Sunday, July 22, 2012

Lies . . . Nietzsche and Aurora

I've been thinking about the role that lies play in our world. It is the grease that keeps the machinery moving. John 8:44 tells us that Satan is the father of lies. Lies are destructive, even though they ware used and welcomed in some parts of Christian culture.

But those thoughts had a sudden intrusion by the sad facts of Aurora, Colorado.  Many are making comments about that so I don't want to say more of the same. But I do have a difference facet to explore.

An evangelical friend shared (on her Facebook) a link to a blog, written by a Christian who was at the theater when all hell broke out.  I was afraid that she was going to say that the killings were an act of God . . . you know, everything happens for a reason type of thinking. But, she didn't. She said that evil is evil and no one should hold God responsible. With this thought I can agree.

I'm sure that the post-mortem of this horrible event that people will try to figure out what was going on the the killer's mind. We may have many answers.  But one, very fundamental, explanation is the lie that we  have no meaning unless we accomplish something in our lives, and that something can be good or evil.  This lie penetrates to the core of so much that is wrong.

It was Nietzsche and others who explored the empty corners of nihilism . . . seeking to find meaning (where there can be none in a self-created universe of accidents and random outcomes) came up with the concept of meaning in self-realization or action.  Nietzsche completely opposed the concept of morality, as taught by his Christian society. For him, meaning came from making choices, any choice, of taking steps of personal power.  For this thinking, anything great you could do . . . save a generation of orphans, or commit genocide, each gave your life meaning.

So, I'm not blaming Nietzsche alone for the shootings.  But it is that vein of lies that is so common to us all.  I suspect that the young man saw his hopes of finding meaning by accomplishing great things in neurology research fading. In that, he grew desperate. Within that, he wanted to mark history with an act of self-power. You know the thinking, a moment of fame will give your life meaning.

Lies do matter. They are so destructive.

Our prayers are with those who have lost the ones they love in this shooting. Our prayers also go out to those killed in the bombings in Pakistan, the slaughter in Syria and the list goes on and on. Evil is real and begotten by lies. 

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