The Implicit Lie of Church Attendance Being Necessary to Salvation

Yesterday I found this meme posted by a friend on my Facebook newsfeed:

“So you don’t want to go to His house on earth, yet you expect to live in His mansion in heaven??”

Okay…hmm…where to start…

Here’s a good place:

This is bullshit.

That’s a good summary…if nothing else, that’s all you have to remember.  Even if you NEVER went to church again, ever, and never did, it has no bearing on your salvation.  None.  Nada.  This is a lie intended to keep the billion-dollars-a-year industry of organized Christianity in business, period.  Whether church officials are conscious of it or not.

What this is, is merely the usual fare of emotional blackmail we are fed by the ecclesiastical authorities.  Church-going is mandatory because justification (salvation) is progressive.  You must be constantly and regularly plugged into the collective Christian hive mind where the Pastoral or Priestly authority can micromanage your life, claim a divine right to your property and labor (the “tithe”, though the concept is bastardized for selfish gain), and where you receive regular infusions of “the Gospel”…because that’s what you still need.  You must, as my former head pastor over at the soft cult of Sovereign Grace Ministries used to say, “preach the Gospel to yourself every day”.  Because that’s exactly what Jesus taught…the saved STILL need saving. Suuure…

By the way, I love the irony of always appealing to the object and absolute truth of the Word, by which they (erroneously) mean “the Bible”, and yet NEVER actually teaching anything that’s in the Bible.  It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so destructive.

And THAT is precisely why it is implied that church attendance is “proof” of salvation…which is just another way of saying that if you don’t go to church regularly, then you can’t be saved.

Of course, rarely will any Christian be honest with themselves or you and openly admit this.  They will demur and say of course that’s not what they really believe…but then why the meme? Why are these kinds of facile statements so popular?  Why am I the only one as far as I can tell who called this meme out as bullshit and implying something unbiblical and unreasonable?

That’s easy.  Because this is EXACTLY what Christians believe.  Church attendance is “proof” of salvation.  To eschew church is to declare to the world that you likewise eschew Christ, Himself.  Because church, as the meme says, is God’s house on earth.  How can you say you love someone and yet never pay them a visit?  You can’t.  Christ doesn’t live in your heart…he lives in Church, you see.  When you leave church, you leave Him.  Stay gone too long, and you’re no longer in a relationship with Him.  You’re no longer saved.  Justification is progressive…you get a serving of it when you come to church.  And just like a meal you’ve eaten, eventually you need to return to the table.    Just like the well you drink from, you must return when you’re thirsty.  The whole “he who drinks my water will never thirst” that Jesus counseled…well, again, irony.  Those who worship the Bible don’t actually follow it.

I will say this unashamedly:  This is an outright satanic manipulation of the doctrine of Salvation in general and the Gospel in particular.  By declaring, even implicitly, that the Christain must be re-saved by endless repetitions of the Gospel message at church on Sundays is to make the believer a NON-believer at root.  You must continue to RECEIVE the Gospel because you are unable to actually BELIEVE it. Its power is finite, available only in doses, and your sin nature absolute.  You are not taught, you are exposed…not informed, but inculcated. This DESTROYS the Gospel by stripping it of reason…which is its very TRUTH.  Its power.  Instead of being a philosophy which can be articulated and defended on objectively rational grounds, it becomes relegated to the “transcendent” realm of God’s Unknowable Mystery.  It becomes a hammer of the Spiritual Authority (Pastor or Priest Class) to compel your obedience to “the Church” by threats of ostracism, spiritual failure and hell…it is emotional blackmail and pshychological abuse in perhaps their most pernicious incarnations.

One commenter who took issue with my interpretation of the meme explained that Church was a “house of sinners” not a “hotel of Saints”.

Forehead slap!

Do you see what I mean?  The church, where ostensibly believers in Christ gather, is called a house for SINNERS!  This, my friends, should shock and scandalize you.  This is a “Christian” who openly admits that the saved are STILL full of SIN! That despite the acceptance and devotion to the Gospel, Christians are and remain spiritually unchanged.  They are sinners…which is precisely how the Bible describes non-believers.  There is no difference then from one who accepts Christ and one who doesn’t.  Salvation has nothing to do with the Gospel and YOU believing it.  Your belief is completely irrelevant.  You are saved by “going to God’s house…for SINNERS…regularly, to receive your weekly injection of medicine.  To get your Gospel fix.  Stay away too long, and it wears off.

So what then separates the believer from the non-believer?  The believer is he who has been effectively blackmailed, threatened, and cowed into pledging himself, his family, his property, and his time to the Church Collective as ruled by the ecclesiastical Authority.  That’s it.  No truth.  No love.  No real existential change.  Just fear, fear, and more fear.  Come to church or go to hell.  And THAT’S the only thing that that meme can possibly mean. Period.

Here’s more irony for you:  Go to church and you will hear endless warnings to stay away from the “world”…that the devil is in worldly things.  But the truth is that if you really want find the devil, just look behind the podium.  The devil is always where God is placed furthest from His children…and the furthest distance from God is a doctrine which says that humanity is by nature incapable of really knowing Him. And THAT’S church, in a nutshell.

Oh, sure they will tell you that you come to church after you “believe” not to get “re-saved”…not to re-crucify Christ, which is exactly what they do, by the way…but to become sanctified.  To learn how to “walk or work out” your salvation, as if that’s some big mystery that you only discover after you devote yourself to belief; that somehow there is this giant separation between what someone believes and how they act according to that belief.

You see, you can be saved, they say, but unless you go to church you can’t really know what that means, so you can’t really act in accordance with your salvation.  Which means that for all practical purposes you aren’t’ really saved.

But, see, as the BIBLE SAYS faith without works is dead…if you claim to believe something, but never act according to it, then you don’t really believe it.  What this means is that to believe something necessarily means that you ALREADY understand how you must act in accordance with it.  There IS NO fundamental distinction between belief and behavior…they are corollary at the epistemological root.  If I relevantly and rationally belive that I would like to be an opthamologist, then I understand the behaviors in which I must engage in order to validate that belief…go to school, study hard, do a residency, cultivate a profitable patient base.  Similarly, to believe in Jesus is to understand how to act in order to validate that belief…and it’s not obedience, it’s simply the CHOICE to believe driving the corollary behavior.  I act because I ALREADY know how because I understand what I believe. I don’t believe, and then OBEY a demand that tells me where to go every sunday so that I can be TOLD how to act in accordance with my belief.  That’s NOT belief, that’s slavery.

If I have no idea how to act according to a belief, then I don’t actually know enough to believe.  And thus, to say that one must attend church in order to know how to act in accordance with salvation is false logic.  I cannot CHOOSE to become saved until I understand what that means; and to understand what that means is to understand what I must DO from that CHOSEN belief.

And so, no, you do not attend church to learn how to act according to salvation.  To know how you must act according to your salvation is a prerequisite for actual belief.  You attend church, as the meme implies, because that’s what saved people do.  Church attendance thus = salvation.  That’s the real point of the meme…and what Christain orthodoxy implicitly teaches.  Thus, salvation is not a function of faith, but of obedience.  Not of freedom but of Authority.  Salvation obligates you to a collecitve, which is ruled by an ecclesiastical authority which demands that you regularly offer up your time and resources to itself.  After two thousand years of Christ’s wisdom, we’ve boiled down salvation to blind obedience and the abject sacrifice of the individual to the collective ideal of “Church”.

Enjoy the meme.

 

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Don’t Let Them Fool You: Mystery vs Paradox vs Contradiction

The staggering degree to which these terms are conflated, either out of ignorance or a desire to manipulate, is shocking.  As I have mentioned many times on this blog, I was a reformed orthodox Christian for about 35 years, including 15 in the “soft” cult of Sovereign Grace Ministires.  At SGM, when they weren’t busy covering up first degree felonies, like the sexual abuse of minors, they liked to refer to themselves as “reformed charismatic”.  And this I suppose was the first time I became conscious of the great orthodox bugaboo: contradiction as Truth.  Some years after, when I began to ardently examine the doctrinal claims of orthodox Christianity through the lens of rational consistency, I started seeing this sophist tactic all over the place.  I mean, once you learn to find the contradictions, it becomes harder to discern what ISN’T a contradiction than what is.  I mean, name the doctrinal premise—double imputation, penal substitution, Original Sin/Fall of Man, biblical inerrancy and authority, faith alone, pervasive depravity and sin nature, forgiveness, salvific belief, the Holy Spirit and divine enlightenment, Total Depravity; Uncontitional Election; Limited Atonement; Irresistible Grace; Perserverence of the Saints (the five pillars of Calvinism, T.U.L.I.P.), complimentarianism, etcetera, etcetera—and you will find little more than a bubbling witches brew of contradiction and self-defeating arguments.  Once you know what to look for, let me tell you, the circus of Christian orthodoxy is quite a show.

