Sunday, May 22, 2011

Hubris

hu•bris [hyoo-bris, hoo-]

–noun
excessive pride or self-confidence; arrogance.

Origin:
1880–85; < Greek hýbris insolence


–Related Forms
hu•bris•tic, adjective
non•hu•bris•tic, adjective
un•hu•bris•tic, adjective


It is the very definition of hubris to believe one knows the mind of God. If an entity exists which by its very definition must be outside the scope of our understanding then what besides hubris can lead someone to claim to understand what that entity is thinking?

We could get into long and theological debates over the existence of God, the interpretation of the bible, and even whether the bible itself is divine, inspired revelation or nearly two thousand years of editing, revision, mistranslation, or outright misquotation. Putting all that aside, I am incapable of any explanation not based on some dishonest, misguided, or at very least highly questionable motive for declaring that there is one-hundred percent iron-clad irrefutable proof that some prophecy or another will take place at a given time and date.

Heck, even with an airline time table, I can’t predict with accuracy when my scheduled flight to London will take off or land, how can anyone predict when the Messiah will return? For all we know, he could get hung-up at Customs and Immigration and miss his connecting flight in Chicago!

I think that the most humorous part of the whole story was when the pastor in question was asked what he would say if he were wrong and they came back to interview him today. He claimed that he could not even conceive how he could be wrong. Now that is hubris! …or faith. But then, I have long defined "Faith" as the ability to believe a premise despite all the evidence to the contrary.

Of course, one does not need to look too hard to find examples of hubris. As is my practice, I am writing, editing, and posting this entry early in the morning, triggered to post at the usual time. I have not yet seen the morning newspapers. For all I know, the world did end yesterday. But I doubt it!

Wherever you are today, I how that your day is a good one.

Don Bergquist – May 22, 2011 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

2 comments:

Hyperspider said...

This reminded me of a very funny video called The Lost People of Mountain Village. This is where I first learnt of Hubris. :)

24 seconds into part 2 of the video he mentions Hubris. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1TIeJSUr6I&feature=related

However, you MUST see part 1 to understand what is going on. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzoN2MFkCXI

Very FUNNY!!!!

Don Bergquist said...

Michael,

Good morning, thanks for the link. And thanks for reading and commenting on my blog.

It was a humorous commentary on the consumerist society that feels ostentatious consumption is better than conservation.

In his book The Only Travel Guide You'll Ever Need by Dave Barry, Dave Barry makes comment about this phenomenon. His entry on Colorado runs like this:

Besides being dynamic, Colorado is best known for the breathtaking beauty of the Rocky Mountains, which are still visible in some areas peeking out from under a dense protective layer of condominium units.

To be more succinct about it I believe, however, that one should turn to Don Henley in his song: The Last Resort.

"They call it paradise
I don't know why
You call someplace paradise,
Kiss it goodbye."


Thanks again for the comment!

Don