Sunday, January 27, 2013

Are we just pieces of meat?

On a blog recently I was communicating with a lady who asserted that if there is no God that our lives are pointless, meaningless and we are all just pieces of meat.

I find this disturbing.  Not that it is true, but that people can think this way. Let's just be clear.  The only thing that we can be certain of in this world, is this world and the experiences we have in it. Even Ratzinger confirms that the thing that believers and nonbelievers can find in common is doubt.

I see that as humans, we love, care, think, create, feel, share, hope, and remember.  All of these things seem more than just meat. We learn, study, fly, swim, enjoy, question.  There's technology and imagination.

I think of my trip to Yosemite.  I've only been one time.  It was fleeting. But it was such a beautiful, amazing experience. The depths and scale of the brilliance of nature are almost beyond words.  I enjoyed it. It lifts me up. I am glad I have had that experience.  Even if it was just for a moment.

What do you think?


Paul Rinzler said...

Actually, as one of my favorite movies makes clear,

They're Made Out of Meat:

ashleyjeanlavana said...

Thank you for your comment. Even if that was a silly movie. Not sure if I am going to build my world view around it.

Perhaps we don't want to think of ourselves as meat because we treat other living creatures with such flippancy.

I noticed you wanted to make a collaborative debate on your blog. Have you had any success?

Anonymous said...

Ashley, you are right. Even as believers, we can have doubts. It's called "faith" for a reason. We believe without seeing completely. When the day comes that we see clearly, it will no longer be called faith.

Meat is an unpleasant way to think of humans, but if there is nothing beyond this world, all we are is highly creative, high-functioning meat, really, destined to be nothing more than fertilizer in the long run. Yuck. I think it disturbs you because you know we are so much more. You seem to be saying you know that, and yet you insist that faith is nothing more than wishful thinking.

I've read your comments at the Bubble. I know you have lost faith. You say, as many atheists do, that maybe their was a creator of the world (accepting at least for argument's sake that a world that had a beginning has to have a cause) but that you see no reason to think that the force behind the world's beginning is anything like the Judeo-Christian concept of God. Yet you recognize such things as the ability to love, care, think, create, etc (sorry, I would quote more accurately but can't go back and forth between your main page and the comment page). Do you see the reasonableness of the idea that a creation would be a reflection of the "force" - for want of a better word non-God word - that created it? That the ability to love, care, think, create, etc are actually attributes of that "force"?

Anonymous said...

For the record, yes, I realize that I used the wrong "there"!

Stacy said...

I totally agree with your statement about only being able to believe what we experience... but I truly experience Christ in the sacrifice of the Mass each Sunday so I can't NOT believe it. I'm not saying I haven't had doubts before, but those were generally when I was neglecting my faith. Any time I have doubted God, I merely think of outer space, and what's beyond it, and how did it ever get here (not the big bang part... even before that- how was there anything to cause a big bang) and I get overwhelmed with the truth of God.

ashleyjeanlavana said...

Sharon, I do not reject or accept any stance on God at this point. I am just saying for me, it seems wishful thinking. Even if there is a God and we have a spirit, we are still meat. That is an essential doctrine in Catholicism. The rising of the body and the spirit, forever. So, even to God, I guess meat is a little important.

Or, maybe it actually is important to us.

Could it be that we create God to be a reflective force of ourselves instead of vice versa.

How do you experience Christ at Mass? I am sure the same way I have for so many years. In your imagination, emotions, longing for truth and love. But, you in NO WAY actually have any experience of Christ other than subjective thoughts. Of course if we accept Catholic teaching, there is more than subjective.. but that is making the LEAP of Faith. There is no proof.

I agree space, life, creation is awe-inspiring, but how does that actually show God, except for what we make up to make sense of it all?

Anonymous said...

Ashley, you said "Could it be that we create God to be a reflective force of ourselves instead of vice versa. "

But Ashley, where would we get the IDEAS we have of God? In a sense we see God by what we see in ourselves. That is not the same as "creating" God. The Universe did not create itself. It was created by some THING. By looking around us, we see the attributes of the Creator. We did not make up our own attributes - they were not our idea. (I hope you can see past the capital C - I'm going to use it anyhow.)

Do you agree that the Universe did not make itself?

As for us being meat, yes, we are "meat", in that we are physical beings, of the animal kingdom. But either we are MORE than that, or we are ONLY that. You have to choose one or the other.

ashleyjeanlavana said...

I am saying that we are more than that, but not in a supernatural sense. In a cognitive, emotive, relational sense.

I do not necessarily agree that the Universe did not make itself, meaning that it came from natural occurrences. How could I know this from my personal limited education and experience?

Anonymous said...


I keep coming back to comment only to run out of time trying to get out anything coherent.

I can only say, if there is nothing beyond this world, then all of that cognition, emotion, relationship is ultimately meaningless, even if you want to say otherwise. It just goes nowhere.

If you choose to believe that the universe made itself, then I don't know what to tell you. You believe it because you want to, because it fits with your current lack of faith. It is reasonable to see that a thing that had a a beginning, had a cause, and nothing causes itself.

Manda said...

Please show me where in Catholic doctrine is the teaching that we are meat? Catholic doctrine teaches that we are both body and soul, created in the image and likeness of God, Who is love, and that our souls are eternal and our bodies are temples of the Lord and should be treated as such. Our bodies will also be resurrected. As far as your question in the post, even the laws of physics demand a Creator. God can be observed everywhere. Perhaps, instead of deciding NOT to believe, you should ask the Lord, IF He exists, to show Himself to you. And I am not saying just once or twice. For me, it took a long time and much suffering before I experienced an encounter with God. If you are not willing to embrace suffering and count it as a reward to get to know Him, it may be a waste. God bless.

AJL said...

I hope you don't mind but I deleted the double postings.

I absolutely do not think we are pieces of meat. Those are the words of a blogger at littlecatholicbubble. I think you found this site through her site.

I do not see how physics demand a creator. I am not a scholar at physics by far, but I am fairly intelligent. I did well in physics at college. I do not see how not understanding how something works demands a creator.

As far as asking God to show himself to me. I did that for over 20 years. I found him. I wanted him. Seeing "God" was not hard for me.

I think people are willing to experience God in many various ways and to see supernatural things where there are non.

Have you heard of James Randi? He shows just how gullible we are.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
fernando said...

Embrace suffering is not what we want to do, but we choose to do it daily, i.e. with work, and caring for people, even our enemies too

Anonymous said...

AJL: I absolutely do not think we are pieces of meat.

Cory: But if there is no God and we are just products of a chemical stew, then yes, you are just a piece of meat no better than the bacteria or the rat.

This is why the Atheists who propose doing the "good" thing don't really have a leg stand on, because basically morality and meaning go out the door once you factor God out of the equation, if you want to be logically consistent.

Anonymous said...

AJL: I do not see how physics demand a creator.

Cory: Only because you assume that "what is" is only physics. How do you account for existence? Don't say physics because all it can do is perhaps give some theories about the mechanism but not the Prime Cause.

ajl said...

I don't adhere to the need for a WHO to do the prime moving