Monthly Archives: March 2014

An Infallible Interpretation Must Always PRECEDE an Infallible Bible

Since I no longer actually hear any of the sermons in person at the church I attended until recently, I usually listen to them online after the fact.  Though I cannot in good conscience sit my bottom down in the pew and subject myself to the nonsense from the pulpit attempting to pass as truth, I still believe that there is a wealth of inspiration and information for a blog such as this one to be found in the teachings of the new and wholly Reformed pastor.  And as this church is rapidly (and I mean rapidly) free-falling into the confused and blank-minded hell of full-on neo-Calvinist doctrine, watching the evolution of destructive thought via the onslaught of the pastor’s contradictory propaganda is intriguing to say the least, not to mention educational.

Last week found Pastor X imploring the congregation to approach the Bible as Bereans, which are described as follows in the book of Acts:

“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

This is an old saw of the neo-Calvinst bent, and I heard the same urging from the despotic elders over at Sovereign Grace Ministries.  This pastor doesn’t mean what you think he means.  Meaning, his imploring you to study the Bible as the Bereans did by no means gives you permission to actually interpret the Bible for yourself.  Of course, if you apply reason to the scripture verse, we should invariably believe that this is exactly what it means…that from the scriptures, all teachings can be vetted for truth, implying that those who happen to be literate are, by virtue of that literacy, in a position to discern a liar from an honest man.  The implication being that there is in fact a legitimate standard of truth that all men can know and that those men who can read and reason can also judge the scriptures by that standard (which means the Bible is not, itself, the standard…gasp!  cry heretic!).  As opposed to the scriptures judging themselves, which makes the Bible an exercise in circular logic, wholly irrelevant to man’s life, which is, in fact, the precise the argument of the biblical infallibility crowd.

As usual, I’ve gotten ahead of myself.

Anyway, as soon as Pastor X began to implore the congregation to go to the “Word” to verify and hold accountable the teachings of the elders, using himself (in a sickening spectacle of faux humility) as an example, in order to verify that they were not being led astray by wolves in sheep’s clothing with their clanking and clattering traps of false doctrine…yes, as soon as he uttered these words I knew what was coming next.  As I said, I have been down this road before.  Now, I don’t believe in the future, so I don’t believe that it can be seen, but if I did…well, let’s just say that I saw his next thought and could have probably spoken it verbatim.

“This doesn’t mean you don’t trust your pastors and elders.”

Or, something to that effect.  And even worse, he openly admitted that his subsequent ideas with respect to “being Berean” were in direct contradiction to his previous statements about the congregation searching the scriptures for themselves.

His point was this:  Just because the Bible says that you are to search the scriptures to see if what we, the leadership, say is true, doesn’t mean that you are free to come to a different interpretive conclusion than we do.

And therein lies the problem and the hypocrisy.  You can go to the scriptures all day long and search out the “truth” for yourself.  But you must only approach it via the particular Reformed lens of “sound doctrine”, and only interpret it with the goal of reinforcing their Reformed/Calvinist assumptions.  Which implies that you must hold these assumptions before you begin to read the Bible in the first place.

And this, among other reasons, is why I categorically deny the doctrine of Biblical Inerracy.  It is nothing more than a hedge against the criticism of specific interpretive assumptions which are held to be a prerequisite for the Bible’s infallible truth; an excuse to push a specific theology as merely “teaching what the bible plainly says”, thus making any rejection of the doctrinal syllabus a direct rejection of the Bible, which, as it is “God’s Word” (it’s not, but that claim is yet another vehicle for their manipulation), is a full-on rejection of God, Himself.

Again, notice what Pastor X is saying:  The only way to read the Bible is to read it through a lens of interpretive truth that is first provided by the authority of the ecclesiastical eldership.  This, of course, ultimately makes the Bible as the source of truth irrelevant.  The source of truth is really whatever the pastor says the Bible means…the Reformed protestant philosophical paradigm through which all of reality, including the Bible and its message, is interpreted.  This is why they can stand up there with a straight face and nary a blush of shame and explain how it is perfectly within your right to judge them by the scriptures and then in the very next breath declare that they are the authority in God’s stead whose doctrines and ideas and interpretations and opinions and demands and orders are never to be questioned but only categorically trusted by you and the rest of the dog-faced slobbering masses in the pews. They know that the seed of WHAT you see in the scripture is present and granted to you ALREADY as a direct function of their ideas.

The “infallible” bible becomes secondary in the process.  Which is thus to say that the Bible isn’t infallible at all.  The neo-Calvinist interpretive lens, which is the very reason that the Bible says what it says in the first place, is what is actually infallible.

Let me say that again.  The only reason the Bible says what it says and is thus “infallible” is because their Reformed protestant doctrine already directly informs it.  This means that Biblical infallibility is at its root a lie.  What they call “biblical infallibility” is really doctrinal infallibility.  The Bible says what the doctrine declares.  Of course they will try to equivocate on this truth by arguing that they are, in fact, teaching and believe the opposite.  But that is more of their inherent deception.

The way you know this is deception is because, again, you are never allowed disagree with the leadership.  If the Bible itself was really the source of the truth of the doctrine then they could not stand up there and encourage the laity to “search the scriptures like Bereans, and hold us accountable for what we teach” and then declare the exact opposite of that thought; namely that you can NEVER hold them accountable for wrong teaching because THEY, not you, are the one’s to whom God has divinely chosen to reveal His “mysterious” truth, in order that they may lead (force, compel, threaten, intimidate, torment, abuse) you in His righteous ways.  Yes, they could never encourage you to search the scriptures as though the scriptures were the source of truth and yet still remain consistent with their theology which declares all men utterly insufficient for grasping truth because of their rank metaphysical failure.

What I mean is that the reason you can NEVER disagree with them and come to a different conclusion about what the Bible means and teaches is because, according to the Reformed/neo-Calvinist construct, truth is not learned, it is “revealed/bestowed” upon those “called by God to lead” as a matter of, not reason, but pure revelation.  This means that man’s own epistemology (his ability to know what he knows) is wholly insufficient for apprehending truth, stemming from his essential metaphysical total depravity/categorical corruption/sin nature.

This, again, makes the Bible itself totally superfluous as a function of how YOU, the unwashed, ignorant and feral-minded acquire truth.  Oh sure, they may claim that the Bible is the source of all truth, but as this truth is never available to you, because you aren’t “called to stand in the stead of God” (direct quote from SGM pastors), how the fuck could you know?  You can’t know that the Bible is the source of truth because you aren’t innately capable of knowing what it means.  They provide you with the systematic reformed interpretive construct, and then you simply plug in what you read in the bible, whether you think it fits or not.  And viola! Biblical infallibility!

Which makes daily Bible reading nothing more than a private, self-administered propaganda session, courtesy of your “local church”.  Every time you read the Bible, you are fostering the pastor’s right to own you, your mind, your property and your labor.  You learn nothing from the Bible except what the Pastor has already told you you must accept.  Thus, reading the Bible merely reinforces his authority. True biblical meditation then is replaced with self-imposed and self-perpetuating Reformed psychological manipulation; manipulation of your mind to bring you to a that blissful and empty theological climax, good for nothing except the pleasure of divorcing yourself from yourself in service to that deterministic theology which denies your very existence at its root, and thus, denies your culpability in anything at all.

This is hardly a rejection of sin, no matter what the Reformed/neo-Calvinists teach. On the contrary, sin is utterly embraced by those who would say that it is impossible for mere humans to know truth, so what you do and why you do it is always a function of someone else’s authority to stand before God on your behalf (give an account for you..which is a false interpretation of Paul’s statement to that effect, but what the fuck else is new?) and their ability to stand before you on God’s behalf.  And truly, punting your life into the great cosmic abyss is certainly harder than living it.

Incidentally, this is exactly why the self-appointed president and titular head of the Brent Detwiler Sovereign Grace Ministries Pastoral Pariah Club, which is of course Brent Detwiler, is losing his house and his life in general seems to be crashing down around him in a depressing, fiery wreckage. He basks in the glory of being the “suffering saint” because he thinks its “God’s will”.  Because, as John Immel pointed out on a recent comment on his blog, thinking its God’s will is a lot more gratifying than getting a job where he might have to ask people if they want their milk in a bag, or if they want to supersize their order for a dollar more.  And it sure sounds better, too, doesn’t it?  Much more prestigous and fitting for the “man of God” to cry “Oh, poor suffering and holy me!” than to utter “Welcome to Lowes, thanks for shopping with us today”.  But the reality is that to anyone with a rational brain cell, Brent looks ridiculous.  Whiny, and complaining about his situation to every willing ear without ever conceding that it is his very own beliefs…his infinite hypocrisy in having the nerve to contradict his own theology and question his spiritual “authority”, CJ Mahaney; a practice that Brent himself, from what I understand, NEVER tolerated.

But when truth is revealed, not learned, what the fuck can you tell someone like him?  You can’t possibly know.  HE, as a pastor, has been given the divine gnosis, not you.  So, no matter how silly Brent looks to the rest of us, nor how hopeless his situation, our eyes perpetually deceive us, because the doctrine says so.

Are you sobered-up yet?  Are you off of your neo-Reformed high?  Have you come down from the cloud says all Christianity is merely psychological hedonism; a forfeiture of SELF in service to the conceptual abstraction of “pure joy” (there is no such thing)?

But even if the pastors claim that they get their truth from their “infallible” Bibles; and even if you think you can accept this because how in the hell would you, the one to whom the Bible’s truths haven’t been divinely revealed, know?  Yes, they can claim it is their source of truth all day long, but the fact is that when you parse the logic out to its logical conclusion, the only reason they can claim they know the Bible is true is because God has specially revealed to them FIRST what it means.  The Bible cannot be true first, and its infallible meaning pulled from it; no, for that suggests that truth is learned.  But in the Reformed construct, it is not, it is revealed… ALL truth is a direct revelation from God, not the Bible (unless you think the Bible is God, which they do when you examine all of the facets of “Biblical Inerrancy”, which simply reinforces my entire argument that no truth is learned, but revealed).  The Bible’s meaning is revealed first, then come the words of the Bible, which can be “properly” understood.  Truth doesn’t come from the Bible, truth is a byproduct of having been given the “grace to perceive” (another direct quote) what the Bible MUST mean already.  Which means that the Bible is as much on the hook for agreeing with their interpretive assumptions as you or I.

Ouch.  So much for holding the Bible up as the paragon of truth.

And this is why, for all of the Biblical Infallibility being applied in the churches today, modern Christianity is doing a flawless job of continuing the despotic and abusive traditions of “orthodox” Christianity.

The only way to save “sound doctrine” is to reject it.  The only way to declare the Bible is true is to declare that it is NOT infallible.  For infallibility and truth are mutually exclusive within the context of human life.

 

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Why “Orthodox” Christianity is Inherently Oppressive

A friend of mine, in the course of doing some research, solicited my opinion as to why Christianity lends itself so easily (and automatically, I would add) to tyranny, as even a cursory glance at history will reveal.  The following post was my response.