And how does the Christain Ecclesiastic Authority, in whatever Catholic or Protestant form it may take, get away with this?  How do they convince masses upon masses of ostensibly intelligent and successful lay memebers to part with their hard earned resources and make Orthodox Christianity a billions-of-dollars-a-year-racket?  By intellectual make-believe.  Take a contradiction, put it into the transcendent context of “divine enlightenment” and, as Philospher John Immel oft says, “Alakazaam…poof!!”, we get God’s Mystery…the Holy Paradox.  The Holy Paradox being, incidentally, the fifth member of the Trinity, just after “Bible”.

In this article, I’m going to explain the real difference between these three concepts…contradiction, mystery, and paradox.  Understand the distinctions, and I can promise that you will avoid the intellectual, philosophical, and theological miasma that will permanently stunt your spiritual growth.  Contradiction-as-truth is the hard drug of Christian theology.  Break the habit and you will save your soul.

Just a quick note…I’m not going to quote dictionary definitions.  This tired and formulaic approach to academic discourse is, to me, a mark of the untalented and/or uninspired.  I will define these concepts in my own terms within the context at hand—specifically, but perhap not exclusively, the church—in the interest of keeping things more punchy and less clinical.  It’s more fun this way, trust me.

Contradiction:

A contradiction is merely the assertion that two or more mutually exclusive concepts are, in fact, compatible.  When we are speaking of ideas, doctrine, theology, philosophy, and so on, you will note a contradiction in some form or fashion this way:

A claim to know that something is true, yet that thing necessarily and/or by definition incorporates two or more mutually exclusive concepts, and predicates its “truth” upon the idea that these incompatible concepts are somehow entirely compatible.  It assumes and expects you to also assume that what are overtly and objectively opposite notions are somehow corollary.  Up is also down; black is also white; the square is also the circle.

Example:

  1. Total Depravity:  Man is responsible for his own practical moral failures and yet is born depraved in his nature.  (Incidentally, the oft-responded notion that Total Depravity doesn’t mean that we are as bad as we could be is also a rank contradiction in terms, by definition…”total” does not mean “partly”, but intellectual license is cheap and easy when you can appeal to “divine enlightenment” instead of reason.  Any old dope can claim to “know” things if he doesn’t actually have to explain them.  Telling people that they will understand once they “believe” (meaning when God reveals it to them by magic) is merely saying that they will understand once they agree.  Which is, again, a contradiction in terms.  Like I said…it just never ends.)  That man is BORN depraved is saying that man, existentially, IS evil, and thus in his natural, absolute Self, cannot do any good thing.  This is PRECISELY the argument for why all men need Jesus—-because all men have sinned because why?  Because they MUST sin!  Because of their nature.  Because they are born sinners.  All Good is a function of God’s divine power and enlightenment upon man who is existentially unworthy and, of himself, alone, unable to receive it.  And yet man is morally responsible for his evil as though he can know the difference between good and evil and can choose the latter over the former.  The contraction is this, in a nutshell:  Man IS totally evil, and yet man also responsible for his evil as though he had a choice, which is why God judges him.
  2. God’s Divine Will:  All which happens is a product of God’s omnipotence.  Yet man’s consciousness is somehow real and relevant, and that man can know something, like God’s saving grace and his own natural sinfulness.  This is a contradiction in terms because if God possesses ominipotence then all which occurs in reality is either a function of God’s direct causal power or his “allowing” something to occur, which…means the same thing.  Nothing happens that God doesn’t directly control either via “action” or “inaction”.  In this context, man cannot develop an independent self-identity.  All man does is in reality a function of God’s doing, in which case, there is no point to nor possibility of man actually BEING himself.  For “being” is an action, which is not of himself, but of God, because of omnipotence. If man does not possess his own self, then he certainly cannot be self-aware.

Mystery:

A mystery is simply that which is unknown.  It is not, as Christian orthodoxy implies or outright asserts, that which is UNKNOWABLE.  The idea that God controls all things, yet man is morally responsible for his natural depravity and INEVITABLE evil actions; that God is in control of all things and yet simultaneously abhors the evil actions of men and demands sacrificial recompense…these things are not mysteries! These things are contradictions.  Christian orthodoxy labels its contradictions as “mysteries” because appealing to divine mystery is the most convenient way to conflate ideological folderol with God’s infinite wisdom, which, when presented in the context of soaring-if-not-insipid worship music, the histrionics and emotional blackmail of the pulpit, and the navel-gazing desperation of the congregation, can seem quite profound.  In reality, however, it is no more than pedestrian intellectual error of the kind found in the most nascent of human minds.  That is, in children.  It’s pretty sad.  And yet there it is, Sunday after Sunday, and making big money and casting a wide net of social and political influence.  So…perhaps it’s not so much sad as it is scary.

Example (of Mystery):

  1. How did the lion escape from the zoo when the cage was closed and locked? (A simple hypothetical mystery.)
  2. Why does the sun rise and set? (A historical mystery, henceforth solved.)
  3. How does an experienced hunter, tracker, and survival expert get lost and starve to death in terrain with which he is intimately familiar? (A hypothetical mystery which may never be solved.)

A mystery can be that which we do not yet know, which we did not know but now do, or that which only one man or a few men once knew and have taken the knowledge with them to the grave.  None of these things are “unknowable”…that is, the answers to the questions do not exceed the existential and epistemological boundaries of man’s identity.  Man’s identiy as “man”, and all that this naturally implies about his consciousness and cognitive capabilities, are the only frame of reference necessary to de-mystify the mystery.  The answers to the questions may rationally exist within man’s reality and will be defined according to reason.

Paradox:

This is, I submit, the most misunderstood and misused of the three concepts addressed in this article.  “Paradox” is not a synonym for “contradiction”…and yet this mistake has become so common that you find it almost as often as you find someone using the term “literally” to mean “figuratively”.  It’s become part of the common vernacular, and we don’t even bat an eye at the massive distortion in meaning it creates.  Paradox shares absolutely nothing in common with contradiction with respect to its own particular meaning, though it is true that one can be confused with the other based on incorrect assumptions or a lack of or misunderstanding about some amount of empirical evidence.

A paradox is something which can as of yet only be described by combining two or more mutually exclusive concepts, but which nevertheless MUST be true based on empirical evidence.  We might also say that a paradox is observably true, but conceptually false.  We cannot describe what we are seeing in terms that do not conflict.  Paradox, then, is only temporary…for any observed phenomenon can and must only be described in conceptual terms that are consistent.  To leave a paradox to a contradictory definition is, I submit, to divorce man from his own reality.  A reality which does not conform to man’s conceptualizing faculties (his reason) inevitably makes man irrelevant to reality.  The consequences of this are disastrous.  To claim that man can observe something he CANNOT and CAN NEVER describe is to drive a wedge between cognition/conceptualization and perception.  Man then, in the metaphysical sense, as a singular Self—the conscious Self, you you might say—becomes divorced from the determinative  cause and effect of “objective reality”.  Man qua man then becomes an imposter to reality, or at best an illusion…his awareness of Self—that by which he describes and defines “objective reality”  becomes, ironically, a paradox of nature—some determined cause of a determined effect prescribed by the blind and unthinking laws of nature.  The “I” of man—the individuality of the individual—is reduced to an ultimately irrelevant epiphenomenon of the utterly determined universe.  Man becomes a paradox which can have no conceptual solution because he doesn’t really, or at best, relevantly, exist.

And it doesn’t take a clairvoyant to see where this goes.

At any rate, a paradox, in summary, is that which is observed, and thus is real, but as of yet has not been explained in rationally consistent terms.

Example:

  1. The wave/particle duality of light.  That light is both a particle and a wave.  For light can be observed in both states, and thus is said to BE both, simultaneously.  As this is a contradiction in terms, we must assume that how light is observed probably has to do with the location of the observer and not with the idea that light both is and is not a wave and a particle at any given moment.
  2. That objects exist, an distinctly so, and yet all objects are comprised of a collection of parts, and thus no objects exist, because all objects are comprised of other objects, infinitely so.

