Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Are We Freaks of Nature?

Annie Dillard:
This (natural) world running on chance and death, careening blindly from nowhere to nowhere, somehow produced wonderful us. I came from the world, I crawled out of a sea of amino acids, and now I must whirl around and shake my fist at that sea and cry Shame! ... Either this world, my mother, is a monster, or I am a freak. ... There is not a person in the world that behaves as badly as praying mantises. But wait, you say, there is no right or wrong in nature; right and wrong is a human concept! Precisely! We are moral creatures in an amoral world. ... Or consider the alternative.... It is only human feeling that is freakishly amiss.... All right then--it is our emotions that are amiss. We are freaks, the world is fine, and let us all go have lobotomies to restore us to a natural state. We can leave…lobotomized, go back to the creek, and live on its banks as untroubled as any muskrat or reed. You first.”
-- Pilgrim at Tinker Creek (New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2007), pp. 178-79. Found in Preaching: Communicating Faith in a Age of Skepticism, by Timothy Keller, 278.

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