What I wrote wasn’t what he was looking for as far as the objective of his research is concerned; but for my part, I submit that it sums up precisely the very core problem with Christianity, and why it not only historically has been a bulwark for the worst kind of violent and despotic societies and governments, but has also been a routine and systematically applied defense of so many vile and destructive institutions and practices within those societies and governments:  chattel slavery, organized genocide (e.g. the Holocaust), organized torture (e.g. the Inquisition), public execution (e.g. Salem Witch Trials, John Calvin’s stake burnings in Geneva), economic and political discrimination (e.g. Jim Crow laws, resistance to women’s suffrage), routine open and violent condemnation of categorically innocent and law abiding persons (e.g. the blistering denunciations of gay and lesbian citizens).  Yes, these, to name a few.  And there are many more examples.

So, in short, why does Christianity lend itself so perfectly to tyranny, abuse, violence, torture, murder, and the wholesale enslavement, both literally and figuratively speaking, of the masses?  As I reveal in my post, the answer is simple, and it is the same answer which is fitting for ALL evil and oppressive philosophies:  It does not know “What is man?”.

Period.  Full stop.

When you have no reasonable defense for the existence of the individual human, then humanity in general becomes, by definition a false idea.  An illusion.  A lie.  Or, at best, a thing.  Lifeless.  Soulless.  Meaningless.

Unless…

…it can be forced (and it MUST be forced…for humanity, in the despotic construct, is fundamentally unable to THINK) into either sacrificing itself of its own volition (which doesn’t actually exist in the despotic philosophies; man has no volition), or is forcefully sacrificed on its own behalf by the Priests/Elders/Kings/Officials of the Collective and the Primary Consciousness (which can be and usually is one and the same, and is defined as that which is assumed to be absolute TRUTH:  God, the Government, the State, the Party, the Tribe, the Race, the King, the Dictator, the Leadership, the People, the Workers, the Poor, the Company) in service to the absolute “truth” and “good” of the Primary Consciousness and the Collective, which gives all meaning and all moral value to the individual, right up to the point where there is no existential/metaphysical distinction.  You are either a member of the collective, wholly subordinate and enslaved to the Authority of the Collective (and the Primary Consciousness), or you don’t exist. You have no rational metaphysic.  There stands no definition, no qualification or quantification to the substance which you observe to comprise yourSELF.

“SELF” has no translatable concept or construct within the Christian metaphysical component of its belief system.   And in Christianity, the reason why it can almost always be found on the side of the oppressor, and willingly so, is because it flagrantly assumes, as a perfunctory part of its foundational philosophical concessions, that there is no such thing as individual human beings.  If you are not part of the group, admitted and affirmed by the proxies of God, your life is literally meaningless.

This is the fundamental assumption behind all tyrannies, and also Christianity (which is inherently tyrannical in its orthodox forms), as we have seen it practiced for almost its entire existence upon this earth.

And now, with no more ado, here is my reply to the issue in question, posited in the title of this post:

*

Here is what I have come up with.

It has been rightly said that the question of tyranny boils down to this particular question:  Who owns man?

But the question which still remains to be asked is:  Why is this a question in the first place?  Meaning, what are the presumptions which allow man to think that this question is somehow legitimate?

The answer is found in the root ideas about man’s existential nature, which is why I focus so heavily on metaphysics.  The implicit assumption behind the question “who owns man?” is that man somehow can be owned.  But the only way this can be assumed is if it is believed that man, as a matter of his existential being, is not in fact absolute.  On the other hand, if we concede that man IS, and that he EXISTS, then we must also concede that he is absolute.  For man cannot both be IS and IS NOT; existing and not existing at the same time.

At the root of man is an absolute existence, period.  Which means that man’s ability to be conscious of his existence is likewise absolute.  Absolute means infinite, which means that there are no boundaries to the metaphysical essence of individual man which includes his consciousness.  If this is true, then no “other” can claim to own him because no other can exist in such a way as to make such ownership ultimately efficacious and reasonable. Man acts in service to his own existence because he MUST, because everything he thinks and does is a direct function of his inherently absolute and infinite being.  This makes man’s interactions with God, other people, and the environment inexorably relative to HIMSELF.

Therefore, I would not even argue that man can own himself because in the case of an absolute, infinite SELF, ownership is besides the point. “Ownership” is merely a concept man uses to qualify a particular form of relationship he observes in his environment.  It is a tool he uses in service to the standard of SELF, which, as I have said before, is the only objective and legitimate standard of morality and truth which can be claimed.

The problem with Christianity, as always, lies in the assumption that man’s conceptual abstractions are causal (beginning to end, cause to effect, first to last, up to down, past/present/future, etc.).  Man “observes” that he comes from “nothing”, or “unconsciousness”, or non-existence into existence, and then, when he dies, he reverts back to his unconscious non-existence (or, if you believe in an afterlife, man goes there in “spirit”, whatever that means). But the point is that almost as soon as man’s brain develops into a full blown and efficacious awareness of SELF, he concedes that he is directly a function of nothingness (non-existence, un-consciousness).  And of course what this thinking ultimately leads to is the idea that man is not, in fact, metaphysically absolute.  His root being is foundationally a contradiction in terms.  He is an IS operating as a direct function of an IS NOT.  This is of course impossible and logically indefensible. And man should really know better, but after thousands of years of Greek philosophy, his thinking has evolved to assume that truth is somehow rooted in illusions and mystery; which means that man’s very consciousness cannot be trusted.

What this inevitably leads to is the idea that man’s metaphysical essence–his existential IS–can be parsed, and in fact IS parsed.  Man metaphysic is no longer absolute.  The assumptions which necessarily follow this idea are one of two:

A. There is no absolute, really, so the man with the biggest gun and the willingness to liberally apply it gets to make one up (usually himself).

B. There IS an absolute, but man is not it…so whoever claims (again, by force, fiat, lies, deception…it always goes back to force, which is why Christianity worships at the altar of “AUTHORITY” above all else)…yes, whoever claims to “know it” and to “serve it” as its earthbound proxy is “divinely” mandated to rule.

The explicit assumption regarding absolutes (that are not man, and thus, unknowable by man…and this is key) is that that which is absolute, in order to in fact be absolute, MUST demand the sacrifice of everything else in favor of its infinite morality and truth.  If man is allowed to be “free” then he presents a necessary limitation to the absolute truth, by definition.  Therefore, man must either become a direct function/extension of the absolute, or he must be murdered in order to eliminate his “natural” affront to its perfect absolute-ness. Christians call this man’s “sin nature”.  Or his “original sin”.  These words are merely euphemisms for man’s existence.

And this where Christianity neatly fits in.  Notice how in practically EVERY “orthodox” version of the faith man is morally and metaphysically subservient to God.  Even Paul D. (whom I adore) believes in his “slave to unrighteousness/slave to righteousness” paradigm that it is man’s root metaphysical SELF which is ultimately changed, as if the infinite absolute of man’s existence can be parsed.  But the fact is that the same belief which leads to man’s justification also continues into sanctification…that is, it leads to man’s sanctification because the metaphysical nature of man cannot be changed.  To say that man can somehow be altered at the root of his singular, metaphysical IS is an impossible contradiction (wholly enslaved to sin versus wholly enslaved to righteousness to the point where no matter what man does or thinks, his position as a slave in either construct must remain unchanged).

But the truth is that the individual, basal SELF of man does not change.  Rather, his foundational BELIEFS change, and THAT is both why he is saved and why he is sanctified. Which is why I submit that he can indeed lose his salvation; because if man no longer believes that he absolutely IS, his reality no longer can be reconciled to his own existence.  There is NO MAN, rationally and practically speaking, to be saved unless man BELIEVES that his existence is in fact efficacious and absolute. Because belief drives action, and belief combined with action defines just how the metaphysical essence of man will be efficaciously manifest (measured by the observable affirmation of the SELF and all SELVES) in his environment; it will wholly inform his interactions with God, the world, and his fellow man.

But anyway.

According to all interpretations of Christianity, man cannot truly own himself because man cannot truly BE himself. He is always and forever a walking contradiction, a breathing and blinking mystery.  An impossible dichotomy of determinism and free will, good and evil, truth and lie, etc., etc. This of course affects his epistemology, making man utterly incapable of apprehending truth, because he always sees it from a broken, contradictory metaphysic. And since that is the case; since man is not absolute and therefore must be unaware, and is not the absolute standard of truth and morality, on existential par with God, man MUST be ruled; compelled to service or to death.  Otherwise, as I said, he is an offense to the “real” truth.

So why does Christianity lend itself so well to tyranny?  For the same reason as every other despotic notion does:  it cannot define man in a way to make him reconcilable to his own actual existence.

In Christianity, man is farce.  So what happens to him is ultimately irrelevant.

 

 

The Shortest Duration of Time is Infinity: The case for consciousness, part one

Last weekend I was watching drag racing with my father in law, which is pretty much the only interest we share, and he was explaining to me how modern time-gauging technology allows the winner of any given race to be called, if necessary, by the millionth of a second.

Me being me, I dwelt upon the philosophical implications of such a statement.

A millionth of a second.

Hmm.

That is some tiny duration.  And then I thought to myself, ‘Why stop there?’   I mean, what exactly is the shortest duration of time whereby there is no such thing as anything sooner?

After pondering this for a moment I decided that there was no such thing as the shortest duration of time, literally speaking.  Of course, practically speaking the shortest duration of time is the amount beyond which no one gives a shit.  A trillionth of a second?  Let’s just call a tie or do the race over.  Am I right?

But again, I’m not really interested in “practical applications” of truth, I’m interested in truth, period.  Because absolute truth will drive the practical applications of it, ultimately.  In order for there to be a duration beyond which no one gives a shit we must first concede that no ACTUAL duration of the “shortest amount of time” really exists.  If we do not concede that, but rather believe that there is a literal “shortest amount of time”, then clearly we cannot be satisfied with a millionth or trillionth of a second time interval gauging the difference between the winner and loser of a professional NHRA drag race, with hundreds of thousands of dollars, tons upon tons of fuel and equipment, and dozens of human livelihoods at stake.

No, in order to actually determine a winner, in the interest of fairness and justice, we would need to do our due diligence and pursue a technology capable of calculating the time differences down to the absolute shortest duration.  Only then can a true winner be established (except when the winner is obvious, of course).  The technology may be years away, but until it is acquired, how can we ever really call those races which may be too close to call by the stopwatches of today?

But if we understand that time is not actual, then it is merely a matter of deciding when time is short enough.  A millionth of a second should be adequate for all practical purposes, at least within the motorsports industry.  Beyond that I think we can all agree that calling it a tie is totally acceptable.  For in this instance, a millionth of a second verses a trillionth of a second is merely equivocating what is a tie for all practical purposes.  By organizing the environment in order to affirm and promote man’s survival and ongoing existence, conceptual abstractions are supposed to make human life easier, not harder, remember?  Once we begin to parse millionths of seconds… well, unless we are in the throws of some exacting scientific experiment or perhaps performing some forensic exercise, the whole thing just gets tedious…not to mention ridiculous.

