I wasn’t going to skip down this yellow brick road of Judaism vs. Christianity (more properly, Platonist gnosticism/Kantian collectivism vs. Christianity), but this topic is too important to back-burner, I suppose. The truth is, the thrust of my metaphysics (and physics) and epistemology hinges upon my assertions in this matter. It is good for me to fine tune my argument…for I utterly accept the efficacy and reason of my beliefs; but organizing the thoughts into words takes practice, and that is what debate is.
After all, philosophers don’t avoid philosophizing any more than Angus Young avoids rocking.
And debate is also about being right according to logically reconcilable ideas. As such, both sides cannot be true. One side is reasonable, one is not. If James is reasonable, then Christ would indeed be superfluous, and likely, the swansong of all historic farces. The problem is that Jame’s ideas are rooted in Gnosticism…the very thing he accuses me and Calvinists of, ironically (and in only one of these is he actually right). And this–Jame’s idea– is nothing more than the assertion: TRUTH is only found outside of man. Man is either the source of TRUTH or he is a slave/sacrifice to it, which makes his entire existence irrelevant. I know this is hard for people to accept, but after thousands of years of Platonist conditioning, peoples’ brains are simply not wired to see the obvious anymore. Like I said, try to find one physicists who declares that the “vacuum” (nothing”) doesn’t actually exist as “something”. Even our science is rooted in impossible Platonist ideas.
And yet, science “works”…from a certain point of view. And that is why these ideas are so wily, and so alluring. They “work”…in a manner of speaking. They satisfy. For a while. But we won’t get into that cluttered closet yet.
So, James is not right, and I maintain my previous assertion: Either the Law culminates in its obvious conclusion: Jesus Christ as the final chapter in the saga of Man AS GOOD (and in this, in a manner of speaking I actually agree with the “historical redemptive hermeneutic”…but not in service to the tyranny the Calvinists crave, and not really by the same interpretive premises); or, man must be mass murdered in favor of the Law’s inexorable, infallible “TRUTH”.
There is no other option, regardless of how anyone wants to qualify their “logic”. There is NO other actual logic available. There is no “agree to disagree”. Either man dies so that TRUTH can be revealed as utterly and perfectly true, and it is no longer necessary to inevitably apply it in the context of totally depraved man’s individual life, or man IS truth.
Any other notion is nothing more than a glorious and stupefying example of hope over reason.
Here is Jame’s latest comment. A typical knee-jerk product of Platonist western thinking. Unable to separate the illusions of truth for the real thing–of abstractions from the physical universe–we all, via Jame’s latest arguments and accusations–all move one step closer to the “collective” as the central rule of the barbarian masses. For if abstractions like “law” are THE source of their own “truth” (people like Jame’s pretend to say God is the source of the Law, but this turns God into nothing more than your run of the mill Consciousness Prime), then there is only one absolute truth: Marx’s Utopian Workers Paradise. Otherwise known as the the destruction of the individual; otherwise know as the singularity of Platonist logic: man is destroyed as a means of reconciling himself to the ineffable TRUTH which cannot be “perfect” by definition as long as it must suffer communion with the total depravity of human beings.
And so I declare that if I am an atheist, as James accuses, then James is a rank communist.
Here is his comment:
As I see it )and Argo seems to explicitly argue it this way) existentialism is nothing but the secularization of justification by faith alone into justification by existence alone.
So in Argo’s Sept 15th post “Man as the Singularity of Moral Truth: Another defense of Christ” he says at the end “Man’s existence is the key to his perfection, and that is why the temple curtain was torn in two. There is no more sanctification; there is no more justification necessary for man.”
No justification needed. No sanctification needed. That’s what Argo said.
Why? Because the moronic doctrine of Paul “justification by faith alone” and the moronic doctrine of the Calvinists “sanctification by faith alone” has been secularized in existentialism into justification and sanctification by existence alone.
Argue all you want that Jesus would have approved of this, but he certainly not have.
This secularization of the two most moronic doctrines ever contrived is responsibly for the total meltdown of society. In reality, despite teaching it in a putitively theistic way and making assertions about a determinist god, this is precisely what Calvinists actually believe. By buying into this secularization of their whole scheme, Argo is becoming a Calvinist, just a more secular one.
And if its true that you really believe we are both justified and sanctified by mere existence, then you really are nothing but an atheist pretending to theism exactly like the Calvinists.
