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Saturday, March 16, 2013

I am the One

I love humanism, both secular and religious. The idea which says that, despite the facts of history and human experience, mankind is his own saviour. I love the concept that we are in control of our own destinies. No matter what catastrophe may be fall us, we will triumph over adversity. The phrase "a triumph of the human spirit" makes me quiver with pride and excitement. I love the way humanists believe in the omnipotence of education and the innate goodness of all people. I love the way this philosophy, with its champions of rationalism and moral altruism, manifests itself in the entertainment mediums of popular culture.  I love the show, Supernatural. Only that last statement was true.

In season 4 of the super cool demon hunting adventures of the Winchester boys. Dean Winchester, having been rescued from Hell learns that he broke the first of 66 seals which are the locks on Lucifer's cage. A demon who Dean is torturing, tells him that Dean is the fulfillment of a prophecy concerning the Apocolypse. It says that the first seal shall be broken when a righteous man sheds blood in Hell. That's Dean. (I'm not sure why a righteous man ended up in Hell.) Dean is then told that God rescued him from Hell because he has to stop the Apocolpyse. Only the guy who started the chain of events can end it. Dean doesn't even believe in God, despite meeting the angel Castiel, but if he doesn't step up, the whole world is doomed. Dean Winchester, an ordinary man, albiet a very resilient, handsome one with good taste in music, cars and women, is going to be the Saviour of the World. At least, Dean is humble. He spends a lot of time running from his calling, refusing his destiny, and insisting that he is not "the One."

How many stories have champions who save us all? How many times have you heard them referred to as "The One"? How many times have human strength, courage and ingenuity been the sole cause of our liberation, our deliverance? How good are we? Us humans? We can do anything!

Pathetic self delusion. Willful blindness. Arrogant folly. Absolute nonsense. That's what I really think of humanism. Supernatural may be a fun show but it is fantasy, and so is the belief that we are masters of our own destinies. Every breath we breathe depends on the grace of God. Whatever goodness is in us, is God in us.