Okay, where the hell am I going with this?

Something relating to the above drag racing story can be found in two of Zeno’s paradoxes (Zeno was another ancient Greek philosopher, of the Parmenides pain-in-the-ass variety; for those of you familiar with him, I agree with his premises but not his conclusions; relative truth is still truth, thus man’s concepts are not UNtruth, they are relative truth, and are proved true by the observable preservation and perpetuation of his existence and comfort).  One is a temporal dichotomy paradox, while another is a positional paradox.  The temporal paradox says that a slower runner who has a head start can never be overtaken by a faster runner because he/she will always have some manner of time difference to overcome.  Since the slower runner is constantly moving, whenever the faster runner arrives at the place the slower run has just been, the slower runner will have moved on from that point, meaning that there will be a temporal discrepancy the faster runner will need to surmount.  But since the slower runner is moving constantly, the faster runner will never arrive at the place the slower run is, but only where he/she was.  Meaning that regardless of the speed difference, the faster runner will always be behind the slower runner.

Now, this paradox was thought up thousands of years before Einstein’s theory of relativity showed us that speed is not independent of time, in which case the paradox falls apart (well, sort of…but I’ll get to that later).  Since the faster runner ages less relative to the slower runner, the faster runner naturally makes up any temporal discrepancy because he/she can cover more distance in less time, relative to the slower runner.

Thus, the reason the faster runner can overtake the slower runner has to do with the relationship of speed and time.  Arriving at a location in space is a function of both speed AND time, not just time, is the salient point.  So, if the unit of time duration is x, then, for example, when the slower runner arrives at the halfway point he/she is 3x old; but when the faster runner arrives at the halfway point he/she only is 1x old.  Which means, of course, that he/she arrives at the halfway point existentially sooner than the slower runner.  Follow this to its logical conclusion, doing the requisite calculus if you are so inclined (and I am not, because fuck that math), and you can see just how the faster runner overtakes the slower runner.  It isn’t because they are faster, in a sense, but because speed translates into a relative age difference whilst existing at the same point in space (spacetime), which means the faster runner is also the younger runner; and that is the root of the spatial/positional difference between bodies moving a different speeds.  The faster runner can arrive at the same location before the slower runner even though he/she started from behind, because positionally/spatially “before” is a function of age (the relative passage of time), which is a direct function of acceleration.

The positional paradox is similar to the temporal one.  This paradox says that one can never arrive at a single location because there are an infinite number of fractional distances he/she must cover in order to get there.  For example, in order to arrive at location x, one must travel half the distance to x, but in order to get there, one must go half the distance to half x.  And in order to get there, one must go half the distance to half of half x, and so on…the paradoxical conclusion being that one can never arrive at the objective location because he/she must traverse an infinite number of distances to get there.  And traversing infinite distance is impossible.

Again, when we input Einstein’s theory of relativity into the illustration, the paradox falls away.  Understanding that there is an inseparable relationship between speed and time, one can see that it isn’t a matter of traversing a distance, necessarily, but rather a result of speed mitigating time, and time is merely a way to describe the relative difference in states of existence (“before” is a temporal distinction, not a positional on; one can arrive at the location before he or she would need to cover an infinite number of distances because movement means that existentially they age less relative to the location to which they are going).

Since the movement of one translates to a smaller temporal existence relative to a static other (the location), it is possible to arrive at a location by shortening the distance of one’s existence relative to the location, since motion itself is merely a change in relative existence between to bodies (labeling the location as a “body” in this instance; the train station, or the bus stop, for example).  The faster you go in the direction of the location, the younger you are relative to it, which means the location of YOU (your existence) relative to the location to which you are heading is different.  It is possible to arrive at the location by changing your relative position to it via speed, which reduces your existential “footprint” relative to the location you want to go to, thereby allowing you arrive there by mitigating time which reduces, existentially, distance (since time and speed and distance are all inexorably a function of relative existence and thus are all a function of the the agent, thereby making them interrelated).

Hmm..how is that for a mind bender?

So, the question is, is there truly a paradox present in these examples?  Well, when we apply Einstein’s theory of relativity, we can see that the paradox is resolved.  But Einstein’s theory only goes halfway to truly unraveling the ostensible contradiction.  There is still more to go.  In order to completely dismantle the paradoxes we need to examine the nature of time and speed as removed from the context of the material universe, its objects and agents.  When we do that, we don’t need Einstein or his calculus to straighten out what appears to be crooked.  It becomes purely a matter of reason.  And thank goodness, the fucking calculus is superfluous.

To that end, are these examples truly paradoxical (forgetting for a moment Einstein’s inseparable fusion of time and acceleration)? Only if you concede that time is actual, which it is not.  If you concede that time is merely a concept created by man’s conscious mind to organize a specific qualification of the relative movement of objects and agents in man’s environment, then you can understand that it isn’t a paradox at all.  It is merely that the nature of conceptual abstractions are inherently paradoxical (contradictory) when we assume that they somehow exist as real entities which are distinct from the material context.  When that happens, all concepts ultimately boil down to a value of either zero or infinity, which means that they must at some point contradict and conflict with the material universe.   But if they don’t actually exist then they cannot actually be paradoxical, because they cannot actually BE anything.  They are purely abstract, and serve man’s cognitive organizational needs, period.  Full stop.  Any “paradoxes” are irrelevant.

Let’s examine this further in the next post.

You Cannot Know What You Cannot Know: Metaphysical insufficiency results in epistemological incapacity

Faith and Reason

Is faith based on knowledge or ignorance?

If based on ignorance then how can it be faith?  How can you have faith in something of which you have no knowledge?

You say God can do the impossible and when someone asks why, you respond with “Because He is God.”  Implicit in that answer is the idea that God = Ability to do Anything is a rational connection.  But If your faith is truly based upon ignorance, then you cannot make that connection.  You cannot know that God=Ability to do Anything; and since you cannot know it, you cannot possibly have faith in it, because how do you have faith in what is for all rational purposes, nothing at all?  For what you cannot know in your ignorance precludes you having faith in it.

But if you insist that God=the Ability to do Anything then the connection must be a reasonable one.  Meaning that you cannot be ignorant of a rational connection between God and His power. You know that God has power and that that power is a direct function of the person of God, therefore, your faith is not based upon ignorance, it is based upon reason.  Now, you may not have the details of exactly how or why God can do anything, but you do claim that it is indeed reasonable to assume that God possesses a power to act in the ways that He does.  This makes your faith not irrational, but rational. That you don’t know exactly how God does what He does does not mean that you do not base your faith ultimately upon the idea that it is reasonable to assume that because He is God, He can do what He does (which you might argue is “anything”…which, incidentally, I do not concede.  For example, God cannot be me, or you, or an orange).

Therefore, I only accept that faith is rooted in reason, not ignorance.

Fine.

But what is the limitation then of that reason?  If faith is ultimately based upon assumptions that we assume to be reasonable (not that they always are…in fact, more often, the opposite is true), then where exactly must that reason come to an end?  If we understand that it is reasonable to say that God who created the universe can do anything then why cannot we understand HOW God does anything?  What is the deeper rationale behind how God can do the impossible besides the perfunctory response of:  “Because He is God.”?

Is there a limit to man’s ability to rationally explain his beliefs?  Need there be?

Enter the “Mysteries of God”.

This concept of mystery, and its connection to faith has interested me for a while.  What is “faith” exactly, if we can explain everything we know and see according to reason (that is, using non-contradictory interpretive premises which then lead to non-contradictory interpretive conclusions)?  For me, I maintain that the prerequisite for human epistemology is direct sensory integration and REASON; man knows what he knows because A.) he learns it, and B.) it is reasonable.  There is no mystery in my epistemology paradigm.  I do not believe that mystery can ever be the root of anything man knows.  For by definition if what man understands is rooted in mystery, then man does not really understand.  Thus, true understanding does not come from mystery it comes from rationally consistent premises and conclusions.  Also, it must serve man’s life, as human existence (the state of being man) is the infinite prerequisite for and thus is the source of all moral good and truth.  If anything man understands requires the death or absence of man to be true (like, for instance, the Reformed doctrine of Total Depravity) then it cannot be true by definition; for nothing can be true which does not require man to acknowledge that it is true.  Truth, therefore, is only relevant insofar as man can know it according to reason.  Without man, anything true is irrelevant to him; and what is irrelevant cannot by definition serve his truth.  Thus, it cannot be said to be true.

Then what of faith?

If all knowledge and understanding must be rooted in reason (for I submit that reality MUST be reasonable or it cannot be qualified as real, but that’s another article), then what exactly is faith?  What is “faith without seeing”…”blessed is he who believes without seeing”?  Does this mean that true faith does not necessarily require observation which translates into logically consistent premises and conclusions?

Well, yes and no.  First, faith is always in some way a function of observation, even though the application of that observation may be “indirect” depending on the circumstance.  For there is no knowledge without the senses…you cannot know SELF without the ability to be consciously aware of OTHER.  Therefore, anything you know and believe is because you have been integrated into your environment via your senses (what I mean when I refer to “observation”).

But this does not mean that faith is always a function of directly viewing the object or event that you are to have faith in.  Why was Thomas rebuked for needing to see Jesus’s hands in person before He would believe?  Does this imply that the other disciples had irrational faith because they believed by word of mouth that Jesus had actually been resurrected?

No?  You don’t like the idea that the faith of the other disciples was irrational?

Well, what makes their faith rational, then?  Without the direct observation of Jesus’s hands, how could they be so sure?

Well…because they reasoned it so.

They had seen Jesus perform miracles before; they already conceded that He was God incarnate.  Their rational thinking did not require Him to stand before them in the flesh as Thomas demanded because they already had a consistent understanding of who Jesus was and what He was capable of.  In short, their faith was the more sensible…they used a rational integration of known information according to logical premises they already possessed intellectually.  They were able to apply discursive logic to their faith…they did not need their awareness of truth and reality to be constantly dictated by instantly observable events or objects.  Thomas’s need to observe Jesus then and there in the flesh meant that he had denied his rational brain; questioning what he saw; and conceding that drawing logical conclusions about previous observations was ineffectual in forming a rational understanding of reality and the world at any given moment.

This is the fallacy of “all truth must be based upon what is directly observable”.  This is false.  Truth is based on reason, and reason alone.  That is, it is based on ideas, doctrines, or philosophies which have logical conclusions derived from logical assumptions which are a function of the integration of man to his environment via specifically defined and organized conceptually abstract constructs created at the cognitive level.

