Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The violent birth of Dionysus


Many sceptics dismiss the Gospel accounts as mere fiction due to their similarities to prior mythology. There is a popular belief in circulation today that Christ himself was an imagined archtypal hero in the same vein as Zeus or Archilles. According to the adherents of this belief, the Christian God is Zeus retold, minus the virtue of strength and will to power. This was certainly similar to the view held by Nietzsche. According to René Girard, this line of reasoning shamelessly misses the point and, therefore, fails to see the real uniqueness of the gospel stories, a uniqueness wherein lies the salvation of mankind.

Take for instance the similarities of the divine birth narratives. In the ancient mythological stories, there are many instances of the gods copulating with mortal women in order to give birth to hybrid divine heroes. The birth of Dionysus comes to mind. Zeus, the chiefest of all gods, becomes the father of Dionysus through a mortal woman by the name of Semele. Similarly, the gospels also speak of a divine being, the Holy Spirit, conceiving Jesus inside the mortal Mary. Here the sceptic will go, "Aha! Do you see the origin of your 'divinely inspired' nativity story now?" In saying this, the sceptic misses the point. There is a world of a difference between the two in one key aspect: the issue of force, namely violence. Girard explains this in his book, 'Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World':

"Stories of this kind always involve more than a hint of violence. Zeus bears down on Semele, the mother of Dionysus, like a beast of prey upon its victim, and in effect strikes her with lightning. The birth of the gods is always a kind of rape...These monstrous couplings between men, gods and beasts are in close correspondence with the phenomenon of reciprocal violence and its method of working itself out. The orgasm that appeases the god is a metaphor for collective violence."

Compare this story to the nativity accounts, where Mary's status, unlike Semele's, is elevated by God to that of nobility. In the gospel of Luke, the angel Gabriel greets Mary by saying, "Hail, O favored one, the Lord is with you!" God makes known to Mary that she will bring forth his son, to which Mary replies, "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." There is a complete absence of violence and coercion in the virgin birth story. There is no element of force whatsoever. This is no coincidence, neither is it a proclamation of harmlessness as Nietzsche would have it.

For centuries, humanity has drawn a particular image of God that uses coercion combined with sheer might in order to impose divine will on creation. This human depiction of God is okay with, and even demands, ritual sacrifice. Our modern day society, despite the lack of extravagant mythologies, still operates under this same principle. We often think that for justice to prevail there has to be scapegoating, and for good to come about there has to be coercion. Our societies operate under this false precedent that good comes out from using evil against evil. This kind of idea, when put into practice, gives rise to war, rape, abortion, homicide, domestic abuse, and countless other malevolent acts. We can observe this phenomenon acting out vividly when the state, the religious priesthood of our time, sanctions theft against its own citizens and throws non-violent dissenters into cages like wild animals.

In the myth of Dionysus, Semele, under the might of coercion, becomes nothing more than a means to an end. She is glorified in her utter humiliation. This is what pagan sacrificial culture leads to, and what our modern day pseudo-pagan culture continues to enforce. Through the rape of a fragile mortal woman, heroes and deities are born, and order is brought forth. On the other hand, the God of the Bible brings order through non-violence. The mortal and vulnerable is proclaimed to be the image bearer of God. Mary is honored and praised by the angel Gabriel, and later her dignity is defended by God. From the elevation of Mary comes the true hero Jesus.

Jesus is the perfection, redefinition, and embodiment of true heroism. The hero of the Bible does not act out the carnal, coercive nature of fallen man, but, rather, exhibits bravery and determination in perfect combination with gentleness and compassion. There is no weakness in him because the powers and principalities of the world holds no power over him. In him resides the perfect balance of the cosmos. He is able to triumph over evil, not with the parasitical force of Satan, but through the reversal of the Satanic contagion itself.

The gospel revelation encourages us to be imitators of this mighty yet gentle Christ. Through the imitation of Jesus, we are unable to extort goodness from our neighbor. We cannot rape anymore Semeles. We cannot scapegoat those vulnerable than ourselves. We cannot demonize or lynch our enemies. The catharsis from all these ungodly acts are wearing thin. We are instead called to universal chivalry for our fellow human beings. We are left with no choice but to infect the world with the love of Christ through the love of our neighbor.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Ramayana and the birth of 'high morality'

The study of ancient literature, particularly the great mythologies, helps us understand the origin of culture and society. Within each heroic and magical tale, and beneath each culture that springs from that tale is the story of a lynch mob and a sacrificed victim.

