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An Argument for the Incarnation

The argument against incarnation is pretty clear.  Let’s say you believe in some ultimate reality — a transcendental source of creation, being of all beings and perfection of all perfections.  How could that being be a particular person?  How could it be born, die, go to the bathroom?  What does that even mean?

An argument for incarnation is that if we think about such a Being of All beings, it is already incarnating in us, as we are thinking that thought.  And we are born, die, and go to the bathroom.

So, everybody believes in incarnation.  The only questions that are left (and they’re important) are how, why, and who?  For a long time the last question was answered “my guy (or lady) and definitely not yours.”  But now that the human race has invented WMD that answer is too dangerous for anybody of good will to maintain seriously. It’s also, once you get to know something about how these ideas pop up all over the place, pretty unsupportable.

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2 thoughts on “An Argument for the Incarnation

  1. I agree that the concept of incarnation is tricky. In the metaphysical sense, it’s incomprehensible, and thoughtful Christians don’t pretend otherwise. In the mundane sense — in the sense that we are conscious beings connected in both known and unknown ways to everything else that exists — it’s obvious and unproblematic.

    It causes problems only when believers claim it as a universal truth *and*, most importantly, will use violence to make unbelievers assent to it. But of course, those problems can arise with almost any belief: e.g., America’s recent crusades for “democracy” in the Middle East that caused death and destruction but only made things worse.

    What people really need are humility — the realization that we are not always right about everything — and a touch of libertarianism, so we do not feel we have the duty or the right to make everyone else agree with us.

    It wouldn’t completely protect us against use of increasingly lethal WMDs, since aggression is part of our evolutionary makeup. But it would decrease the risks.

  2. Pingback: Do WMDs Make Religion Too Risky? | The Thousand-Year View

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