Again, the ability of the disciples, besides Thomas, to acknowledge the validity of third party testimony concerning the risen Christ indicates a faith that is rooted in the ability of man to THINK; the ability of man to observe his environment and conceptualize it into systematic abstract constructs from which he can reconcile what he observes into logical premises and conclusions.  “If I see Jesus raise someone from the dead by the power of God, then I can assume that Jesus, Himself may also be raised”.  “I do not need to see Jesus feed the four thousand to know he is able to feed the four thousand because I just witnessed Him feed the five thousand.”

That is where our faith is based.  Upon our ability to conceptualize what we observe, and then integrate these concepts in a logical, consistent way.  Therefore, true faith comes from understanding; and understanding is always based on reason.  We know that this is red and that is blue because that is how we have decided to define these aspects of the overarching concept of “color” (notice that “color” is a concept, not an actual thing).  This implies then that blue cannot also be red, for that would render the entire concept of color contradictory, and therefore, it would be an irrelevant and useless way to organize what man observes.  Thus, if we say that God can do anything because He is God, we must understand that there is a logical connection between God to Ability, and Ability to Outcome.  If God is able because He is God, then there must be a rational explanation for why God, being God, can do anything.  Whether it is rooted in the observation of God doing impossible things in order that we deduce this ability, or in some other way.  And why then should that “some other way” be closed to the reason of man?  If man can codify and thus understand how the world interacts with itself, why can he not conceptually codify how the world interacts with God and vice versa?  If we can say that He is able, why can we not also say WHY He is able and HOW He is able?  I do not concede that the HOW and WHY of God’s power is necessarily beyond the rational comprehension of man.  Indeed, in order for our faith to be fully bulwarked, I would think a rational explanation of just how and why God can do the impossible (thus, no longer making it impossible, but utterly possible; which…really, “doing the impossible” is a contradiction in terms, anyway) would be of immense value.

Certainly I am not suggesting that humans have the capacity to DO what God does, for what God does comes from Himself, and man can no more be God than God can be man.  But if having faith in God ultimately boils down to some manner of reason, because reality MUST be reasonable, then there can be no boundaries for reason except those things which are mutually exclusive to man’s existence.  And certainly, God is not one of those things.  So, what I mean to say is that just because man cannot DO what is impossible for man to do, does not mean that it is impossible to reasonably explain in a way man can understand (according to the rational use of concepts to explain man’s reality)  just why what is impossible for man is in fact imminently possible for God.

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The Contradiction of Mysteries

Christians love to appeal to the idea of “mystery” as a justification for holding ideas that we cannot rationally defend.  As John Immel, notable metaphysician and historian puts it:  Christians tend to punt their rational contradictions into the cosmic abyss of God’s mystery.

This statement could not be more true.

In Christian circles, the concept of epistemological mystery (those things which man cannot know) is very popular.  Just today, in reading the comments section of a blog post a reader here linked to, I read that “predestination and free will exist in tension”.  What this means is that, for this person, human existence is defined by literally two mutually exclusive versions of reality.  Reality is both a function of man’s freedom of choice AND God’s absolute control over all events, past, present, and future.

And how does this person defend such rank nonsense?

How do you think?

Mystery.  We just don’t understand.  And so human beings I supposed are doomed to a life of unremitting inconsistency.  Of living out the immensely painful “tension” of being scolded and tortured for their “sins” and yet never quite able to concede that they are the ones to blame.  Reaping the rewards and comforts of their hard work and wise choices, and yet understanding that nothing they’ve done really made any difference at all.  That the abuse and exploitation of children is a dreadful evil and yet is also somehow a part of God’s sovereign Will.

There are a lot of people who will not be saved because they insist that somehow evil is God’s fault because, being God and being “sovereign”, He must have created it.  Which also means, predictably, that in their prevarications they insist that evil isn’t really evil at all.  But rather evil is somehow good, because it is in keeping with God’s determinist power over all Creation.  Oh my…how much they refuse to understand.  This is a dreadful blasphemy.

THAT, my dear fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, is precisely why the world wants nothing to do with us.  We preach “Repent! For the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” and then declare that the only way to repent is if God does it for you, making the entire message of repentance fucking pointless.  They are not idiots.  And they are right to reject the bullshit.

You, but not you, goes the Christian metaphysic.

Sigh, and motherfucking, sigh.

Now, two problems with this idea of mystery, and both can be summed up with this question:

Why don’t we understand the mysteries we don’t understand?

Now, know that in my exegesis of the idea of “mystery” as it functions as a root of Christian epistemology, I am not speaking of the individual and his or her particular circumstance.  What we need to grasp is that Christians, thanks to 1500 years of whoring it up with Platonist philosophy, are essentially the consummate example of rank collectivism.  When they speak of “you cannot know” or “you must assume” or “you must trust” or “you are inclined” they are not speaking of YOU as an individual, but collective humanity on the whole.  Christians, in their disappointingly non-Jewish theological roots, have almost completely eliminated the concept of the individual.  A “personal relationship to Jesus Christ” is about as close as they come, and one quickly finds out that this “personal relationship” is anything but personal.  On the contrary, it is quite corporate.  Once you are “saved” you are amazed to see how quickly your salvation depends on how successfully you integrate yourself into the “body”.  For truly they believe that no man is an island, but even more than that, they believe that no man is a man.  You ARE the group, or you are not.  This is an assumption that is founded upon, as I said, thousands of years of Greek paganism rooted in Plato’s destructive philosophy.  The removal of the individual man from himself is the key to God’s love according to modern Christian orthodoxy.  God can love you as long as there is no YOU, so to speak, getting in the way and fucking everything up.  Your primary problem  was and is the fact that you have an annoying tendency to think of yourself as an autonomous conscious SELF.  Avast!  Remove that mortal apostasy from your mind!  You died to Christ, yes, and rose to the obscure abstraction of the group collective.  And that is why being “put out of the church” is often waggled before the laity’s eyes in an effort to whip the aloof back into line.  For apart from the “body” you don’t really exist to God goes the logic.  Without the “church” as your proxy before the Almighty, you are just a shadow, fading into oblivion after the dusk of excommunication.

So, my point is that Christians, whether they are conscious of it or not, almost categorically speak in collectivist metaphysical terms.  Meaning that the statements they make about your ability as a member of the human race verses God’s ability as the Grand Deity are rooted in the existential elements of humanity’s very being.  When they say “you have not been given the grace to perceive God’s truth, which is why you need a Pastor to submit to in the context of the local church”, they mean that YOU, humanity in general, are metaphysically incapable of seeing the things the pastor sees.  You are flawed at the root of SELF.  God’s truth is utterly exclusive to your very existence. It isn’t a matter of choice, it is a matter of your rank metaphysical failure.  That is why Christ had to die:  because you cannot help but sin; and why Pastors are indispensable, because they hold the keys to the kingdom as the gatekeepers and the personification of the collective of the “body”.  They have the knowledge that you cannot have because and for no other reason than you were born wanting in your very being.

And this is the first problem.  If human beings are metaphysically incapable of understanding God’s mysteries, then I submit that man cannot even begin to know what the mysteries are that he cannot know; they are a blind spot to him, epistemologically speaking.  For example, one might argue that we cannot understand the mystery of how predestination and free will co-exist “in tension” and yet also in a way that is somehow efficacious to a rational existence.  And the reason we cannot understand is because “it has not been given us”.  Which is Christian bible proof-textingese for “you lack the ability to understand as a function of your metaphysical context”.  Your very life and the way it is observed by you utterly precludes your ability to apprehend a concept that nevertheless is somehow supposed to drive you to logical conclusions concerning yourself and God and His power and His truth and your purpose and proper response to it all…as if any of those things can have any meaning whatsoever in an existential paradigm that is perpetually at war with itself.  There are two mutually exclusive ideas: free will and predestination.  And yet there is only one of you and one life you lead.  Thus, how you integrate two categorically opposite absolutes into the singularity of your life is…well, yeah, a mystery.

But here is the thing.  If it indeed is a mystery that you lack the metaphysical sufficiency to apprehend, then it is quite impossible for you to even possess a frame of reference for it so that you can define the mystery which you do not possess the inherent capacity to grasp.  If the integration of free will and predestination is truly beyond your capacity to apprehend because your very EXISTENCE precludes it, then you cannot rationally argue that there is any frame of reference for the integration of the two, since they would need to reconcile to the context of your life in order for the mystery to be in any way rational and applicable.  But since your life is the very reason why you cannot understand the “truth” of the coupling of these two exclusive ideas, then how can you argue that these ideas and the issue of their compatibility has anything to do with you at all?  There is no argument.  For the very idea of the rational integration of predestination and free will is beyond your reach as a function of your existence.  And since your understanding (epistemology) is a direct function of your existence (metaphysics), then what is beyond your ability to know is beyond your ability to proclaim as actual.  For what is real to you is only real if it can be observed…and observation is a function of the metaphysical SELF.  So if you cannot understand something because your metaphysical root is insufficient and removed from it then this is the exact same thing as declaring that that thing which you cannot understand does not effectively exist to you in the first place.

I know this is tedious, but the logic is sound.  If you cannot know something, then you cannot define it.  And if you cannot define it you cannot proclaim that it exists at all.  If you cannot know how predestination and free will integrate themselves to your life then you cannot possess a rational definition of the concept of the integration of these ideas.  Their very integration is meaningless to you and your life, by definition.  Because it is your metaphysical being which denies you access to the idea.  And if the idea is withheld from you at the metaphysical level then it must be withheld from you at the epistemological level.  You cannot exist to it therefore you cannot know it.  You cannot thus proclaim that it is “true”…for a truth that is incompatible with existence is a contradiction in terms.

And this is why I deny that ANY mysteries can form the crux of truth in any rational way.  Because “mystery” according to Christian orthodoxy always boils down to the assumption that man is incapable of ever solving it, and that this inability is a direct result of metaphysical insufficiency.  Which makes the mystery completely outside of man’s existence, which means that it can have no causal power over man’s life, being exclusive of it and thus of man’s knowledge.  And if man cannot know it he cannot define it.  You cannot know (define, acknowledge, proclaim as truth) what you cannot know as a function of the root SELF.  If you cannot know it then you cannot proclaim that it exists, which means that it cannot form any part of your understanding of your life and reality.

Literally speaking then, there is nothing that man cannot know that is of any relevancy to him.  And to get even more precise as to how epistemology works:  there is nothing that man cannot know because knowledge is always a direct function of man’s SELF on the metaphysical level–the level of existence–and the SELF of man is absolute.  “You ARE” is rational statement.  You are, and because you ARE, you cannot also be ARE NOT.  Which means that you “know what you know” is the sum of man’s epistemological substance in actual, literal terms.  What you don’t know is not relevant to your SELF.  For you are never a function of what you do not know, but only what you know, since only knowledge, not NO knowledge, is a function of the singular SELF.  Not knowing is not a part of the singular SELF because the SELF is an IS, not a NOT.