Take for example, the great poem of Ramayana. This epic poem tells us the story of a banished prince who lives in exhile as a hunter along with his wife. The name of this prince is Ram and his wife Sita. One day, a wicked king named Ravana deceives and kidnaps Sita; he takes her and imprisons her within his fortified kingdom of Lanka. Ram, the archetypal hero, must now undertake a hazardous journey out of his home and into the wild in order to save his wife. He raises an army and invades Lanka. After a fierce battle, he slays Ravana and thus saves his wife.

A Jungian analysis of this story reveals the archetypal hero's journey. Much like St. George, Ram ventures out into the unknown, confronts the dragon, and saves the virgin. But a Girardian examination reveals a deeper truth--a truth that is more real and grittier than that of an extravagant fable with moral truths.

The text of Ramayana alludes to past struggles that may have occurred in circa. 1500 BC between armies from Persia/Central Asia and Dravidian natives. In those days, it was not uncommon for scribes to romanticize the feats of their beloved patron kings. In the light of this knowledge, the Ramayana can be interpreted as a war between two kings, or maybe it is the sacrifice of a defeated king. In traditional artistic depictions, Ravana is usually painted or carved out as a powerful man with dark skin and features similar to that of Dravidians. Also, his kingdom of Lanka is thought to be situated somewhere around or within modern-day Sri Lanka.

Once Ram has defeated Ravana, he establishes a period of 'Ram Rajya'--a culture/state of high morality. This is reminiscent of Cain's feat after he murders his brother. Like Ram, Cain founds the first civilized society. And civilization, culture, society, and even language are all the result of violence, specifically the sacrifice of a single victim, who is later deified because of the catharsis that comes from his demise.

I have personally found Jung's study of the unconscious mind fascinating, but I think Girard was right when he said Jung didn't go deep enough. Had Jung gone deep enough in his study of mythological symbols, not only would he have been able to uncover the lynches, but he would have also recognized the reverse mythology of the gospels that internalizes the sacrificing within the realm of the person.

When Christ saves the adulterous woman from getting stoned to death, he challenges each person to look within themselves, and in the process, he breaks the hypnotic frenzy of the crowd. The individual recognition that each of us has within us an inner persecutor, who is ready to burst out at any moment, is probably the most potent weapon against collectivism. It is this weapon that causes us to transform and start imitating Christ.

Today, we need not adhere to groupthink, and we need not sacrifice a scapegoat to keep our societies functioning. The ancient stories of good vs evil, retold countless times today, were subtle cover-ups for violent scapegoating. The only real battle is within our hearts; any external battle is false and based on a lie. Once we realize that we are each potential persecutors, we create within us the heart of Christ. We develop a heart that naturally comes to love our neighbor, whether they be victims or oppressors. This was Paul's Damascus experience, and it should be ours as well.

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Hostile Brothers

The fascinating stories of sibling relationships found within the book of Genesis tells us a lot about the journey of the human species. It tells us about man's relationship with his brother, and how that relationship developed from envy and hostility to forgiveness and reconciliation.

In the story of Cain and Abel, we see the rise of sibling rivalry and the eventual first murder. Out of the two brothers, Abel is the one who pleases God the most. This does not make Cain happy; in fact, he grows bitter and envious towards his brother. Cain's anger and frustration in trying to live up to this model/obstacle version of brotherhood ends with the murder of Abel. This speaks volumes about the artificial brotherhood of the world, one based entirely on stepping over the other and acquiring a desirable object.

This is an interesting start because the story of Cain and Abel bears a striking resemblance to the ancient mythologies of the hostile brothers. The tale of Romulus and Remus is one example of a story similar to that of Cain and Abel. But a distinction is placed between the two--one that separates the romantic lie from reality. Abel is innocent, and Cain, though guilty, is protected by God. The deconstruction of mythology has just begun.

The competitive/rivalry-based relationship of Cain and Abel continues to define the modern 'secular' world which we inhabit. The ultimate aim of this kind of relationship is to please false gods, whether that be the ego, a third person, a certain status, or a collective entity. There is no option for failure, i.e. the conceding of the desirable object. As a result, according to Dostoevsky, the rich die from dissatisfaction, and the poor kill each other. Is there any surprise why this kind of relationship is most likely to end in hostility and violence?

