They would do unto others as they would be treated. Can you imagine a civilization built on such realities? :) The possibilities of where we could go and how much we could learn would be nearly endless.

In an ideal world sure I would agree with you, in the real and present world.... no way. There is a reason Jesus is head of the church and not his followers...

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When a deer is hit by a car, we do not call the police to invistigate a murder. When a beloved pet gets sick and can't be cured we put them to sleep.....when a man gets hit by a car, or a human gets sick we treat them differently. Why? There is no doubt more to animals than many know about or accept, however, I believe it is a mistake to make all life equal or the same, when in fact it is not.

Children or not pets, we don't put them down when they suffer, or have a disease that will lead to death. Why?

Yes animals have souls, at least mammals do, that which allows them to have emotions, and to be able to relate on some level with on another. However it is the spirit that makes us self aware and I believe we pay a heavy price for being seperate from nature the way the rest of the animal kingdom seems to be.

We don't treat a tick the same way we do a deer. We just don't kill them everytime we see them, they have more value because there is more to them. Humans have value of a different order because of our potiential, our inwardness, and yes our ability to seek out the transcedent.

We need to be kind to animals, if we kill them for food, then we should do so as painlessly as possible, to be cruel to animals is to belittle ourselves and to fail in our role as actual caretakers of this planet, something we have failed in, hopefully that will be changed in the future, if it is ot to late.

In the Christian and Jewish faith, we do not consider ourselves 'God", but we are called to a deep loving relationship based on trust, that will hardly lead to a God complex. I know that not many will agree with me, but it disturbs me when we try to make every life form on the planet as equal in value.

Peace

Mark

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