Today I was planning to write about another subject, but after responding to a commenter who embraces the idea that humans are made in the image of God (who I prefer to view as a nonexistent female, hence this blog post title), I went with that notion.
I'm not sure why Andrew Stephens shared the links in his comment. I'm assuming he uses Musk and Harari as examples of godless secularists, which probably is accurate. Personally, I admire both of these men, being a happy user of Musk's groundbreaking Starlink satellite internet system and having enjoyed each of Harari's brilliantly written books.
Brian, you will be pleased to know that Elon Musk wants to start human trials with Neuralink this year. https://www.wired.com/video/watch/wired-news-and-science-the-science-behind-elon-musks-neuralink-brain-chip
Also, Yuval Noah Harari describes humans as 'hackable animals' and 'useless eaters'. https://www.indiatoday.in/world/story/hope-people-believe-in-scientists-instead-of-religious-leaders-yuval-noah-harari-on-covid-19-pandemic-1666859-2020-04-14
Some of us prefer to believe that humans are made in the image of God.
This was my reply.
Andrew, there's also some of us who prefer to believe that humans are made in the image of humans, and that dogs are made in the image of dogs, and that giraffes... you get the idea.
Do you actually think that God, the supposed creator of this vast universe, looks like a human? I realize that this is how God typically is depicted, an old white guy rocking a cool long beard, but this notion seems really dubious.
So what is it about humans that makes you believe we are the image of God? When I see the news each day, this strikes us as exceedingly unlikely. To offer a couple of examples, what is it about Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump you find godlike?
If God is good with invading Ukraine and trying to overturn an election, I'm pleased to be an atheist.
I should also mention that it's as certain as anything in science that humans evolved into our present Homo sapiens species over millions of years. Billions, actually, if we go back to the first cellular life on Earth. Given your theory, at what point did humans become made in the image of God?
Was it only when Homo sapiens appeared on the planet? If so, what changed in the nature of Homo sapiens that wasn't godlike before our species evolved into its current form? Or do you believe other species in our evolutionary family tree, like the Neanderthals, also were made in the image of God?
I'm curious, because this whole "made in the image of God" thing has never made sense to me. It just seems way too anthropomorphic, aside from the fact there's no demonstrable evidence for God. If God exists, a big "if," I don't see how humans would be made in the image of God but not, say, alien beings in a galaxy far, far away.
Or do you consider that all conscious beings are made in the image of God? If so, I'll tell our dog the good news.
Proving how clueless I am about Christian theology, I had to Google "how are humans made in the image of God" before composing this post to learn that the image of God idea comes from Genesis in the Old Testament, so it is a tenet of Christianity and Judaism.
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, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them (Genesis 1:26-27).
Not surprisingly, there's no agreement about what it means for God to have created humans in her own image. As I said in my reply to Andrew, the Genesis passage predates our modern understanding of evolution, so the idea that God created Adam and Eve is, of course, ridiculous.
However, one website I came across asks, How could humans have evolved and still be in the "Image of God"? I was curious to know the answer, but it wasn't very persuasive.
How might these models of the image of God fit with evolution? At BioLogos we believe that God created humans in biological continuity with all life on earth; the distinct cognitive abilities we have were given to us by God through this gradual process. We also believe that God created us as spiritual beings; God established a unique relationship with humanity by endowing us with his image and calling us to an elevated position within the created order. Science cannot judge our spiritual capacities or divine calling, so there is no contradiction. These various views are affirmed by individuals in the BioLogos community, and in fact the views are not mutually exclusive.
Good try, though this approach goes against the plain language in Genesis that God created humans, not that God set up a gradual billions-of-years-long process for Darwinian natural selection to come up with us Homo sapiens.
I took a glance at some other Google search results, but my head started to hurt from reading Christian gobbledygook, so I didn't get very far with this. If you have a greater tolerance for that than I do, some links are here, here, here, here, here, and here.