We see the same theme of rivalry continuing in the story of Jacob and Esau. This story, however, does not end in violence, but, rather, it ends in realization of error. Jacob deceives Esau and steals his brother's birthright and blessing. He flees when Esau is enraged, and for a short while, it appears as if he would get away with it. But it is not long before Jacob himself is tricked into extra labor and duped into marrying someone whom he does not love. Jacob learns of the wrongness of deception. He is finally able to look from his brother's perspective, and is ultimately moved towards a mutual understading with Esau.

Finally, in Joseph's story, we see the foreshadowing of Christ. Joseph is envied by his brothers because of his predicted dominant status; he would rule not only his entire family but also the entire region. He is beaten, thrown into a pit, and sold into slavery. And just when he climbs out of one pit, he is thrown into another. He is accused of rape by his master's wife and thrown into prison. Despite all these betrayals and deception, Joseph does not rebel. He maintains his integrity, and at the same time makes no effort to 'compete' against his persecutors. His is the model of a relationship grounded in non-violence--a relationship not of coercion but of persuasion through the imitation of the divine.

Joseph's innocence is eventually restored, thanks to his ability to interpret dreams. Not only is he restored, but he is also elevated to a position of authority. It is during his reign as a man of power when he comes face to face with his brothers who had sold him into slavery. The former persecutors approach Joseph; they are in need and, though they are unable to recognize him, they must depend entirely on his mercy. The power positions are now reversed.

If this were some story written with an ideological pen, Joseph would have been perfectly in the right to give his brothers a taste of their own medicine. After all, according to Nietzsche, might is meant to be exercised, and weakness must be discouraged. The übermensch does not conform to the slave-morality of the Judeo-Christian God. The übermensch belongs to aristocracy and not to slaves. But, as if God knew beforehand about Nietzsche, it is the Christ-man who is of the aristocratic minority, and the persecutors are slaves to the power of the crowd.

When Joseph sees his brothers, he immediately recognizes them and puts them to a test--a unique test designed in such a way that they may realize the wrongness of what they had done to their brother years ago (see Genesis 42-44). The brothers are dismayed by their failure to get away scot-free. Finally they realize the full depth of the violence that had been committed towards Joseph. It is right then when a teary-eyed Joseph reveals himself to his brothers. The brothers are finally reconciled. Jacob, Joseph's father, learns of this episode and travels with his entire family to Egypt so that he can live with his son once again.

Joseph, twice a victim of persecution, and now a ruler, does not exact vengeance upon his brothers. He makes it known to them that he has the power to kill them, but he does not take revenge. He sheaths his sword and chooses mercy, similar to what Christ does in Gethsemane and Golgotha. What prompts Joseph to choose mercy? We have to recognize that Joseph was a precursor to the coming Messiah. Joseph understood that even the harshest of men were made in the image of God. This simple understanding is pivotal in man's relationship with his fellow man, and only in the Bible is this made known.

It is fitting that this particular story is the redemptive ending to the book of Genesis. Joseph concedes the rivalry, recognizes the image of God in his persecutors, and embraces them as his own. This is the familial image of Christ dying on the cross whilst praying, 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.' This is God, not punishing, but embracing his persecutors. Joseph becomes a Christ figure to his brothers. He imitates the coming Messiah and saves his brothers from mimetic rivalry whilst giving them hope of a better home. He becomes the precursor to the true human being in Christ Jesus, and therefore, he points out the true human relationship grounded in Christ mimesis.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

The Gospel in Les Misérables

"I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people."
--Jeremiah 31:33 (NIV) 

The historical relationship between the Christian and the state has always been a case of curiosity. This is all the more exemplified when we see around us those self-proclaimed followers of Christ trying to bring about the kingdom of God through mimetic games designed by the state priesthood. This effort of blending two religions (one centered around Christ mimesis and the other centered on the imitation of man) together is an exercise in futility. The truth is that the incarnation paves the way for the destruction of governments on a worldwide scale. Some two thousand years ago, a babe born into an obscure middle-eastern town heralded the coming of God's kingdom and the death of empires and government. The life that came out from the virgin would destroy governments once and for all, but this destruction would come only through the viral imitation of that very life itself.

In Victor Hugo's novel 'Les Misérables' we can see how imitation of Christ leads to a contagion of God's love through individuals that ultimately affects society at large. Jean Valjean is a former convict who is shown mercy by an old priest when he is caught stealing. This act of compassion from the priest amazes Valjean so much that the criminal decides to embrace the forgiving priest as his new model. By embracing the priest as his model for imitation, Valjean has effectively chosen to imitate Christ; he is now the Christ-man. As a result of his decision, Jean Valjean rises up to become the mayor of a small town through nothing but small yet significant acts of charity and kindness. He is always helping the needy and downtrodden, and he is always humble and discreet in his actions. Soon however, his very existence is thrown up for grabs with the entrance of the zealot police inspector Javert, who wishes to exert the full force of the law upon Valjean's town, even if it means throwing reformed men into cages like animals for past sins. In more simple terms, Javert is the spirit of the accuser, more aptly described in scripture as Satan.

