Man simply CANNOT function off of mutually exclusive presumptions. Leading your cart with a philosophy that has no reconcilable definitions/assumptions/and by extension conclusions–and thus no meaning, and thus no relevance TO life because its ideas contradiction themselves–WILL never bring peace because peace preserves life. And life, of course, without a rational standard by which to know it objectively so that it can be pursued efficaciously is impossible to affirm. A philosophy, a “world view”, a “faith”, a revelation which can by no means be rationally married to the individual life’s inexorable and singular frame of reference/context (that is, the context of his SELF, NOW) MUST be antithetical to life, because life is only efficaciously and objectively pursued when it is understood to be a direct relationship between a standard of all TRUTH–which must and can only be man’s SELF, NOW, in this material context– and concepts and actions which move in DIRECT service to that standard. Without an objective standard of TRUTH, which is LIFE of SELF, NOW, concepts and actions are ships with no rudder, and no anchor by which to stop and contemplate where they are going. They float around aimlessly until they inevitably crash and burn and sink, without purpose and without meaning. There is no reaching the shore, or anywhere else, because the shore does not exist. The ships have literally no where to go, because there is no definable objective. The ships have no where to go because they have no idea why in the fuck they are there in the first place. So they go nowhere except, eventually, straight to the bottom.
This denial of the standard of TRUTH being man’s individual SELF, NOW, in this material context is a problem because human beings are wholly conceptual agents. It is our ability to conceptualize the SELF of our individual person as opposed to the OTHER of our environment and other people which allows us to define not only what LIFE is objectively (as the SELF) but to then conceptualize what we observe in order to organize it in service to our LIFE. It is this ability to “see” beyond ourselves via abstract concepts (up, down, left, right, hard, soft, fast, slow, here, there, cold, hot, direct, circular, black, blue, time, space, distance, stick, ball, chair, house, fort, wall, stab, slash, weak, soft, etc., etc) which puts man at the top of the food chain. By giving man choice…thus man possesses the unique ability to act in the the most efficacious way possibly in service to his life. When confronting the angry lion he can make the distinction between “fight” and “flee”, and then CHOOSE which of those concepts to follow at the moment…which offers him the best way to preserve his life. An animal cannot make this distinction. An animal cannot organize its environment by separating “SELF” from “OTHER”. An animal may instinctively pursue its own life, but it cannot conceptualize it or the environment in order to volitionally pursue the best option for living at any given moment. If the environment does not happen to possess readily a means for the instinctive animal to live, it will die. It will not cross its mind to consider altering the environment in service to its life. Either the environment is conducive to life or it is not. Now, certainly a bird can fly south for the winter, but its ability to fly is its tool for living, not its ability to conceptualize. It will move to warmer weather, but it cannot build a fire so that it does not have to move. It cannot build a shelter by which to keep the cold air out. For the animal, the environment controls behavior categorically. It will never alter its behavior to serve a SELF in the conceptual sense. Meaning, it cannot fundamentally change its “nature” to pursue its own life. A beaver will build its dam so long as their is material to do so, but it will never decide to NOT build a dam when there is no material and seek to make use of some other means of shelter. A squirrel will climb things as long as there are things to climb. But it will never decide not to climb things because there is a better, more efficient way to pursue its life. Again, the environment ALWAYS is the direct dictator of how an animal acts. Animals always act linearly. There is never any distinction made between the SELF and anything else, so that the SELF can be pursued in a myriad of ways, even if it means altering the fundamental “nature’ of who the animal is. Birds don’t all of a sudden start to walk around on the ground because it is more conducive to their SELF. If a bird cannot fly, a bird will eventually, sooner rather than later, die. The bird will not think to make a fortress, and live in that fortress, and organize its life in a new way using the fortress as the new primary means of survival, against its natural tendency, in order to live. (Yes, I understand that birds do not have opposable thumbs, but this is not strictly a matter of physical ability. On the contrary, the primary limitation of animals, and why man rules over them categorically, is cognitive. A bird would not need opposable thumbs to say, build a nest which was surround by sides and a roof, and to stuff the holes with mud, and to pluck its own feathers to make a downy interior. Or to pick up a sharp stick in its beak and stab the cat with it. It doesn’t do this because it doesn’t think to do this, because it does not conceptualize.)