And thus we have arrived at the second problem:  the irrelevancy of mystery.  If indeed there are mysteries and they are unattainable by man because his SELF is incompatible with them, then they are wholly irrelevant.  What man cannot know as a function of metaphysical essence cannot possibly matter to him.  Why?  Again, because of the reason he cannot know it:  because HE IS MAN.  Meaning that the mystery is once again completely exclusive of the life of man.  And thus, the mystery which cannot be known because it cannot be known is of no consequence to man because it does not EXIST to him.

Again, I know this is all tedious.  I really, really do.  And I hate to do this to you, my dear readers.  But the key to truth is recognizing that most of what we assume is rooted in the idea that man both is and is NOT at the same time.  He is an individual and a collective.  He is non-existence and existence.  Conscious yet blind.  Predestined yet free willed.  A function of choice and determinist force.  A function of both the past and the future.  Absolute and parceled in SELF.  Loved and hated.  Efficacious and irrelevant.  True and false.  A son of God and a son of Hell.

These assumptions are at the root of almost everything we believe today.  And it has been this way for a long, long time.  But the reality is that man is an IS.  And if that is the case then we must concede that all of the notions which set man as a walking contradiction in terms cannot possibly be rational at their foundations.  There is no true freedom or salvation to be found in running in existential circles.  If man is aware of SELF then self must be absolute.  You cannot be aware of both what is and what is NOT.  There is so much contradiction in our thinking that it takes this kind of discursive parsing and philosophical microsurgery just to begin to remove the deep seepage of mysticism, and the oppression of our untenable collective psyche.

The Universe is a Conceptual Abstraction…the Cosmic “Collective”

Yesterday I read an article on Yahoo news which discussed the recent discovery of proof of cosmic “inflation”, which had been a theory (though pretty much conceded by most physicists as true) since about 1980.  Inflation, briefly explained,  is the idea that in order for all of the “stuff” in the universe to be present where it is, in the amount of time it has taken to get there, the universe would have had to expand to something like a trillion times its initial size in an “instant” (however long that is) after the Big Bang blew it into existence.

What I do not want to do in this article is challenge “inflation” insofar as I concede that it is indeed a “real” concept; for I don’t think there is anything wrong with creating conceptualizations in order for us to explain how we observe the relative interaction of bodies.  The problem I have, and the problem I wish to address, is the presumption that these conceptualizations are in fact actual things which are given causal power over the objects and agents which exist (people and stuff).  That is, I take issue with the presumption that “inflation” is anything more than a convenient way for scientists to describe the relative relationship of whatever we concede “happened” at the “beginning”, which was the Big Bang.  Because this is where things go terribly awry in the Department of Reason and Logical Consistency, and why truth continues and will continue to elude even the brightest of our sky gazers and abstract thinkers in the scientific community.  For observation alone cannot produce any truth that is at its root rational, if we want to concede that truth is a function of what can be observed, which I thought was science’s whole fucking bag.  Further, is a gem of irony that though they insist that they rely on observational evidence for the basis of their models and theories, and yet whenever a new scientific breakthrough is discovered and they glad hand themselves and talk about how brilliant they are, physicists are the first to point to the ghosts in the machine as the sum and substance of their discovery.  Things like “space”, “time”, and “gravity”, “expansion”, “inflation” are all pertinent and indispensable components of the discovery, so much so that the discoveries are literally meaningless without them, and yet none of those things is by any means observable whatsoever.  What is observable are the objects and agents which have tangible being, and everything else can only be assumed by the relationship of these things to each other.

And this is a real problem with scientists, I have noticed.  For when they  assume that observation can lead to the recognition of the actuality of what cannot be observed–which are those concepts (space, time, gravity, inflation) humans use to organize their environment–then they have contradicted the entire scientific school of thought, and they essentially admit that they are somehow able to see what cannot actually be seen.  And when you try to call them out on their false logic, lo and behold, they become little more than religious mystics themselves, demanding submission to their superior wisdom and divinely inspired intellect.  The fact that the premises and conclusions are utterly irreconcilable doesn’t really matter.  We are simply supposed to accept their version of “truth” because they said so.  They are the ones who have the divine gnosis, and have been given the cosmic logos…mathematics, which, if you don’t speak it, you can’t possibly access any real understanding.

Funny how understanding amongst the best and brightest theologians and scientists never has to be rationally consistent, which is why fundamentalist Christians and atheist physicists are more alike than they are different.

But some would call rationally inconsistent understanding NOT actually understanding at all.  There is no such thing as truth if what is true contradicts itself.  This should be obvious, but it isn’t.  You can thank Plato for that.

So, the problem I have with the article on Yahoo is really twofold.  First, I take issue with the notion that the universe has a “size” from which it “inflated”; and second, I take issue with the fact that the universe is thus “expanding”.

Now, please understand that I’m not debating, nor am interested in debating the concepts of “expansion” and “inflation”.  As concepts, I’m completely fine with conceding that those may be practical ways to view our relative relationship to the vastness of creation beyond our skies.  The thing with me is that I do not concede that “expansion” and “inflation” are literal things, which have some kind of causal reality, and which exist beyond man’s conceptualizing brain.  In short, I deny that the universe is actually expanding and that it has actual size from which it inflated  because “expansion” and “size” and “inflation” are not things which actually exist.  They are ways of describing the relative relationships of the objects which conscious man observes.  Period.  And what I am concerned about is the utter dismissal of the philosophical contradictions which comprise the foundation of scientific “truth”.  These people want the civil authorities governing directly from the existential “truths” that revolve around their discoveries, much like Calvinists and other mystics do.  But when those whose beliefs are rooted in ideas which cannot possibly be defended according to reason, man is always, always, always the first to be incinerated in service to the greater “truth”, because it is only man who can think.  And since man can think, he is naturally programmed to “sin” (i.e. sinful nature)…that is, he is programmed to ask questions and act in ways that by his very nature will–unless checked by the priests of the primary consciousness–undoubtedly frustrate the perfect truth and goodness of the “natural” order of things; either God’s “will”, or nature’s “laws”.  Fortunately for the Platonist priests who have been divinely given the “grace to perceive” (the Calvinist “elders” who have been enlightened by revelation; the mathematical whizzes who have been bestowed with the cosmic logos to decipher the determinist forces of nature which govern) they can always fall back on rank violence in order to compel the ignorant masses into right thinking and behavior.  This is precisely because of the metaphysical assumptions which are intrinsic to their Platonist philosophy.

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I submit that the universe has and had no actual size, and so “inflation” cannot really be a thing, and therefore did not happen in any causal sense; rather, it is a convenient concept to define the relative relationship of the universe then to the universe man observes now, with a mathematical correlate that is reconcilable to current constructs.  Further, I submit that the universe, since it has no actual size, and has no actual location to its “beginning”, cannot actually be expanding.  And it is only when this is conceded that any real headway can be made in understanding just what in the hell is really going in the universe, and more importantly, in putting in proper context (thus fostering a real apprehension of) the rational purpose and meaning of man’s conscious existence, and his relationship to the rest of the cosmos.

The problem starts with the simple assumption behind science’s origin of the universe theory, which says: There was no universe, and then there was.

There was nothing, and then the universe existed.

There is no “before” the Big Bang, because it is conceded that the Big Bang was the start of everything.  Which means that that which preceded the Big Bang was, by definition, nothing.

Do you not see the glaring contradiction in terms?  It is so obvious, and yet it has been allowed to grow so massive that we are now too close to observe it.

We’ll get to that in a moment.

Now, I understand that there are some scientists who might concede that there was something “before” the Big Bang, but I blow that off with a wave and a scoff because it is merely subterfuge…a way to either deceive us or themselves; a balm by which they sooth their consciousnesses enough to sleep without the nagging pangs of hypocrisy needling them all night.  And I, as a rank Calvinist for fifteen years (now no longer), know this tactic well.  It doesn’t work on me anymore, whether from a mystic, or a from scientist desperate to prove that the very observation via a consciousness which allows for their understanding of the universe is the very observation and consciousness which is irrelevant to the whole fucking equation.  Nice try, as I like to say.

If there was something before the Big Bang then it can only be assumed to be entirely irrelevant (and I do not mean contextually irrelevant, I mean that it is irrelevant at the root of its existential being…metaphysically irrelevant); and thus, irrelevancy is functionally the same as non-existent, since anything metaphysically irrelevant cannot prove efficacious to anything true; which means that truth does not in any way depend on it, which makes it impossible to prove that that which is  irrelevant is also real.

But if we insist that whatever was before the Big Bang is actually relevant then the Big Bang itself is entirely irrelevant as a beginning event…as a cause of everything.  That is, the Big Bang has none of the causal power upon which physics stakes its entire understanding of the origins of the universe.

Why is that?

Because if we are to concede that the Big Bang had some manner of creative force, and that it indeed marks the beginning of something, then it must be assumed that what is the universe which we observe now–that is, post Big Bang–is wholly exclusive to what was before.  Which means that whatever exists now cannot be a direct function of what was before; because if it was, then what is now would be a direct function of and therefor the exact same thing as what was before, according to Argo’s Universal Truth Number One:  Whatever is a direct function of an absolute IS the absolute.  Any causal power of the Big Bang wouldn’t really cause anything to exist; it would merely represent a relative change of the universe from one form of itself to another form of its exact same, existentially speaking, self.   There would be no actual difference…only a relative difference.  Relative to who?  To the observer.  For the universe would not care if it started out as a tumble weed and then the Big Bang turned it into a water buffalo.  The universe is not conscious of itself, therefore it can observe no alteration to its infinite state of IS.  Only a conscious observer can do that.

So conceding that there was anything before the Big Bang makes it merely an event among many in the infinite history of the universe.  It could not have been THE event that made the universe something out of nothing.

And thus we have the other problem.  If indeed the Big Bang was merely an event in the history of the cosmos, because the “before” the Big Bang is indicative of an infinite source of what exists in the universe, then there cannot be any such actual thing as a size of the universe, or an expansion of the universe.  “Size” and “expansion” would have no actual significance or meaning because the infinity of the universe precludes their rational definitions.  What is infinite cannot expand or grow or shrink in size, by definition.  But all of science’s “truth” is founded upon the idea that the universe is not in fact infinite, but has a beginning in the Big Bang, which makes expansion and size actual phenomenons, not merely a conceptual description of any relative movement man observes. And this is why they may pay lip service to the existence of something which fueled the Big Bang so that it could create the universe, but they don’t actually believe that.  They cannot.  To believe that makes the universe infinite, and that means that all of their models and theories are purely subjective and ultimately relative, having only meaning as a function man’s conceptual constructs of his environment, and not actually possessing any causal “truth”.  Which is, in fact, all true.  And if they would only concede this then they would actually be the smart sorts of gals and fellows they claim to be.

But here is the thing:  It matters not whether you concede the universe is in fact infinite or that the Big Bang began everything and that before there was nothing.  For the logical presumptions are identically irrational.  Everything being a function of infinity renders conceptual ideas like expansion, space, time, size, distance, gravity, etc. as abstract and subjective (relative) as saying the universe had a definite beginning, and that before the beginning, there was nothing.