One day, inspector Javert comes across a wretched prostitute who has just struck a man in self defense. Javert commands his men to have the prostitute thrown in jail. He ignores the prostitute's pleas of mercy and is ruthless with his decision, but in comes Valjean, who exercises his much superior authority and pardons the prostitute. Valjean even goes as far as to medically treat the prostitute when she is dying, and he promises to take care of the prostitute's daughter. This throws Javert and Valjean into a head-on collision course. The eventual unmasking of Valjean as an ex-convict causes Valjean to flee with the prostitute's daughter. But Javert will not stop in his pursuit of justice, and he chases Valjean across the country.

Javert is the personification of the state. He is the state's high priest. His unquenchable desire to uphold the law is revealed to be ancient in origin and, hence, sacrificial. Today, many intellectuals speak of the violence of religion, yet very few speak of the violence of the state. The state is very religious, not many dare to recognize this. It operates through the ancient but effective sacrificial mechanism. Scapegoats, violent and non violent offenders, are routinely thrown into cages by the priesthood; this keeps the state in existence, and the catharsis just balmy enough to contain a full fledged all-against-all war. Valjean, on the other hand, is the Christ imitator. He is a priest of the kingdom of God. He is chained to Christ mimesis, and thus cannot use violence and coercion. His only weapon is the crucified life of Christ.

Whereas Javert does not care about a man's potential to reform, Valjean forgives freely. Javert is the law through coercion while Valjean is the law through imitation. One mercilessly throws human beings into cages and the other turns the cheek. The two are, for obvious reasons, irreconcilable.

Javert is finally able to apprehend his man after years of pursuit, but he realizes the superiority of Valjean's law and concludes that he is made directionless because of Valjean's Christ-man. He realizes the immorality of the state's use of violence and the brutal nature of its prisons where countless men languish and are broken forever. The inspector lets go of his man, and commits suicide, marking the obsolete nature of the state in the presence of a viral Christian mimesis.

To this day, thousands suffer in prison. The state-engineered media will echo the violence committed by people, but it will always downplay the violence of the state. Little is spoken of the widespread rape of offenders in prisons across the world. A man guilty of not paying back loans is just as likely to be raped as the vicious murderer. And all this while under the supervision of the state's priesthood. This is the cold reality of governments everywhere.

The state has always been a continuation of religion; violence and coercion has always been it's ritual sacrifice. But this does not mean that we should rise up and rebel against it in a mimetic manner. Such stupidity is reserved for the Marxists and clueless leftists. God revealed to us what we must do while living under the state. His answer is Jesus. This answer is amplified in Victor's Hugo's Jean Valjean. The ex-convict Valjean shows mercy not only to the victims, but also to the oppressors. His form of justice is restorative and does not require scapegoats. He helps out the workers. He practices benevolence towards those who are unfortunate enough in society. He becomes father and protector to an orphaned girl. And he, on more than one occasion, spares Javert's life.

The life of the fictional Valjean is a mirror image of the divine Savior. His life is an excellent example of how Christians must behave under the tyranny of the state. Only a fool would take the state, which makes full use of the scapegoat mechanism, as a moral agent of society. The true moral agent for mankind is and has always been none other than Jesus Christ, and his imitation, and the viral nature of it, renders all government and religious institutions obsolete.

Monday, December 4, 2017

The Persecutor Within Us

'You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye.'

Too many times, we take this particular saying of Jesus and apply it to anyone else but ourselves. This is the problem that confronts us when we read scripture with a self-centered, ideological lens. Judgment is always aimed at the reader's enemy, but benediction is always conveniently bestowed on the reader and reader alone. The outcome of this philosophy is that our own violence is always justified while the violence of the other is the origin itself. This dishonest reading of Jesus' words gives way to mimetic rivalry. Both the envious reader and his opponent mimic each other; one wants the other to 'remove the log for thine own eye,' and in the end, neither remove their respective logs at all!