A little side note: Now, when I say man can “change his nature” I do not mean that man’s SELF changes. What I mean is that man’s ability to conceptualize SELF means that man can be a tree dweller, or a desert dweller, or a tundra dweller…he can change his actions in service to life, even if it means not playing to his inherent physical attributes.
But man does not in any way think like an animal, I submit. Man acts in service to SELF, not to the environment. The environment may dictate what choices man makes, but it will not alter the standard of the conceptualized SELF as the motive for what man does and why he does it.
The power of choice is a direct function of the power to conceptually abstract. But all choice must be in service to something–for no choice is an end to itself–and the only logical something is mans’ LIFE. And further, there is no such thing as any rational nor efficacious pursuit of choice in service to death. That is called insanity.
And it is also called “Christian Orthodoxy” and “sound doctrine”.
When the conceptual abstractions man devises in order to pursue his life are contradictorily divorced from the singularity of man’s material SELF, then they must demand man’s death. If they are divorced from man’s brain, they become absolute and infinite. Instead of promoting man, they demand his death in service to their infinity. Instead of serving man, they seek to destroy him, seeing him as nothing more than an imperfect limitation on the perfect infinity of the abstract concept which, in a vacuum of itself, cannot co-exist with man or God or anything else. This is axiomatic. The abstract concept of “blue”, divorced from a material (physical) and finite object by which to give it a value by which it can be observed, known, and integrated into man’s LIFE, and pressed into man’s service, must be infinite. Meaning, the concept is the end and beginning of itself. It has no definition and no relevancy beyond itself. “Blue IS” is the only definition of the concept of “blue” absent a material THING.
You see, if our life, our SELF, no longer is the standard, because we have decided that the standard of TRUTH, which should be the SELF, is now utterly outside ourselves, then all the concepts we create which are suppose to affirm and propagate the SELF go to serve whatever we decide is the standard of TRUTH outside of us. The problem with that is that any standard outside of the SELF is by definition not only infinite, but by logical extension, categorically unknowable. What is infinite cannot be observed, axiomatically. And if it cannot be observed it cannot be defined, known, or limited
Now, for those of you who are raising your hands in protest, remember, that which you concede you don’t know is a direct function of your ability to observe what you observe and thus DO know. In other words, there is no such thing as what we don’t know…for what we don’t know is a conceptual abstraction; it does not actually exist. We make conjectures about what we don’t know, again, by directly observing what we do.
At any rate, when our concepts are not conceded to be direct extensions of our physical SELVES, NOW, then they are divorced from man entirely. Thus, our concepts go to serve some phantom in the sky (because if we cannot set the standard of TRUTH as SELF, then we have no rational frame of reference to actually define anything, much less God) or some other concept/abstraction, neither of which has anything relevant to do with us (because, again, it is wholly outside our existential frame of reference: the human SELF). The logical conclusion then of this kind of thinking is that our concepts are not supposed to serve our SELF, but they go to serve something NOT us. Which means that our concepts go to serve our death, no longer our life. We exist to DIE, is the point. And notice that in Calvinism, just like every other bastard son of Plato, man’s DEATH is the greatest moral good he can do. Deny yourself, sacrifice your life, your money, your property…reject reason, reject emotions and your own understanding of right and wrong. All your ideas are steeped in depravity, making it impossible for you to make any kind of right judgement; reject your own conscience in service to that which you are utterly incapable of grasping because it is wholly outside of you. Look at the cross, cross, cross…and never move beyond it because the death of man, the destruction of life, is the panacea for all of life’s ills and sins.
And that is what Calvinism is. A cult of death, as John Immel rightly and poignantly concludes. We never move beyond the cross and neither does God. Jesus is nailed there as a constant reminder of what is demanded of you: your very existence. It is gone, from the womb to eternity. Whether you think so or not, YOU were dead (i.e. not YOU) when you got here and you will be dead when you leave. There is no overcoming death in Calvinism, there is only its wholesale worship. Even after you are saved, notice your free will is still utterly null and void. You are still a product of evil; all your good deeds as a Christian are not really of you, they are of God. Whatever you earned, no matter how hard you worked or how many hours you put it, you don’t deserve. It doesn’t belong to you; it’s all God’s (how many times have you heard that tidbit of rational rape). You can work until your back hurts and still you don’t deserve what you earned.
