7/20/2003 | Share this article:I am re-reading "The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide" by Douglas Adams. If you like science fiction, parody, comedy and veiled commentary on religion all in one, I highly recommend it.
The part that inspired this little rant is where Zaphod Beeblebrox, one of the main characters, is on a quest to find the man who runs the Universe. Along the way he is captured and forced to enter the "Total Perspective Vortex." This ingenious device, when hooked up to its victims, forces them to comprehend the immensity of the universe in comparison to the microscopic proportion of the prisoner's life in his or her relationship to the universe. The complete understanding of how irrelevant the individual's life is in relation to everything else there is out there, is horrifically mind numbing. No one ever survives the "Total Perspective Vortex." Mr. Beeblebrox, much to everyone's surprise, does survive. In fact he quite enjoys the experience finding it euphoric. He discovers while in the "Vortex" that he is the most important thing in the universe and it really makes him feel good.
Christians have a similar perspective on their value to the universe. Oh sure, on the surface Christians are told they are sinners, deserving of eternal punishment. They are told that there is no one good, no not one. They are admonished that they should humble themselves, and warned against the sin of pride. Then, conversely, they are told that the Man who runs the Universe actually shrunk himself down into a human body, endured all the privations of being a regular guy and then made a sacrificial death of himself in order to save those who would later believe in him. So, in this incomprehensibly large universe, filled with innumerable galaxies, each of which contains nearly limitless possibilities, mankind becomes the central focal point of all. The planet earth on the outskirts of a rather small, remote, and unremarkable galaxy, along with the monkey like beings who crawl around on its surface, becomes more terribly important than can be humanly comprehended.
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