In my last blog I showed just how deep a level of commitment Jesus commands his follower to go. It is complete self-abnegation. It has been pointed out that Jesus was not speaking literally here and he is rather using hyperbole to stress a point. I would like to know how one can determine what is hyperbole and what is not. But this is not the thrust of this blog so I will lay that topic aside.
I must confess that while writing that previous blog the issue of hyperbole came to mind. I wanted to address that but the article was getting a little long. In this blog I shall confront the claim of hyperbole.
Paul did not argue against my original conclusion in the previous blog but rather offered up hyperbole as the only rational explanation of Jesus' words. I can only take that to mean that I am right about the literal interpretation. Taken literally one would have to shrivel up and die for the cause of Christ. I must confess – Paul has been the victim of a diabolical plot.
Those of us who follow an objective approach know that in order for the ethical principle of altruism to be followed the follower must default on it at some point. The fact that Paul [by whatever means of deciphering] knows that Jesus is speaking hyperbole betrays the fact that he knows that life, in order to be lived, must have some other basis for living. What Paul embraces implicitly is what a person with objective standards embraces explicitly. That basis or standard by which man lives is life. Specifically, man's life. The question that arises is “Why does man need values?” The answer “To live.” Values are those things we seek in our existence in order to live and the fact that Paul has to use hyperbole to salvage Jesus' ethic betrays this objective fact. At the root, Paul's ethic is bankrupt.
What is even juicier is that because of divine command one follows the ethic of altruism not out of selfless devotion but out of pure selfish motivation. While a person may say that they are following the commands of Christ because they love him they cannot escape the fact that they follow him because their rear end is toast if they don't. So, even in matters of spirit they betray selfish motives for following an ethic of altruism.
One cannot escape the ethic of rational egoism. Paul's hyperbole proves that. Thanks Paul.