END

Douglas Murray and Jordan Peterson: The terrible and fascinating car crash of IQ and moral worth

I know in my last article I said would deal with the difference between mystery, paradox, and contradiction.  But alas, I must detour. Because yesterday I stumbled upon a video that I simply must address.  Thank you for your forbearance.

It was a discussion between Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray, two of arguably the greatest libertarian (I mean ideologically, not politically) social commentators of our time.  (If you don’t know who they are, just look them up on YouTube…you’ll find as much information as you want.) They were discussing, adroitly, as is expected, a myriad of things, among which was the controversy of Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and race.  Unsurprisingly, the notion of some races performing better on IQ tests than others came up, and with that, the concern that this information may cause some manner of genetic superiority collectivism to rear its ugly head and begin to categorize human worth based on quantifications of intelligence. That this method of collectivizing humanity is so particularly scandalous seems at first surprising, given that humanity has been collectivizing itself, to disastrous moral effect, for thousands of years, based upon almost any reason at all.  Since any group characteristic can be and has been used to classify humanity into superior and inferior classes and castes since time immemorial, why is this so particularly shocking to heady thinkers like Murray and Peterson?

Well, the reason is pretty straightforward, and you’ve probably already figured it out.  You see, intelligence is a scientifically proven and statistically verified means of predicting future life success, even correcting for race, language, social context, socioeconomic status, and any other factor you can think of.  It has been used since the early 20th century and has never failed, as a general instrument of measure, to gauge intelligence and then empirically verify the results through objective evaluations of life performance.  Put simply, IQ tests are overwhelmingly effective at predicting life success (where “success” is defined according to socioeconomic scales in a given sociopolitical context), no matter who is being tested or where or when.  Okay, not so controversial…so far so good.  But here is where intellectuals and moral men like Peterson and Murray get the vapors, and you saw this coming a mile away.

Which groups, pray tell, score highest on IQ tests?  Asians, Jews, and Whites.  Now, in this day age of rampant, insatiable, and insidious social Marxism in the West, the first two aren’t much of a problem.  But the last one…the Whites…well, to say that Whites are more intellegent than Browns is like saying the Devil is more powerful than God.  The argument that “Jews and Asians are smarter that’s Whites” is irrelevant to the rabid masses of Marxist ideologues rampaging through the West with their bike-locks-turned-cudgels and their Malotov cocktails, both literally and figuratively.  The fact that a white person is more intelligent than a brown person on average is the problem, and is a fact that must be denied, and is just one more example of Western “institutional racism” and the white man’s inherent existential proclivity towards deception and manipulation and of course his endemic natural evil; and just one more reason white people need to be destroyed en masse. And make no mistake, to marginalize any group by claiming an inherent existential moral deficiency, which is exactly what the left is doing with whites, is to declare the need to wipe them out.  Regardless of what anyone tells you, if you concede the root existential moral failure of a group of people, the only rational means of dealing with them to murder them.  If the white man is evil because he is white, which is a function of nothing more than his birth, then he has no right to live.  If the existence of the white man means that he is inexorably White at his very natural root, and White is evil, then the white man has no right to exist, period.  The logic is clear, it is simple, and it is utterly consistent if we concede the metaphysical premise that Whitness = inherent moral depravity.

Now, as I said, the left explains the discrepancy of IQ between whites and browns on institutional racism, social manipulation, and outright perfidy and mendaciousness on the part of the western “White Patriarchy”, due to the natural depravity of white people, who are born this way.  But see, Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray know that this is not the case.  At the same time, the empirical and statistical evidence cannot be ignored.  The scientific fact is that, on the whole, white people are more intelligent than brown people.  And because it is a fact, there is some concern amongst both Peterson and Murray, that this information will be used by some right-wing ideologues to declare whites a superior class, and, necessarily, to seek to demonize and politically (and eventually, ACTUALLY) eliminate the inferior classes.  Because, well…let’s be honest.  It’s not like it hasn’t happened before.

As a hedge against this kind of argument, Peterson quickly, and rightly—for morality obliges him—points out the fact that the level of one’s intelligence does not determine the level of his moral worth.  And “moral worth” means the value of an individual’s life qua life…of their root existence.  And with that, all the controversy dissolves into mist, right?  It seems logical, after all.  Only a fool would deny such an obvious assertion.  How much your brain can do has no bearing how good you are as a person.  And…well, this is true.  I’ve no problem asserting that as an axiom.

But here is where it gets messy, and here is where I DO have a problem with the assertion.

Both Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray know that this is true, but they do not know WHY it is true.  And this is where it gets so, so interesting to me.  Because there is nothing more fun and fascinating than watching men who are geniuses in their fields venture into intellectual areas where they are so very clearly NOT geniuses.  Whilst there, they make some observations, and then never, ever address the gaping rational errors behind their ideas.  They talke about IQ and morality, utter an axiom, and then never address the problem of their premises not actually leading to the conclusion that the axiom is in fact axiomatic.  And you can hear the uncertainly in their voices…the cold, sharp claws of that thing digging into their brains telling them that no, it is not actually resolved at all.  That they haven’t any idea how to handle this.  And why?  Why?  They don’t know…it’s a big blank space.  Nothing is there…but is that because nothing is there, or something is there and they just can’t see it?  The axiom is clear:  Intellgence doesn’t define your moral worth as a person.  This is so intuitively true.  And it IS true….so why the hesitation?  Why is there no satisfaction in asserting something so true?

I will tell you why:

Peterson and Murray’s declaration of the truth that intelligence is exclusive of moral worth flat out contradicts their assertion that IQ is, in fact, an objective measure of objective outcomes. Because you cannot have it both ways.  You cannot divorce intelligence from morality AND claim that intelligence has objective VALUE.  Because value is, itself, at root, a function of morality…it is a matter of ethical truth, not epistemological truth.  To claim that something is objectively useful to reality, in some context or another, like, for example, the prediction of one’s socioeconomic performance via intelligence levels, is, in fact, a claim of objective moral worth.  In other words, to say that intelligence is objectively useful to man is to imply that it has value.  And value judgements—the degree to which something is good or bad, which can also be rendered as “useful or degrading”; “helpful or harmful”—are judgements at root of morality (meaning, they fall into the philosophical category of ethics, which deals with the distinction between what is good and what is not).  If high levels of intelligence are objectively useful to objective success then high intelligence must be said to be objectively GOOD.  Which in turn must mean that low intelligence is objectively BAD.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the rub.  You cannot divorce the “OBJECTIVE usefulness” of high intelligence from the “OBJECTIVE morality” of high intelligence.  The fact that having high intelligence produces “objectively” good outcomes for people and societies means that the people who possess high intelligence must be morally superior to those who possess low intelligence. If, of course, you accept the premise that the “success” intelligence predicts is objective. Which I promise you Murray and Peterson do.

And THAT is the nagging, gnawing thing in their brains which torments them.  They know, somewhere inside, that this must be the case (that intelligence = moral value) but the abomination of such an idea offends, and rightly so, their sensibilities as good and honest and kind and empathetic men, which they clearly are.  They know there’s a monster in the woods, but they have never seen him, so can they be so sure?

The answer is: Yes they can.  But I promise you that they will not like the reason.  They will very likely not and never accept the reason…so it goes.

The truth, which reconciles the moral dilemma, is that the “life success” which intelligence predicts is, in fact, not objective at all.  And this means that intelligence is nothing more than a character trait, which, like skin color or the size of one’s nose, may or may not have any meaning or value to the individual, his life, or reality.  Intelligence, you see, being divorced from morality, which it must be in order to avoid the  very real ethical dilemma Peterson and Murray discuss (valuing an individual according to his intelligence) doesn’t really have anything to do with knowledge, and I mean in the philosophically primary sense.  Because the knowledge of what IS is inexorably bound to the knowledge of what is GOOD; and furthermore the knowledge of what IS and is GOOD is only relevant and therefore objectively meaningful if it drives behavior.  Since IQ does not and cannot incorporate the relevant knowledge of objective truth corollary to objective moral truth BY also incorporating actual observed objective moral behavior, then intelligence indeed has NOTHING to do with one’s moral value. This being the case, intelligence is not the equivalent of what we might call “wisdom”.  And wisdom is where the Truth is.  Wisdom is knowledge, and the knowledge of what IS includes the knowledge of what IS GOOD, and is made manifest—made REAL—by one’s actions.  Wisdom is really all that matters when it comes to OBJECTIVE success, I submit.  And by that I mean, success absolutely, existentially, forever and ever.