Let me ask you a question.  What is logically wrong with this statement?:  Before the beginning of everything, there was nothing.

It’s not too difficult to see the contradiction…though, it kind of really is because this is something we hear often.  “What do you see outside?”.  “Nothing.  I looked outside, and there was nothing.”

Well…okay, in common communication the idea is well understood.  Nothing doesn’t really mean nothing.  In this sense, something becomes equated with nothing depending on the context of the situation.  If the person was looking outside expecting to see rain but there was none, he or she may reply, “Nope, I saw nothing happening out there.”  The implication is obviously: nothing weatherwise.  But literally speaking, it is quite impossible to see nothing happening.  For nothing, if it is truly nothing, cannot do anything, by definition.  And the principal thing it cannot do is exist.

Now, the reason why you cannot qualify “before the universe existed, there was nothing” is because we are speaking about the creation of everything that IS.  And given that, there is no way to appeal to a subjective context.  The creation of everything is only ONE context.  The beginning no longer becomes a relative term, but it becomes an actual one. The beginning is not abstract, it is real thing.

And that’s a problem.  There can be no such thing as an actual beginning which is literal and objectively existent because before that beginning there would have to be literally nothing.  And there cannot BE literally nothing because the act of being is in no way compatible to what is nothing, because nothing does not exist.  Thus to say that before the Big Bang there was nothing is an impossible contradiction in terms.  “There WAS nothing” implies that nothing at some point existed in the past. ” WAS nothing” implies that at one point you could have rationally stated that there “IS nothing”.  Which, as I just explained, is impossible.

That is the first serious problem with the Big Bang as a causal event which ushered in existence of everything.  The “beginning” becomes an actual thing; and so does “existence”.  Existence is no longer a qualification of an object it is a metaphysical essence of that object itself.  That’s putting the metaphysical cart before the horse.  An object or agent needs to BE first, before it can be conceptually observed and defined as existing.  Which again makes existence a concept, not a metaphysical root.

I don’t give a shit about the abstract mathematical constructs and the Platonist theories the scientists use to parse what is clearly and in every way a function of infinity (the creation and existence of everything that IS…for IS is infinite, because what IS cannot be a function of NOT, or nothing, by definition).  The way man uses his brain is almost wholly abstract.  Therefore, it is in his “nature” to parse infinity with abstract concepts in order to codify what he observes so that he can make some efficacious sense of it in service to his own truth and existence.  This is fine, and in this strict sense, science does a good job.

But what I care about is the rank logical fallacies of science’s philosophical presumptions and assumptions which inform their understanding of truth.  For when conceptual abstractions are conceded to be causal and literal then the natural evolution of thought is to declare man merely a product of the absolutes of mathematics and natural law.  This removes consciousness from man.  And with consciousness goes epistemology, and with epistemology goes ethics.  Man is seen as valueless, by definition, because the entirety of truth is found in concepts which govern the universe and man from somewhere outside of and mutually exclusive to them both.

But even worse than that is when scientists pretend that they have no philosophy, and that philosophy is itself fully irrelevant (which I think is Stephen Hawking’s position).  That is an outright laughable hypocrisy, whether they know it or not.  One can no more behave apart from philosophical assumptions than a solar car can function in a cave.  Beliefs drive actions, and that includes how we observe our world and decide to interpret it.  If science decides that there is no such thing as metaphysical truth because man’s consciousness is an illusion because it is nothing more than a product of mathematical probabilities and natural “laws”, then that is, itself, a philosophical belief.  And an extremely powerful and destructive one at that.

So, where were we?

Oh, yes.  We were discussing “inflation” and how there is proof that the universe expanded shortly after the Big Bang to something like a trillion times its size; and that ever since then it has continued to expand.

The statement “expanded to a trillion times its size” presumes that the universe had a beginning size.  And the statement “the universe is expanding” presumes that the universe began in a location from which it could expand from.

Hmmm…is anyone else here not quite on board with these presumptions?  I mean, reasonably speaking?

Here’s a problem.  What is the reference for the size and location of the universe?  If space and time where not created until after the Big Bang, then the size of the universe…well, how big is big if the universe’s initial size is a direct function of NO space?  Of NO size?  And from where did the universe start expanding, or inflating, if the location of the beginning of the universe was NO where, because the Big Bang could not have occurred in space?

Do you see the problem now?  How can the universe be expanding from somewhere to somewhere else  if there was no WHERE for it to begin because there was no such thing as space until after the Big Bang?  And how can the universe have a size which can inflate a trillion times if there was no space for it to begin inflating? If there is no space, there can be no size, obviously.

So, science has the unworkable problem of having to rationally explain how size can be a direct function of no size and expansion is a direct function of nowhere.

How long does it take John Calvin to get to the stake which is burning Michael Servitus if he leaves from the beheading of the Pelagian in the court yard of the church?  It takes fifteen minutes.  Okay, so how long does it take John Calvin to get to the stake which is burning Michael Servitus if he leaves from nowhere?

That is an impossible question to answer, obviously.

So, the point is that if the Big Bang created everything which is, then there was nothing before it.  Which means that there could not have been a location to the universe where it could be created from, because space, if we concede that it is an actual thing, did not exist to provide a location for the universe until after the universe was already created.

If the reference point for the start of the universe is nothing, then mathematically we would call that zero.  Which means that the universe, its expansion, inflation, and size and location are a direct function of zero…the wonderfully simple mathematical placeholder.  In philosophy we would say that metaphysically the universe is, again, nothing. Which means it can have no size, expansion, location or inflation, etc. because nothing expanding to nothing goes nowhere; and nothing growing a trillion times the size of nothing is still nothing.

So really, what can possibly be the reference point for the beginning of the universe, Big Bang or not, except itself?  That question is quite rhetorical, I assure you.  The only actual, objective reference point for the universe is itself; which means that the universe isn’t a thing in and of itself, it is whatever observable, tangible, actual material exists within it.  IT, that is, the universe, is nothing but a conceptual abstraction…a “collective” man uses to describe “all that exists”, materially speaking.  And this material is, everything which literally and materially exists, must be  its own reference.  It is the only objective non-relative constant in the universe  It is its own infinite IS.  The movement, or expansion, or inflation of it thus is purely a relative, conceptual way that man, the conscious observer, chooses to define the relationship of the material parts to themselves.

There is no such thing as the universe ACTUALLY expanding, or inflating, or even moving at all.  We have a conscious observer, and we have relative components of infinity, mitigated by that very same conscious observer who, because of his own self-awareness, is able to make a distinction between his SELF and that which is NOT himSELF…that is, the other objects and agents in the “universe”.  Without consciousness, there is no mitigation of infinity.  All such movement that man observes, yes, even for the scientist and his impressive telescopes, is not actual, it is purely conceptual.

And thus if the universe is really the constant reference of itself, then all values of it thus lead straight to infinity.  It is what it is…until a conscious observer (man) can observe its “parts” in relative relationship to themselves.  And when he does this, he is able to organize it into conceptual abstractions so that he can successfully integrate himself  into it.

Why?

For the only reason possible:  to survive.  To affirm.  To perpetuate SELF.  For the conscious, rational man understands that HE is the root of all TRUTH.  That all efficacious concepts start with HIM…with his consciousness.  That it is not the universe which is constant, it is his ability to know SELF.  His consciousness is the infinite prerequisite for any object having any meaning or purpose at all; even to be called “existing”.  Without him, there is nothing but infinite oblivion.  For a material universe which cannot be observed, cannot be known, which means it cannot be qualified as existing.

And it is the ignorance of the necessity of the observer to the existence of anything which makes science great at producing cell phones, weapons of mass destruction, and particle accelerators, but impotent and useless at apprehending truth and explaining the roots of how and why everything is where it is and what it is.  And that is why science is always going to be more destructive than it is instructive.  It is why that with every technological breakthrough, morality stumbles and intelligence plummets.  It is why the supreme realization of scientific achievement has always found such titanic playgrounds, pay days, and advocacy  in the context of war…in the cities and the fields where innocent blood mixes with the rubbish of spent ammunition and leaflets of propaganda.

Salvation is Conceptual, not Metaphysical

The logical conclusion of the reformed doctrine of Total Depravity is that man is sin (the rational arguments for this I have discussed in previous posts).  There is no rational distinction to be made between man and the concept of depravity itself.  The serious problem with this idea is revealed when we understand that man-as-sin equals an infinite essence of man which is the concept; and the concept which, since it cannot be observed to have any distinctiveness, any boundaries in the material world juxtaposed to what it is not, can only mean that the idea of “what it is not” is inapplicable, since there is no observation of and thus no rational way to define objectively what it is not…it is what it is what it is, and so on.  Sin is sin is the beginning and end of its definition, both conceptually and practically.

The only way sin can be described as having any distinctiveness is to observe its limitations in material reality.  This means that sin must be “revealed” as a function of some observably distinct object or agent.  This of course means that the observation of that object or agent which is materially so is the prerequisite of sin being efficacious.  Which means that sin is a direct function of the object or agent, and not the other way around.  Which means that the SELF of the object or agent is what is actual; therefore sin must be conceptual (not actual, but only “real” insofar as it serves as an efficacious abstract component of the systematic conceptual reality of the universe, which is a product of man’s mind).   Which means that sin does not actually exist as a distinct entity, but rather is a function of how the object or agent is observed relative to another object or agent.

But if the metaphysical roles are reversed…if man is the direct function (the product) and sin is the absolute, prerequisite entity which forms the efficacious basis for reality, then man is, again, the absolute concept of sin at his root existential level…the level of his very being, according to Argo’s Universal Truth Number One:  Whatever is a direct function of an absolute is the absolute.  And which, being absolute, cannot be breached by any “other”, or, as is more properly labeled, OTHER; with OTHER being the absolute SELF of that which is NOT the SELF of the agent (man) in question.

Any true relationship between agents, or an agent and an object, be it man to man or man to thing or man to God, requires the conscious observation of the SELF to OTHER, and there can be no OTHER without the existence of an actual, knowable, distinctive SELF by which what is NOT SELF (that is, OTHER agents or objects) can be observed.  Therefore if man is truly the incarnate of the concept of sin, then man cannot actually be conscious.  Any awareness of SELF is an illusion, since a distinct SELF of man is wholly incompatible with the infinite absolute of the concept of sin.  Man is merely an extension of the absolute, which makes him functionally the absolute itself.  “Man IS sin” means that man is not man by definition, man is something ELSE.  Which means, again, that man’s awareness of SELF is purely a lie.  His consciousness is an illusion.  A farce.  A facade.

Of course this cannot possibly be true, because if man is not conscious he cannot know SELF, which means that he cannot know any OTHER, be it an agent or an object.  Without the existence of the SELF it is quite impossible for man to recognize that he is not himself (that is, is depravity qua “totally depraved”) since “himself” never really existed in the first place.  Thus “man is sin” becomes a contradiction in terms.  Man cannot be sin because man cannot be what he is not (the point I made above in bold).  Which means that any talk of man’s sin and man being an offense to God and man needing Jesus and man receiving grace and man being totally depraved becomes nothing more than nonsense and mystic propaganda.  Man can no more know God than he can know himself.  His very existence is nothing, which means that God didn’t create him at all which means that sin and Christ and God are all irrelevant.  Just more illusions as a function of the grandest one, the un-actual SELF of man.

