Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Man And The Machine

I have a confession to make.

I wash the dishes.

I wash the dishes but I don’t trust myself. I find it difficult to eat using tableware that has been handwashed. I just don’t think it gets clean enough.

We use the same water and the same washcloth to wash a dozen different dishes and silverware. How clean can stuff really get?

I find it a whole lot easier to trust a dishwasher. The machine can’t feel or see where the grime is yet I trust it to clean my dishes better and with more efficiency than I ever could.

I don’t know why I trust the machine over myself. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the eighties and nineties where machines were believed to be the future of everything and quickly replaced people in various functions.

Nevertheless, I find it easier to trust a machine that cannot think, see or feel to do something that logically I could do just as well, if not with more efficiency. In fact it seems almost discerning and enlightened to trust a cold, lifeless system than a warm blooded person.

Afterall, that’s what the machine was built for. That’s what it does. Surely the machine can out clean me any day.

Or can it?

Could it be that I trust the machine because it is easy and fashionable to do so?

Could it be that my old-fashioned effort to clean a saucer is actually more efficient and better at getting that saucer clean than a dishwasher could ever hope to be?

Could it be that we trust science over faith because it seems to be discerning and insightful when actually the life of faith better serves a soul than science could ever hope to do?

We trust everything in this world. We trust what we read in the news. We trust our computer and the internet. We trust our bank and our mechanic. We trust our doctor and our pharmacist. We trust science, math and the numbers.

Yet we have such a difficult time trusting God.

Why do we trust the machine and not the man?

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