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O to Be a Neanderthal!

By Tina Rae Collins ~

For one reason or another, some people are incapable of making wise decisions. We understand that and overlook the imperfections of those whose brains are immature or damaged to the point that they're unable to make sensible choices. We even agree that these people aren't accountable to a higher power. Furthermore, we know that alcohol and other drugs change the way a person behaves. The part of a person that chooses good or evil can be healthy, or it can be sick. Thinking, speaking, and behaving are performed by a biological and physical brain capable of being affected by mind-altering substances, genetic defects, and blunt force. Hence, gray matter is responsible for everything we think or do.

If we possess an internal, eternal spirit, it's inept at prevailing over our biology. Drugs can't affect a spirit; so if our spirits controlled our behavior we could be high as a kite and still operate motor vehicles, speak eloquently, and make intelligent decisions. We know this isn't the case; if a spirit exists within us, it must bow to the wishes of our physical brain (and whatever happens to it); the spirit cannot overcome our intellectual shortcomings and help us do good or refrain from evil when our brains are either naturally not up to par or have been attacked by force or chemicals. The brain can honestly say to the spirit what Sarah said to Jareth the Goblin King in the movie Labyrinth: "You have no power over me."

If we possess an internal, eternal spirit, it's inept at prevailing over our biology.Our brain is our physical, accountable entity that thinks, puts words into our mouths, and rules over our actions. Therefore, if, after we die, a god adjudicates regarding our performance while we lived, that judgment should be directed toward our brain. Even if there is, somewhere within us, an eternal spirit for a god to evaluate, why should the spirit be condemned or rewarded for the actions of a biological brain over which it had no dominance or influence? Any spirit we might possess is not guilty of sin or capable of practicing virtue, and it neither requires nor deserves denunciation or recompense.

To be righteous and holy, any judging deity must appraise our brains. Unfortunately, the definition of death is that the brain has ceased to function, or, practically speaking, it no longer exists to be judged. Some might say the biological brain will be resurrected ("re-created" would be a more apt word) to present itself before the celestial throne and give an account of its actions. And the smarter we are, the more harshly we will be judged. If this is true, it would be better to be a Neanderthal on that great day when we all stand before the almighty judge of biological gray and white matter!