In order for man to know that he is sin and needs “regeneration” man must be self-aware, which demands the actual existence of a distinct SELF so that he can know what he is as opposed to what he is not, which includes God.  This way man can know that he needs God because “he” (that is man) actually exists, which is a requirement for DOING anything…in this case “needing God”. But of course if man is aware of SELF then this awareness must be real…that is, rooted in the actuality of the existence of man as a distinct agent, which means that man cannot actually be sin.  And if man is not sin then man is not totally depraved because depravity only exists as a concept which only has efficacious meaning in a specific context of man relating to objects or agents in his environment.  Man cannot be totally depraved ALL the time, because the only thing man is ALL the time is man. “Man is man” is the only logical metaphysical statement.  “Man is totally depraved”; “man is “inclined” towards sin”; man is “fallen”; man is “regenerated”; man is “saved”…all of those ideas have no rational basis if we concede that “sin”, “salvation”, “depravity”, etc. are anything more than conceptual abstractions man uses to define himself as a function of his relative interaction with other objects and agents in a specific context .  All truth begins with the rational premise that man is himself.  Any descriptions of man beyond that are nothing more than conceptual ways of describing his relative relationship to his environment, which includes other self-aware agents and other objects.

Thus any change of man, call it “salvation” or “regeneration” or “justification” or “being in right standing” cannot affect man at the level of his metaphysical root SELF, which is the absolute prerequisite to anything being efficacious or true (the only rational standard of morality and truth).  “Man is man’ is an absolute and categorical constant.  It cannot be altered, ever, by any idea, nor can it be changed from the infinite root of SELF, even by God.  For if God changes man from what he is to what he is not, God has created a contradiction that His own TRUTH cannot withstand.  Man cannot be what he is not, by definition.  And if God created man, then God created man as he is, not how he is NOT, never to be “regenerated” into what he is, existentially, NOT.  For if God creates man as he is NOT, then God could not really have created man; He must have created something else.  The “man” God created is void…is nothing.  Which makes God a liar, and makes God wholly irrelevant and a hypocrite.  God cannot call Himself the Creator if what He creates is nothing.  For nothing cannot exist, by definition.

So “change” in this sense (regeneration, salvation, justification, right standing, etc., etc.) is the observable altering of the infinite SELF of man as he relatively relates to other objects and/or agents.  It is NOT a fundamental transition of the SELF of man into something else, which as I said is an impossible contradiction.  Change, then, cannot happen metaphysically, it can only happen conceptually, meaning that change is a function of man’s inherent cognitive ability to conceptually define and organize his environment, and thus is ultimately a function of the assumptions which drive his actions in service to defining how he relates to his environment and other men and God, which forms the systematic rational/efficacious understanding and truth of his reality.  In other words, man’s changing from a “sinner” to a “saint” is a function not of metaphysics but of philosophical assumptions.  Or, more concisely stated:  salvation is a function of belief.

Hmm…who else has said that exact same thing?  Anyone?  Christians?  Now’s your chance to say something rationally consistent for a change.

And unless you concede that, then Jesus cannot make any real sense.  His message of belief was rooted in the idea that HE was God who was human.  The logic which can be obviously deduced from this is that being GOOD has nothing to do with humans morphing from one metaphysical reality to another–which makes God a liar and a hypocrite–but rather recognizing that humanity itself at its existential root is GOOD already.  That man is the plumb line for truth and good is evident when we observe that God came as a human being, and thus the only “law” which is efficacious for salvation is the law of love:  the recognition that man as God’s premier creation is the beginning and end of all philosophical TRUTH, which then goes on to define the reality of man’s life, which is efficaciously observed and thus known to be true via the actions of man with respect to his environment and fellow man and God and which can thus be seen to perpetuate and affirm the very SELF from which all existence, its definitions, qualifications and quantifications, are derived.

Why Total Depravity, Space, Time, Etc. Equals Determinism: The absolute nature of material objects as unobservable direct functions of conceptual abstractions

This morning I noticed a response to a comment of mine over at paulspassingthoughts.com.

“Lydia said, on March 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm

“Man, I love it when I’m right. I have accused her of being a hypocrite for months. This proves it. She is a full blown Calvinist, and an obvious determinist. I would say she only argues over how much, but if your sin is determined, then how much is ALL”

Argo, Not sure if determinism or a case of “we cannot help but be sinners after salvation”. Would that be determinism or a degree of determinism? I suppose it is because if we cannot help but sin (and not defining that as imputed guilt where our existence is a sin) then would that not be some form of determinism?”

I realize that I have not been clear on why Total Depravity is fundamentally a determinist premise, just like any concept which we assume has causal properties with respect to observable material objects and agents.  Since making my point requires a much lengthier explanation than is appropriate for a post in a comments thread, I decided to answer Lydia with a specific article on my own blog.

Here is my response:

*

Lydia, yes…and not only is it some form of determinism, I would argue that it is categorically pure determinism.

The logic goes something like this:

The inexorable premise of man as totally depraved is that man is, in fact, total depravity itself.  That is, man is the incarnate “body” of the “form”, or what is really the concept, of depravity.  This makes man a direct function of it since there is no observable distinction, and thus cannot be any rational/logical distinction, between man and depravity.  Depravity becomes causal.  But not only that, depravity becomes absolutely causal.

The reason it must be conceded that depravity is an absolute, by which we must concede it is infinite and all controlling, has to do with the fact that conceptual abstractions cannot be observed.  They have no material essence by which man can distinguish what they are from what they are not.  Therefore the entirety of the distinction between the concept and what it is NOT is, if we are speaking rationally, completely cognitive.  This makes any boundaries between the concept and the material object it “effects” fundamentally subjective; or, better said, it roots the boundaries in how man decides to make the distinction at any given moment according to his context, which is the actual and material concept, and not on any quantifiable properties of the concept itself.

Now, in a healthy philosophy, the non-actuality of conceptual abstractions like depravity (and space and time and even gravity)…that is, the subjective nature of the concepts, rooted in the understanding that they are products of man’s ability to conceptually organize his environment in service to his systematic survival, is conceded.  The conceptual abstractions are not assumed to be “real”…that is, it is understood that they have no power to affect any material object in any literal sense.  Objects and agents interact based upon their physical existence, and “cause and effect” becomes itself a concept which is described in more precise detail by other concepts, again, to organize the environment in service to man’s life.

This does not subvert the volition of the free agent of man, and it does not make his existence a matter of de facto determinism by suggesting that the interaction of objects he observes is a function of some kind of unobservable (and thus unknowable) “natural law” which “governs” the environment.  For if the environment is wholly governed by forces beyond man’s ability to observe with his senses, then man’s existence must be determined, because you cannot have a volitionally free agent who is coupled to a wholly “governed” environment.  If the environment is a product of “natural law”, which is merely another word for the determinist force, then so must man be.  “Free” and “governed” (as in the metaphysically guided sense) are mutually exclusive concepts.  They cannot possibly coexist.  Incidentally, this is the precise reason why God cannot be “sovereign”…why he cannot be “in control of all things”.  For if we concede that all is governed by God’s absolute control, then we are conceding that all of Creation is utterly determined by His will.  And, like I said, if Creation is utterly determined, then God’s will cannot possibly be “free”.  For if the universe MUST behave in a specific way, then God MUST specifically will it that way.  And if it is absolutely specific, God cannot and could not have ever willed whatever happens to happen in a different way.  God’s will is no more free than the Creation He has determined.  Again, there is no logical way to couple determinism with volitional freedom.  The two concepts are complete opposites.

Depravity as a conceptual abstraction has no material form which man can observe.  All man can observe is the effects of depravity upon objects and agents.  Again, this is fine when depravity is conceded to be non-actual, and thereby having no actual causal effect upon material reality.  The “effects” are only conceptual, and therefore as subjective as depravity itself is.  Now, understand that “subjective” does not automatically equal irrelevant or ineffective.  The way depravity is efficaciously defined so as to make it useful in organizing man’s environment has to do with acknowledging an objective standard (of truth) by which it can be practically defined and by which its (conceptual) effects can be observed.  For example, if the standard is man’s life (which is the only rational standard), then we can rightly define certain actions and thoughts as depraved, if we define depravity as “that which subverts man’s life and property”.  Murder, envy, larceny, adultery…all of these become “depraved” in a practical sense because we have defined depravity against the plumb line of man’s life.  The same could be said for the concept of “blue”.  When does “blue” become practical and efficacious?  When man, as the standard of truth, comes to a consensus of its definition.  Man as the standard and as the material volitional agent gets to decide what blue is.  Why?  In order to organize his environment; so man can communicate effectively.  And the fact that man is the one who gets to define blue proves that blue is a direct function of man’s conceptualizing brain and NOT a function of some kind of unobservable, ethereal and absolute “force” of blue beyond the material reality man observes, yet which is somehow able to effect its actions and interactions.

When depravity goes from a concept to an actuality, and from actuality to a governing force, then man is effectively removed from the existence equation for all practical purposes.  Man is a bystander at best to the FORCE of depravity.  Depravity, having no visible attributes, can only be known to man as absolute, and therefore its effects upon man and the rest of Creation are likewise absolute.  And this goes back to my original point:  when the Calvinist and the Reformed accuse man of being totally depraved, what they must mean is that man is depravity itself.  For there can be no rational distinction between that which is governed by depravity and depravity itself.  Since depravity is absolute and therefore infinite, having no observable boundaries, man is unable to distinguish himself from the causal force of depravity.  Thus, it must be conceded that depravity only exists…there is no such rational thing as what it is NOT, because depravity as a “form” has no observable, quantifiable boundaries.  Everything which acts as a function of depravity is an extension of depravity; and as there is no end to depravity since it has no observable boundaries, any function of depravity is going to be depravity itself.  This is why Argo’s Universal Truth Number One (soon to be number two) says:  Anything which is a function of an absolute IS the absolute.  There is no rational difference.

That being the case, man must be determined by his depravity, insofar as we observe actions of man, and yet understand (understanding being a contradictory concept in and of itself…if one is determined, one cannot understand)…and yet understand that they are not HIS actions, but are the “out-workings”, or the extension of the absolute of depravity.  There are no actions which were not ALREADY, if that makes any sense.

Hmmm…let me try to smooth this out here.

