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"And God Made Man In His Image"

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posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 12:17 AM
I personally find mankinds place in the fabric of evolution to be unusually privileged and unusually novel. Think back. When life arose, and as fish evolved into reptiles and then into mammals, and then finally into man, think of what is happening ONTOLOGICALLY. And since I know this word bothers some people, recognize for a moment that the significance of an ontological awareness stems from the phenomenological significance of human consciousness in relation to animal consciousness.

Human beings, in a sense, a very deep sense - a sense befitting a biblical expression like "And God made man in his image" - possesses qualities and faculties that truly set it fundamentally apart from all lower animals.
I'm not talking about emotional contagion: the experience of the emotions of another creature. All mammals have this. Not empathy either. It's been proven that many different animals possess the rudiments of empathy (Elephants) and even a rather evolved system of empathy (monkeys, apes). No, what makes men so different is his self awareness of his own awareness. Apes are able to sense that they "exist". But they do not reflect on that fact. There reflecting abilities are limited to the "object" which exists in its present external environment. Apes, then, despite being the second "most evolved", in a social and emotional sense, do not possess the strange powers that human beings possess. For us, thinking doesn't exactly need to be contingent on external things. Human beings are able to reflect on their own thoughts - to be aware of its own awareness, and to act upon thoughts in a manner that gives tremendous depth and breadth to it's understanding of external environments.

Ontologically, this capacity makes man "separate" from the world. Although his sense of being and reality "arises" from the world, his capacities, when developed with age and wisdom, literally put him "above" the world. He doesn't relate to it solely, or even wholly, in an embodied way, but at times can "step outside" the process of reaction, and be able to reflect on it's own awareness, and guide itself in whatever way it sees best for itself.

Evolution in all other creatures are blind. Man is the only creature with the knowledge and awareness to take control of it's own future evolution.

In this sense, man indeed seems to have been "made in Gods image". But again, God is an intuition, a felt sense, that is, a value judgement. Not all of us feel the same way, so our logical powers, wheresoever they move, are chained to the emotions which direct them.

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 12:43 AM
Although in principle I would cautiously agree with your supposition about reflection and awareness of mankind over other beings, that is backed up only by lack of evidence..not by evidence of lacking. Ultimately, we don't know about other creatures and their thoughts. We may in a thousand years have technology to talk to ants and realize they are great philosophers in their ant language that we simply didn't understand, or that baboons are on the level of Buddhist monks simply seeking some sort of zen in nature...Dolphins may be poets and memorize prose of alien seas, etc.

I would say it is unlikely, and I do like to think mankind truly is unique amongst the other creatures here, but ultimately it is a big unknown and the only thing that we have is belief from vanity and ego...(two things which may also be unique to humans)

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 01:19 AM
reply to post by SaturnFX

Um, no. We know from experiments what creatures think simply by playing around with their neurobiology. The school of thought which says what you just regurgitated is WRONG.

Neuroscientists like Jaak Panksepp - featured in this months Discover magazine - have proven without a doubt that emotions are produced a basic subcortical level, in a part of the brainstem called the periaqueductal gray, and just above it, the hypothalamus, and the nucleus accumbens. Lesioning these areas of the brain will produce total mutism. NOTHING happens in creatures who've had this part of their brains destroyed. Conversely, acting higher, in the thalamus, striatum, or in cortical areas, creates a degree of dysfunctions, mostly social in nature, as opposed to a complete collapse of bodily emotion.

The above brain areas - PAG, hypothalamus, etc - produce most of the neurochemicals associated with emotional excitation, such as dopamine, endorphins, serotonin, oxytocin, etc. Thus, the brain must be understood INTERSPECIALLY as an organ that undergone morphological evolution, not "by deletion", but by "accretion". Lower parts of the brain, such as the brainstem and cerebellum, perform a more basic bodily function, such as regulation and vegetation,, than higher areas. Thus, the evolutionarily "older" species, reptiles, are vegetative and non-social in nature, whereas the newer mammalian species, with larger brains, have evolved an area - the limbic system - which supports the complexities of emotional arousal, social connection and relationships.

When you get to primates, you get highly evolved areas of cortex and cerebral hemispheric expansion. Unlike in whales and dolphins (who are very smart themselves) primates have far more neurons than them. Human beings, unlike lower apes and older hominids, have a highly developed lateral frontal bone and orbitofrontal bone. Compared to the neanderthals, and homo erectus, modern man has a more symmetrically shaped skull (brain) and more girth in the frontal areas relative to temporal areas.

Thus, evolution clearly "adds" to brain growth. Since our lower brains are essentially identical - as we can see from children born with anencephaly - "experience" or consciousness - which we measure by the expression of affect - is not dependent on the cortex. Even a mid brain with a cortex will produce emotional reactions in response to environmental input. Theres no "I" to reflect on ones outer experiences. One could say the effect is comparable to what we see in some very lower mammals. But even in the case of lower mammals, there is a sufficiently evolved cortex that is able to add some "cognitive" element to emotional input.

