A reader here, Jason Coates, left this excellent observation in the comments thread of the last post:
This the church is not: “We are the Borg. Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile.”
Sitting at a church conference this weekend I was not surprised to hear the WOF/Hillsong preacher start babbling on about the believer not being separated from church and the importance of tithing and rightful submission to apostles. These guys are from the Delta quadrant after all.
The Borg. LOL. That’s a good way of putting it.
The irony about the Borg…they say, as you quoted “we will add your…distinctiveness to our own.” But the very fact that they feel it is their right to absorb you into their collective is proof that they, in fact, deny your distinctiveness. They deny that you have any right to BE you, and instead declare that your existence is the sole property of them. That you don’t actually possess you; but that they possess you, which means that YOU don’t exist in the first place; which means that YOU, by definition, cannot be “distinct”.
Kinda like the local…
Wait. Let’s think some more about this. This is fascinating. Jason, you’ve hit upon something here.
For all their “logic”, it came down to one thing only with the Borg: force…which is violence. They sounded impressive with their robotic voices and their unemotional waxing eloquent about their efficiency and power, but when the metaphysical assumptions are taken to their logical conclusion, the only thing the Borg really knew was that the the supreme ability to destroy is the root of existence.
That is…what they believed was that the destruction of all OTHERS is what leads to the perpetual existence of the SELF. And what this really means is that death is the sole vehicle for life. That the creative process is accomplished solely via the banishment of what IS (in this case, YOU) into the endless chasm of what is NOT (in this case, NOT YOU, but them; that is, YOU are them, and as such YOU, strictly speaking, are NOT).
This is of course impossible; anyone with ten seconds of free time to spare mulling this over will realize that this is a rank a contradiction in terms. If OTHER is destroyed then how can one know the SELF? Without OTHER by which to juxtapose the SELF, the SELF ceases to have any meaning. In order to say I AM, one must be able to say I AM NOT. If AM is endless and absolute, to the exclusion of all OTHER, then AM cannot have any definition. What is, is, goes the “logic”. AM…or IS, becomes a circular and irrelevant concept. In other words, without an IS NOT, the IS means nothing. There is no such thing as what IS unless there is also something which that IS, IS NOT.
It is hard to get your head around this, but give it a try. Here, get ready for some fucking egregious discursive logic:
The point I’m trying to make is that without OTHER the SELF cannot be given a value. The SELF is what it is, period…SELF is the sum and substance of its definition. And if the sum and substance of the existence equation–where x is the SELF and SELF is infinite–is: x = x, then x cannot even be qualified as existing in the first place. You see? Existence at its root is movement and movement is relative. Think about it: If there is no movement (and think of movement not only as directional (linear) but also as “existence through time”, or “temporal being” if that makes it easier) then there can be no relationship with OTHER; and if there is no relationship with OTHER then there is no inherent value to the SELF. And if the value of the SELF is zero then existence is, by definition, NOTHING. So, in order for the SELF to have any relevancy it must understand–via consciousness/self-awareness–how it is distinct from OTHER and then it must interact with OTHER in order that its efficacious-ness as a distinctive SELF can be realized (which is why God cannot simply create and then dash away as the deists believed).
Think of it this way: What is consciousness without senses? And I don’t simply mean sight; I mean all your senses. No smell, taste, sound, nor touch either.
It is simple: without sense, there is no way for the consciousness to realize that it is, in fact, conscious. And this makes consciousness what? It makes consciousness, by default, unconscious. Which is a contradiction in terms. Meaning that sense and consciousness must exist in tandem or there is NO practical consciousness at all. Now, I say “practical” because I am not suggesting necessarily that sense and consciousness are metaphysically one; that your consciousness is a direct function of your senses. There is something interesting about, and something to be said for, the fact that even with all of your amazing five senses you cannot observe your own consciousness. This makes your consciousness indeed the infinite singularity of your existence, which always IS, without any qualifiable or quantifiable location in “space or time”, which means that you cannot directly observe its relative relationship to OTHER. Hmm…yes, very interesting. You cannot look back in on yourself, so to speak. So what I’m saying is not that the consciousness does not exist without the senses but that the consciousness cannot be defined as existing without the senses. I know this seems like the same thing but I submit that their is a delicate difference. The senses allow the infinite SELF to be aware of itself, by observing OTHER–which is a purely relative relationship–and thus acknowledge its “existence”. Without the senses, existence cannot be valued or defined, and thus, it can have no practical application or efficacy…it is irrelevant. And irrelevancy is FUNCTIONALLY–according to how we observe our relative existence with OTHER in our reality–the same thing as non-existence when practically applied.
This begs more thought, and warrants a post of its own at some later time
Wheeeeeeee….wasn’t that fun?
So, anyway…back to my point. What are the senses for? They are explicitly for making the SELF aware of what it is NOT in order that it may define itself. And the definition of the SELF is the root of ALL existence relevantly and practically speaking…even for God. And this requires the existence–the presence–of OTHER. Which means that if we seek to integrate all OTHER(S) into the SELF, then we are, in fact, destroying the very SELF we think we are perpetuating. And that is the great logical fallacy of the Borg.
Which is why the Borg were murdering thugs and nothing more; and this is evident from their rank philosophical hypocrisy. They were murdering thugs for the same reason ALL murdering thugs are murdering thugs; for the same reason that ALL despots are despots: They held irrational, incompatible, and irreconcilable root assumptions concerning the metaphysics of reality.
And you know what…
This makes the Borg a perfect metaphor for the theo-marxist collective known as the neo-Calvinist “local church”.
Well done, Jason.