The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
— Albert Einstein
Everyone Is Special: True or False?

Everyone Is Special: True or False?

 

Growing up I was constantly told that everyone was special. Whether it was cartoons, teachers, or posters on the walls at school, I was fed a steady diet of “everyone is special.”

It was probably one the most unquestioned beliefs I had as a child and I liked believing it. It gave me hope.

If everyone is special, then that meant I was special. As a child, I lived in a bright world full of wonder, and I knew that I had an important role to play in it.

 

Then middle school happened.

 

I’m not exactly sure how, but as a young teen, I came across a graphic that said, “Everyone is special… just like everyone else.”

Being your typical smart-aleck middle schooler, I chuckled when I first saw that graphic. But over the next few years, I kept thinking about it and came to the conclusion that there’s no way everyone is special. That would be contradictory!

But with that conclusion, I started to think that I wasn’t that special either.

My world got a little darker, but that was the cost of accepting reality.

 

Or so I thought.

 

 

 

 

A couple months ago when I first started reading Love Thy Body by Nancy Pearcey, I started thinking about that phrase again and I came to two main conclusions.

 

First

If Atheism is true and there is no God, “everyone is special” couldn’t be more false. The only sense in which everyone could be special is that they are among the race of the most highly-evolved, apex predators currently inhabiting the earth. But that degree of specialness is random, temporary, and ultimately means little.

 

Atheist Lawrence Krauss describes humans saying “You are all stardust” because all the atoms that created us had to originally come from stars (he finds this to be poetic). [1]

Richard Dawkins summarizes human existence saying “DNA neither cares nor knows. DNA just is. And we dance to its music." [2] 

 

In a world without God, the only way to be “special” is by merit. In order to be special, I would have to be born with above average talent or IQ. Or I would have to earn my “specialness” by achieving far beyond what my fellow humans have.

If I have the right traits or accomplish great things, I can earn the badge of being “special”. But what does that mean for most everyone else?

They’re either average or below average and definitely not special.

 

And even for those who have seized the right to be deemed “special”, a “specialness” based on merit is not even that special.

What if the greatest sprinter injures a joint so badly that he can never run again? His specialness is lost faster than he earned it.

What if the greatest genius gets into a car accident and receives significant brain damage? Her intellect has gone from the best to one of the worst in moments.

 

Merit not only chooses a few to be “special”, it is fickle. “Specialness” is temporary. Those who fall behind lose it. Everyone who achieves “specialness” can be surpassed. Tragedy can steal it. Death will take it by force.

In a world without God, only a few can be special. And ultimately, being “special” doesn’t mean anything.

 

Second

The only way everyone can truly be special is if God exists and everyone was created in his image.

In a world with God, God is the most special being. He surpasses all other living beings to such a degree that He is on his own scale. Nothing can even be compared to Him. This is what it means when God is described as “Holy".

 

But within God’s creation, he made one type of living creature far different from the rest: humans. Genesis 1:27 describes the creation of mankind saying,

 

So God created man in his own image,

in the image of God he created him;

male and female he created them.

 

God made men and women to be the most unique creatures in the universe by creating them in his own image.

Just to be clear, being made in God’s image does not mean men and women are exact replicas of God. They are no more replicas of God than a Polaroid print is a clone of the person imaged in the picture.

But mankind is special. They are special because they are made in the image of the Holy God.

Therefore, humans aren’t special by anything they can merit. They are special because of who they are. We are special because we are made in God’s image.

And this kind of “specialness” actually means something. Mankind is intrinsically and eternally special because they are created in the image of the Holy and eternal God.

 

 

Is everyone special?

 

Well, that depends on whether or not God exists.

 

What do you believe? Are you special?

 

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[1] Lawrence Krauss, A Universe From Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing

[2] Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life

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