My point? Animals have emotions. They express their emotions. They do not have philosophy, because philosophy is dependent on basic neurobiological hardware which most other animals lack. Almost all animals have been studied at this basic level. They have social awareness - of course, this being a basic mammalian capacity - and empathy, and complex hierarchical systems, especially in apes. But our level of awareness, we can be be certain to a degree acceptable by science, is unique on this planet.

It should really, honestly, go without saying, that what we express in eye contact, bodily, facial, and vocal cues, reflects the "mind and thoughts" of the actor.

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 01:29 AM
A thoughtful post with a strange title.

I think it's quite more likely (given man's ability to think) that it is
he who created a God in his own image. And not the other way around...

And as to animals, while they may be able to experience empathy and emotion
they lack an adequate language for reflective thought.

I think the best you could hope for (after teaching an ape some form of rudimentary
language) would be a couple of meaningful Haiku's.

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 07:16 AM
The Annunaki made man in their image. Back in the days they worshipped these spacetraveleres as Gods because " They came from the sky " .
edit on 17-3-2014 by Annunak1 because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 07:36 AM
the british edda translated
it seems everyone has Goth and gott somewhat mixed up

Pre-Adamite Matriarch of Eden, the Serpent-Priestess and her Weirds and People.
The Three Fate Weirds in Eden and their Sacred Tree.
The Eden Triad, El or Heide, her consort Wodan and their son Loki (Lucifer or Baldr).
Baldr, Abel or Loki and his Harem.
Atrocities of the Serpent-Priestess.

Disclosing his identity with Adam "of Eden" and as Thor-Dan with Dar-Danos, first king of Troy.
Founding of Troy by Ad(-am) Thor or Dar-Dan and Colonization of the Troad - the Holy Land of Thrud Hame.
Institution of Agriculture.
Institution of Laws and Industries.

Admission of Regenerate Dwarf Chiefs to Gothic Parliament.

Thor and the All-Wise Dwarf.

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 07:53 AM
reply to post by Astrocyte

You are basing the entire rebuttal to the above poster on the fact that, men somehow have mastered and studied the animal brain and thought processes completely. That is putting a lot of faith in mankind's ever changing knowledge of animals.

yet we are still surprised by many things animals do, even today. Why is that?

i believe is still a long way to go.

Humans put their perception onto other animals, if doesn't show pattern, it must be wrong.

I kinda agree with what the above poster mentioned, animals may be more understanding of things then we give them credit for.

*Now i must get back to my spot before my human comes, no one would believe a dog is posting on the internet!*
edit on 3/17/2014 by luciddream because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 08:10 AM
When you look at all the horrible things god did to his creation in the OT of the bible (because he loved us so much) and then look at what we do to each other and the earth...well....we truly are created in his image aren't we! Messed up!

This is one of the many reasons I can not accept that book at the same "benchmark" level of the xtians.

This is part of a theory of mine: The thing you talk about, that separates human from animal is one of the things that makes me feel we don't belong here on earth. Animals don't need that as they are more one with the planet they live. We on the other hand continually show we are not one with our home, like maybe it isn't our home.....but now I am digressing...

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 08:42 AM
reply to post by Astrocyte

FWIW - I think the actual verse from Genesis is "Let Us make man in Our image"....

Us & Our...

Which opens up another whole can of worms...

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 08:46 AM
And god made women in his mums image.

Come on, it's only a joke.

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 09:20 AM
What separates man from animals is language. By language I mean the ordering of expression into an infinite variety of meaningful content. "Consciousness" is so undefined that no one can agree on a meaning. It would be difficult to posit it as an answer to anything.

Good OP. We'll written.
edit on 17|3|14 by Words because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 09:21 AM
God must be one ugly dude.

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 10:31 AM
Man was made in God's image in that he can reflect or imitate God's qualities and attributes.
God's cardinal attributes are Love, justice, wisdom and power, and in a relative way, Man can demonstrate these qualities in such a way as to set him apart from the rest of the animals created here on earth.
God is a a spirit and man is flesh so the expression "in our image" cannot in any way relate to physical characteristics. IMHO

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 11:39 AM
reply to post by Astrocyte

how do you know how animals perceive.

Its the other way around: animals are aware of the unity of all things.

They are not in the schizophrenic separation mode that we call "normal awareness".

Maybe you mean: being able to reflect on a meta-level about the own existence...

yes but that makes us holy and unholy at the same time. (the forbidden fruit is the fruit of "i am something else")

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 11:55 AM

Man was made in God's image in that he can reflect or imitate God's qualities and attributes.
God's cardinal attributes are Love, justice, wisdom and power, and in a relative way, Man can demonstrate these qualities in such a way as to set him apart from the rest of the animals created here on earth.
God is a a spirit and man is flesh so the expression "in our image" cannot in any way relate to physical characteristics. IMHO

The word "God"(s) has been abused to the point of absurdity. This is why I reference the Divine Creator as I do, to separate it from all the flesh and blood gods...

All of creation must have come from outside the physical realm, because, at one point long ago, it didn't exist, only the spiritual was real. At any rate..

