Monthly Archives: January 2014

(Part two) “Omnipotence” and “Omniscience”–God possesses neither: Another failure of Reformed determinism

Why do we assume that God must know everything and do everything in order to be God?

Think beyond the canned responses of our severely conditioned (read: diligently propagandized and brainwashed) fellow Christians…responses that are really non-answers, meant to curtail humanity’s natural tendency to organize the world into reconcilable assumptions.  Meant to curtain man’s reason.   The very thing upon which man’s life utterly depends.

Let’s look at the idea of the conditioned, orthodox Christian.

Why it is that Christians for the most part are only willing to take their thoughts so far?   It seems as though they are outright fucking terrified to think through their doctrinal conclusions because I contend they realize that ultimately the doctrine implodes under the weight of its own contradictions. Thus, they ALWAYS revert back to the standard playbook of orthodoxy, no matter how often the horror of that particular belief system smacks them in the face with its cold, dead hands.  If the discernment blogs have taught us anything, it is that Christians can be abused to the point of physical and psychological damage, sometimes destroying the entire scope of their lives, and yet will recoil in rage and panic and hysterics at anyone who dares to question their traditional understanding of God and His church.

This is the conditioned Christian.  This is the Christian who has been afflicted with doctrinal Stockholm Syndrome.  The spirit is destroyed, and yet the obligatory answers and slavish devotion to the tyranny of their gnostic ideas remain.  They are satisfied that the very perfunctory doctrinal posits which have ruined their lives are sufficient for bringing peace to them; for healing and soothing, as though ideas which are purposefully designed to destroy and nothing else, are equally efficacious for life and happiness.

But this is what they have been taught…this is all they know.  And, like a dog to his vomit, it is to this they will return.  Because, unless you  make it a point to specifically address doctrine; to specifically reject the canned answers from the the “orthodox” feed bag which hasn’t been filled with anything new for literally thousands and thousands of years, then you are doomed to walk right back into the same meat grinder which just spit you out like so much psychological sausage.

Exhibit A of this trend, this revolving door of Reformed orthodoxy, is the discernment blog, http://www.wartburgwatch.com. Here you will see first hand the abused storm out of the edifice of “sound doctrine”, do a little dance, throw a little tantrum, call CJ Mahaney a bunch of appropriately pejorative names, spit on the side walk and then…brush themselves off, straighten their ties and corsets, and walk right back inside, full of stoic resolve, where Wade Burleson and his wonderful hair are holding the door open for you.

The catalyst for this irrational behavior is the refusal to question the doctrine.  Why?  Because the doctrine is not based on reason, you see…for that is precisely how they define “God-breathed” and “inspired”.  These terms mean, specifically: NOT according to man’s epistemological capacity…meaning that what YOU think is true is irrelevant (i.e. NOT true, by definition).  They mean that you never really get to say whether you concede their–that is, the Priests in the Stead–interpretive premises or not.  Your existence doesn’t matter, because you are wholly inadequate to understand what is ultimately the product of an omnipotent Being who transcends everything about you; because He is infinite and you are finite, and there is no way to logically, ever, reconcile these two metaphysical positions.  What is INFINITE can ultimately, and again by utter definition, have nothing whatsoever to do in any actual way with what is finite.  That’s pure logic…Reason 101 stuff.  How do you reconcile that which is endless to anything else? You don’t…because you can’t.  Because any coupling of infinity with anything else automatically contradicts infinity.  If it isn’t everything, then it isn’t infinite.  And that’s why God is not “omnipotent”.

I will get to that point in more depth in a moment.

The philosophy of their thinking, and all their interpretive premises, and all of the roots of their “sound doctrine” have nothing to do with you YOU insofar as you ability or outright need, for the sake of rank survival, to rationally organize and integrate what your senses absorb.  Ultimately, all “real” truth is wholly revealed by God, completely outside of man’s existential or epistemological essence.  In short, man has nothing to do with truth, so what you think or feel or understand or notice is entirely irrelevant.  Your comprehension of things which define your SELF and your environment and your life are categorically usurped on every level, right down to your very essence and existence, by a God who can do and know everything.

Hmm…

I’m starting so see why “omnipotence” and “omniscient” are such useful tools in the belt and harness of the spiritual despot.

And this leads us to another absolutely necessary tool of the successful tyrant:  Propaganda in the form of a systematic theology.  Present a codified, cohesive framework from which to address all of the concerns of the critics and detractors.  The answers do not have to be rational, they just have to smartly appeal to a source of “intelligence”–a source of “revealed knowledge”–that transcends the mind, on the metaphysical level, of the inquisitor.  That is the key.  Present a systematic philosophy which has the ring of intellectual fortitude and then root it ALL in the appeal to divine “wisdom”.  This satisfies even the most analytical among us.  The rigorous philosophical system allows the tyrant to appease the learned concerns of the more intellectual classes…assuaging fears by assuring people that their concerns have been thoroughly vetted by and integrated into the construct.  For the concerns the construct cannot address, because the logical conclusions are ALWAYS contradictory (and the “authority” knows this if they are worth their salt as respectable tyrants) it claims divine mandate of “truth” as its bulwark.  The discerning citizen is thus comforted by the nod to the intellectual cohesiveness the philosophy presents, and is further and most importantly comforted by the fact that it–as the propagandists will readily and willingly concede–doesn’t have all the answers.  And why do they take comfort in this?  Because it appeals to their inherent sense of superiority, I submit.  It appeals to their insatiable desire to have and lord TRUTH over everyone else…to prove that they indeed have been grafted into the divine wisdom; which is, after all, that which gives credence to the sum and substance to their own assumed intellectual pedestal.   I mean, what good would a “perfect” and “perfectly revealed” philosophy of God be if it had all the answers? Surely there must be some mystery involved.  We serve the Almighty, after all, they say.  We can’t expect to understand everything, right?  God has to reserve some things for Himself…things the “finite” human being isn’t capable of understanding.  And this intricate, beautifully organized and constructed and comprehensive systematic theology is just what the doctor ordered.  A perfect philosophy that leaves the logical conclusions open-ended, allowing for God’s infinite capability to both DO and KNOW everything. 

This naturally gives the mystics a get-out-of-culpability-for-abuse free card.  They can preach their destruction and compel by force and violence, blackmail and intimidation their Will to Power disguised as “spirituality”, and then when the shit hits the fan and some disgruntled and “prideful” layperson refuses to be placated any longer by the usual appeals to the “good of the church/state/collective/tribe/monarchy/race/party”, or “God’s will”, or “I was not given the grace to perceive” (thanks, CJ!) because it was his or her daughter that the seventeen-year-old psychopath repeatedly raped in the church bathroom, the spiritual “authorities” can always be absolved by punting the entire fucking systematic philosophy into the great cosmic abyss of God’s mystery.  Obviously God is in control.  Obviously He knows things we don’t know.  Does things we can’t do.  Of course our understanding of the world MUST recede under the mighty corpulence of God’s omniscience and omnipotence.  You must simply trust that only God can really understand, guided in “sound doctrine” (the very doctrine which spawned the abuse) by the skillful hands of His priests…who are the keepers of all of God’s divine mandates.

Think of the power this gives the priests!  They are NEVER accountable for any behavior; for anything they perpetrate upon or demand of the masses over which God proclaims them stewards.  Their systematic theology allows them an almost invincible two-pronged defense, depending on the situation.  They can either appeal to their own fallen, depraved humanity…the “we are all just sinners saved by Grace/but for the grace of God go I” defense; or the “I am the keeper of the keys/God has tasked me with standing in His stead to be God to you” offense.  Truly, it is almost a thing of beauty.

*

Okay, fine.  We understand the usefulness to tyranny of “omniscience” and “omnipotence”, but WHY?  What are the root assumptions which underlie the notions?  What is it about God…what is it about His metaphysical nature, His rote existential being, which drives the belief that He does everything (or “can do” anything, which is the same thing; for you cannot proclaim this without a frame of reference, which is that God, somehow, actually DOES everything), and knows everything?  Hence, my original question:  Why do we assume that if God is to be God, He must be omnipotent and omniscient.

First, we must understand that these two ideas are not mutually exclusive; that they are, in fact, inexorably tied.  It is a simple bridge of logic to say that if God can do anything, and does everything, then He must naturally know everything.  For how can one who does something–that is, organize the environment/reality towards a specific objective– do it without knowing how?  And if God can do anything, and anything then must extend from one edge of the universe to the other, in all dimensions in all times and places, from the greatest to the least, then doing everything must necessitate knowing everything.  For I submit that not even the neo-Calvinists, who declare God capable of doing the impossible (which is a total contradiction in terms, because if it can be done by anyone, its not impossible…but hey, the Bible says it (no, it doesn’t), so it must be true, right) will concede that He can do something whilst at the same time not know about it.  This would naturally contradict their own assertion of omniscience.  And furthermore, strictly speaking, knowing is doing…so, actually, to state that God is both omnipotent and omniscient is rather redundant.  All one really needs to assert is that God is omnipotent.  Omniscience and omnipresence are to be logically assumed from such an assertion.  For if we define omnipotence as the power to do everything and anything, then knowing and being, which are perfunctory extensions of doing, are implied.

But redundancy, irrelevancy, and contradictory logic have never stopped a good neo-Calvinist from blathering on and on every Sunday morning and then some, whilst procuring a handsome salary for doing so.

But here is the real problem in the logic of “omnipotence”, not to mention “omniscience” and “omnipresence”.  The problem is that omniscience and omnipresence are direct functions of omnipotence; that is, they are ACTING as a direct function of God’s ability to DO (act) anything.  But the train of conciliatory thoughts does not stop there.  For omnipotence–the power to do anything–is a direct function of God’s very existence; His very being.  For BEING is DOING. To be.  To be is a verb.  It is the verb.  It is the infinite action of anything which exists; any agent, and any object…it is that object/agent’s very SELF.  So “BEING” itself is the beginning and end of anything which exists.  And therefore God’s ability to DO anything is a direct function of His ability to BE.  And if we proclaim that God can DO anything then this “anything” must extend to the very root, the very core, of God’s existential SELF.

Do you see where I am going here?  Can you connect the dots? Can you follow the bread-crumbs of logic all they way back to the very start, where nothing comes before?  Can you find your way to the edge of the universe…through the trees, to the field, to the sea, and beyond to where eternity goes no further?

What I am saying is that if God can DO anything and indeed DOES everything, and it is from this that he can know everything and be everywhere, then it follows that this must include being what is considered to be NOT God.  In other words, God is not only God but He is all that is NOT God, as well.  Which means that if God can do everything this must include the ability to BE everything; for his power of omnipotence stems from His being. BEING everything is the source of God’s omnipotence.

So if God is omnipotent then God is everything which exists.  For the ability to DO stems from His ability to BE.  And so if God can do literally EVERYTHING, then His being, from which His doing proceeds, must extend to the very existential root of Creation.  Which means that Creation doesn’t really exist.  It is all God.  There is nothing which isn’t God.

I say that God is not omnipotent, because I declare that God cannot BE what He is NOT, which means then by definition that He cannot DO everything or KNOW everything, since DOING and KNOWING extends inexorably from the infinite BEING of anything which exists.  And by that I proclaim the free will of man to relate to and define God; and I proclaim the free will of the devil and his angels, and I proclaim that it is this which allows for God to absolutely and justly judge them and condemn them. And so I am declared an apostate and a heretic…worthy of death of the most barbaric kind; and in the dark ages of the hell of Reformed history I’d be guillotined at sundown after a five minute kangaroo court at best, surrounded by a crowd of feces and spit hurling hoards.

