Friday, February 28, 2020

What is the purpose of humanity? Or Puddleglum was right!

The foundation of religion in Mesopotamia is that humanity has been created to serve the gods by meeting their needs for food (sacrifices), housing (temples) and clothing and generally giving them worship and privacy so that those gods can do the work of running the cosmos. The other side of the symbiosis is that the gods will protect their investment by protecting their worshipers and providing for them. Humans thus find dignity in the role that they have in this symbiosis to aid the gods (through their rituals) in running the cosmos.—The Lost World of Adam and Eve, pp. 88—89

<idle musing>
And that is the sole purpose of humanity in the ANE (and many other places, but I know the ANE best). People were made to serve the gods. Any imago dei was, well there wasn't any. That's probably the biggest difference between Israel as depicted in the Scripture and the surrounding cultures.

Of course, we've grown beyond that now. Now the purpose of humanity (at least the bulk of it) is to produce and consume for the sake of the 1 percent. Quite the change, isn't it? And with the increase in surveillance software, they are becoming almost as omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent as the ancient gods were (because they weren't fully so).

Me? As Puddleglum said in The Silver Chair,

All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder. I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things—trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play-world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia.
Yep. I'm with Aslan, even if there isn't an Aslan. Sure beats thinking we exist only to serve the 1 percent! Just an
</idle musing>

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