Dietrich Bonhoeffer once remarked that the reader should always read scripture as if God is speaking directly to him/her. The beauty of the above quote by Jesus is that it never works in a third-person setting. If we read the above quote as a third person, we enter into mimeric rivalry. We either start playing the holier-than-thou oppressor or we become the oppressor masquerading as a victim. To fully comprehend what Jesus said, we have to realize that it is we who are the oppressor and accuser. We have to realize that we have been duped by Satan all along, and that we have become Cain, full of resentment and bitterness. In our accusatory spirit we echo killers like Panzram and the Columbine shooters. These people were no different than us. They were full of hatred for humanity. They were full of hatred for being itself. And why wouldn't they be full of hatred? Mass murder is, after all, the endgame of the accusing spirit.

What then can be done about it?

René Girard said, 'Christian conversion is our discovery that we are persecutors without knowing it.' The realization that we can be infinitely more evil than our perceived opponents is the first step. This knowledge should cut to our hearts as it did to the crowd gathered on the day of Pentecost at Jerusalem. It is our scapegoating tendency that nails Christ to the cross over and over again. Obviously, we, as Christians, would not want to do that.

The second step, knowing full well that we are an imitative species, should be the embracing of a perfect source for imitation. Christ is that perfect source. The gospel is designed in such a way that merely preaching it is far less effective than actually living it. The power of imitation cannot be underestimated. We are far more helpful to our oppressive or victimized brothers and sisters when we imitate Jesus. The Nazarene befriended both the tax collector and the Samaritan woman. He healed both the rich and the poor. He healed and fed whoever that approached him. The reason for Christ's scandalous impartiality is his serving attitude towards all. This serving Christ should be our model in a world of sloganeering and accusatory ideals.

This attitude of humility and servitude (not to be confused with self-flagellation), irrespective of persons, is the call of Christ for today's world of the ideologically possessed. The world has seen enough of people who talk the talk but can't walk the walk. We know that the world is full of suffering and misery. We know that there are tyrants, and we know that the pain will never go away. Hence, we need to live out the crucified life of Christ--a life that is true, beautiful, and good, despite the never ending pain and sorrow. We need to echo Jesus' cry of forgiveness from the cross. At the same time, we must never compromise on the truth; the truth being that scapegoating is no friend of God.

To be able to live the crucified Savior's life depends entirely on our deep realization that we are the Columbine shooters. We are Panzram, and we are the Nazi concentration camp guards in waiting. Carl Jung wrote, "No tree, it is said, can grow to heaven unless its roots reach down to hell." Let us then remember the depths to which we have fallen, and let us, to the everlasting glory of God, become better angels to ourselves and everyone around us while imitating the man who saved us from drowning in the ocean of accusation.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Christ: The Hero for All Men

A post for International Men's Day.

Imitation is perhaps the single greatest driving force in all of humanity's history. Great men all over the world have been inspired to become either heroes or villains. Unfortunately, imitation have led, for the most part, to conflicts which then resulted in scapegoating. This is true when we decipher most of the world's greatest mythologies. But our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ shows us how imitation can be a force for good.

Every man needs a hero. When a boy is growing up, the first person he idolizes is his father. The father is often the first source of a boy's imitative learning process. The boy picks up mannerisms, communication skills, and body languages from his father. Our entire culture is a resulting factor because of this kind of imitation. By observing this phenomenon we can conclude that imitation is innate in human beings. And it is because of this that, in order to fulfill our potential as true human beings, we need the greatest source of imitation. That source is none other than Jesus Christ.

Christ is a role model unlike any other. Being a true human being, he is certainly someone we can imitate. But, being a figure of divinity, he cannot be competed against. This is the brilliance of God's positive mimesis. Today, we can imitate and stumble so easily into rivalry because of the near-absence of divine hierarchies. Imagine how many rivalries have sparked into violent conflicts. The unique imitation of Christ does not allow us this worldly rivalry that almost always leads to violence. Christ himself said that he imitates the Father, and therefore, serves humanity. This is the subtle combination of power, authority, and servitude. Who can compete with that?

Christ is the highest order of humanity; therefore, he is the highest order of masculinity. He is both the beginning and the end of the true man. Nietzsche once spoke about embracing the 'beast within' in order to fulfill one's potential. For example, men have an inherent aspect of aggression. Christ, being the fulfillment of true man, beautifully channeled that aggression into an undying love for God's creation, which is why you see Jesus refusing to give up on his people. Even on the cross he cried for the forgiveness of his tormentors. This zeal for his creation would not have been possible if our Savior had been a harmless man.