And yet declaring that there is no metaphysical distinction between God and His “fallen” and “totally depraved” Creation, thus making God the author and essence of those who engage of the worst kinds of sin and evil–abuse, theft, lying and deceit, rape and murder, child exploitation, rank barbarity, blood lust, and idol worship–is given a pass by the mystic overlords and their fawning crowds in the name of “sound doctrine”.

The hypocrisy does not go unnoticed by the Divine.  Calvinists and Reformers, collectivists and moral equivocators, I can assure you of this.

Stay tuned for part three.

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“Omniscience” and “Omnipotence”–God possesses neither: Another failure of Reformed determinism (Part One)

In the comments thread of the last article, commenter “Lydia” shared a video of George C. Scott explaining (in character…it’s a movie clip) what Calvin’s TULIP acronym means.

I had seen this clip before and thought it totally egregious (naturally)…for the fact remains that there is nary a shred of truth to ANY point of TULIP whatsoever.  It is a complete farce from front to back.  But something else caught my attention this time.  I started replying to Lydia, and, as often happens, by the time I finished there was too much information for a comment.  But a perfect amount, as it turns out, for a new post.

What caught my attention was a reference George C. makes to God’s “omniscience”.  God’s “knowing everything…that’s why He’s God”.  Since you all likely–by now–understand my categorical aversion to and rejection of determinism in any form or under any label, no matter how pretentious, I couldn’t help myself from railing once again at this most egregious of theological posits…and unfortunately, one of the most universally accepted.  For try as I might, I cannot seem to shake peoples’ assumption that God doesn’t actually have to be “all knowing” and “all powerful” to be God.  And indeed not only is it not a requirement that God be able to do everything and know everything, it is not even possible.  What I mean to say is that the truth is,as usual, the complete opposite of what Reformation theology–in its most devious and destructive manifestation as today’s neo-Calvinism movement–teaches.  That is, if God really is God, then He cannot possibly do anything or know everything, because in order for us to make the assumption that there are agents (like man, for instance) in the universe which are distinct from God–are NOT God–we must assume that there are things then which are given for those agents to do and to know, which if God did and knew them…well, then they wouldn’t actually exist as themselves.  They would merely be manifestations of God, Himself.  If there is a distinction between God and the rest of whatever exists then the rest of whatever exists must do what IT does, which means that God cannot do those things for it; if He did, then they could not be known as metaphysically (nor even physically) distinct from God.  God cannot do everything and anything because God cannot possess what is not Himself.  Which means that whatever the universe does, IT does, not God.

You see?

Maybe?

I’ll explain.

No matter how humble it may sound…no matter how reluctant you are to deny it or to break from it, you MUST understand that ideas like “omniscience” and “omnipotence” are merely euphemisms for God-qua-Determinism.  There is nothing different between God able to know and do everything and the theology of Determinism.  Period.  Full stop. If God is able to know and do everything it must presume that God actually has a direct frame of reference for such an ability, which implies that he actually DOES everything and KNOWS everything; which means that what you and I do, and everything in the universe does, is not really us or the things of the universe doing them, or knowing them (if we are self-aware), it must be God.  Which means again that everything is merely a direct extension of God; which means that nothing else exists, and that everything you or I see or think or do is not really us, but a pre-ordained version of God’s very Self.  Indeed, this is precisely what R.C. Sproul is arguing when he says that God must be in control of every molecule or he is not God.  If God is in control of every molecule, we must assume absolute control…for how is it control otherwise?  If it is only “partial” control, then there is some substance of the created thing which is operating on its own utterly apart from any divine manipulation or sustenance at all.  And I can assure you that this is not what R.C. is conceding.  And even if it was, he would be left with the unanswerable question which utterly undermines his irrational premise which is: where is the line between the SELF of God and the SELF of the object?  If it is not a distinction that man can observe, then man possesses no capacity for assuming that there is any control whatsoever.  Objects are objects which do what they do and know what they know (if the object in question is self-aware, like man); they are NOT God.  Which means that God is not in control of them or their thoughts, which means that there are things that God has no frame of reference for, like BEING an object which He is not; in which case, the assumption that God is “able to to anything” is a lie.  Incidentally–and I know that this doesn’t wash much in the Reformed camp that adheres to “penal substitution” whereby an innocent man is tortured and put to death for a group of totally depraved humans who cannot be held culpable for their sin because it is not a function of choice, but of nature, which makes it not a sin at all, by definition–yes, incidentally, this is why God can reward and punish humanity justly, without being a hypocrite.  He does not proclaim that He is in control (read: possession) of humanity’s thoughts and actions.  Which is why the divine rewards and punishments are actually just.

Here are some waders. Hoist them up high as you can.  The neo-Calvinist, neo-reformed bullshit just keeps getting deeper and deeper as the ticker tape of theological madness and mystic oppression roles on and on with ever fancier propaganda.

My wife says my posts sound angry.

You bet I am.  I’m sick and bloody tired of being lied to by people who think that other humans exist for no other reason than to affirm their own subjective, asinine, irrational assertions about God and the world and everyone else.

Omniscient?

Really?  Well, I submit that Reformation theology is proof that God doesn’t know everything.  If He did, Calvin would have been a milk maid and Luther would have been hit by a bus on the way to post his 95 Theses.  Because Reformation theology removes God as far from His Creation as it does man from himself.

Now, finally, here is my response to Lydia:

Lydia,

Yes.  I’ve seen that before.  What caught my attention this time is…the woman says:  “Then it’s all worked out; it’s fixed.”  And George C. says, “More or less.”

LOL…how could it be “less”?  If God is “omniscient” then everything, certainly not “more or LESS” than everything, would have to be “worked out” by definition.

Why?

Because you of course understand that the implicit reason God knows everything, according to the Calvinist construct, is because He determined everything…which means that everything you think and do and say and feel, and that of everyone else, too, is merely part of the determining force of God’s “omnipotence”–from which his “omniscience” stems.  For the truth is that God cannot “know everything” unless He DID everything, Himself.  Which means that you don’t exist, nor do I, nor anyone else.  Everything is simply a direct extension of God.  And God is likewise an extension of the determining force.  And, incidentally, people always seem to miss that little, but infinitely (literally)  important, extension of the logic.  For even God, if truly everything is determined, must also be determined.  Determinism is absolute…it can have no beginning, by definition; for determinism cannot be a function of that which is NOT determined.  If everything that happens had to happen the way it happened and could not have happened any other way because God absolutely determined it, then God, Himself, must also have been determined to determine those things to happen exactly as they happened.  By definition of determinism, He could not have determined them to happen any other way.  So, again, as we see, even God is a victim of the determinism implicit in TULIP.

It is “all worked out”, as George says in the clip, because it couldn’t be any other way and still be determined so that God can know it ALL perfectly.

And, furthermore, what does “know everything” mean?  What exactly is knowing everything there is to know?

First problem:  human beings have no frame of reference for “knowing everything”.  Therefore, for a human being to claim that God can “know everything” when that human being can never, EVER, by existential definition, be in a position to even define “everything” is  antipodal to rational thought.  How can humans know and define this specific attribute of God when that attribute utterly eludes their apprehension?  The problem is that “everything”, outside of a specific context, which then must exclude “everything” except as a completely conceptual (non-actual), qualifier, cannot be given a set value.  Everything is simply another word for “infinity”, and infinity has no measurable value, by definition.  What is the value of infinity goes the answer-less question.  The value of infinity is infinity…infinity wholly defines itself.  There is no actual value to infinity which man can observe and thus apply efficaciously to his own context…his own existence.  Which gives infinity a practical and functional value of…you guessed it.  ZERO.  Which means that functionally “everything” is really nothing, because everything has no practical nor applicable value with respect to man’s context.  Which, if you are a human being, is the only context that is relevant, not matter what the neo-Reformed say.  They cannot argue their way out of their own existence.  They forfeit the debate as soon as they open their mouths to speak.  Because ALL their speaking and thinking will always and can only ever be from the context of their own SELF.  So they lose immediately.  And we, the rationalists, win.  As usual.  Which is why no one on any discernment blog or physics blog will debate me.  As soon as they concede that everything starts with SELF, they realize they forfeit.  Existence is the inescapable axiom…and yet man has been denying it for years.

(Hence the mad scramble by physicists to find the “God particle”, and now, since they have found it, to scramble to explain it in a way that doesn’t simply lead them further down the inevitable path of the Standard Model, which is infinity; this has been the whole problem with the Standard Model from the very beginning.  And not to sound arrogant, but I could have saved them the trouble and told them that without an external observer (i.e. God) simple logic dictates that all matter must reduce down to an irreconcilable “dimensionless” infinity, which is why scientists spend so much time scratching their heads the further down the path they go.  The realize that the path doesn’t end, and yet when they arrive at a place where it they think it’s supposed to end, but doesn’t, they are absolutely fit to be tied.  They never realize, in the forest of their Platonism, that it is the OBSERVER who mitigates infinity.  For without an agent who is aware of SELF as distinct from OTHER, then OTHER is utterly infinite.  There is no end to that which cannot be observed and realized to be NOT something ELSE.

And this is where atheism also always ends up:  unexplainable infinity, and irrational theories which attempt to reconcile infinity in a way which doesn’t include the only thing which is capable of doing this:  God as a distinct SELF.  And this is also why I reject Objectivism (which is a self-proclaimed atheistic world-view).  For all of Rand’s brilliance–and she was brilliant–her Philosophy winds up down the valueless road of infinity just like everyone else’s.  And so she eventually must concede the very philosophies she rails against.  Her premise is the same, whether she realized it or not:  you start at nothing, and nothing is what you get.  Which means…who cares what philosophy rules men at the end of the day? Man’s very existence cannot be valued against any objective plumb line at all.  And thus you have the weird irony of Objectivism.)

So we blithely proclaim, in our ignorance and false “humility”, in an effort to make ourselves sound so pious, that God knows everything, while at the same time not knowing what that could even possibly mean.

Stay tuned for part two.

“Profanity” as Legitimate Communication and a Nod to the Moral Ideal

“Argo, Something to take or leave. It is your blog. What some might find offensive is the swearing. I know… the message is more important than delivery. Your audience is mostly the churched, I think. You will offend some who might have gone on to inspect your ideas & then approve of them. Also, some parents may want their kids to read your blog for it’s enlightening content, but at the same time not want them to read & implement the cussing. 🙂

You should know by now I value your ideas (and you personally) & think they should be heard. Why include a possible barrier in your writing? You don’t need to use swear words to get your ideas across. I know your audience is adult, but why limit your ideas to them? Why not include kids & teens in your audience? Kids CAN handle it. They actually have a good sense of right & wrong from the get-go.

Just giving you a different perspective, a Mom’s point of view.”

One of the highly esteemed commenters here, A Mom, offered this bit of advice.  A Mom is well known to me as a particularly sage personality, and her quick intellectual uptake and seemingly effortless ability to grasped what most of us would consider very difficult ideas with respect to unraveling the philosophical bloodbath which is Calvinism as it has evolved from metastasized Platonism–and all points in between–is much admired by not only myself but by others I have spoken to offline (see John Immel’s presentations from the 2013 TANC conference for a great review of the “in between”…they can be found at  http://www.spiritualtyranny.com).I will preface this post by saying that it is in no way a personal criticism of A Mom…and I pray and hope she understands this, because she is an absolute treasure of a soul, and her contributions here and on other blogs she frequents are salient and refreshing and beautiful and MUCH, MUCH, MUCH needed in the arena of ideas.