See…I told you they wouldn’t like the answer.  In fact, I’m willing to bet that you don’t like it either. Which one am I?  A fool?  Deluded?  Possibly both?  Lol…I take no offense, dear reader.  Correct me where I stray, and if you cannot, then accept it.  Those are your only two rational choices

Here is my point in summary:

“Intelligence has nothing to do with one’s moral worth” is the assertion made my Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray, and it is a correct assertion.  What this means is that intelligence doesn’t have anything to do with morality, in general, at all. Intelligence, in other words, having nothing to do with man’s moral value, cannot itself have any moral value, because MAN provides the only rational reference for morality.  MAN decides the value of intelligence, not the other way around.

What DOES have something to do with man’s moral value, and incorporates morality, itself, in general, is knowledge of the Truth, or Wisdom. Because wisdom is the understanding of Truth and it’s corollary, Good, and is made REAL and meaningful through man’s behavior.  How do we know whether or not a man has moral worth, or to what degree it is?  Watch his actions and gauge them against objective morality…objective morality being that which references the individual, and thus does not violate his sanctity.  Does not kill him, steal from him, lie to him, abuse or threaten him.

Intelligence then becomes a subjective predictor of success, which makes the success which it predicts necessarily subjective also.  In such a case we are forced to consider intelligence, again having nothing to do with morality, as little more than a character trait which may or may not have any actual value, depending on the individual in question.  It may have value, if one’s definition of his success is that which intelligence can predict, but OBJECTIVE success—that which is manifest by the implementation of wisdom—is not a function of intelligence.

END

 

Dismantling Christian Orthodoxy in Five Questions

Once you see the rational errors which form the root and body of Christian orthodoxy, it becomes impossible to unsee them.  That is, once you accept the basic and inexorable truth that contradiction is not actually a valid method for drawing doctrinal conclusions, or any other conclusion for that matter, the failure of Christian orthodoxy to satisfy even the most remedial of logical consistency—the 2 + 2 = 4 kind of logic—becomes a punch in the face every time you are exposed to almost any form of Christian theology.  It’s why I had to stop going to church.  Literally everything coming from the pulpit is laced with rational failure.  And it’s more than annoying…it’s offensive.  It’s like that episode of Seinfeld where no matter how hard he tries Jerry can’t get the smell of body odor out of his car after he loans it to a friend.  Once you see it, you can’t unsee it…and once you smell it, it lingers like insuperable body odor around everything and everyone in the church today.

And do not think I do not know from what I speak.  I was a committed evangelical Christian in the spiritual meatgrinder of Sovereign Grace Ministries for ten years, and before that, grew up in the Lutheran Church.  I know the doctrine…I know what Christians believe and how they think and how they preach and how they equivocate their impossible theological claims.  I have lived it, preached it, financed it, lost friends and family over it, and seen the utter ruin it wreaks upon the innocent…children and spouses brought into the cultlike “family” of those who define reality according to “mystery”, and believe that applying heady-sounding labels like “systematic theology” to their proof-texting passes for enlightened and learned scriptural interpretation.  Everything I say in this article is based upon an objective knowledge of exactly what Christians believe, and dismantles those beliefs by pinpointing exactly the fatal weaknesses of their logic. I am still a Christian, by the way, but certainly NOT orthodox.  I categorically reject orthodoxy  and the whole of its interpretive methodology.

To back up my claim that Christianity is a conspicuous offense to the basic rational sensibilities of those of us who have decoded Augustinian/Lutheran/Calvinist (the unholy doctrinal trinity) doublespeak, I developed a simple exercise of logic, based upon the most prevalent assertion of Christian evangelism.

*

“In order to be saved, you must believe in Jesus.”

“Believe what about him?”

[Note:  The rendering of the first assertion is sometimes “Believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior”, to which my response is “What does that mean?”, which leads to essentially the same answer as “Believe what about him?”, albeit likely in a more explicative form.  That answer is:]

“That he died for your sins.”

“What sins?”

“The ones you have committed…he died for all of them.”

“How do you know I’ve sinned?”

“Because we all sin.  We can’t help it.”

“Why can’t we help it?”

“Because we are born sinners…with a sin nature that makes it impossible not to sin.”

“So…we are born sinners, and thus we must sin.  It’s in our nature…a manifestation of our very existence.  Then…sin is not a choice.  That which my nature demands I must do cannot also be something I choose to do.  And if I do not have a choice whether to sin or not then my sin is not actually sinful.  My sin, having nothing to do with my will, cannot be called an immoral act, and therefore, by definition, it cannot actually be sin.  In the same way I cannot help but to breath, and my heart cannot help but to beat, and I cannot help but to be human, I cannot help but to sin, and therefore only a fool would call my natural sin sinful.  Which means that only a fool would call this sin “sin” at all.  I cannot be born with a sinful nature because I cannot both commit immoral acts by my nature and have a nature which makes immoral action impossible because I have no capacity to choose to commit immoral action in the first place.  You cannot morally judge, Christian, what I cannot help.  If sin is a part of me, of my nature, and is unchosen, and I cannot help it, then you cannot call what I do sin.  In order for sin to be sinful, it must be a choice, and you, because you do not know me, cannot possibly know whether I have chosen to sin.  You do not know the sum and substance of my choices, and if my need for Jesus is predicated on you knowing that I have committed sin, then you cannot reasonably assert that I should believe in him.  So I will ask again, and hope for your sake that you stop mocking the God you claim you serve and provide a less embarrassing answer.  What should I believe about him?”

*

At this point it is inevitable that the Christian will punt his ENTIRE theology into the cosmic abyss of “God’s Mystery”. You have little choice but to walk away.  The Christian has retreated back into the ouroboros of his spiritual echo chamber as quickly as he emerged. And there he will stay…in his own mind, or, perhaps, up his own arse, you might say, until his guilt entices him to venture out and try again. He will eventually learn to avoid the thinkers, grotesquely condemning them as blind and worldy, and will seek out the meek and the helpless and the needy.  But not for the reasons Christ implored. But because the Christian understands that there is no practical difference between gullibility and indigence when it comes to meeting his quota. He has learned that the desperate can be convinced of almost anything.

My next article will deal with the difference between mystery, paradox, and contradiction, to help you to stop falling for the claims that God’s mystery is actually an argument to be considered.

 

 

What House Hunters Can Teach Us About the Rational Failure of “Diversity-as-Equality”

One of my favorite ways to waste time is by watching House Hunters on HGTV, and all of its various spin-offs—Caribbean Life, Lakeside Bargain Hunt, Beachside Bargain Hunt, Mexico Life, Island Life, and House Hunters International.  For those of you unfamiliar with these shows, the premise is simple:  A person or persons goes shoppping for a new house/condo/apartment in some location; they visit usually three properties and at the end they consider all factors and make their pick.  During the last few seconds of the show it cuts to a couple months later and we see them in their new home where they gush that they’ve never known a life so perfect and sublime.  Which is of course complete hyperbole, but hey, it’s TV and hyperbole is how TV rolls.  For me the show is a relaxing way to run through a couple of cups of coffee in the morning as I gird my loins for the boring yet relentlessly demanding and occasionally soul-crushing meat grinder of the American middle class.  Yes, the whole experience of House Hunters is pleasantly anodyne.

Well…except for the arrant postmodern leftist social engineering with which it loves punching you in the face over and over again.  That part I could do without; but unfortunately, it’s par for the course in America today, because the version of morality in the uber-rich (and uber white) juggernaut of leftism which controls all of entertainment, virtually without rival, involves little more than the virtue signaling of “diversity”, where gay and brown people must be displayed in televised fabrications of reality in numbers utterly inconsistent with their actual population percentages.

But this is not what I really want to talk about.  Sure I could go on about how the last time I saw a mixed-race couple that wasn’t on television, even in the massively diverse DC metropolitan area where I grew up and still spend a lot of time, was in 2010, and they were friends from church who were politically conservative.  I could talk about how statistically whites make up over 60% of the population in this country, but if House Hunters is our guide, we can expect to see white people in public at a rate of maybe one or two every other Thursday.  I could explain that the numbers of home buyers in the US are overwhelmingly white and straight, but not on House Hunters, where your next door neighbors are just as likely to be craft beer-drinkers Chaz and Cody as they are to be soccer parents Steve and Becky.

