Is there anything wrong in Man thinking himself as God? Well, there might really not be a problem with that when it’s just a thought (it’s left between him and God anyways). However, there might be some (often grave) implications; if I may use the word, when man does not now only think, but tries to play the God role. It may be worth the while of trying, but doesn’t often turn out happy in the end. The Man-GOD Paradox is an expository article I came up with after having observed both the nature of man and his various acts in the world- from governments and conquests, to politics and laws, and over to science and inventions…
Before Time became what it is now, Man had; in the most extreme ways, always admired himself. He wields his power of ingenuity, wisdom, and knowledge. Dominating fellow Man- the ones he deemed to be mundane. All across the notable civilizations that have walked the earth, there’d always been men who sought after special powers that would give them a near-supernatural edge over others.
The Kings of ancient Egypt exhibited such magnificence and power over men that they were often more thought of as the earthly representative of gods, than they were thought of as royalties. When he existed, Pharaoh Khufu must have been tremendously revered in Egypt. Asides constructing the great pyramid at Giza in his reign, he most probably might have dabbled in the search (quest) for immortality.
1290 – 1224 BC
After all, they built great empires and made praiseworthy conquests. In the end, this great ancient kingdom of Africa; which gave birth to civilization, was conquered. And the pyramids became a little more than burial tombs for the great kings, and treasure chambers for the tomb raiders who’d loot them in the future.
This great ancient civilization was lost to the sands of time, and the dust of the Sahara settled over it; claiming most of its treasures and archaeological wonders. Even the famous coastal city of Alexandria, founded by Alexander the Great many years after; in all its riches and glory couldn’t stand the forces of Nature and the chaos of Mankind. The Earthquakes came; the Waves crashed, and third wonder of the ancient world was no more.
Perhaps when one is asked which human in all mankind’s history exalted himself so high and claimed an equality with God, king Nebuchadnezzar II, greatest king of the neo-Babylonian, or Chaldean dynasty comes to mind. The self-acclaimed great king of kings.
According to chapter 3 of the biblical book of Daniel;
King Nebuchadnezzar had a gold statue made, ninety (90) feet high and nine (9) feet wide, and he had it set up in the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. ²Then the king gave orders for all his officials to come together- the satraps, prefects, governors, advisers, treasurers, commissioners, judges, magistrates, and all the other officials of the provinces. They were to attend the dedication of the statue which king Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
3When all these officials gathered for the dedication and stood in front of the statue, 4a herald announced in a loud voice, “People of all nations, races, and languages! 5You will hear the sound of the trumpets, followed by the playing of oboes, lyres, zithers, and harps; and then all the other instruments would join in. as soon as the music starts, you are to bow down and worship the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.
6Anyone who does not bow down and worship will immediately be thrown into a blazing furnace.” 7And so, as soon as they heard the sound of the instruments, the people of all the nations, races, and languages bowed down and worshipped the gold statue which King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.
However, this king of kings was still only human and would fall victim to the clutches of death in 562 BC. And the great Babylonia that he magnificently revived and established; which had become a fearful name to neighbours and even distant nations, would fall defeated to the Persian King Cyrus the Great twenty three (23) years later.
In far Asia, the famous King Zheng; Qin Shihuangdi of China (First Qin Emperor) might have assumed the same school of thought. He united China; initiated the unification and probably the mega construction of the Great Walls- terrific to the extent that it was actually the only man-made structure visible from space for a long stretch of time.
Qin conquered quite numerous battles, and easily made nothing out of his enemies. As his story and archaeology related, Zheng had his thousands of slaves and workers sculpt man-sized terra cotta warriors and horses for his protection. He might have initially thought of giving them Life; for he was obsessed also about having the ultimate God Identity; Immortality! That he sought after a supposed Elixir of Life.
He had his Alchemists devise many concoctions, in a bid to discover a substance; that when taken, would provide him with everlasting Life. A stumble into the clutches of the beautifully-fatal Mercury might have caused his death. For he had mercury poisoning. In the end, his lifeless body, though revered, was buried with his thousands of lifeless soldiers- all claimed by the sands of Asia.
In recent times, looking into mankind’s timeline on Earth, there’ve always been in the society, those group of people; the elites; the few selects with the power to create and rule. Who’d always put themselves in God’s shoes, and wants the rest of us to see them that way. In modern times, most scientists and governments of the world have taken on this ideology.
Aren’t we extraordinary after all, one would ask: for making the robots, cars and aircrafts. Building impossible architectural and civil engineering structures. Manipulating biology and genetics as we see fit. Putting satellites into the Earth’s orbit. Making space vehicles and probes; and sending them into the far reaches of space to explore the Universe. Building the atomic bomb; that could easily obliterate all Life and sterilize the planet- all in the twinkle of an eye. Inventing the computer and ultimately an Artificial Intelligence.
But the other reality? Yes the other reality lives with us still. We remain grossly imperfect. Our ideals and systems are flawed and inefficient, our technologies haunt us, the human lives and the environments’ are threatened as civilization booms. We are yet to conquer poverty and diseases- globally. Then there’s the impending gloom of a possible devastating war; of a nuclear kind, hanging above the continents. Humanity is sitting on a chair, with the sword of Damocles hanging above him.
Even so, Man has refused to give in to his Status. He still thinks he is the centre of attraction in the known universe.. and maybe he is. If for example, Man succeeds in building a Time Machine, and bending Time and Space to his will, he will be called God. And if his invention were to turn out to wreak unimaginable havoc on himself and his environment , he will be called man still.
Photo Credit: Pharaoh Ramses II (by Richard Nowitz); Caption Credit: Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Image Credit: Scientist building a Robot. The Origin of Life (Five Questions Worth Asking); a magazine published by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.