And here is my response:
The debate about God’s existence is not one of morality. This is a common mistake Christians make…and why they lose constantly in the face of learned atheists. For the assertion that morality cannot exist without God is an assertion that Ayn Rand decisively vanguished in her philosophy of Objectivism. It is really a red herring that Christians constantly fall for…it isn’t the point, and never was, and a lot of atheists know this, which is why they pounce on the nonsense that man cannot declare value without God. It is akin to the maddening and ludicrous argument made by reformation Christians who don’t like to think: “I can’t debate with you because my truth cannot be learned…God must give it to you. So the only way you can understand me is if you agree that I’m right FIRST.”
Oh. Good. Fucking. Grief.
No wonder we are laughed out of government and schools.
For what is morality? Morality is nothing more than the choice of one thing over another in service to the abstraction of “good and evil”. In other words, morality is simply a value judgment. Who makes the choice? Man makes the choice…for otherwise, you are a determinist and YOU cannot exist in your own existential construct. For if man doesn’t make the choice, something else is making the choice for him. And since life is observed by choice, where do we see man?
That’s right. Nowhere.
But if it is man making the choice based on what he observes to have some kind of value, then morality is nothing more than the utterly logical notion that THINGS have VALUE. Big whoop. Yes, any atheist can see this. By your definition a Jew can be an atheist. Who needs God when we have the Law. If the Law is the source of TRUTH…of categorical moral value, then what does God have to do with anything? The Law, not the SELF, becomes the source of itself.
James, your need to re-evaluate your arguments. You even said yourself that God still blessed Israel even when they failed to uphold the Law perfectly. If the Law IS truth, then how can this possibly be? The only answer is that the Law is NOT the source of ultimate moral value. Man is. But you prefer to argue out of both sides of your mouth…to have your metaphysical cake and eat it to. And you accuse me of being a Calvinist. That’s a hardy har har.
The distinction is not then in what “law” we “follow”, for law by definition is an abstraction…an idea of values that MAN decides is true or not, based on what? Well, based on whatever MAN affirms as having the highest value. But what man constantly misses is that the only thing that can have value objective value (value that is not ultimately an illusion OUTSIDE of man, like the Law) is that which actually exists as THE source of all truth. The source of all truth is not God, the SOURCE of all truth is man. Man becomes the plumb line for value then, because only man is in a position to SEE value in a way that drives choice; that drives “law”.
The argument about God is an argument involving how the SELF can exist if it is, at its root, infinite (and this is something I’ve not gone into on the blog). If we argue that self cannot exist without God, then obviously, the perpetuation of the SELF (which then by extension must be that which is of the greatest and only objective moral value) becomes GOD’S purpose for man by definition.
In other words, If God is the sustainer of the SELF, then the SELF must BE VALUE by direct divine decree.
So James, you can jump up and down and foam at the mouth and froth and beat the air and scream and yell and use the “f” word and sing Camptown Races in racy French, but the fact of the matter is that all truth of any kind, be it a natural physical “law” or moral truth is a direct function of SELF, man, and whatever other physical object can be observed to exist…but again, only by man’s direct and conscious observation. There is simply no way to get around this fact. You can rant and rave and heave and ho and spit and shake, but your frustration I suspect is little more than realizing that this is an axiom that is unavoidable. If YOU claim to have a truth, then YOU must be the source of it…otherwise, you are a determinist for one, and also you concede NON-EXSTENCE is the source of “your” truth. Period. This is obviously rank fallacy…at least if any kind of thinking even approximating reason is your guide.
If truth and meaning is “bestowed” upon you, then you have destroyed all metaphysical and existential distinctions between yourself and whatever “force” of “truth” has seen fit to give you the “grace to perceive” (whatever the hell that means, because you can’t exist…you can’t know what is GIVEN to you to know, not as a function of yourself, but of something outside you). And given to you to perceive based on whatever arbitrary reason that you can’t possibly understand, because again, there is no you.
And finally, this goes in the last paragraph, because you read backwards (boy, do you ever): If calling me names like “secular”, or “atheist”, or “existentialist” makes you feel better about your own irrational argument, go for it. The fact is that none of my ideas work without God. Your accusations could not be more false or backwards if you uttered them standing on your head in front of a mirror.