But I don’t care about that…at face value.  That is, I don’t have a problem with the “what”.  Gay or brown, white or straight, go on with your self.  I despise nothing more than individuals submitting to an abstract social standard defined solely by group identity. To me, that is the Devil.  Be what you want and do what you want.  I don’t split individuals into collections of races or orientations.  The only people I hate are liars, theives, abusers, and murderers.  Because they are the ones depriving others of their choices and the ownership of their existence…they are the expression of Satan.  Not gays, not brown people, and not straight white men.

What I have a problem with is the “why”, and that is what I’m going to talk about in this article.

When it comes to “diversity” as a means of social progressivism, what is the assertion?  Well, let’s take television as an example, since I brought up House Hunters.  Why do “minorities” (and I use quotes because “minority” in the political sense has nothing to do with math, but with socialist collective identity)…why do “minorities” need to be portrayed on television in disproportionate numbers? Because postmodern eithical mores assert that they have a basic right to identify themselves in popular expressions of the greater culture.  In other words, people are said to feel better when they can regularly observe others who share a collective characteristic.  Minorities, we are told, feel more included, not when they are welcomed as individuals into society based on personal merit and value, but when they can identify with their own kind according to race, gender, and/or sexual orientation.  And one of the most effective and effcient ways to do this—to ensure social “justice” and “compassion”—is to show large numbers of minorities in media like television.  That is, to promote a version of reality on TV where straight white people observe members of their group less often, and minorities more often.

So…what’s wrong with this?  After all, white people have dominated the airwaves for 90% of television history.  Is it really a problem for shows to assert the idea that there is more to the human race than just white people?

The problem here is that these are trick questions.  The questions assume something that isn’t true:

A.  That we can ensure social equality by appealing to greater diversity.

B.  That it is rational to encourage a minority individual’s identification with the group as a means to dismantle the dominant group…at least in a way that will promote peace and general social cohesion.

The first, A., always makes me laugh because it is clearly a contradiction in terms.  The idea that diversity as a social ethic will spawn equality is impossible by definition.  The more you amplify distinctions between groups, the less equal you necessarily make these groups.  This is elementary logic.  And this is why equality between groups always comes at the expense of, not the benefit of, the majority group.  That is, the dominant group must be considered inherently immoral before you can proclaim the need for equal representation of the minority group or groups.

The majority group is the reason there needs to be greater minority group representation on television in the first place.  The majority group is the whole problem, you see.  The majority group, by being the majority group, is ipso facto commiting a sin by its very existence.  Its inherent moral failure is the fact that it IS at all.  The majority group, by being what it is, existentially and by definition, detracts from the minority group.  The fact that it exists at all presents a problem for the minority group in that the minority group is thus necessarily under represented, likewise existentially and by definition.  So the majority group, which causes the minority to be the minority, is bad, and thus is not of equal moral value as the minority group. Its existence is why there needs to be justice in the form of greater representation of the minority group on television. There thus can be no fundamental equality in diversity.  The very reason we need diversity in the first place is because the majority group doesn’t have it.  So when the left talks about diversity being an ethical obligation, they are NOT including the majority in their social utopia.  They are not including white people.

To allow the majority to exist is to deprive the minority group of its social virtue.  To represent the minority group as the minority, for example, on television, by showing its members in numbers only commensurate with their national population average, is to consign it to social marginalization, and this based upon the a priori ethical assumption that it is socially unjust for the majority to express itself (e.g. on television) as the majority.  Which, once the majority is no longer allowed to express itself…well, the majority is no longer allowed to exist.  Because being, and the expression of being, are corollary.  No matter what we are told, the claim that white people should not exist as the majority is to claim that white people should not exist at all.  Because, you see, according to collectivist (e.g. leftist) metaphysics, white individuals are not existentially distinct from whiteness—that is, their collective group identity.  So if whiteness is the majority, and the majority is evil because it by definition makes the minority the minority and thus diminishes the minority’s social value, then white people are de facto evil.  To assert the elimination of the white majority is to assert the elimination of white individuals.

Sorry if that’s a bucket of cold water, but it’s the truth.  Once you are defined according to your group identity, and that group is defined as evil, then YOU are evil.  And thus, you must be destroyed.

You may argue that all we need to do is make the majority no longer the majority. Once white people are no longer the majority in this country, then they will be moral.  They will be acceptable to the social Marxists who advocate equality by appealing to spurious collectivist ethics…which always result in mass murder, by the way.  But the entire moral degeneracy of the majority is inexorably tied to whiteness.  You cannot have a majority unless those in the majority group all share the same collective characteristic…in this case, being white.  The reality which historically has driven the state-sponsored mass murder of the immoral group—in our case, the white majority—is that if it weren’t for white individuals you wouldn’t have a white majority.  If it weren’t for white individuals, there wouldn’t be a massive social moral offense by the majority against the minority.  The idea then that you can separate the evil of the majority from the whiteness of the individual in that majority is a lie.  This is a bromide for the masses to obscure the truth.  Because white people will only accept the notion of diversity-as-equality if they think they are included in that diversity rainbow.

They aren’t.

It’s a big old diversity club, whitey…

…and you ain’t in it.

*

To claim that all groups are equal, makes the promotion of more minorities on television a waste of time with respect to the goal of making them more valued.  If ALL groups are of equal value, then what difference does it make who is on television?  If there is no moral difference between black people and white people, collectivity defined, then who cares if the black person only ever sees white people on TV?  He, as a black person, has the same existential worth as a white person, and vice versa. Thus, there is no reason he shouldn’t identify with the white people he sees on television, and no reason he should think that he will never fully find social value unless he sees other black people.  So, the only way you can consistently argue that minorities need greater representation on television is if there is something inherently wrong the with the majority.  Only by valuing the majority less can we claim that it is valuable to allow the minority to observe his group more on television.  In short, if all groups are morally equal, then all of the distinctions between these groups ultimately become meaningless.  If all groups are of equal social value, then we don’t actually have groups.  We only have individuals.  But that runs utterly contrary to the collectivist metaphysics which drive postmodern—which is really just old fashioned collectivist—philosophy, and therefore that notion is something that will not and cannot be accepted or conceded.  Ever.  Because it demands a rejection of the entire collectivst definition of reality…and that only happens after a nation has collapsed entirely, often washed away in rivers of blood.  Mark my words, there is no salvation for a nation, not even this one, because all governments are inherently collectivist and all of them go the way ours is, socially, just with different group labels.  It WILL collapse under the weight of its own contractions, period.  It is a rational certainty.  This is because without the philosophical premises which inevitably bring about its downfall, it isn’t that nation in the first place.

I don’t like this.  I don’t advocate it.  I’m devastated by it.  But I’m merely the messenger of arrant cause and effect.  They are inexorably bound.  The life of a nation—its collectivist philosophical premises—is its death.

*

Here’s another problem.  Putting more minorities on television in an effort to make minority people feel more valued implies that individuals identifying primarily with the group is a good thing.  But if this is the case, why would white people want less white people on television in deference to greater minority representation? If identifying oneself primarily with the group is the means by which people are truly valued socially, then why would we expect white people to specifically reject this notion by advocating for that which diminishes white people identifying with their group?  If group identification is good, then why should white people want less of it?

The answer by now should be obvious.  Because white people are not good.  It’s only good to identify with one’s group IF one is not in the majority.  IF one is not white, THEN group identification is good…so goes the syllogism.  Whiteness is majority, and vice versa.  The majority is an illegitimate group because it, by definition, oppresses the minority.

And here’s the kicker.  The majority never gets to be the minority.  Because this is the root of collectivist metaphysics.  Collectivist metaphysics denies the reality of the individual entirely.  And thus, the “majority group” which oppresses the “minority group” has absolutely nothing to do with math.  That is, it has nothing to do with how many individuals happen to be in the majority relative to the minority group.  “Majority” and its primary characteristic, “whiteness”, is NOT a number.  It is a metaphysical identity. Whiteness is absolute, and it is majority, and it is evil because it oppresses the minority.  And therefore, even just one white person alone embodies the entirety of the collective metaphysical identity of “majority” and “whiteness” (the two being corollary).  The only way to reduce the majority and thus bring about social justice is to end whiteness.  And to end whiteness is in practicality to end white individuals.

Yes, it’s madness.  But it is the philosophy of the postmodern left.  Which is nothing more than the garden variety, mass-murdering collectivism we’ve had ever since man catastrophically decided that the “I” is a function of the “we”.

That is, ever since the beginning of time.

END

 

 

You Want to Know the Real Problem of Evil? You Got It.