This is a touchy subject, and I am not unaware of it.  I am also not unaware that nothing I say can necessarily make people comfortable inserting, as Spock hilariously called them in Star Trek IV, “colorful metaphors”, into their vernacular.  Further, I am completely aware of the frequency of my use of the naughty words, and the possible offense they might cause even some of my “allies” in this fight against Reformation Theology re Calvinism re Collectivism re Altruism re Pure Irrationalism re raw naked evil.  I understand the apoplexy (not that A Mom is apoplectic, but some are) and confusion as to why I insist on poking the eye of basically every Christian out there, even those scarce few who might actually like me and/or what I have to say.

Is it a throwback to an early childhood trauma, you might ask?  Some strange clinical pathology which dissuades me from a healthy promotion myself and deep down irrationally foments a belief that I deserve to be made the universal pariah; that somehow, God doesn’t want me to be successful in any capacity, and so I routinely and stubbornly engage in self-destructive behavior designed to sabotage what little interest in my blog there is?

Is it because the truth is that I hate the faith; that my victim status as it relates to my time in the SGM spiritual tyranny juggernaut has corrupted my soul, seared my conscience, and relegated me to nothing more than a leprous howler and fist-shaker writhing in oozing misery at the gates of the King, of which so many people on the Wartburg Watch and other blogs have accused me?  Have I now turned Judas and despised the Christian calls for “purity” and “holiness” and have instead made it my goal to corrupt the weak-minded among God’s children; to lure them into a seedy trap of “unwholesome” speech.  To confuse and intimidate God’s “elect” so that they might be given over to the temptation to say “ass” instead of the prime-time television-acceptable “jackass”; or to say “shit” instead of “shoot”, or “hell” instead of “heck”, or “fuck” instead of “frick”…even though we all know that the heart behind these impostors is utterly identical, and further that what the fuss is actually all about is which phonemes we prefer to be produced by the human speech mechanism in service to “civil” communication…phonemes being merely molecular frequency variations as the air in between people is bunched in and out like an accordion in little sine waves as a function of the inverse square law?  Because we understand that it is totally consistent with our Heavenly Father–who declares that He desires mercy and not sacrifice, and that we shall wash the inside of the cup because that is where the real evil crouches–to care not so much about the heart as He does about whether the word is “dick” or “wiener”.

No.  It is for neither of those reasons.

So why so much cussing?  Why am I typing the f-bomb so often that I can barely make out the “f” and the “u” and the “c” and the “k” on my keyboard?

Well…because I LIKE to.

And because, yes, I think that “profanity” communicates my invective and other attitudes and temperaments and intentions quite clearly.  When I want to tell you what I think about Evel Knievel, explaining that he is “fucking awesome” is a much more precise representation of my attitude than simply saying he is “awesome”.  That when I say I hate Reformation theology for the flesh-eating evil it is, the most lucid declaration is that I “fucking hate it” rather than merely hating it.

You may not agree; but I find it hard to equivocate on one’s stance when the qualifier “fucking” is added before an emotional proposition.  It lets you know that there is NO equivocation to be had.  That there can be no doubt that the person who is willing to go so far as to offend genteel Christian sensibilities is completely convinced of his or her position on things.

*

Perhaps I am overcooking it a bit…making way too much of things, or over thinking the issue, which my wife sometimes accuses me of when I go on a binge rant after a particularly offensive neo-Calvinist spectacle at our “local church”…the spectacle cutely called “the morning teaching”.  I like to think of it as a gentler version of a Joseph Goebbels propaganda rally.

But I don’t think so.  After all, language is the only tool we have to communicate ideas, and I look at the communication and defense of ideas as the only efficacious weapon to be had against the onslaught of group-think socialist tyranny…that stark cliff upon which this nation teeters so precariously.  And as one who often struggles to find the right words to communicate ideas which are hardly mainstream, you can bet that I am going to make use of whatever I can scrounge up from not only the barrel, but the bottom of it, too.  I will scrape at it with bare hands if I must, tearing fingernails and bleeding out my callouses, using anything and everything I dredge up, from the f-word to slang to poor grammar, in order to get my point across.

And if I offend the audience of Christians…well, Christians of all people need a little fucking offending in this country, don’t you think? If anything the light shone upon the sick abuse perpetrated by the neo-Calvinist mystics has revealed it is that Christians need to learn to defend their ideas, their “sound doctrine”, reasonably.  And further it has revealed that this decidedly does NOT occur within the cultist collectives of modern “New Testament” churches, where the ethereal notions are never challenged and where the soma is spun by Reformed witch doctors who make fortunes doping up their tithers, inoculating them against the harsh realities of the dour and hard world and its demand for rational consistency, and its refusal to stake its future upon fairy tales and the “divine wisdom” of those who say “well, the world’s lack of agreement is proof of that it hasn’t been given the grace to perceive”.

What bullshit.

No?  You don’t think that that is EXACTLY the right word for what they believe?  Really?  And though you don’t say it, do you think it?

Of course you do.

Bullshit!  My gosh!  It spews from the plexiglass pulpits and from the windows and the doors!  You could fertilize the country and feed the cities with all the bullshit!

Bullshit!  Bullshit!  Everywhere!

My gosh!  Look at all the bullshit they believe!  Look at how we have exchanged God’s truth for a lie; and declared DEATH itself man’s greatest moral good; and have declared man, God’s greatest creative triumph, the incarnation of evil itself!  Look how we have exchanged reason for madness!

Look at how just this week the thirty-year-old Adult Sunday-School teacher stood up and told a classroom which included at least one US soldier that he could not say for sure that the American Revolution was a godly, righteous undertaking!  Look at how this same “teacher” declared that we must bow our knees in submission to any and every government which would proclaim sovereignty over us as individual human beings, because these governments are “instituted by God”…except for, he says, without a blush of shame for his rank hypocrisy and impossible logic, when they “cause us to sin against God”.  As if one can argue that God sovereignly and absolutely institutes governments and yet is absolved of all responsibility should those governments cause the citizens to sin…as though in Reformed theology any depraved human worm can ever possibly be in the position to declare right from wrong without the government wholly defining the terms for them.

Look at the hypocrisy!  Look at the vile teachings that millions upon millions of Christians are going to the polls with, voting the conscience of their “moral majority”!  Look at the kind of despotism which is bred when we casually observe our “spiritual leaders” speaking out of both sides of their mouths, declaring impossible ideas which destroy man’s epistemology and God’s very SELF with it (for the man who cannot know TRUTH cannot know God)…yes, declaring these debauched ideas the very WILL of God.  See the thirty-year-old Adult Sunday School “spiritual leader” declaring that God institutes evil governments which Christians are obligated to obey because to resist the evil would be to resist God, Himself…except when the Christians somehow decide that God’s sovereignly ordained government warrants their rebellion in service to God’s goodness, though they will simultaneously declare that the EVIL the government does is utterly purposed by God!  Who among these “teachers” will remain un-chastised by  the Almighty for damning His children to hell for such base thinking?!

And see the same “teacher” declaring that when the government decrees it, he will humbly, in service to God and to “sound doctrine”, march straight to one of the National Socialist collection centers and turn in his lawfully procured guns, because God calls us to obey any despotic regime in service to His absolute holiness, which apparently is no respecter of good and evil as it relates to government, because as this “teacher” says, “I can still be a Christian without my guns”.  As if full-on larceny is somehow good and righteous when it is committed by the state on “God’s behalf”…as if that is what the Apostle Paul meant when he declared that governments are appointed by God to punish the evil doers. I suppose evil doers are now defined by our noble Reformed “teachers” as those who have the motherfucking audacity resist the wholesale theft of their justly-earned property in service to the absolute power of the State, which does almost nothing and exists for almost no other reason than to argue with God over who has the right to own man.  And I suppose this “teacher” has totally considered the implications of his “well, I can still be a Christian if they take my X, Y, or Z, or do this, that, or the other thing in service to their absolute rule” theology.  I’m entirely sure that he has considered the logical conclusion of such a terrifying and utterly insane notion.  I’m sure that he has thoroughly contemplated and realized the fact that by his own reasoning he can merrily and enthusiastically point the Gestapo towards the nearest family of terrified and half-starved Jews hiding out inside a tiny, dank attic in Holland because he can still be a Christian whilst the State throws innocent men, women, and children into the gas chambers and ovens, to the numerical tune of six million plus.  Oh yes…he can still be a Christian, I declare, while the forces of darkness trample over the smoldering skulls of hundreds of thousands of babies because God has sovereignly ordained these governments to compel humanity to “holy and righteous” ways; because he and everyone else is too fucking depraved and too fucking stupid to be allowed to think for themselves or to EVER cast judgment on what God has ALREADY determined before anyone was ever born.

But…yes, the offense of delicate Christian sensibilities must be considered above all else.  Indeed, this is the mark of one who truly loves as Christ loved.  I should have realized.  I shouldn’t let the occasional superfluous “bullshit” or “motherfucker” get in the way of a good idea, after all.

Man’s Life versus Jesus Christ as the Standard of TRUTH: More from the series on “the Philosophy of Reason”

“Hello Argo,

Sorry that I am commenting so late but I have down with a nasty bug for the last several days. It’s tough to comment when sleeping 20 hours a day.

I am going to have to study your ideas on context a bit more because the central tenets of it still escape me. Very abstract stuff and not intuitive for me.

Of course many leaders in historic “Christendom” have used inerrancy to acquire power for themselves. This isn’t too surprising. Men have been using any excuse to gain power over others since the dawn of time. Confucians, Buddhists, Muslims, and atheists have all shown the desire to gain control. Just because something is abused isn’t proof that it is bad.

Okay, you won’t agree with I am about to say and I am not able to defend it. I know I am leaving myself open but what the heck. I have thought a lot about where the freedom in the United States came from, what is the “fountainhead?” I believe it is directly related to the Scripture becoming available to everyone without being filtered through a priest or pastor. The RC Church rightly feared the bible being translated into the native languages of the unwashed masses, they knew it would destroy their monopoly on power. I also know that Luther and Calvin were no Boy Scouts, they had no problem killing dissenters. When the people could read scripture for themselves it put limits on how far Christian “leaders” could push their power grabs. The ability to study scripture for oneself, and have confidence in it, is truly empowering. The U.S. took this farther than any other place on earth and I believe it shows.

I also don’t believe that enlightenment intellectuals were a source of freedom as many contemporary atheists claim. The French Revolution was the fruit born of the Enlightenment tree and the blood flowed, there was no freedom. Ditto for the Russian Revolution, the Chinese Revolution, etc.

I do believe in the inerrancy of scripture but not the inerrancy of creeds, popes, priests, reformers, or anyone else. I’m running low on energy right now. I look forward to your next post.

Glenn”

 *

Glenn,

Sorry to hear that you have been unwell!  I hate being sick.  It is the worst!  I am wishing you a speedy recovery.

Please do not feel any obligation to this blog or to me.  I appreciate your comments and I appreciate you reading here when and if it is convenient and pleasurable for you to do so.  Beyond that, I have no standards by which I judge anyone’s participation.  You are always welcome to comment and read when you feel like it, and only if you feel like it.  You owe me neither excuse nor explanation.  I am sure you already know this; I just want to be clear that my expectations for when and why anyone comes here extend no further than their own desire and time to do so.  I appreciate all your participation thus far.  Any more is just gravy.  🙂

*

With respect to your answer to my question, “What is your standard of TRUTH”…I prefer not to think in terms of “rebuttal”, as it were, but in terms of the general “discussion”.  Rebuttal to me sounds…hmm, antagonistic, and that’s not the vibe I’m going for (well…not in the comments section, that is LOL).

