2009-07-12

In The Image of Man

Ludwig Andreas Feuerbach famously suggested that God was made in the image of man. More specifically, he recognized that the infinity projected on the idea of God by human beings is the infinite capacy of human nature itself.
So it would be better to say that God is not made in the image of man, but rather, in the image of what human beings should aspire to become. Because, in the past, human beings could not imagine how they could become God, they projected the divine onto the forces of nature, spirits of the dead, and finally the pantheons and monotheisms of the religions of the world. Yet even those gods called upon humanity to imitate them in justice, benevolence, and righteousness. "Be perfect, as your father in the sky is perfect."
But in the religious imagination is the vision of what human beings can become. Because of the sciences, and technologies, and evolving philosophies of life and ethics, we can understand now, for the first time, that there can be a path from the present to the future, from present human frailty, to future transfigured humanity. We can grasp that there will be an ascension, directed by human beings, an evolution forward in wisdom, compassion, understanding, life, and yes, also power. God is not what was, or is, but what will be. The divine is humanity's purpose to become.

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