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11 May 2011

Creators and the created

Got thinking about golems while walking to work today.  You know... just your average Wednesday morning thoughts. I was reminded of the “classic golem story”, the golem of Prague, by a short story submitted to the WW recently by Martin. Martin’s character “Gol” didn’t turn out to be a golem but he did want ultimately to destroy – in this case himself, which is an interesting twist, because usually what happens is that golems get out of control and have to be stopped by their creators. However, they often bring their creators down with them as well – I am thinking, for example, of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. A variation on this is the robot/AI gone rebel – e.g. Hal in 2001:A Space Odyssey.

So I'm wondering.... Is there some tendency in human nature that, if twisted, causes us to turn upon that which is the source of ourselves (our parents/our countries/our gods), our origins? And is it truly human nature, or is it culture-based? Is there a little of the golem in all of us? I'm not sure.

And more specifically on the question of religion, apropos of the whole atheist wave that's happening, having created gods for ourselves (the opposite of the golem situation?), is it inevitable that we eventually bring them down? What would we get out of doing that? And even if we do, do we ever truly free ourselves?




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