It would be reasonable for me to begin with this; for what follows is not nearly as concise nor poignant, I don’t think:

Without man, Jesus Christ is wholly irrelevant.  Man’s life gives Christ meaning.  Christ is Savior.  Savior of whom?  Of man.  Which means man’s life, man’s existence, is the prerequisite for Christ.  Unless man exists first, Christ cannot exist.  Further, and more viscerally, Christ was born of a human woman.  And without the humanity of Christ, there is NO CHRIST.  So to me, Christ as the Truth is the same thing as declaring MAN as truth.  And since all men are individuals, the logical conclusion is that human INDIVIDUAL’S are TRUTH…or, more to the point, they are the standard of TRUTH.

Incidentally, this is a nod to your third question “do I define man individually or collectively.  I would argue that there is no such thing as a “collective”.  The only salient, material and actual objects which comprise the “collective”, or the “party”, or the “government”, or the “people”, or the “workers” are individual human beings.  The collective then, like any other idea, can only be good and consistent with truth when it is subject to the absolute standard of the individual SELF.  The individual human is actual.  The “group” is conceptual.  Non-actual.  Thus, the group is always subservient to the right of the individual to BE him or herself absolutely.

In short, without man, there there can be no Christ; there can be no “Inerrant Word of God”; there can be no God defined as God.  This is a truism which Christians constantly reject, and this is why Christianity has been, for centuries upon centuries, an enemy of life. And why governments predicated upon the idea of Christian doctrinal “authority” have always liquified civilizations…dissolving them into rivers of blood.  You thrown into the pot the French Revolution as the fruit of the Enlightenment?  And I will raise you every other war which claims Europe as its epicenter, from the Crusades to the Cold War, as the fruit of Augustinian and Reformed “orthodoxy”.

*

WHY is Jesus your standard of TRUTH?

It is well and good to say that Jesus Christ is the truth, but what is the root assumption(s) which leads one to accept that? What foundational premises are satisfied when Jesus becomes the yardstick by which everything man integrates cognitively via his senses is judged as “good” or “bad”, “true” or “false”?  What is it that Jesus Christ, as the absolute standard of all TRUTH, ultimately validates as absolute and infinite, perfect and perpetual, to the exclusion of ALL else?

The answer is:  Himself.

And that is a problem.

Because if Jesus, Himself, alone, is the standard of absolute TRUTH, then the standard is by definition outside of man.  Which means that your life, my life, are no longer relevant to the equation of TRUTH.  This means that there is no logical line to be drawn between human life and TRUTH itself.  And if this is the case, how can man ever be in a position to know and thus confirm the TRUTH?  We have just conceded that the standard by which TRUTH is known as TRUE is NOT man.   We just conceded that the standard of TRUTH–that absolute by which anything is affirmed or denied–is completely exclusive to his very existence.  Which includes his mind, which “knows” and “confirms” ideas.  This is utterly in perfect keeping with the Reformed Primer on Spiritual Tyranny.  Man is never in a position to apprehend TRUTH by his very existential nature.  ALL of man is beyond truth.

Thus, the only incentive left for man to live “righteously”, since it cannot be reason or knowledge, is fear.   Fear of violence.  Or, more precisely, fear of the ecclesiastic divine mandate to violently punish–to steal from, to blackmail, to murder, to banish, to torture–those who do not obey their “authority”.  And of course there are examples upon examples littered throughout bloody history of God’s “chosen people” committing all of those atrocities in the name of absolute “truth”, and then some.

If Jesus is the absolute standard of TRUTH, then humanity and TRUTH are inexorably separated.  That is, you are only “true” as a human being insofar as you conform to the standard of TRUTH.  But of what relevance is man’s conformity to TRUTH then?  The standard of TRUTH is that which defines what is true and what is false…and, by extension, what is good and what is bad.  If man is not the standard, then man’s “truth” is not defined by his own SELF, his own existence, but by something outside of that existence.  But since man’s existence, man’s SELF, is the only context he has by which to know anything at all, man’s entire epistemology (how he knows what he knows) is irrelevant.  Man isn’t the one who gets to decide or concede or reject or refute, for that is solely the prerogative of the STANDARD.  Man can think and do what he thinks and does, but NONE of that contributes anything to his morality or his existential worth value (his truth).  Man is wholly at the mercy of the standard of TRUTH.  That standard reserves the sole right to determine who is true and good and who is not according to itself.  What you DO and THINK is immaterial.  YOU don’t get to declare anything at all with any reasonable expectation that what you believe and profess is true or good because what is true and good is nothing that you, within the context of your own SELF, can possibly recognize.  The standard is the only thing that gets to say what is good and true, and since YOU–that is, your existence and the context of your SELF–is not the standard you can never be in any position to declare anything true or good at all.  Nothing you think matters; nothing you profess matters.  In fact, all you think is automatically void as non-truth because YOU don’t get to say what is true.  To pretend that you can observe reality from the point of view of a standard that you concede is wholly outside of yourself is the apogee of pride and damnable arrogance. You become nothing more than a mindless extension of the standard…only true and only good insofar as the standard says; and whether or not the standard changes its definitions from moment to moment, or seems to contradict itself and its own declarations, or becomes the very epitome of rational capriciousness as a rule, cannot ever warrant your criticism.  Once the standard which defines TRUTH is proclaimed to be beyond the context of man’s own SELF then man forfeits his mind and his reason and utterly surrenders his epistemology to that which claims ownership of him by claiming the sole right to decide between right and wrong, good and bad.  Whether or not the standard actually judges correctly is completely beyond your own senses and thus your ability to say.

So, yes…what I am saying–and this would have gotten me burned at the stake a thousand years ago…heck, more recently than that–is that it is MAN who ultimately gets to observe and thus claim Jesus Christ is TRUE.  MAN is not subject to Jesus’s plumb line of reason; Jesus is subject to MAN’S.  But here is the catch:  only if man’s plumb line is reasonable.  Meaning, only when man’s definitions of TRUTH and GOOD are rooted in an absolute objective standard of TRUTH which man can rationally define according to a context which is utterly knowable and categorically and infinitely undeniable.  That context of course is the existence, the very being, the IS, of the individual material (read, actual) SELF…his or her life.  Man is only in the position to rightly define and know and describe and worship God when man can claim that his understanding is efficaciously vetted according to a wholly and absolutely reasonable standard of TRUTH.  And it is this fact which does NOT make the TRUTH of God’s Holy and magnificent SELF a product of human epistemological and moral relativism.  You declare that Argo is saying that man gets to define God, God does not get to define man.  And you are correct…that’s exactly what I am saying.  But I am also saying that in order for man to define God without blasphemy or ignorance man must defined Him according to reason…NOT according to the fickle vacillations of man’s philosophical subjectivism.  For the TRUTH is indeed objective, and thus is God’s great power and glory, but only when the TRUTH is vetted against an objective standard.  That which can and indeed MUST be infinitely and observably TRUE by each and every human being alive (those that are not cognitively compromised, that is).  And that, again, can only be man’s SELF.

*

If you declare that the standard of TRUTH is outside of you, and thus is not something that you can grasp within your own existential frame of reference (which is absolute…you are always you), you are never in a position to either confirm or deny that the what the standard declares is actually true, or not, or is actually good, or not.  You can no more confirm or deny what the standard declares as truth and goodness than you can BE the standard, itself.

Only the standard gets to to qualify and/or quantify anything according to truth and morality.  And to pretend that somehow you can be true and good by being “conformed” to the ontologically external standard of TRUTH is ludicrous.  You cannot be conformed to the standard of TRUTH, you can only be defined by it.  And as I said, the definition of your moral worth and the truth of your existence from moment to moment is never something in which you get to have a say.  All YOU are is that which the standard declares at any given instance.  You are never in a position to cry “fair” or “foul” according to your own insufficient and existentially deficient judgments.  Remember, the standard reserves the absolute monopoly on truth and the absolute right to declare it according to is own utterly self-contained understanding.  You are never privy to its definitions because they are a direct function of ITSELF; and since you are not it, you can’t possibly understand.  Only the standard understands itself, because its understanding IS itself.

*

The instant individual man is declared subject to a standard of TRUTH outside of his own SELF, man’s existence becomes a contradiction to TRUTH; a limitation to its “absolute-ness”. Which makes man an anathema to it, which makes the destruction of man the greatest moral good.  Man by his existence is an affront to TRUTH, because he is utterly outside the standard.  Destroying man then clears the way for all TRUTH to reign. For how do you integrate man into a standard of TRUTH which is absolute and perfect only when it EXCLUDES all else (because in order for anything to be absolute, it cannot, by definition include anything else)?  The answer is that you do not.  You destroy man in service to that TRUTH which cannot include him.

So then what are we to make of it when Jesus says “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me”?

The first thing we do is jettison any irrational interpretations such as “absolute TRUTH is outside of man”.  Without man, Jesus Christ is wholly irrelevant.  Man’s life gives the Christ meaning.  Christ cannot give man’s life its meaning because, God as the Christ, existed only AFTER man was already established as a completely separate agent from his Creator.  So, strictly speaking, without man’s efficaciously defined existence, Christ could not exist.  It is logically impossible to say that that which comes AFTER man is the source of man’s TRUTH.  Man’s TRUTH had to be established first before Christ, Himself could have any meaning or relevancy.

The second thing we do is establish a rational and therefore legitimate standard of TRUTH.  Which can only be individual human life, as I have said, ad nauseam.  For what is the one thing required above all for anything in man’s life to be declared true or false, good or bad, or given any kind of qualification/quantification at all?  It is man’s LIFE; man’s root existence as an absolute and self-contained SELF which is innately capable of discerning between what is SELF and what is NOT SELF (OTHER).

In other words your very existence is the prerequisite for ANYTHING you observe, hear, feel, touch, and thus integrate into your canon of Knowledge.  Therefore if anything is claimed as TRUTH which does not require first the existence of the human being (the agent to whom everything which has been revealed is revealed) then it cannot possibly be TRUTH, because there can be no TRUTH which does not require the existence of man in order to be known by man as TRUTH.  Any truth which does not require the existence of man is an irrelevant truth…and an irrelevant truth cannot be defined as “true” at all. What is true can only actually be true if it can be efficaciously and practically observed to affirm the standard by which all things are defined.  “Irrelevant truth” is thus an oxymoron…a contradiction in terms.  What is irrelevant can neither affirm nor deny any standard, therefore it is wholly outside of any reasonable definition.

Further, how can man know what is true if he doesn’t exist first to know it?  And if his existence is required for all TRUTH to be known as TRUTH what then must the standard be by which all things are known objectively and rationally and efficaciously as true?

Man’s life.

Man’s life is the only verifiable and rational standard of TRUTH.  The absolute need for individual human beings to exist before they can claim anything as being “true” means that the standard of the TRUTH is the individual SELF.  The absolute of the human SELF is the only absolute which man can reasonably known.  Existence is the very means by which all people know God.  This makes existence itself the plumb line for how we know what is good or bad, true or false.  Therefore any doctrine which proclaims that man must be subject to an “authority” which claims the right to define him and to own him must be rejected.  And doctrine which claims that man is the material fruit of depravity and thus is incapable of doing good as a function of his innate and inherent nature must be rejected.  Any doctrine which claims that man is inherently incapable of apprehending TRUTH and GOOD must be rejected.

The Philosophy of Reason: Response to Commenter Glenn (two)

Glenn wrote:

“Argo,

My second set of questions deals with this quote:

***** Begin Quote *****
If I were to take my bible to a construction site, and no other tools, and attempt to build an ice skating rink with nothing but my bible, how would that work out?

