The Question

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Artwork by Elhanan ben-Avraham

‘This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you, that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses.’ – Deuteronomy 30

The real Question is: are we all nothing more than machines made up of cells by mere chance, with no inherent value or purpose or meaning in a cold universe? Of course that would make the abortion question irrelevant, rather than a crime against humanity. And we could well laud such people as Hitler, Stalin and Mao for thinning out an already overpopulated planet. And if so be the case, what might possibly give meaning and purpose to our existence as humans other than just staying alive, or high jumping another quarter of an inch, and all our history merely that of the survival of the fittest?

Perhaps we are really of less value and significance than microbes in a vast, cold, expanding meaningless and mindless cosmos.  In which case, why should I not rape and plunder (but for fear of punishment) for, as Existentialists Camus or Sartre implied, it ultimately makes no real difference if I help an old lady cross the street, or run her over.  Yet as tiny and insignificant as we may be, I know of nobody who does not take himself quite seriously, being a vast universe unto himself.  Even a medical practitioner would not overlook a tiny wayward cell developing in the vast body and interconnected network of human cells in an effort to heal that entire body. This wee planet so graced with beauty and abundance, should actually be a Garden of Eden to live on- but for the wayward sin of lost humanity striving upon it.  In God’s immense universe there is neither large or small in importance, it seems, looking into the complexity of a human cell or a DNA strand.

Or are we designed for a purpose by a wise Creator, and placed in a wondrously complex and beautifully harmonious universe in the very image of God, giving us intrinsic value and purpose?  Has an eternal and personal Creator set in motion all the elements of the creation with purpose and plan, giving humanity on our planet the freedom of choice to play a part in that plan?  Furthering the Question, has that Creator given us sufficient information and communication to know the answer to the Question, and to know what is true and right, and what is false and wrong- and the  ability to do that which is true and right, and not do that which is false and wrong? Do the Prophets of the Bible, and indeed the creation itself, endow us with sufficient knowledge and evidence with which to answer the Question?

Can we encounter that living Creator in any real sense, being overwhelmed by the indescribable glory and magnitude and, dawning upon understanding, be eternally grateful for the amazing gift of life He has bestowed, and the great mercies and forgiveness when we realize just how stupid we have become in our pride as we trash the creation and each other.  Can we in response to this encounter elicit praise that wells up like a spring from the grateful heart- and then use the various gifts given us to glorify His name in bettering this world- not by compulsion, but by love?

This is the Question laid before a burgeoning humanity tottering now on self-immolation.  Especially the young, awash in the downflow of Nietzsche’s “God is dead,” and the absurdity and meaningless of material life as depicted by Sartre and the Existentialists which has led to meaninglessness in art and cacophony in music. Many of our youth now cover their bodies with permanent tattoos, with little hope for a better future as they hear of global warming, plagues, chaos, the depletion of the Earth’s resources and barbaric wars. In frustrated disappointment, confusion, and anger they turn to self-indulgence, hedonism and drugs and perversions, and to violence.

The Question lies at the crossroads of humanity’s future, the answer and response determining the ultimate fate of individuals and of nations.