Now that we have—by illustrating the rank contradictions which make up its substrata of rationale—dispensed with the theological and logical fallacy of the “Problem of Evil” as presumed by Christian orthodoxy, we can talk about the real problem of evil.

But what do we mean by “evil”?  Well, first, we need a reference.  That is, in order to call something moral or immoral we must reference it to that which can rationally arbitrate ethical value.  Without such a reference, it’s impossible to ascribe a moral label.  So, what’s the reference? The only reference which is rationally consistent is the Individual. Now, please note that in this article I am not going to explicate ethics in detail at the philosophical primary level. You can find that elsewhere on this blog.

I thus define evil this way:

The willful action of one individual which violates another.

Think Old Testament.  Think Ten Commandments.  Stealing, hurting, killing, lying to yourself or others.

Now, there is a subsection of ethics which deals with “acts of nature”, so to speak.  Those incidents where the innocent are subjected to torment, neglect, and death that have nothing to do with the willful acts of other human beings.  Like natural disasters, accidents of poor judgment (e.g. getting lost in the wilderness at night and falling down a steep ravine), or even something like a bridge collapsing.  We can argue that these things are technically violations of human life, and thus may be described as evil.  But I don’t think they fall under the category of a “problem of evil”, unless you consider God the fundamental controller of everything and thus must implicate Him in some way.  But as I explained in my previous article on the subject, this is not really a problem, because it is not actually paradoxical. It’s a contradiction and thus a lie.  So, when we are talking evil, we’ll keep it simple…basic rational ethics a la the Ten Commandments.  Kiling, lying, stealing, and all their various forms (bullying, psychological abuse, manipulation or fraud, etc.). That’s basic rational ethics, and it need not be complicated.  What is complicated is dismantling the fraudulent ethics of irrational philosophies and other various hijacking of reason.  But true ethics is simple, and I would argue, innately understood by all of us as a function of our nature.  This innate understanding of goodness is corrupted by bad philosophies, and specifically bad metaphysics, not unlike those which underwrite governments.  All of them.  Which leads us to the main thesis of this article.

*

Why do people do evil?

Who are the greatest and most prolific and persistent culprits?

The answers to these questions most likely will surprise you, and I can tell you right now that the rest of this article won’t win me any friends, and will likely lose me some. Because the answer to the second question is: you.  And me, in the past.  And the why is this: because we think evil is good.

I must step carefully around this prickly subject. I am not trying to shame anyone.  I am not condemning you to fire and brimstone.  I am not ultimately imprecating the character of friends and family, or even of humanity in general.  I am not saying you ARE evil, because I know that that simply isn’t true.  This is an admonishment to a new thinking, not a condemnation of your soul.  I am aiming to help people to re-evaluate their root assumptions about he nature of man and reality, and to realize that those assumptions are the difference between our lives contributing, on the whole, to sublime morality or the utter abasement of God and the world.  Because no matter how good and reasonable and true and honorable we think we are, our root assumptions—and we all have them—define, ultimately and foundationally, our moral contribution to reality.  And that contribution is either evil or it is good, period.  The question begged, then, is this:  Can a person with evil assumptions who truly believes that these assumptions are good ultimately do good with their life?

I guess I should explain what I mean about “evil assumptions”.  What I mean is assumptions about the nature of man and his relationship to realty which nullifies man’s will, and demands him inadequate, by dint of no less than his very own birth, to existence, itself.  The philosophies in which this is done are varied and copious, and without any rival anywhere in the world I submit, but at root they all share the same theme:  Man is fundamentally controlled by some determinative force outside of himself, be it God, or natural law, or mathematics, or his own “sin nature”, or the Unknown, or evolution, or all of the above, and therefore his will—his sentience and agency—is, at the very foundation of his existential make-up, fraudulent.  Will is an illusion; choice is determined and thus a lie.  Man is incapable of being himself qua himself—there is no such thing.  And thus, for his own good, and to ensure his own real and true existence, his will must be censured, and he forced into “goodness”.  He must be forced to thrive because he cannot do it on his own.  Man speaks as if he is an individual, but this is a function of a root existential error, and his individuality is an illusion at best.  His reality is that he is collectively driven by a single Cause (God, Nature, some other Force), and thus his false sense of self must be oppressed so that his true self—his determined and collective self—can prosper.  He must be forced to thrive—forced into his proper collectivist role—because he simply cannot do it on his own.

*

People committing rank atrocities against their fellow man are easy to spot when the definition of evil is rational.  It is hard for the liar, or thief, or murderer to hide when the ethical context is clear.  They stick out like a dead fly in a glass of milk.  And thus, I don’t consider them, and whatever pathology drives them, be it physiological or behavioral or genetic or whatever, to be the real root of the problem of evil.  The liar lies, the killer kills, and the thief steals.  This is clear.  The real problem evil—of evil which is endemic and pervasive—my friends, is not the evil person, but rather the good one.  That is, real evil is found in the majority…the masses who wish to do good, to save and promote fellow man, but do so from a false assumption. The assumption is this: The only way to get men to behave morally is ultimately to grant a small group of people (or a single person) the power to compel human behavior by violence.

I’m talking, in essence, about government. And the fact that after thousands of years of state-sponsored mass murder, oppression, exploitation, slavery, torture, economic regression, and nepotism, we all still accept that the most moral form of humanity is that in which it is governed.  We accept that by eradicating morality, which destroys choice by forced compliance to legality, which is an entirely different ethic altogether, goodness can be brought about in the world.

It can’t.  It hasn’t.  It won’t.

What is the assumption which guides our moral code, almost to a person?  It is found in the answer to the question: Why government?  The answer is always the same, though in various semantic molds:  Without government, man is doomed.  Left to himself, man’s base natural instincts to oppression, exploitation, and murder will erupt and the earth will be a cauldron of misery…a hell, itself.  That man’s very inherent and natural ability to choose his own actions cannot be trusted.  And choice, dear readers, is the root of what makes a human being a human being.  Absent choice, there is no individual.  And thus, this concession to the necessity of government implies that man IS EVIL, ITSELF.  And that’s why government. That’s why human will must be replaced by obedience to law.

Of course, how the political elite get a pass on their own mendacity and natural depravity is a question that is alway punted into the cosmic abyss of grand Mystery.  The fact is, we are told, that our sense of One Self—of “I”—is by nature false, and our choice thus is the vehicle for our own destruction.  And therefore we must be ruled.  It is the only way to save us.  We must have ourselves forcefully denied so that humanity can survive.

And that is REAL evil.  That idea…right there.

So you shall never get to experience life out from under the unblinking eye of Authority, no matter how benevolent or special or God-ordained that authority is claimed to be.  The Bill of Rights, Magna Carta, Pax Romana…it’s force, force, force.  It’s the State, and it means law, and law is the eradication of choice by its nature, and this means the nullification of morality, which means that there is no longer any  consequence for actual evil…because evil becomes not that which violates the individual—YOU or ME—but which violates Law.  Because YOU and ME are a lie, we are told and believe.  So, you will never know what it means to be you, ultimately.  You will never know the freedom of You qua You.  You must always have an overlord, and a cage in which to put you, even though its borders be the size of a continent.  You may have a shadow of freedom, but you will never have it in the flesh.  You will never get to be the real You.  The Self is dead at birth.

And now, right now, you’re telling yourself that I’m a fool…a nut, a radical, a denier of reality, lost, or angry, or irrational, or all of it.  Perhaps you should no longer associate with me, you’re thinking. Perhaps you will unfriend me on Facebook…or perhaps you already have.  I’m a bad influence, a reprobate, a rejector of clear truth.  An arguer, a rebel, a non-compromiser, a denier of God’s sovereignty, a rejector of the empirical, unenlightened, unsaved, a know-it-all, arrogant, and without faith.

Of course we need government, you’re thinking.  Of course we can’t just let people do whatever they want!  That’s complete madness! The death of us all! Idiotic!

Nothing I can say will change your mind. Nothing I can do will cause you to question. I can show you the graves of the millions that government has slaughtered; the starving children ravaged by polical despots who are called the “savior of the people”, the “dear leader”, the “Fuhrer”.  I can show you internment camps and gas chambers and killing fields and nuclear craters and whole cities on fire and severed heads on poles on castle walls and bodies littering the colosseums and the crucifixion of Christ, and all of it a government program, and yet you shall reject the idea that government, and in particular its philosophical roots, might just be the source of the horror. No, in your eyes, I am forever the fool.

