Friday, December 9, 2011

In His Image?

To be honest, I am not a christian or a believer in any of the abrahamic religions, nor am i a biblical scholar. but i was a catholic in catholic schools when i was a kid, and i have read bits of the bible in the years since.  i read long ago the very misogynist, very conservative, beautifully written and imaginative sci-fi novels of c.s. lewis,  the space trilogy.  the first book is about mars, the 'silent' planet, whose inhabitants look, to the human traveler, fairly weird.  mars, we are told, was created earlier than earth. in the second book, the guy goes to venus, which was created later than earth. to his shock, despite different cultures and mores, venusians look exactly like humans.  this, it turns out, is because, as the bible notes, man [sic] was created in god's image.  since god's image must be perfect, it stands to reason that in designing earthlings, god had shown us what He looks like, and thus, since you can't improve on perfection, it was the design god would stick to.

the story, as well as the biblical story its theology is taken from, has stuck with me over the decades.  its message--that what god designed can't be perfected-- has appeared in various forms over the centuries. humans create other humans through heterosexual intercourse, but they are working out god's design each time.  stories like that of the golem and the hundreds of robot tales since the last century brought us Karol Capek's original robot in his play RUR, and of course mary shelley's frankenstein, reiterate the notion that when humans attempt to create life they are stepping on god's toes, and they'd better be careful.  all this explains the catholic church's objections to even such ministeps as artificial insemination and cloning. i don't know where other fundamentalist religions come out on these issues, but it would seem consistent with the conservative christian view.  [okay, having said that, i'll check my google--but meanwhile, you get the point].

so why then are the US conservatives so enthusiastically espousing the relatively new myth of corporations as people?  it seems to me far more blasphemous than the idea of robots, let alone cloning, in which humans use images of humanity to create new forms of humanoid life.

in what way can a corporation be called a person by anyone espousing belief in the bible?  does it have a soul?  can it--the corporation itself, not the individuals within it--make moral decisions and act on them? can it sin?  when it dies, does it go to heaven, hell, or purgatory?  does it marry corporations of the opposite gender and beget baby corporations?  or have illicit affairs with corporations of the same gender?  do the people who condemn the harry potter books and movies because there doesn't appear to be a God in the magic world of wizards actually believe in the humanity [literally] of corporations?   if you prick them do they not bleed? well, no, they don't.  what does a corporation look like?  a building, or a suite of offices in a building? a giant version of one of its products?

i suppose there might be an excuse for atheists to believe in the personhood of corporations, though they'd have to be dumb enough to bypass the absurdity of the idea.  but christians?  why are fundamentalists not attacking this stunningly satanic doctrine?

there is only one answer.  a 'corporation' may not be as pretty as a golden statue, but it does serve the same purpose.  you are worshipping gold, my brothers and sisters; you are worshipping a seductive but false image of god.

watch out.  i remember that part of the bible too.  god doesn't take kindly to his worshippers kneeling to false gods.  you've given up your brains to this idol.  aren't you a little worried about your souls?


Ken Goldstein said...

Excellent post and points! Although, I think corporations can and do have illicit affairs, but insider trading is against the law.

Jim said...

I liked the quote going around a while back:

"I will believe corporations are people when Texas executes one."

And I think it's a valid point - there should be "three strikes" laws for corporations. There should be a corporate death penalty. There should be some things that are enough against the law that the corporation is denied "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Because otherwise, the "legal fiction" that corporations are people is just that - a fiction.

Baysage said...

Fundamentalists are not in accord with the Scripture on anything else that does not suit them--like "love your neighbor (enemy)" "forgive your brother" "do good to those who hate you" and numerous strictures about taking care of the poor--so why should they not accept the ridiculous legal fiction that corporations are people? It certainly serves their interests.