In his earthly life, Jesus was a polarizing figure--a revolutionary in the truest sense of the word. He made bold claims on just about anything and everything. He did not provide anyone the luxury of calling him a 'good man.' He was either someone you loved or someone you hated. In other words, he was a force to be reckoned with. He dared to eat with the dirty outcastes. He dared to associate with the hypocrite priesthood. He dared to converse with women. He dared to converse with the Romans. He talked to anyone and everyone who were both the impure of society and enemies of the people. He dared to speak boldly, and he didn't mince his words either. He embraced suffering and took on the consequences of his actions. He exuded authority and even claimed divinity. Need there anything else be said about his bravery and will power?

To paraphrase Jordan Peterson, the archtypal male hero is one who 'slays the dragon and rescues the virgin.' Christ is the epitome of this hero-figure. Each of us has a story, and a chance to be a hero of that story. Christ's story is the same as that of us today. We live in a time not too different from his own. There are tyrants and there are manipulators. There are virgins and there's gold. And then there are dragons, both inside and beyond. How can we become heroes of our struggles? I believe the key lies in imitating Christ, for Christ courageously stepped out into the unknown and confronted the ultimate dragon, slaying him by boldly speaking the truth, and proclaiming the love of God on the cross.

As a boy, I've had many heroes or 'role models.' But it was and still is Christ who inspires me. When I think of bravery, I see Christ. When I think of determination, I see Christ. When I think of compassion, I see Christ. For every highest virtue, Christ is the peak of the mountain. Today, I see many men who are starved of inspiration as they drown in an ocean of shallowness and vanity. This is a result of the imitation of false gods. These men need a true hero--someone who can lift them up from the endless pit of defeat and shame, and guide them into becoming men of honor and principle--someone whom others can rely upon. What better inspiration than Jesus? What better guide than the rabbi who pulled Peter from out of the water? What better Savior than the defender of the adulterous woman? What better hero than Christ Jesus?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Christ: The Impetus for True Science

Recently, I was watching a discussion on the topic of 'truth' between Jordan Peterson, Jonathan Pageau, and Bret Weinstein. The three debated for a short time on which is the superior truth: scientific truth or religious truth? Whilst Weinstein argued that scientific truth is superior in the scenario where different beliefs contradict each other, Pageau made the bold claim that science itself was nested in religion. This got me thinking.

Science--the means to understand phenomenon--and the truth it establishes are unable to tell us how we ought to act in a life replete with tragedy and suffering. Though many people have tried to explain away social sustaining elements like ethics and morality, they are not able to explain why human beings have the capacity to develop things such as morality and, more strikingly, have transcendental religious experiences. Authentic Christian ethics and morality are brought forth by the rejection of violent contagion and ignition of the positive mimesis of Jesus Christ. Much of life-affirming scientific advances have come from people who have adhered to a hierarchy of ethics and values, and this heirarchy itself comes from Christian imitation.

Science can be a positive force for humanity only when it seeks to emulate Jesus Christ. For example, scientific advances in medicine can be achieved only when one has the best interest of the neighbor's health in mind. In other words, the heart of the healing Christ gives birth to medicine. On the other hand, medicine can also be used for selfish gains and, in such a case, science does not benefit mankind and medicine ceases to be medicine. Then there are instances when science turns downright sinister. Think of the experiments in the Nazi concentration camps or look up Unit 731, and you'll have those nightmarish images sticking in your mind for a long time. Aushwitz and Unit 731, in their very essence, constitute science without God.

What is truth, and how does this truth benefit us? In the Christian revelation, truth is embodied in a person, and that person is Christ, and in Christ we find the epitome of religious and cosmic truth. In Christ we have not only a role model but the impetus for society and the individual to do good and put a stop to evil. Scientific truth, in and of itself, is unable to stop the violent contagion that multiplies misery and resentment of being. It is no good to have facts presented to us just as they are; we must be able to do something with them. This is where God comes in. Only a positive mimesis of Christ can provide a foundation for scientific endeavors that seek to alleviate the ills of the world and the human soul.

In summary, any scientific achievement, in order to be 'good' for humanity, must be rooted in God for it to become true science and not sadism. Likewise, it must also be noted that belief without science is just as shallow as science without belief. An unbelieving scientist has the potential to become a sadistic Henry Cotton while an unscientific Christian has the potential to become a manipulative Rasputin.

Christ, who is the root of all life-affirming morals, is the role model for true science. He becomes the driving factor for all that is good. Humanity and all its accomplishments, including that of science, are clueless without him.