And that, my friends…is the problem of evil.

 

 

Solving the “Problem of Evil” from Reason

You’ve heard of the “problem of evil” (henceforth to be written PE)? If not, that’s okay. I will explain it here. Basically the PE is this: in light of God’s sovereign Character, how can we explain the existence of evil in the world? How can an all-powerful and all-loving God create, cause, and allow for evil to exist in the world, and even worse, in such copious amounts and in such terrible forms?

The problem with the PE assertion is that it makes some fundamental assumptions with respect to God and man’s nature and character, and the nature of reality in general, which simply do not stand up to rational scrutiny.  Now, many, if not all of these underlying rational errors, I have dealt with in articles on this blog, probably more than once. But I thought it might be beneficial to write a summary in article form on the false assumptions which lead people to accept the PE as a paradox that has some logical merit and relevance to theological discourse.

It doesnt.

This is by no means a comprehensive synopsis…and, given that it is relatively deep and detailed, this should tell you something.  I submit that the false and arrantly irrational assumptions which underly the PE, in and of themselves, alone, suffice to illuminate with perfect clarity this baseless notion. Unfortunately, with religion it seems that all too commonly rational error and superstition are a boon, not a demerit.

What most immediately and predominately springs to mind as aiding and abetting the idea of the PE is the Biblically absent yet widely accepted notion of humanity’s Total Depravity.

The idea is this: man, because of “The Fall” (a term also Biblically absent) in the Garden of Eden was cursed with a pervasive “sin nature”.  This means that existentially man cannot help but sin.  In fact, man, by his very birth IS SIN, for all intents and purposes.  Everything he does in his natural state is from evil  He cannot understand, and thus cannot choose nor do anything that isn’t evil at root.  And though the Church can often be seen equivocating most hypocritically the idea that a totally depraved reprobate who is infinitely wicked by nature is still somehow morally responsible for his actions, the fact remains that ALL of Christian orthodoxy asserts either plainly or implicitly that man—and even those who are saved by Christ are often featured in this assessment—MUST sin, and WILL sin.  It is a forgone conclusion from birth, period, full stop. And though I have heard many times Christain apologists and theologians attempt, in cringe-inducing fashion, to explain how a TOTALLY depraved human being is not actually totally depraved, the fact is that, according to their own arguments, it is impossible for them to describe just where in the singularity of one’s individuality evil ceases and good begins.  Thus, I submit that this whole convoluted and disastrous notion of Total Depravity contributes to the PE in a couple of ways:

If man disobeyed God in the Garden, and this initiated the race’s downfall, and if this was a function of God’s creating man with the ability to disobey, then how is God not ultimately responsible?  How can we absolve God of blame when he specifically and in full control of his divine faculties created man with the distinct ability to wreck himself and all of creation along with him by doing evil, and this in perfect keeping with his normal operation?  That is, the ability of man to choose evil was not a design error.  It was a part of his proper construction and function.  So…can we really blame the machine for simply doing what the maker designed it to do in the first place?

Next, does not the fact that after the Fall man becoming wholly determined to sin imply that man has made it impossible for God to abolish evil…since every man born MUST by nature do evil?  Indeed, is not every man’s birth post-Fall an act in and of itself of evil—by definition of the pervasive sin nature which utterly and existentially defines him? And if we argue that God can, in fact, abolish evil by destroying all of mankind, is this not an admission that the Maker has failed in his creation? That the perfect God has created out of Himself that which is inherently imperfect by virtue of its innate ability to sin? Even the act of sending a Savior to redeem man implies a contradiction stemming from the Total Depravity of a failed creature that somehow corrupted the Perfect God’s perfect universe by simply exercising a divinely created, divinely-willed, and divinely-intended freedom of choice. For how can he whose very birth is an act of evil because of the categorical nature of his root existential wickedness and who is unable to see the Truth and accept God’s Provision except when enlightened by God’s Spirit, and this entirely of God’s doing, possibly be converted from darkness to light? In other words, how can God make Good, Evil? What is A cannot be made B without contradicting A and thus contradicting B. That is, Evil cannot be made Good without rendering both concepts entirely subjective, barren of any inherent objective meaning and value. In other words, God cannot make evil good just like He cannot make a square a circle without destroying both concepts…and thus He contradicts His ability to create those concepts in the first place.

Other irrational assumptions which underly the PE have to do with the commonly accepted Divine Characteristics: omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. Now, I have dismantled these in previous articles, detailing how they are in fact inherent contradictions which destroy God’s identity by ascribing to Him attributes which wreck any distinction between Himself and His Creation. A God who can do anything can, by definition, BE anything; and a God who can be anywhere IS everywhere; and a God who knows everything must determine everything. And thus, the only conclusion to be drawn is that there is nothing that God ultimately isn’t, nowhere that He isn’t, and no act that he doesn’t. And in this context, God becomes utterly non-relative.  That is, since there is nowhere that God ends and His Creation begins, the distinction is ruined and God’s very identity with it. In short, the false paradox of the PE is asserted via these Divine Characteristics as follows:

How can a God who basically knows everything and controls everything and is everything and determines everything NOT be responsible FOR everything, including all of the evil He claims He hates?

To conclude, the simple answer to the problem of evil is this:

It is rooted in assumptions that are rank, object, and arrant contradictions, and thus all of these assumptions must be rejected as impossible. Man, being a rational creature, and one who relies upon the conformity of his concepts to rational consistency in order to define and navigate reality, must stop pretending that claims to divine enlightenment and salvation is but an ideological and fanatical commitment to madness over reason; to ignorance and foolishness as the Most Noble Virtue; and to superstition over Truth.

In mathematics, if the numbers do not properly sum, then the equation is in error and reworked or discarded. In science if the empirical evidence is not forthcoming then proof is not accepted or asserted. And in philosophy—and the theological is inexorably philosohical—if the syllogism nullifies the concepts from which it is constructed then it is false, and no truth can be derived. We must throw it out and start again with new assumptions that are rationally consistent and thus can lead to meaningful and useful conclusions.

The fact is that there is no such thing as the Problem of Evil. It’s a contrivance from ignorance or willful deception, and must be dismantled and condemned as such. It presumes a definition of God that renders “God” a null hypothesis. That is, it makes God a contradiction in terms, and thus it demands that there can be no such thing. It pretends that an All-Powerful God can willfully create that which is contrary to both that power and his very Self. The solution then to the problem of evil is to reject it for the distraction from the truth that it is.

In my next article then, I will discuss what the world’s moral problem really is, and how evil contributes.

 

How Existence Destroys Reality

Ability underwrites all action. Action, itself, being necessarily relative (that is, relatively discerned—which corollates to a conceptual definition of what is acting and how, which corellates to an Observer) can imply (epistemological) distinction as spawning from metaphysical (or “existential”) equality.  Relativity, you see, is corollary at the metaphysical level to Ability, and thus distinctions in actions, whilst they imply and corollate to epistemological differences (epistemology being the category where objects, or “things which are” enter into the philosophical paradigm ), do not imply differences in root metaphysical (“existential”) value and essence, and this because of the necessary metaphysics spawning from Ability as Primary, as opposed to Existence.

Existence, as metaphysical primary, is not actually being…not actually existing, because ability (to exist) is not implied, and thus neither is action. And therefore, relativity, a necessary metaphysical foundation of meaning (truth, or the object definition of what is) is likewise not implied, making epistemological distinctions between things (which exist) impossible. That is, from existence as primary we cannot logically draw the conclusion that existence exists—that it does existence—because if that were the case—if existence actually existed—then the ability to exist would be necessitated as that which underwrites existence, thus supplanting it as the metaphysical primary (which it does).

Existence, then, as primary, is not an act from ability, but merely an Is from an Is. The metaphysical primary becomes a rank abstraction: Is qua Is.

Existence doesn’t act (exist) because it’s able, but rather it Is because it Is. In other words, existence as primary is tautological…a rational error, from which no truth and certainly no reality, can be drawn.

”Is qua Is” cannot mean equal metaphysical (“existential”) value and essence whilst also correlating to and implying epistemological distinctions (different and distinct things which exist) because epistemological distinctions (by the Observer) cannot be made absent action and relativity rooted in Ability. By making existence passive, it also becomes monolithic and intrinsically indivisible, and therefore implies that at the most fundamental, absolute level the things which exist are all the same thing—that being “existence”. But of course the idea that different things are really the same thing is meaningless folderol…contradiction. So with existence as the metaphysical primary we have a root singularity from which all reality springs which is undefinable, and therefore unknowable, because it precludes existential distinctions between and amongst things, and thus no thing can actually be said to exist at all, in which case existence itself cannot be said to exist. Existence, as the metaphysical primary, becomes nothing, and all of reality with it.