It wouldn’t. Why? Because in that context, the bible is ERRANT. It is wanting. It offers no help. It cannot be used to hammer nails, or to install drywall, or to lay ice. So, how, pray tell, can the bible be both inerrant and errant at the same time?

The answer is: it cannot.
***** End Quote *****

I assume that you are using the term context in its technical philosophical meaning (I had to look it up):

“Context is the idea that a statement or thought has meaning in relationship to its setting or background.”

Okay, given that definition these paragraphs don’t sound that profound. Let’s take Jesus’ statement that “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” Using your definition of inerrancy, that statement is not inerrant since I can’t hammer a nail or install drywall with it. Fair enough. What matters to me is if you believe that statement is reliably true. Can anyone other than the people that heard Jesus say that take it to be true? Is it true for me, you, the man down the street, all people at different times and places? Can you even take it for a given that Jesus said that?

If all the statements in the Bible are not true individually and collectively then where does that leave us? Do we use our reason, however defined, to determine what is individually true for us?

Glenn”

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Glenn,

Again, great question.  Thank you.

“Let’s take Jesus’ statement that “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” Using your definition of inerrancy, that statement is not inerrant since I can’t hammer a nail or install drywall with it. Fair enough. What matters to me is if you believe that statement is reliably true.”

Something being “reliably” true is not the same thing as claiming that it is inerrant.  A cookbook is “reliably true”.  The DMV website is “reliably true”.  So why do we not claim inerrancy for these sources like we do the Bible?

Well, my answer to this and the question overall is in three parts:

The first is simple:  in Christianity, mysticism/cultism has replaced reason as a means for interpreting reality.  The phrase “biblical inerrancy” is thus used as a bulwark for absolute ecclesiastical authority (and for the “authority” of any other “lesser” tyrant on the street who wants to claim the right to use violence (force/threats/punishment/terrorism) rather than reason to force other human beings into his subjective reality).  It is used as a means of implying that the Bible ITSELF is the primary consciousness to which all humanity must sacrifice itself…and/or be sacrificed.  Of course the Bible cannot interpret itself, so the mystics must conveniently claim “divine gnosis”; the special, direct-express revelation concerning what it “really” means.  The appeal to inerrancy then is nothing more than an appeal to the idea that Pastors and Priests OWN their laity.  Biblical inerrancy is “proof” of their divine mandate to rob and murder in service to their own power (worldly lusts).

Next, there is no reason to claim “biblical inerrancy” if reason and rational argument can show the Bible to be demonstrably true.  This of course requires a standard of TRUTH outside the Bible, however.  And since Christians are philosophically Platonist almost to a man, with every doctrine rooted in the simple idea that all actual reality (read “morality” and “truth”) is completely exclusive to man’s existence due to his “fallen nature”, they cannot possibly conceive of any such standard.  God alone is “absolute TRUTH”, which means, ipso facto, that whatever is perceived and confessed to be a direct, non-contextual function of God MUST be as inerrant as God is.   As John Immel would then say, “Alakazam, poof!”, the Bible is inerrant as well.  Which is just another way of saying that the Bible, like God, defies ALL external contexts as proper venues for vetting its TRUTH.  And since the only relevant context is man’s life, man becomes utterly subservient to whatever the Bible says.  But the problem which logically follows is:  who is in the position to know what the Bible really says, since we have already conceded that its inerrancy precludes it from being interpreted according to any standard other than itself?

See point one.

Once again, “inerrancy” becomes nothing more than a cudgel used in service to the absolute power of the mystic despots who claim unopposed and absolute power over the barbarian masses.

Further, the obvious (well…it should be obvious) problem with the notion that absolute TRUTH is outside of man’s existence is that as soon as man is introduced as a character within the cosmic play of divine whimsy, absolute TRUTH is no longer absolute, by definition.  An absolute truth must demand the destruction of anything NOT itself in order that it may continue to be absolutely true.  In other words, if absolute truth must be contextualized (to man), then it can no longer claim to be absolute.  Which means that man must, somehow, integrate himself into what is already perfectly absolute without him.

This is naturally impossible.  The ethical and epistemological conclusion thus must be:  man’s death = man’s greatest moral good, since an absolute truth can only really be absolute when man is completely out of the picture.

Finally,

“Inerrancy” itself, like every other conceptual abstraction man uses to organize his environment, and to express the relative relationship between himself and other objects/people, is an utterly meaningless idea when taken out of the context of MAN’S life.  The logical contradiction is that the concept of inerrancy defies this necessary contextual relationship.  Inerrancy thus is an absolute concept without context.  Understanding that inerrancy means “incapable of error”, you will notice that within this definition there is no context implied, ever.  Contextualizing inerrancy results in logical gibberish…because as soon as you contextualize what is “without error” you are contradicting the very definition.  You are claiming that “inerrancy” has inherent ERRANCY within its conceptual definition because inerrancy must be contextualized (to the Bible, for instance).  This means that out of its purely abstract “self”, inerrancy becomes wholly errant;  so again errancy is implied within the general definition.  Which makes “inerrancy” in any and all contexts patently false; irrelevant; useless.  This rationale is the presumption behind my “you can’t build a house with the Bible” example.  The notion of inerrancy is in and of itself patently absurd.  There is no context where it has any efficacy or reason.  It can only have one purpose:  to promote the destruction of the many in service to the power of the few.

Inerrancy is a wholly irrelevant concept all together.  There is no such thing in the context of man’s life…and if there is no such thing in the context of man’s life then there is no such thing, period. Because outside of man’s life no concept has any meaning whatsoever, and thus can never be defined as “inerrant” by definition.  Everything must conform to a standard of TRUTH (individual LIFE), and as soon as this becomes the philosophical foundation then nothing NON-CONTEXTUAL to the standard can be claimed to be “inerrant” because its “inerrancy” can never be verified, first; and even if it could, it would be completely irrelevant to man since inerrancy is only inerrancy as an absolute OUTSIDE of man. The very concept of “inerrancy” has no efficacious purpose to either man or God.  It is purely a tool of the tyrant; a means to coddle the barbaric, despotic, violent, and disdainful inclinations of the devotee to Augustinian/Lutheran/Calvinist theological madness.

If you say the Bible is inerrant, then you are on the hook for explaining WHY it is inerrant.  Any denial of the necessary explanation makes one a rank liar and an advocate of evil, because this can only mean one thing:  you concede that there is no “why” necessary, because man is wholly besides the point.

But if one must declare why the Bible is inerrant then its inerrancy must be qualified…it must be measured against a standard in order that its inerrancy can be validated.  But as soon as that is conceded then it is proved that the Bible then is not inerrant, again because inerrancy can only be inerrancy when it is absolute, and NOTHING absolute can be qualified/contextualized.  So…if anything is truly inerrant–that is, incapable of error in and of itself with absolutely no context required because it, itself IS the context–it is individual human LIFE.  There is no other rational standard anywhere in the universe.

So, the question I have for you Glenn, since you asked me so many, is:

What is the standard of TRUTH you proclaim?

The Philosophy of Pure Reason: Response to Commenter Glenn

Glenn,

I think your questions are excellent, and believe that our exchange will benefit the other readers here.  Therefore I have decided to make my response to your comments a couple of articles.

Please feel free to disagree openly in comment with any part or all of my response.  I’m not here to cudgel you into “right thinking”.  I prefer to leave that tyranny to those most skilled at wielding it…the neo-Calvinists and other collectivist, Platonist ideologues.

A few preliminary thoughts for you:

My singular objective is to provide rationally unassailable foundations for the efficacious philosophy of man, which inexorably includes a Creator, because I submit it is impossible to account for the material existence of ANYTHING without the rational inclusion of God.  In fact, for me, the argument for God is much more suitable in a REASONABLE, or even a “scientific”, venue than a spiritual one.  It is the the extension of God’s rational necessity to the human ontological equation that leads me to accept the God of Israel as the ONE; and subsequently then it is reason which leads me inexorably to Messiah…God, incarnate.

This approach to our witness for Christ is superior to all others.  If our faith cannot be rationally/logically disproved, then the mysticism and “blind faith” of vain philosophies is the sole purview of those who deny our beliefs, instead of the other way around…which I submit is currently the case.

My arguments are now and will only ever be rooted in rationally reconcilable assumptions. I will never appeal to mystery, or “divine” revelation, or contradictory ideas deftly blurred by hermeneutic trickery or blatant appeals to rational murder like “you have to believe before you can understand”.  Despotism is the only outcome which is manifest when people accept that truth ultimately defies man’s existential reality, a reality which I concede is utterly comprised of ideas coupled together in a seamless fabric of individual material reality.   Why?  Because the first axiom is that man’s SELF, man’s existence, is THE singularity of all reality.  That is, the individual is the ONLY objective ABSOLUTE.

Glenn, thank you again for your interest and the time you have taken to comment here.  It means a LOT more to me than you probably realize.

Here is your first comment:

Hello Argo,

I just stumbled upon your blog today so I am a little late to the party. I read Paul Dohse’s blog and from him I found John Immel’s blog and then I found your blog. Just to make sure you understand where I am coming from (I consider it to be dishonest to ask people to spill their guts while withholding everything about myself) I am a Christian, not Reformed, but probably too conventional for your liking. One of the reasons that I hold to Christianity is that I believe in unchanging/objective/knowable truth and Christianity is the only religion/philosophy I am aware of that is consistent with that belief.

I would like to ask you several questions (in several parts) to help me understand what you mean by some of the statements you make. It is obvious that you have had training in philosophy and the language you are using is precise if not terribly clear to the uninitiated.

You made this statement:

***** Begin Quote *****
It took me almost no time at all between being in Sovereign Grace Ministries and leaving to understand that all appeals to paradoxical versions of truth was mysticism, period. That there is only one kind of TRUTH: Reasonable. Truth which resides in a place that man is fully capable of grasping and reconciling based on what he observes with his senses. Beyond that, there is no truth.
***** End Quote *****

If I understand you correctly this means that you are more in the Aristotle camp than in the Plato camp. Is that correct?

Also, how do you define “reason?” Is reason a logical system that you use to interpret the world around you? From what I have read there are more opinions on what “true” logic is than there are days in the year. Depending on whom you read you may find “propositional truth”, “dialectical theology”, mysticism, or some combination thereof promoted. Do you believe that our ability to reason correctly is innate?

Glenn

I’m will go through your questions one by one and try to answer them systematically.  My answers may overlap here and there, so forgive me if I get redundant.

*

The first thing I would like to do is define “reason”, because you are right, I do appeal to it a lot and your question helped me realize that I haven’t ever formally given a definition of the notion as I understand it.

To me, reason is indeed a “logical” system that is used to interpret the world.  Some would argue that logic is purely subjective, however, I do no concede that.  Truly, logic can be subjective; that is, contextual.  For example, some would argue that it is logical to go to be early in the evening and rise early in the morning.  However, this behavior would be illogical for someone whose living is worked out on the graveyard shift. So when I say “logic”, I mean that the argumentative premises can be boiled down to completely reconcilable, non-contradictory, non-paradoxical (I do not believe that paradoxes exist, except abstractly, btw) components; and that they can be objectively and empirically confirmed to not contradict by vetting them according to an objective and absolute standard of TRUTH…and of course, any absolute standard to TRUTH is, in fact, the exact SAME absolute MORAL standard as well; for what is absolutely TRUE must also be absolutely GOOD.

Hold up.  Let me clarify that last point.

