When Bridget Driscoll died in London on August 17, 1896, she became one of the first people on earth to be killed by an automobile. The attending coroner said he certainly hoped that "such a thing will never happen again."1
Despite that coroner's naive hopes, the realities of math and physics dictate that mixing people and machines makes a certain number of injuries and deaths inevitable. In the same way, human beings cannot occupy the same space - like a home or office - without transgressing and offending others. That is why families, work places, churches, schools and neighborhoods can become hotbeds of human conflict and suffering.
Let's face it: human beings are messy and hurtful. We don't mean to be that way. We don't intend harm. But most of us have caused and received many relational injuries. We have all insulted and injured our parents, siblings, spouses, children and a wide array of other people.
Right there is the point where two worldviews collide.
A utopian view insists that humans are born perfect and then corrupted by society. Therefore the perfect society always remains a tantalizing dream. That dream seduces some into an endless chase of the unattainable.
Strangely, the prospect of perfection leads some to reverse the God and human roles. Those who pursue the utopian dream always seem to conclude that God is non-existent, indifferent, weak or vengeful. Conversely, humans are seen to have boundless potential for great nobility, soaring artistic achievement and moral perfection. That illusion claims that if we could only and totally liberate humans, we would finally discover the ideal society.
So, the utopian confusion sees God as weak and miserable and man as transcendent and glowing with goodness.
Ironically, the utopian pattern - which has marched under the banners of socialism, communism, eugenics, hedonism and other philosophies - is a brutal way to live. Like Hitler's pursuit of "the master race," utopianism tends to morph into dehumanization and holocausts. It sacrifices human beings on the altar of its own mad idealism.
Source: Focus on the Family | Ed Chinn
Ed Chinn Ed Chinn, of Spring Hill, Tennessee, is a writer and speaker. His work has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the Washington Post, OpinionJournal.com, and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. Ed may be reached through firstname.lastname@example.org.