Monday, July 28, 2008

The non-value of grace

Since my post earlier today, I've had some further thoughts about a point raised by Bren Smith in his letter. After writing, "His belief that we humans through our reason are innocent and potentially exalted, glorious and heroic demonstrates what the Bible says is sin," Smith says, "The wise repent and glorify the one true living God and accept His gift of grace through His son Jesus Christ."

If wisdom consists of rejecting reason in favor of "grace", what, then, is grace and how is it to be valued higher than reason? Reason is man's tool of survival. This means he will literally die without it. But if we are to accept that man is guilty by nature, we must accept that reason is part of man's sinful nature. If man is evil by definition, reason is one of the things that makes him so.

But if man is evil by nature, he can never be not evil. Nothing can change that without changing man's actual nature. Including grace.

So what, then, is the use of grace?

I submit that if man can never be good, grace gives men permission to continue to be evil. The message, here, is one of control: "Since you can never be good, you can only be allowed to continue to exist by permission. Give up your reasoning mind and your free will", it seems to be saying, "and let some authority direct your life for you for some 'higher' end. As long as you do that, you will be allowed to indulge in whatever viciousness we, the authority's representatives, deem necessary."

This could be a useful form of social control, especially if some men have more grace than others. Those in positions of higher authority will be allowed to indulge in greater viciousness to enforce greater control over those below. Such as Inquisitors, for instance.

For those not allowed to value their own lives, grace seems to serve as a substitute - though false - value.

For the type of false virtue required to uphold this false value, I refer readers to my post Sacrifice in action.

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