I mean this in relation to material reality (that which can be apprehended by the senses), not to conceptual abstractions.  2+2=4, yes, but this is obviously not a moral “truth” even though you and I would both concede it is “true” insofar as we both accept the premises of the mathematical abstraction (we concede the abstract definition of “two” of a thing or things, of the abstract relationship of “plus”, and the equally abstract conclusion of the equation). But “two” and “four” and “plus” don’t in and of themselves EXIST…thus, the “truth” is subjective, and the “good” is subjective, because what does not actually exist cannot by definition be objectively “good” or objectively true.  These conceptual abstractions (“two”, “four”, “plus”) are thus only “good” insofar as they affirm the utter TRUTH and GOODNESS of the actual, material standard.

Because you are new to the site, Glenn, I will tell you that the only objective standard of TRUTH and MORALITY I concede is human individual life.  Why?  Because EVERYTHING which exists, must exist in DIRECT SERVICE to the individual SELF.  And this is because everything you do and observe and know and concede and think and believe is a direct function of YOU, and YOU is your root material SELF; your very existence.  In other words, literally, without YOU existing FIRST, nothing exists.  This might sound mad, but I can assure you, it is utterly axiomatic and indefatigably true.  YOU must come first in every epistemological, metaphysical, ethical, political, theological and even mathematical and physical equation, or there IS NO equation.  Period.  How do you know anything?  By your existence.  How do you do anything?  By your existence.  How do you receive “grace” from God?  Revelation?  Salvation?  Via your existence.  Nothing then happens to you outside of your individual existence.  And as we are all individuals, existence of individual humanity is the source of everything in the universe.  Without our conscious agency, there is no way to claim anything at all.  By definition.  And the only way then to apprehend truth, even to define God as God, is if you understand and concede the objective standard of SELF first.

Now, allow me to define abstraction.  I define “abstract” as thus:  any “thing” which cannot be observed as a material reality in and of itself. This “thing”, without an observable material body (object) to serve as its material “context”, is certainly beyond the senses of man, which means it is beyond the existence of man, since man apprehends his own existence directly via the senses.  Thus the abstract “thing” must, if we concede that it “exists” outside of man’s existential frame of reference, be defined both as infinite (absolute) AND value-less (that is, NOT existing)…which are of course contradictory notions (well, partially…they both imply zero value; which is zero relevancy to man) .  For example, there is no such thing as the color “blue” absent any object which can be observably valued as “blue”.  There is no such thing as “the blue”.  There is “the blue car”, or the “blue” curtains.  But “blue” as a self-contained “thing” does NOT exist.  If we say it does exist, absent any observable object which acts as the material contextual qualifier (e.g. the car, the curtains), then we can only assume it is infinite, as I said, and thus absolute.  For “blue” without any material boundaries can only be defined thus:  blue is blue.  That is, it has no qualifier in material reality.  Of course, this means that any time we seek to add a material object to the absolute of “blue”, blue is no longer absolute.  Which then contradicts the idea the “blue” exists as a singular, self-contained “thing”, itself.

So the idea of a self-contained “blue” outside of man’s material reality is untenable.  This thus leaves “blue”, and every other abstract idea, with only one logical definition:  “blue” is a way man qualifies the relative relationship of objects he observes with his senses.  Blue doesn’t exist except as a conceptual abstraction (i.e. a direct function of man’s mind) which man uses to organize his environment.  In service to what?  His individual LIFE, his SELF, of course.  There is no other rational reason for such a concept.  Why are things labeled “blue”?  Ultimately to perpetuate man’s existence, because he–that is, his SELF–is the standard of TRUTH.  Period.  Full stop.  Which means that without man, there is no such thing nor any such reason for “blue”.  It is purely a concept devised by man for the purpose of serving his individual existence.

Okay, that was long.  But important.  I talk a lot about conceptual abstractions.  It is therefore good for people to fully understand what I mean by that.

But getting back to reason…reason to me is a system of root and completely reconcilable assumptions utilized in service to the only objective standard of TRUTH/MORALITY: the individual SELF (conceptualized self stemming directly from the material, physical agent).  In short, reason is a methodology which continually organizes and evaluates man’s environment solely for the affirmation of the idea that man is utterly himSELF.  That he is of himself, for himself, and owns himself; again, as SELF is the only legitimate standard of all GOOD and all TRUTH, because there is no way to argue that anything you observe, concede, know, proclaim, do, say, etc., etc., can exist without the root of the individual SELF coming FIRST in the metaphysical, physical, and epistemological equation.

An idea is only reasonable, I submit, if it wholly concedes, via rationally/logically reconcilable presumptions and assumptions, the absolute and infinite truth of the SELF of the individual human agent.

*

Unlike John Immel, I do not have any formal educational background in philosophy or theology.  Having said that, I do possess a professional doctorate degree (clinical, therapeutic, and industrial applications of this particular field of study) and an undergraduate degree in education, so I am not entirely unfamiliar with the use of discursive logic, research methodology, and various philosophical approaches.  I have attempted to wade through the countless philosophical volumes authored by the major players, but to be honest I found the task so close impossible that I surrendered to reason, and stopped, LOL.  I find that I would much rather work through ideas on my own than read the selected works of Descartes and Voltaire and Paine and Hobbs and Plato whilst prodding myself in the thigh with a pen knife to keep awake.  The only major volumes I (somewhat) successfully wandered into and bushwhacked my way out of were John Locke’s “On Human Understanding” and Calvin’s Institutes…oh, and “the God Particle” by Leon Lederman, which is a book on the evolution of the Standard Model of physics.

I don’t refer much to John Calvin, himself, or the Institutes because frankly Paul Dohse is the expert and anything I could say about them he’s already said better. Plus, disputing Calvin to me is only interesting when you go after the logical inconsistencies, and that discussion is really one of “Irrationalism” vs. Reason, as opposed to Calvinism vs. something else.  Outside of myself and John Immel, no one is really going after the root inconsistencies, so it is dreadfully difficult for me to find any conversations on Calvinism as it relates to CALVIN that appeal to me.   Since practically all of Calvin’s critics (including Paul Dohse, I submit) concede the same logical inconsistencies, I find most discussions of Calvin, himself, mundane and of no real interest lately.  That’s why when I discuss Calvinism it is really within the context of its inherent Platonism, and thus gets lumped in as merely one of many despicable collectivist philosophies.

John Immel has told me that my musings resemble Aristotle and he would certainly be in the position to know.  I am glad of this because I cannot stand the philosophy of physics (scientific determinism…which is merely another bastard son of Plato) and Lederman in his book savages Aristotle; so I was glad to find myself a kindred philosophical pariah, alongside of Ari,  in Lederman’s Platonist eyes.

One more thing I never tire of mentioning:  I am first cousin (several generations removed, of course) to John Locke, the philosopher.  So, I claim the legitimacy to speak on these ideas via ancestral osmosis.

Er…that was a joke. 🙂

*

“One of the reasons that I hold to Christianity is that I believe in unchanging/objective/knowable truth and Christianity is the only religion/philosophy I am aware of that is consistent with that belief.”

Me, too!  So pleased to meet you, brother!  Here is me, shaking your hand enthusiastically in my mind.

“If I understand you correctly this means that you are more in the Aristotle camp than in the Plato camp. Is that correct?”

Like I said, that great and snarky metaphysician, John Immel, has told me as much.  And I trust his observation implicitly.  John is a genius.

Also, how do you define “reason?”

I have already addressed this, so I’ll move on.

Do you believe that our ability to reason correctly is innate?

Insofar as every individual human being (assuming they are not cognitively compromised via some kind of medical or psychological pathology) is aware of their own absolute singularity of SELF, by inexorable definition, then yes.  That is, existence is explicit proof of itself; it is the why of itself and it is the for of itself, and therefore, if you exist then you MUST possess the ability to understand that you are.  And if you can understand that you are, then you can understand that YOU are the absolute, singular, and infinite constant in the universe.  From this, you can understand that nothing can be true or good which contradicts this objective standard; the standard of the SELF.

By virtue of the inescapable axiom of BEING everyone is innately capable of reason.  The willful rejection of the individual human SELF as the source of truth, then, in service to any other idea, is the veritable lowering of the drawbridge in open invitation to the hoards of evil which seek to burn and pillage the glorious temple of the Holy Spirit.

I will get to your second and third installments next, Glenn.

Stay tuned!

We Deniers of Biblical Inerrancy and Non-Contextual (to Individual Human Life) “Sound” Doctrine Don’t Fear Insanity, We Fear We Are the ONLY Ones Sane: Response to Lydia

Lydia, this is for you.  🙂  I refer specifically to your comments in the last thread.  What struck me is how you said the discernment blogs helped you stay sane as you were going through a journey of faith and a breaking of doctrinal ties with your old ways of thinking.

Do I have that right?

By the way, if I am off base in any of this please call me out.  This is just what I have been thinking…if it doesn’t speak to you or your situation at all, then I would like to know.

*

But, you see, to me, I don’t understand how discernment blogs can keep anyone sane, really, because when you parse down their thinking just like we parse down the thinking of institutionalized tyranny like SGM and the SBC, they all still concede the exact same premise: the doctrine is fine, and no real evil is being perpetrated.  This makes all the “abuse” and the “abused” they dramatically wax on about on the blogs just as meaningless as it is in churches these people go to (or went to).  I would think the very fact that so many of these people on the blogs (I submit) still go to the same church is evidence that they don’t really think there is anything wrong with what goes on there. Further evidence is the bald-faced Calvinist masquerading as the benefactor of all the abused on a certain discernment blog with a resident “E-Pastor”.  You say cognitive dissonance?  I give you that circus.

My enlightenment about the discernment blogs mirrors my enlightenment about Sovereign Grace Ministries, of which I was a swaggering, neanderthal dickhead for, for over fifteen years.  After observing and thinking, I saw the exact same kind of tyranny on the blogs, just in a different form.  But regardless of the form, it was always in service to the “doctrine”.  In SGM, the doctrine was whatever CJ said it was.  And you know what?  On these blogs, it’s STILL whatever CJ says it is.

What I mean is that in neither place is the Reformed/neo-Calvinist doctrine considered a problem.  This implies that these blogs do not believe IDEAS really drive actions, which means that actions of people are driven by something OUTSIDE of themselves. Which means that people can’t help being the depraved despots they are, and abuse cannot really be rationally defined as abuse because abuse necessitates an efficacious human apprehension of an epistemological dichotomy of “good and bad”,  which of course is impossible if we concede that ALL that happens is God’s pre-ordained Will.  And this precludes the ability of “victims” on these blogs to claim that they are, in fact, “victims”, or for critics of Calvinism to be anything other than hypocrites.

*

I will say it again.  Unless the assumptions reconcile, the outcomes are always the same:  subjugation of man in service to some external absolute; to some “idea” that only certain “priests” are privy to.  As I said before, the “discernment” blogs, when you get down to it, are really only places which serve up seasoning for people’s hypocritical “righteous” indignation.  They hate those who abuse them, and yet they AFFIRM the doctrine (assumptions) which their tormenters appeal to as the authority for their despotism–their mandate from God, Himself, to do such things-as absolutely GOOD.  Which makes them twice the hypocrite as CJ and Piper, in my opinion.  The moderator on one blog criticizes Piper, yet lauds her E-Pastor, when there is virtually NO doctrinal difference between these two men.  She does an article on “sin and suffering” and goes in logical circles, arriving nowhere, just like every single Calvinist I’ve ever met.  Even the person running the vitriolic anti-Calvinism site I referred to in my last article (and I don’t mind the vitriolic part…at all), when you examine his ideas, is still, I submit, a Protestant purest.  Just today he declared on his blog that people who are saved are saved before they are born; and almost immediately prior to this he said that “he doesn’t know where he stands on the whole “election” thing”.