How is this possible?
Because there is no you. You ARE evil…you don’t just CHOOSE evil. And as such, there is no YOU at all. Thus anything “good” you receive, insofar as you are able to define a “good thing” (you aren’t), must by logical extension be purely God’s grace. You can’t deserve anything or earn anything no matter how hard you work because you are not really the human you, the SELF, you are the conceptual abstraction of EVIL.
And you are right. When you think about it, none of this makes any fucking sense at all.
You obey, but it doesn’t matter. Why? Because your life doesn’t matter. In Christ you are dead, just as you were before, except that now the contradiction becomes “divinely ordained”; a product of your “election”. Unsaved your death is punished. Saved your death is rewarded. The same depraved self, the same definition of moral perfection: death. The only thing that changes is now hell is redefined as heaven; it is purely a matter of word swapping. What each one actually IS, doesn’t change, because the meanings of “heaven” and “hell” are irrelevant to a SELF which does not actually exist to know them. You cannot ever rationally make a distinction between heave and hell because you do not exist as a free agent who can actively observe his/her life and universe, make moral and epistemological judgments and pursue them. And as such, you have no ability to really know anything because you cannot define SELF. You are first depravity incarnate, and now in Christ you are morality incarnate. Both are forces which possess your body, but exclude your mind…somehow (again, its all bullshit). For this type of person, any distinction between heaven and hell is immaterial because there is no YOU to understand the difference anyway.
I want to hammer, hammer, hammer down this point. In Calvinism/Reformation theology (and collectivism/communism, scientific determinism, socialism, fascism, Platonism, gnosticism, Kantianism, etc., etc.), there is no way to define YOU. You are utterly removed from any metaphysical and epistemological equation.
And that is why it is all, by definition, a lie. YOU are the only rational objective singularity in your existence. Therefore, any idea which denies this must be a total lie. Period. Full stop. There is no such thing as a philosophy which does not start with the individual existence of the human SELF.
Here is how they bullshit their way around it:
The utter contradiction in Reformed theology, which exists like a cancerous leaven in essentially every doctrine and every orthodoxy of Christianity in the world today, is that you are dualistic in your existence. There is an infinite schism in man’s metaphysic. He both is and is not. He knows and knows not. He can choose and not choose. He is evil and he is good. He has distinct body and distinct spirit, which are each complete. He is finite and infinite.
Man is not one; he is a a function of two essences which are mutually exclusive. This is the metaphysical assumption of Christianity in our day. And therefore contradiction is and must always be the root of our “faith” and our theology, and thus our philosophy. There is no such thing as a rationally founded or a rationally conclusive philosophy which can proceed from a metaphysical dualism; from a severed SELF. Ever the two parts of man will contradict…and this is why Christianity is more a force of human destruction today; and it is a world view the likes of which are not actually philosophically discernible from communism/collectivism, fascism, Islamism, atheism, determinism, mysticism, gnosticism, Platonism, and the political theory which drives and has driven every two bit dictator in the world. Tyranny and naked despotism is Christianity’s handmaiden, and it all goes back to the inconsistency of its Platonist ideas.
Man never gets to be what he is NOW, in this life, in this body, observing what he sees NOW and judging it and organizing it with respect to how it affirms his moral goodness and right to live and be NOW. And this is why Christianity in general will continue to be a destructive force in the world, loving death and power more than it loves God or His children, or Christ and His salvation. It will continue to worship man’s death and pursue it as the means to spiritual perfection.
And even worse is the marriage between a philosophy of death and the love of money. They go hand in hand. The death-is-life business is very profitable. If you convince people that they don’t matter, then you can easily convince them that what they have and what they do doesn’t matter.
Now…are you connecting the dots? Are you seeing why the ecclesiastical “authority” is so invested in Calvinism? Convince people to fear and hate themSELVES and they will fear and hate WHAT THEY OWN…and give it to you. And that is the big motherfucking point of it all. They don’t give a shit about people, but they sure as hell want to get their paws on the cheddar people own.
It is a long and very old story, going back to the beginning of time…to the seeds of evil. If you can successfully separate people from who they are, then you can very easily separate them from the property they possess.
Works every time, too. Church is a gooooooooood fucking business. And from the looks of things, it will continue to be.