Human beings have a tendency to go to extremes; there is no better evidence of this than in their estimation of themselves. Some people think that man is the measure of all things. Other thinkers downplay the importance of humans, esteeming the species as just another class of animal, on the same level as a whale or a chimpanzee. Shakespeare summed up these extremes, famously putting these words into Hamlet’s mouth: “What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! in form and moving, how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension, how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?”1 In contrast to man’s see-sawing self-analysis, God rightly balances man’s true significance in the eighth Psalm.
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