Huh?  Those two statements are completely contradictory. He JUST SAID that the saved are saved before they are born.  If this isn’t election then what is?  But it is okay with this person because he declares that this is NOT what the Calvinists believe.  They don’t believe in “election” as he defines it (and he is wrong; they sure as hell do believe in election, unless he wants to say that SGM and CJ Mahaney isn’t Calvinist). So, effectively, what he is doing here is assuming the right to perpetuate an irrational, utterly impossible and inevitably destructive idea simply because it isn’t Calvinist as he would define it.

Sigh.  And this is considered a “good effort”, even among some of the people I respect most, if not THE most.

Sigh, again.

See?  Who cares what we call the false idea? Calvinist.  Biblicist.  Catholic.  Shrug.  It is still destructive.  But people don’t care about individual human life, they only really care about proclaiming that THEY have the monopoly on divine “truth”, whether reasonable or not.  And that blogger’s definition of election explicitly means that you are saved before you exist.  But how in the world can this be a rational basis for ANY faith?  If salvation occurs not only in spite of man, but with man literally out of the picture, as in, categorically non-existent, then how can he reject ANY crazy idea, even a Calvinist one, without being a hypocrite?  If God determines all there is, which is what his definition of election demands, how can he criticize Calvinists?  They are no less determined by God to do what they do than he is.

*

If I may be so bold…

You went to the discernment blogs, not to save your sanity, I submit, but to convince yourself of something you ALREADY knew was true:  that you have every right to be YOU; which means you get a say in what goes on in your own life. The discernment blogs showed you that there are Christians who engage their brains; that you weren’t alone in this.  But the issue really wasn’t your sanity…you already knew you were right because you already knew that what you were hearing wasn’t reasonable. Ergo, you couldn’t be the insane one.  But knowing you were right terrified you, because if you were the only one then you were on the outs…you were alone, and that has epic psychological ramifications.  You were scared of being alone, not of being insane because you couldn’t accept the metaphysical rape pouring forth from the plexiglass podium.

In other words, you weren’t afraid that you were insane. You were afraid that you were, somehow, the ONLY one who WAS sane.  And that was something that, in the Calvinist theology you had conceded for so long, couldn’t possibly be true.

But you knew it was.  Hence the personal dilemma which sent you on your journey.

And once you found relief in knowing that you weren’t the only one thinking, via the discernment blogs, and that you weren’t alone, you quickly realized that it isn’t thinking which is the problem.  It is WHAT people think that is the problem.

And the thinking of the “discernment” blogs bears no functional difference to what you learned in church.   And that?  Is not sane.

Ever.

Why “Discernment Blogs” are a Bore, and My Growing Doubt About A Certain Ministry’s Formal Attempt to Challenge Calvinism

Sooner or  later every debate on these discernment blogs–the ones I peruse–boils down to the moderator threatening someone or kicking them into moderation oblivion because he or she doesn’t like the “tone”.  It’s all about making people “feel safe” on the blog…whatever that means.  How many times have you read that?  I can’t count the number.  It’s bullshit.

First, if people don’ t feel safe (as opposed to actually not being safe, I guess they mean) why are they on the blog in the first place?  They want to comment and offer their ideas but they don’t want to get their hands dirty or their  sensibilities offended.  That’s like going out on the football field and telling the opposing team “don’t hit me”.   You are going to get in the arena and tie your emotions inexorably to your ideas and then have the gall to cry foul if you get “offended”?  Well…to those who feel “unsafe” when their ideas are challenged:  Boo fucking hoo.  Here’s a solution:  don’t comment.  A spiritually abused adult is still an adult, and they are still on the hook for their own choices.  You don’t assuage the effects of tyranny by affirming the right of the victim to engage in a tyranny of their own; a tyranny which forces everyone else to put a cork in their own ideas because they don’t like hearing them.  And also, I never understood why it’s the job of a blog operator to make readers and commenters feel “safe”.  Especially when “safe” is nothing but a euphemism for putting people’s irrationally delicate sensibilities above relevant discussions of doctrine.

Let me be clear.  I have little sympathy for anyone who engages in the suffocation of debate and the exchange of ideas, no matter what their reason.  The vehement rational debate of ideas is the ONLY thing that halts human destruction when all the manipulative emotional bullshit exists the premises.  You use your right to “feel safe” as the trump card to avoid an uncomfortable discussion of ideas which challenge the the doctrines of human  destruction?  Then you have lost any credibility whatsoever, even to claim “victim” status.  You are doing as your teachers have taught you, nothing more.  You seek to silence the opposition by appealing to vile altruistic doctrines which put people at the utter mercy of YOUR whims.

The real reason people don’t fee safe ever in any context is that ideas are despotic and evil.  But ideas are usually besides the point on the blogs.  The ideas are never challenged.  Everyone can believe whatever they want…and yet they still cry for a “discernment” blog to point out when the meanies are being mean.  How does that happen?  Because the contradictions never change.  Our thinking is still fundamentally Platonist, and that’s why nobody ever bothers considering that rationally impossible ideas might just lead to human misery.

It’s why I struggle to muster any interest in discernment blogging anymore (and I do NOT consider myself a discernment blogger, by the way).  Even the article I read recently on a popular discernment blog concerning the neo-Calvinist practice of “Wife Spanking”.  I was like, who cares?  Why the fuck is anyone surprised?  These Calvinists are violent animals who make a living telling people that man is a beast; that brute force is required to compel human beings to “godliness”, and if that means beating the shit out of your wife and children…well, the ends justify the means.  And the ends don’t really include PEOPLE anyway.  So, again…shrug.  Big deal.  More tyranny from tyrants.  Why does this necessitate 500 comments, as if this is in the least bit shocking.  If you preach beating people for God in order to maintain His sacred caste (i.e. “biblical roles”), people are going to get beat.  2+2=4. Why is this so riveting?

*

At the end of the day, no one is really challenging the root assumptions. Even with the moderator of a very popular anti-Calvinist blog, as much as I like him and admire what he’s trying to do (offer a systematic theological challenge to Calvinist epistemology), I still struggle to support his ideas or really scrape together an interest.  At heart, he is still a full-on Reformed Protestant, I submit, and so even with his ideas…well, unravel them down to their roots and you will find he concedes the exact same Platonist assumptions he savages the Calvinists for. The Bible is still “God’s Word”, which is simply another way of saying that the writers of the Bible somehow have a monopoly on truth and are fully above human context life or man’s “reason”.  And their absolute Gnosis (special, otherworldly knowledge) thus must somehow translate into “understandable” terms that humanity can apprehend and apply, even though the idea of a “special revelation” which doesn’t involve the context of individual human beings (meaning, it cannot be vetted for truth by HUMAN context) cannot, by definition, be translated into “biblical absolutes” which man can apply to his human context.  NON-contextual absolute “truth” cannot be reconciled with finite contextual reality in a way that doesn’t contradict it.  As soon as individual human life is factored in, the “special” and “divine” absolute truth is destroyed.

 If you were to ask this blog moderator, he would declare that the Bible is God’s Philosophy to man.  Which means ultimately that man is totally irrelevant.  God does not need man to have a philosophy for Himself.  MAN needs a philosophy, and that is what the Bible is trying to tell us.  There is NO special revelation. There is human life.  Period, full stop.  There is YOU and there is God.  You get to be you.  God gets to be God.  You are not ever obligated to accept the idea that TRUTH comes in the form of a revelation that has NOTHING to do with YOUR human context.

This is a false idea.

And further…man, according to this blogger, is still a contradiction in terms…”a spirit and a body”; and God still has knowledge of a future which MUST demand an orthodox acceptance of absolute determinism; man is still subject to conform HIMSELF to the “form” of words’ “literal meanings” found in the Bible; man’s faith to believe for salvation still is totally outside of himself…God is the one who saves man in SPITE of himself, thus completely jettisoning man from the salvation equation.  Man still cannot do any good unless God lets him.

Shrug.  So…these sites don’t really blow my skirt up, so to speak.  Because true healing can come only from having right ideas.  And these blog sites have huge traffic.  But tone is more important than truth, unfortunately.  And that, ironically, is likely why there is so much traffic.  These blog moderators know their audience, and that is precisely why they have such a large one.  The audience does not care to be challenged concerning their “sound doctrine”, they care to be coddled and fed heaping amounts of seasoning for their “righteous indignation”. Nothing more.

I often wonder how many commenters on these blogs still go to the same church they bitch about.  I wonder how many actually have taken salient, volitional action and protested with their feet and their checkbooks.  I’m guessing…few.

(Part Two of…) Man is “Inclined” Towards Sin?: Yet another nonsensical argument from the despotic equivocators of “Total Depravity”

Inclined towards sin?  Hmm.

You know…this is meaningless.  I mean, really, to say such a thing and offer no qualification is a glittering example of what the rape of reason looks like.  Further, this doctrine shows just how little Reformed Protestants esteem people in general.  It isn’t merely an insult to the rational minds of their fellow human beings…it is representative of the full-on rejection of human existence as having any moral worth or truth at all.  This of course is nothing more than a contradiction…an equivocation of reason which stems from the grand “truth” defining all of Platonist thinking, from Marxism (and all other variations of altruistic social engineering, otherwise known as Collectivism) to Theocracies to Monarchies to Mystic Tyrannies like Calvinism, and so on and so forth.  That grand “truth” is that humanity is a contradiction in and of itself.  Existing, but not really.  Humanity is, and yet is NOT at the same time.  There is always, it is assumed, something ELSE “out there”, in the spiritual ether, determining and controlling all humans do and think (the scientific determinists might call it the “laws of nature/universe/physics”; the Protestants call it “God’s grace” and the “sin nature”).  This of course removes any metaphysical distinction whatsoever between humans and the absolute, all-determining force outside of them, which then utterly removes  man from himself.

Man either exists therefore as a function of the Primary Consciousness (or, more precisely the human proxies who claim to represent the Primary Consciousness incarnate, somehow defying their own human existential failure), demanding a categorical surrender to the human incarnate proxies and complete absorption into the collective, or man doesn’t exist at all.  And one who refuses to conform and thus forfeits his or her own right to exist then becomes utterly irrelevant to the “moral imperatives” of the proxy and his group.  When this happens, get ready for the death squads and the trains stuffed to the point of bending rivets with human beings destined for the ovens and the gas chambers.  If you don’t exist then you have no rights to your humanity, obviously.  And a human who insists on existing in defiance of the absolute “truth” and perfect “goodness” of the absolute collective and its ruling despot MUST die in service to truth.  There can be no other alternative.  If you don’t join them you don’t get to exist…

…which means live.

In other words, this is no laughing matter.  When you deal with the tyranny of irreconcilable ideas like “man is inclined towards sin”, you deal with the tyrant.  And the tyrant, contrary to popular opinion, doesn’t want to be God.  No…he wants to be the fucking tyrant.  His tyranny IS the end of itself. He has no objective beyond that. He thinks he is better than God.  And further, he doesn’t want to be God because God does not and cannot exist within the paradigm of his doctrinal and philosophical insanity.  God is wholly reasonable…and as such, He cannot possibly share the podium with this asshole.  And the best way to be the true tyrant is to deceive and enslave those who are willing and lazy and self-indulgently stupid, and to kill the rest.

And so I ask…

Inclined towards evil?

Hmm.

