Monday, August 25, 2014

Jesus, the Man, as Mensch

Should we stop allowing only science to define when actual humans came into being? Should we redefine what it is that makes a member of the group of animals called homo sapiens fully human? Would we do anything differently, as a group of animals with varying abilities, if we placed new rules on human society and civilization? What if we stop believing that all homo sapiens are fully human?

I submit that what we need to use as the basic criteria for being fully human is responsible, committed compassion, where an individual is willing to give over one's own survival to the survival of the responsibly compassion of the next generation. This would mean a definition of species/tribe by practiced values, not by blood, baptisms, rituals, or creeds. I await the day that we think through who is in our species/tribes, rather than acting on ancestral memory which exacts unthinking loyalty and revenge, or on our animal instincts of survival of the most physically fit.

My Jewish friends are fond of the Yiddish word "Mensch." My understanding is that this is the highest designation for a fellow member of the species homo sapiens. It translates to "a real human." We need to look back at all the erudition of the Jews, and the fact that Jesus came from a long line of this people. Is there anything higher to which a homo sapiens can aspire than to be a real "mensch?" This is what I believe Jesus came to show us how to be.

No comments:

Post a Comment