Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Judas Iscariot - was he all bad?


One of the many questions that keeps me awake at night is whether we have any genuine freedom; either individually or collectively.

After the recent experience of watching Tony Blair literally getting away with mass murder, supported by what are now demonstrable lies, it is painfully clear that there is no such thing as democracy in this country. So sadly, on a collective level, I do not believe that we have much true freedom.

On an individual level, thoughout my life I have felt aware that I have never been truly in control of the path I have taken. A lucky break here, a stroke of bad luck there have all conspired to lead me where I am today. This feeling could simply be the result of blind chance viewed through paranoid spectacles or it could be indicative of fate, destiny, a personal daemon pulling your strings, call it what you want. There's no way of ever really finding out. Which is why I have a soft spot for Judas Iscariot.

Assume, for the purpose of argument, that the Gospels are true, how much free will did Judas really have? I suggest that, from the moment of his conception, his destiny was mapped out. If he hadn't gone ahead with his betrayal, Jesus would have been standing around like a spare part at a wedding and probably would well have lived to a ripe old age. Christianity would never have happened and God would have had to start all over again. I just can't see Yahweh letting that happen, planning is clearly one of his strengths. Anyway, an unprejudiced reading of the Gospels indicates, pretty clearly, that Jesus told Judas to betray him.

More thoughts on Judas, an explanation of the meaning of life and the evolutionary significance of peacocks and bearded men here ...

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