Does that mean all men are equally inclined? Well, if you know any true-blooded Reformed Protestant then you must understand that it does.  For no man is exempt from his “inclination”.  Inclination then is the STATE of man…man IS his “inclination towards sin”.  Man is equally and universally inclined as a function of his root being.  The very IS of man is “inclined” towards sin. The the divine mystics who rule over the barbarian masses as God in His stead notwithstanding.

But then, this begs the question (which should be obvious, but in this Platonist world sadly isn’t, because people don’t even THINK to wander down the primrose path of fallacious determinist ideas to their logical conclusion; the path being, of course, the wide road to hell)…ahem…begs the question: If all men are equally inclined then how can man define “inclined” in the first place?  That is, what does “inclined” look like when there is no frame of reference, by very doctrinal definition, to determine what is inclination as juxtaposed to NON-inclination?  If there is no such thing as one NOT inclined towards sin, then how in the hell do we even arrive at what inclined IS in the first place?  In order to tell an inclination to choose vanilla ice cream, one must observe an example of someone who normally chooses chocolate.  But in their brilliance, the Calvinist rational larcenists say that it is impossible for any human being to prefer chocolate, and thus be “inclined” to choose chocolate over vanilla.  Except vanilla is “sin” and chocolate, which is “good” doesn’t exit.  So then, again, in the absence of any “inclination” contrary, it is quite impossible to observe an inclination towards sin.  Man’s “inclination” then is simply another deception…another way to state what they really think:  man is utterly, categorically evil and a rank moral atrocity simply by virtue of being born.

In other words “man is inclined” towards his total depravity means that man is TOTALLY depraved. No matter how much they want to torture the logic and burn it at the stake like Michael Servitus, they cannot get around the fact that “total” does not leave room for any part of man that is not EVIL incarnate itself, by definition.  Which is what they utterly believe.  They believe, then, by logical extension, that God directly creates evil.

This is why all sane human beings who actually believe in God should run screaming from these apostates with all manner of savage invective and denunciation for what they believe blowing forth with every breath.

*

Now, some of the more wily Reformed types and/or Calvinists might argue that Jesus is what “not inclined” towards sin looks like.  But that won’t wash into a rational argument for a couple of reasons.  The first is that, according to their beliefs, Jesus was fully human.  And thus, if He is not inclined towards sin then neither must be any other human.  For if ALL humans are inclined towards sin, and Jesus was a human…well, if A is Jesus and B is Human and C is Sin, the A=B and B=C, then A=C.  Understand?  Its a simple logical relationship.

But Jesus was also fully God (never mind the obvious logical contradiction which is merely ipso facto if you are a Reformed Protestant…that is, two absolutes cannot possibly be reconciled into a single absolute, by definition, for the entire premise is impossible; I argue that Jesus was a human, who happened to be God, if that makes sense…if not, well, that’s another article).  So they will argue that it is his God “part” which made him walk contrary to human “sinful” inclination.  Of course the problem with this is that God is ontologically/metaphysically distinct from man.  That is, His nature is wholly exclusive to man’s nature.  When sin and evil and depravity become a part of the existential nature of man (man’s root SELF at the level of pure, naked existence) and not a CHOICE man makes to act in service to an objective standard of truth/morality that he is fully capable, innately and inherently, of reconciling himself to, then existential essences which are utterly exclusive (i.e. God’s SELF at the level of existence vs. man’s SELF at the level of existence) cannot relate.  That means that whatever God does as a function of his existence man cannot possibly observe, because what God does, God IS…and we have just, via the false doctrine of Total Depravity, separated man and God completely at the level of existence.  Man would need to have existential equality with God AND moral equality (both man and God, as a root function of being, are GOOD) in order to ever observe and integrate into his own context anything God ever does, including acting in a way not inclined towards sin.  In other words, in order for anything God does or says or is to have meaning and relevancy in man’s life, man must be able to rightly observe it and create right ethical and epistemological definitions of it.  This means it would have to have legitimate value in the context of man’s life.  But when man is existentially separated from God by his depraved inclination towards sin, man’s context is wholly parsed from God’s context…again at the level of root, naked existence.  So, if man IS his inclination towards depravity, which the Calvinists argue, and God IS not, then man and God can have absolutely nothing to do with each other, up to and including mere observation.   And this would obviously preclude God from being the Creator, and would preclude man from even knowing about God in the first place.  So by doctrinal abdication, Calvinists trump their whole fucking argument .  If man is existentially separated from God, then God and man can’t even know each other are around.  So why are we even discussing Total Depravity in the first place?  It speaks to a relationship, man and God, which cannot exist according to its own assumptions.

What all this boils down to is this:  If a human beings can observe what “not inclined towards sin looks like”, then there is no reason to ever assume human begins actually are inclined towards sin. Because “not inclined towards sin” would have to be a knowable, relevant aspect of man’s contextual existence.  And if it is knowable in man’s existential context, then it is actual IN MAN (because man IS his context, his life, his existence), somewhere, somehow, by someone, so that it can be rightly SEEN.  Again, since ALL that man rightly knows and rightly defines is a product of man’s senses FIRST, then “not inclined towards sin” must be actual in the life of mankind, somewhere, somehow, so that man can recognize it.  And if this is true, then by definition man in general is NOT inclined towards sin.  The declaration is patently false…or, here,  outside of Calvin’s Metaphysical Traveling Sideshow, a lie.  If he can observe this concept of “not inclined toward sin” so that he can know what “inclined towards sin” looks like, then “not inclined towards” sin must exist TO man.  The concepts “inclined” and “not inclined” must be identified as a product of man’s SELF, and as such, this observation then must deny the idea that ALL men are inclined towards sin.

In short, God cannot show you what “not inclined towards sin” looks like and then proceed to say that it is utterly outside your metaphysical essence, existence, nature, and context, to ever actually BE “not inclined” whether “saved” or “unsaved”.  If He shows it to you and then says that it is utterly beyond you as you then “not inclined” is totally irrelevant.  And any concept which is totally irrelevant all the way down to the root position of man’s existence cannot have any meaning at all.  And anything that has NO meaning cannot actually exist TO man.  Ever.  Something with utterly NO meaning means that man cannot know it.

Thus, if man can observe “not inclined” so that he can define “inclined”, then man cannot be “inclined” by existential nature.  Inclined must thus be a choice of man, not a product man’s SELF.  A  choice driving man to action, and rooted in assumptions.  Thus, all evil is really a function of man’s assumptions (ideas, doctrines, beliefs, etc.) never a function of man himself.

*

Since all humans are inclined towards sin, there can be no median from which to quantify any standard deviation that could logically be identified as a trend of “inclination”.

This will further be elaborated in part three.  Stay tuned.

Man is “Inclined” Towards Sin?: Yet another nonsensical argument from the despotic equivocators of “Total Depravity” (Part one)

One thing we all must realize:  Those who wish to rule over men and women fall into two categories.  1. Those who are the followers (yes, they too claim power over you via “enlightenment”) of despots and tyrants, giving into the “comfort” of their intellectual laziness and/or self-loathing by surrendering their minds and wills to those assholes.  2.  The assholes themselves.  The tyrants, dictators, narcissists, megalomaniacs, psychotics and despots who want to rule you for no other reason than to slake their own evil and insatiable hunger for human flesh.

The single greatest piece of propaganda they use to bludgeon the masses into submission is the idea that human existence is the root source and substance of all the evils in the world.  The singular BEING of man is why there is such misery, they will tell you.  The fact that you cannot do good because at your essence you aren’t good is how they convince you to surrender your mind and body and possessions to them.  Their altruism goes like this:  give all to me, as the Primary Consciousness demands (God, or the Church, or the State, or the Party, or the Race, or the Workers, or the Less Privileged, or the Culture), and we will, as divine proxies, save you from yourself.  What this really does is preach that YOU don’t actually exist.  You are always a function of some force outside yourself.  Without them, this force is known as your “depraved (read, categorically evil and an affront to God just for being born) nature”; but with them in charge, they will exchange that all determining force with another:  “grace” (or some form thereof, which is simply absolution for your evil existence).  In either case, again, YOU are never YOU.  You don’t exist, and as such, whether “depraved” or “under grace” you are completely outside of the existential equation.  Therefore, you never, ever have any legitimate claim to your life, your mind, or your property.  Once you concede your complete existential/ontological irrelevancy, they OWN you.

(Quick bit of advice:  If you are considering churches, be sure to give a wide berth to any one with “grace” in its title.  “Grace Community Church”, “Sovereign Grace Ministries”, “Grace Fellowship”, “Grace Body of Christ”, etc., etc.  “Grace” is almost always a code word (read: deception) for utter doctrinal devotion to tyrannical ideas like Total Depravity and Predestination (determinism)/Election among others.  Beware!  And avoid at all costs.)

In Christian circles, this piece of propaganda is known as the doctrine of “Total Depravity”.  If you look up any Protestant church (and the Catholics have their own version, trust me…I just don’t know what they call it.  Oh yeah, they call it the Pope…see, you need a “Pope” to lay down the rules for all you savages; he saves you from your depraved belief that YOU can actually think for yourself and do good apart from the “Church”)…if you look up any Protestant church on the web and look under “Statement of Faith” or “What We Believe”, I guarantee you seven or eight times out of ten you will see a reference to the “total depravity of man”.  Stay the fuck away from that church.

But should you ignore my sage and eloquent advice and do not stay the fuck away, instead deciding that Grace Fellowship Brethren Grace Church of God’s Sovereign Grace is a place you’d like to get to know, for some horrible reason, you might run into the doctrine of Total Depravity and decide you have some questions about it because something just isn’t sitting well with you in the common sense department.  And you may find yourself irresistibly tempted to approach the man in the khaki pants and the shirt which is too big and the tie which is too small…or the hipster youth with the spikey hair and the the khaki pants but this time hanging low on the waist and with Converse Chuck Taylor shoes.  And should you have the impudence and temerity to actually question the mystics you will undoubtedly be treated to a veritable cornucopia of bullshit equivocations.  “Total depravity doesn’t mean man is as sinful as he could be”; or “Total depravity means that man is totally depraved in his ability to please God” (honestly, I don’t even know what the fuck that means, but I read it just yesterday in the comments thread of a blog I occasionally peruse), among others.  The more astute and/or seasoned mystic shills will likely punt the entire doctrine into the great cosmic abyss of God’s mystery.  They will shrug and then pensively drone on about how God’s ways are beyond us and we should just follow along and do as He says…for our own good, of course.

If that doesn’t satisfy you (and it soooo shouldn’t) then they’ll simply shrug again and give you a sympathetic stare–similar to the way they might look at a four year old who has shit his pants because the poor little fellow just hasn’t gotten the hang of his potty training–and explain that you’ll just have to believe before you can understand.  If you would just accept Jesus and cast all your little questions upon his shoulders (“because he cares for you”), you’d become like them…under God’s “grace”, and just knowing that they know.

Yeah.  You know what this is?  When someone argues that you have to agree FIRST, before you can understand?  (Or that they just know that they know…or, as I heard one person put it:  “I just know that I know that I know”.  Which merely proved that they really didn’t.)  This is what a belief utterly devoid of reason looks like.  It looks like mysticism and acts like tyranny and results inexorably in man’s destruction…it is cultish and completely reliant upon the intellectual surrender and sacrifice of its followers and accomplices.  ANY person, no matter how altruistic or humble or kind or sage or meek or innocent they may seem, who argues from the perspective that logically reconcilable ideas and assumptions are actually the antithesis and enemy of their “truth” should be rejected out of hand and their ideas vociferously denied.

Gotta break.

Stay tuned for part two.