Are Humans More Special Than Animals?

The answer is “yes.” But the answer needs some explaining. The environmental issues and species destruction that have resulted from the juggernaut of the human race and its desire to have dominion over the planet, is seen by many people as contrary to the true order of things.

This is also true. For instance, the activities of the “lowly” earthworm contribute more to the health of the biosphere than the activities of humans. The human race is more interested in “taking” than “giving back.” The human race falls into disorder when it does not think holistically. What is holistic and what is holy are the same things.

Humans are special because they require a special relationship with God to find their proper niche in the cosmic order for which they were created.

Because “lower” forms of life are ruled by instincts, they are wired to act according to order. Homo sapiens has been given two special gifts by the Creator in which first-person, phenomenal experience can attain true humanness.

These two gifts are free will and intellectual discernment. Because free will involves the volitional nature of the human mind and discernment involves the intellectual part of the human mind they are finite expressions of God’s love and wisdom. This is why Scripture informs us that we are made in God’s image and likeness.

When the Lord was on earth, He stated that we should love the neighbor from a spiritual principle, which is also to love God. In this way, the human heart and mind attains true humanness and finds its true order in the created universe. Loving God and neighbor includes living an eco-friendly lifestyle.

But free will and its subjective discernment is based on life-choices. In other words, the human race is free to choose its value-system and worldview.

TRUE religion is God’s strategy to provide humankind with the proper values not only to live in harmony with all terrestrial life but to also extend the biosphere into a non-local and non-physical realm. Religion refers to this pre-spatial and pre-geometric realm as heaven.

Religion provides humankind with the means by which the human heart and mind can arrange its loves and thoughts into a heavenly order. The human race is special because spiritual evolution allows men and women to gain access to an ecosystem beyond time and space.

If this seems impossible, then simply reflect upon and consider the phenomenon that the human mind does not operate in space. If the human mind can be arranged and organized according to principles and values then this is evidence that bio-complexity can continue to evolve beyond spacetime.

Religious principles and tenets represent God’s operating manual for attaining eternal life. When we apply true acts of loving service to society, we allow God to conjoin His infinite and eternal qualities into our finite, time-bound activities. This conjunction between God and humankind is the mechanism for salvation and eternal life in a non-physical kingdom of love and wisdom.

The purpose of religion is to create a heaven from the human race. To the extent that the planet suffers from human activity religion is misunderstood and its true principles are not being adhered to.

The “special-ness” of the human heart and mind allows each of us to choose order or disorder. We are free to choose the love of self over the love of others. But conjunction and an eternal relationship with God require our willingness.

Love is meaningless without human free will. Without free will (as opposed to animal instinctive behavior) personal human identity would not be able to transition itself into the immaterial realm of heaven and its spiritual values.

I address these issues in greater detail in my soon-to-published book “Proving God.”  I even tackle the issue of justice and why animals cannot enter into a relationship with God (which is what heaven and eternal life requires).

http://www.provinggod.com

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About thegodguy

EDWARD F. SYLVIA, M.T.S. Philosopher/Theologian Edward F. Sylvia attended the School of Visual Arts in New York and received his Master of Theological Studies at the Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA and a Certificate of Swedenborgian Studies from the Swedenborgian House of Studies. He is a member of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences (C.T.N.S.) and the Swedenborg Scientific Association (S.S.A.). Award-winning author of "Sermon From the Compost Pile: Seven Steps Toward Creating An Inner Garden" and "Proving God," which fulfills a continuing vision that God’s fingerprints of love can be found everywhere in the manifest universe. His most recent book, "Swedenborg & Gurdjieff: The Missing Links" is an edgy collection of anti-intuitive essays for personal transformation that challenges and inspires. He has been a student of the ideas of both Emanuel Swedenborg and George I. Gurdjieff for over thirty years. Read more about TheGodGuy, his books and his ideas at http://www.staircasepress.com
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