In my point of view, Humanity (Human Beings) are the result of trial and error that can be witnessed by the animal kingdom as examples are given in the above. Elephants do posses empathy, dogs display loyalty and rudimentary love. Some animals actually can give their own lives in defense of another.

We, Human Beings, have been given one of the most complete, and costly educations imaginable. We, are a culmination of physical instincts and spiritual insight. We, are the capstone of the ancient pyramid. In our likeness, in our image? We are the result of the planned merger of the spiritual, and material world.

We are the image of our physical Gods, in that we are flesh and blood, and, because of the attributes you mention

Love, justice, wisdom and power, and in a relative way, Man can demonstrate these qualities in such a way as to set him apart from the rest of the animals created here on earth.
we also reflect the attributes of our Divine Creator.

But we have something else few animal truly posses, the divine gift of choice. We can either follow instinct from the animal world, or we can follow divine inspiration, from the spiritual world, or both. Its our choice.

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 12:44 PM
reply to post by kauskau

how do you know how animals perceive.

Reas my second post for a fuller explanation.

Its the other way around: animals are aware of the unity of all things.

I wouldn't romanticize the awareness of animals by saying they are aware of the "unity" of all things. The concept "unity of all things", as you mention in your next sentence, arises as a metacognition. Animals conversely are totally embodied, subject to ancestrally evolved instincts. For example, a rat protected at birth from predators, when exposed to the hair of a cat, will respond with FEAR. This isn't a "learned" response, because this rat has never seen a cat in it's life. Instead, it is genetically evolved instinct - unique to rats - that informs them "cats are DANGEROUS".

So you see, rats, like all creatures, have their own unique reality and their own unique interests. They don't know anything about "the unity of things". All they are really interested in, as is the case with all animals, is finding food, playing/bonding, and reproducing. This serves them just fine.

The Neuroscientist Ian Mcgilchrist flips Julius Jaynes theory of bicameral consciousness by pointing out that, before the birth of civilization some 6000-10000 years ago, man lived more as an "embodied" creature, with both hemispheres working interdependently. This is in contrast to Jaynes hypothesis that man "originally" had a bicameral consciousness, and only recently has began "integrating" it. This is contrast with everything we know about apes - our immediate ancestors. Mankind at some point in time, instead of thinking and reacting in an "intuitive", right hemispheric way, began to re-represent it's intuitions to itself as abstract thought. This, Mcgilchrist postulates, resulted in pathological breakdowns between self and environment. Martin Bubers distinction between relating as "I-IT" and "I-Thou" would well represent the type of shift that occurred at around this time. And in fact, history seems to give us information for when this shift really took off. The early Greek philosophers and early Near Eastern philosophers speak of the world in the form of myth i.e. metaphor, i.e, where something "in the world" - something EMBODIED and related to immediate experience - bridges our understanding of the world. Conversely, at around the time of Thales, and finally, at the time of Socrates and Plato, human beings begin to "abstract from" the world, and begin to cogitate about it without maintaining an equal awareness of the metaphorical relationship between self and other.

Mcgilchrists whole argument - which I'm n full agreement with - is that the right brain is the "Master" - mediating an awareness of the world that is deeper and more fundamental - whereas the left brain is its "emissary". The pathology of our age is the reversal of this process. Schizophrenia - a condition with no cognate in ancient literature (voice hearing is a minor symptom of schizophrenia; the major symptoms are breakdown of perception of contextual, embodied experience in relation to the world) is common in this world we live in because we have not yet understood the organic connection our minds feel with our environments.

So, in that sense, I agree that animals are "one" with their environments. At the same time, when looked at from the perspective of the "left brain" - animal behavior is determined by evolutionary forces - environmental pressures. If unity exists for them, it exists with fear, anxiety, pleasure and play. Animals - unlike man - do not experience awe.

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 12:50 PM
God is the ever changing image - there is nothing other than the image that is ever present.
There is nothing separate or apart from the image of God - yet amazingly it can appear that there is.

That which appears to be separate from itself will seek itself - this is what one might call man.

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 01:17 PM
reply to post by Astrocyte

when i say they are aware of unity- i don´t mean as a romantic thought.

I mean: unbroken consciousness.
That which you perceive when you are in flow .....when you feel a connection to everything else. In that state can fear occur and you see that you are acting like a programmed being. But you don´t feel separated or objectified.

This is a state which many people lost in our society. And its not godlike to be in a conscious reflection of an object and thinking that you are perceiving "more than a phenomenon"...A human mind (Ego) is just a object..its not what we are but still it holds so much power over us.

God never sees itself. Thats the true god-state.

We as a society are not even close to be in that state.

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 01:24 PM
I thought it was our image and our likeness, hence people questioning whether there was more than one god being referred to?

posted on Mar, 17 2014 @ 01:41 PM
reply to post by Astrocyte

For me personally, that "image" is a double helix. "His" image is light itself aka electromagnetism which is a dual helix essentially. Subsequently we emulate this image by the schematic of our being, aka DNA.

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