 

Existence is Relative; and Relative Existence is Ability: Why Existence cannot be the metaphysical primary

By what means can causality occur?  Absent interaction between objects, the root of which is action, how can we describe causality in the first place?  Without action, what is a cause?  It is nothing.  And without action, what is an effect?  It is nothing.

Is not cause-and-effect interaction rooted in the existence of the object of the cause—the thing which causes—and the object of the effect—the thing which is caused upon?  Perhaps we can argue this, but not without the premise that the existence of the objects interacting is necessarily bound by relativity. That is, there is no cause and/or effect absent, not existence, but relative existence. Said another way, not existence, but relativity.

Allow me to state that in a slightly modified way.

I can admit that each object in the cause and effect equation must “exist” in some sense a priori to the cause and effect interaction—otherwise it can be said that there is nothing which causes, and nothing which is caused upon. Yet also what must be true is that cause and effect is a relative relationship.  That is, the object which is being caused upon and the object which is doing the causing must be relatively considered (from the point of view of the observer). Without relativity, a distinction cannot be made between that which causes and that which is caused upon.  And if this distinction cannot be made then by what rational proof can we claim that existence is the metaphysical primary?  If we cannot make relative cause and effect distinctions between objects, because relativity between objects which co-exist is not necessarily implied (by the metaphysical primary of existence) then how can we describe reality at all?

What I mean is that if all objects are fundamentally in a vacuum of their own static existence qua existence, then interaction is not really possible.  And if interaction is not possible then relative distinctions cannot be made and thus the whole of objective reality cannot possibly be defined.

Without interaction action is irrelevant.  That is, without the interaction of objects then ANY object action, in and of, and to and from itself is not only meaningless but impossible. Interaction—that is, relativity—is the foundation of reality.  Relativity is interaction, rooted in object action…and even deeper, the object’s ability to act. Without ability and action as metaphysical prerequisites, existence does not and cannot actually mean existing.

In summary:

Relative existence, or relativity, not mere existence, underlies cause-and-effect; and cause-and-effect is interaction; and interaction is action. Existence alone, certainly existence as the metaphysical primary, fits nowhere into this equation.  Existence, by itself, is not relative and does not imply relativity, and thus is not active, and thus does not do anything, which means it does not actually exist.  For if it did exist—if it did DO existence—then it would be able to exist, which means it would be active, which means it would be relative. Because to act non-relatively to another object is an impossible definition of action. A thing cannot act in an absolute vacuum of itself, because in such a case it cannot be said to move anywhere…to go, or shift, or change.  All of these things can only be done relative to the position of something else.

If existence does exist, then it is able to exist which means it is active which means it is relative. And relativity is object interaction, thereby making the ability to act a prerequisite of an object’s existence.  Existence then, alone, is simply not the metaphysical primary. For existence to be efficacious it must be active. And active existence demands that the metaphysical primary is ability, which then implies relativity.

The Point of Law is to Eradicate Moral Consequence, Not Enforce it (PART THREE)

In the world today, collectivist metaphysics are a philosophical juggernaut, with virtually every school of thought, field of study, and religion in the world, including and perhaps especially the “hard sciences”, conceding these metaphysics as a priori, whether they are consciously aware of it or not.  Which, they usually are not because…well, who needs philosophy when you’ve got math, right?  Numbers beat reason every time.

Hmmm.  To that I’d say: numbers are units of infinity, nothing more.  So be careful.  It’s easy to replace truth with abstraction when the abstraction you’re working with is designed to be rendered an infinite number of ways.  Give me infinity to work with, and I can come up with anything…by definition.  And thus, for mathematics to be in any way reasonable and relevant on the level of arrant and object reality, we must hem them in by rational consistency.  That is, by truth. That is, by understanding what is rationally possible and what is not, and from this, what is actually good and what is actually not.  And truth is a function of philosophy.  Period.

Anyway…

By the collectivist metaphysical premises which underly practically all subjects it seems, and along with these subjects society at large, the denizens of society seek to eradicate the “illegitimate” and “invalid” moral consequences of an “illegitimate” ethic.  Which is to say, of morality, as opposed to legality.  And thus the metaphysic in which this ethic is rooted, the Individual (I, the Self) is marked for death, figuratively unto literally, by “the people” demanding that the government nullify moral consequence through the power of Law, which government wields alone, as the One, True Authority.

To put it much more bluntly, people who have conceded the collectivist ideals of all the “truths” upon which a collectivist society is based will appeal to the State to use its giant hammer of coercive monopolistic brut force to pound into a bloody mash the individual freedoms of everyone in response to the unwanted moral consequences brought about by the choices of the evil or irresponsible.  In a society ruled by Law, and not morality, everyone is a sinner.  Everyone is guilty for the sins of everyone else.  And this is because under Law, there are no individuals, and this due to the collectivist metaphysics which imply legal ethics.  Man as an individual is insufficient—morally, intellectually, existentially—and thus the failure of some men (criminals) is merely the reflection of the failure of all men; so how can the Law treat those who commit no crime as innocent?  All individuals are merely latent criminals, which is why the Law is declared necessary in the first place.  The innocents therefore are punished for the crimes of the guilty, and this is how we think justice is done and how humanity is protected.  By using the State to destroy the distinction between the good and the evil, the innocent and the guilty, the responsible and the deadbeat, the giver and the taker, the host and the parasite, we wreck the individual at the point of his very metaphyscial reality, and by this we think we can eliminate his curse—his natural ethical failure, due to the choices he makes as an individual.  We take guns away from the non-violent; fossil fuels away from good stewards; money away from the generous; tobacco and other “vices” away from the moderate; and force licenses to ply trades upon the honest and compassionate; and so on.  We do this thinking we are protecting the innocent public, while all we are really doing is punishing the innocent for being individuals.

It need not be said that this never, ever works in the long run.  Appeals to the Law as a panacea for social ills merely enlarges the State, which like a gravity well draws to it every sadist, narcissist, and greed-monger who has the means and intelligence to get there, and heaps exponential misery upon the nation, compounding the very moral atrocities it claims to alleviate.  Without a shred of irony this farce continues, day in and day out, election cycle after election cycle, and no one seems to notice.  It’s shocking.

To remediate unwanted moral consequences, we, the lemmings of collectivist ideology, appeal to government violence—the use of state force to compel obedience through death and threats of death—to fix and prevent the fallout of poor moral choices…to clean up the messes left by individuals who have committed specific immoral acts.  Instead of encouraging better choices through a saturation of society with rational philosophy, we, without a hint of irony, appeal to the monumentally immoral act of using violence to force the innocent to comply with legal regulations which are deemed a collective necessity due to the immoral actions of some. In short, we use the law to burden the innocent for the crimes of the guilty.  This is not only irrational, it is an object evil.

As I have said, this will never work because to apply legal solutions to moral problems denies the real and root truth of the individual.  The individual is truth, the collective is a lie, metaphysically speaking.  Which means, when we are talking about the fundamentals of human existence, the individual is that from which reality flows.

The Law seeks to regulate the choice out of reality by using regulation to compel obedience, which is the antipode of choice with respect to root ethics.  But choice is actual reality, because the individual, not the collective, is what is real.  The individual is concrete; the collective, abstract.  To attempt to subordinate the concrete to the abstract is at best hope over reason.  To attempt to solve ethical problems by destroying that by which ethics has any meaning in the first place—namely, the individual—is the mere substitution of soundness for madness.  And this only ever multiplies and compounds unwanted ethical consequences.  It sews misery among the populace, it doesn’t resolve it.  Further, the implimention of an irrational ethic like legality is, itself, patently unethical, because it is immoral.  And it shouldn’t have to be said that you cannot solve or prevent immorality by appealing to immorality.  Yet, this is precisely what the Law is.

Replacing morality with legality destroys and brings abject misery to humanity for the simple reason that collectivism is a lie by virtue of it being a metaphysical contradiction. That is, it defies reality.  And there is no power in the universe which can change reality.  This is because power is, itself, real, and therefore can only ever confirm reality.  Even if that confirmation comes in the form of a Roman cross, a guillotine, a killing field, a concentration camp, a gulag, mass starvation, or a mushroom cloud.

END PART THREE