Since depravity itself is an infinite absolute for all the aforementioned reasons, then depravity IS, period.  Thus, it has no “time”…no “temporal” existence.  Man may observe cause and effect actions, but in light of the absolute governing force of determinism, cause and effect cease to have any relevant meaning.  The cause is the exact same thing as the effect, because whether it is the cause man is observing, or the effect, the source of both is identical:  depravity.  So if man acts in this way or that, there is no functional or practical difference between the actions.  ALL actions are equal extensions of depravity, which means that all of man’s conceptual qualifications/quantifications are meaningless.  Everything we observe IS depravity…not was or will be, because depravity is absolute.  There are no boundaries between what it is and what it is not that are actual and legitimate.  So there is no such thing as what was, or what will be…for all things ARE depravity, regardless of when or how man observes them.

So if you act, your action is a manifestation of depravity as it exists already…as it exists now, and has and will forevermore because it is constant. There is no functional difference between anything you have done or you will do.  All is the same amount of depravity.  This is why the Reformed doctrine of total depravity is merely just another facet of their wholesale worship of determinism, which MUST result in the death of man (which is why they are not Christian but are in fact a cult of death, as John Immel rightly explains).  They worship the idea that man is not himself, but is a direct extension of the absolute of depravity, which destroys man’s volition, which destroys man.  Their doctrine of depravity demands that they are categorical determinists which removes man from his own existence, which means they do not worship God, the actual Creator of actual man, but death.  For determinism in any form means the wholesale removal of man in the existential equation.  And the non-existence of man is the DEATH of man.

So when you act, you are acting according to the IS of the absolute of depravity.  What you do you cannot help but do because you are nothing more than what already IS via your existence qua depravity.  You are determined.  What you do you must do.  You have no choice because you are wholly consumed by the absolute force of depravity, which makes no rational distinction between “past”, “present”, and “future” actions.

And this is also why modern science, especially physics, is likewise rank determinism.  But the difference between physicists and Calvinists is that at least the physicists will tell you they are determinists.  They are not bashful about explaining to you the wonders of the laws which govern anything and everything.  Their problem is the cognitive dissonance which never gets discussed, either because they don’t want to talk about it, for obvious reasons, or (and this is the more likely explanation) because they completely and willfully ignore the massive philosophical implications of their subject, assuming that physical reality can be divorced from the consciousness which observes it.  This is the physicist’s greatest blunder, and why all of their models will always and inexorably terminate at the useless value of infinity, the parsing of which, via mathematics, gives them the keys to some truly impressive industrial products, and the efficacious use of these products creates the illusion of wisdom and genius, but ultimately their subject by itself offers no real answers to the questions they are really interested in.

The physicist’s cognitive dissonance is this: if all is governed by external and unobservable forces which determine the existence and interactions of all things, then how do they explain consciousness?  If humans are merely extensions of the absolute forces which govern then it is quite impossible for man to THINK.  For even man’s thinking does not belong to him.  Even man’s mind must be nothing more than the law which governs all things.  Which  means his mind is an illusion at best.  Which makes it impossible for man to know that he is determined, and impossible for him to recognize the law which determines him.   For an infinite absolute cannot recognize itself, by definition, because for it to know SELF means that it must also know what is NOT SELF.  But if SELF is absolute and infinite then there can be no such thing as NOT SELF.

Incidentally, this is why I reject the idea of ex nihilo.  God could never have existed “alone” as Himself.  There must always have been something else…some other substance or material by which God could know Himself from what is not Himself.  Otherwise God could not have claimed consciousness.  And without consciousness there is no existence. (But that’s a topic for another article.)

This is also why I reject the actuality of time and space (and gravity, too…but before I go there I need to do the preliminary work on explaining why gravity is just like time and space, which is why it isn’t actual, but conceptual, and that’s another article).  Time and space cannot be observed as distinct in the universe.  Their existence is “supposed” by observing the interactions of material objects and agents.  Their existence, like depravity, is only inferred from their effects upon material objects man observes.  This being the case, the relationship between time and space and the material universe must be a direct one.  And since they are in and of themselves utterly absolute, having no boundaries or dimensions which man can quantify or qualify via observation, anything we concede to be a function of time and space, or effected by them, must be conceded to be a direct function of them.  And if they are a direct function of these absolutes then the material objects and agents man observes ARE these absolutes. (Argo’s Universal Truth Number One (soon to be number two)).

Aaaaaaand back we are to square one.

Only material objects and agents exist.  What man cannot observe man cannot know.  And if man cannot know it then man cannot claim it exists, and man cannot qualify it or quantify it as any kind of actuality.  It is purely conceptual, not actual.  Only what can be seen as an IS which is distinct from what it IS NOT can be rationally described as existing.

Wicked Irrelevancy, Thy Name is Reformed

“I believe God gave Israel the Law to magnify the heinous nature of sin.”

Those words were written by commenter Jon (who I think is actually the infamous Randy) in the comments thread of the article “Calvin’s False Gospel:  On the wrong side of the Law, Galatians 3:15-25”, which can be found at paulspassingthoughts.com.  Jon is a quintessential Reformed protestant, and you can tell by the massive amount of equivocation he uses, and the incessant way he states the same contradiction exactly one million different ways hoping that by shear exhaustion his opponents will concede that yes, black can also be white and baseball can also be football and water is dry.  My friends, colleagues and countrymen, this is known as the deceptive bludgeoning of the contrary perspective.  It has served despotic philosophies well for thousands of years.  Why should Jon stop now?

Because the premises are full of shit.  That’s why.

But that’s the point, isn’t it?  They serve shit and when the great unwashed masses protest and say, “Wait a minute, this tastes depressingly like shit”, they respond, “Really?  I don’t see it like that.”  And they say, “There is only one way to see it!  As shit!”  And they say, “Not if you have been given the divine grace to perceive.  And for your tithe, I’ll give you a second helping.”

Now, instead of terminating the thought and the theology where Jon does, which is far, far away from the root of the issue (a nasty habit of the Reformed), we need to take it to the next logical step and ask:  Okay…sure, God gave the Law to point out the heinousness of sin, but what is the point of that, exactly?  What was the purpose of God deciding that man needed to become acutely aware of this heinous nature?  Was it to teach man how to stop sinning, or to announce that man couldn’t stop sinning?  And if it was to inform man that he couldn’t stop sinning then what was the point of that?  For to tell man that he is caught in the endless and hopeless cul-de-sac of his metaphysical essence (which is precisely the message of reformed theology) and which is beyond his ability to control since it IS a product of the endless and hopeless cul-de-sac of his metaphysical essence, and not a function or choice…well, I must admit that to declare this seems quite an irrelevant move on God’s part.  I mean, if man cannot do anything about it, then what is the use in him knowing?

There is no use.  There is no point.  The message that “sin is heinous” when followed by “and there is fuck all you can do about it because it is a function of your rote existence” is entirely superfluous.

Furthermore, I question the ability of man to even apprehend such a revelation in the first place.  Man’s metaphysical essence–the very root of his being–is absolute.  And as an absolute it is an infinite singularity…a completely autonomous and non-relative SELF.  It has no parts as such that can be distinctive or distinguished except in a purely conceptual/abstract sense.  Man’s singular metaphysical essence cannot be literally parsed into “knowing” and “doing”, as though these actions are manifestations of a different, but singular, root being.  The very notion is a contradiction in terms.  “Knowing” and “doing” are both a function of the exact same metaphysical core, which is, again, absolute and singular.  And further, actions and assumptions do not exist in a conceptual vacuum.  They are only “real” insofar as they are a manifestation of the SELF of the individual human being as he or she interacts in relative relationships with other agents and objects.

Being is an IS.  And it is ONE.  This is the metaphysical truth behind every self-aware agent, man and God both.  Everything man thinks (believes, understands) and everything man does is inexorably tied–and directly tied–to his uniform and infinite being.  Therefore, if man is flawed to the point of unavoidable, inevitable, automatic and irresistible sin, then this must also affect his ability to cognitively/intellectually apprehend anything righteous, anything GOOD, be it an object, an action, instruction, or revelation.  His irresistible sinfulness must inform his mind as well as his body, as the mind and the body are both components of the the same metaphysical singularity of SELF.  Man can no more cognitively/intellectually grasp the concept of not sinning than he can avoid committing sin through action.  Why?  Because thinking (which includes believing), strictly and literally speaking, is an action.  It is a work, in that both thinking and acting (in the visceral/”physical” sense) require volition and thus volitional movement via the consciousness of the human agent in service to an observable objective or standard.

(Note:  Please spare me the Pauline proof-texts; I already know them.)

In other words, thinking is a behavior tied to the singular essence of being.  Therefore, if we sin as a matter of our “nature”, then the sin, again, must wholly inform our thinking, which will affect our apprehension of the message:  sin is heinous.  Our “sinful nature” must affect the mind, and therefor our ability to grasp a clear and rational understanding of “good” and “truth” in any form, even, as I said, in the form of a heavenly message.  So Jesus, God, and Jon (let’s hope he makes a distinction between the three…but you never know with the reformed types) can declare the horrors of sin until they are blue in the face, and about our need for a Savior due to the absolute inability of man to resist sin because man is totally (metaphysically) depraved, but man, by this very definition cannot possibly apprehend this, and cannot possibly understand its implications and how it can be remediated…no, not in a million fucking years.  Man is a sinner because the doctrine demands that man IS sin.  And sin, being itself an absolute, because it is an abstract concept, beyond and out of reach of anything in the material universe which man occupies (ostensibly) in his “flesh”…yes, sin being thus an absolute cannot in any way be efficaciously or logically coupled to GOOD, or RIGHTEOUSNESS, even the GOOD of the message, “sin is heinous”, because it is entirely exclusive of it.  Sin incarnate as man cannot and shall not ever recognize the message from God, otherwise it must be said that it possesses the ability to concede the message is good.  And this ability will completely contradict the singular essence of man’s metaphysical depravity.

Thus, what man requires is a complete change of metaphysical essence, and it obviously cannot come from his totally depraved and wholly insufficient SELF.  It must come from outside himself.

But for those who are now tempted to get on bended knee and cry, “It is Christ who shall save me from this body of death!”…not so fast.  There are two insurmountable problems.  The first is that since man’s metaphysical essence is absolute, there can be no change to it, by definition.  It is the utterly complete and self-contained meaning and sum and substance of itself.

And thus the second problem: there can be no other besides it (that isn’t defined purely in terms of conceptual/relative relationship).  And this being the case, there can be no solution for man’s absolute metaphysical problem from outside himself because there is no outside himself.  Man as sin = an infinite essence which cannot be breached by “other” because it cannot co-exist in any literal sense with any other, including God.

*

(Part two next)

Things That Are TRUE and Things That Are GOOD Are Not Known in a Vacuum: Why things cannot be true or good unless there is an OBJECTIVE and NON-RELATIVE answer to “why?”

As those of you who read here regularly already likely understand, I maintain that the only way to call truth TRUTH and good GOOD in any reasonable and efficacious way is to define a plumb-line…a STANDARD by which anything we concede as TRUTH and GOOD can be measured against.  And that without this standard there can be no such actual thing as TRUTH or GOOD.  That is, anything we declare to “know” or “believe” can only be TRUE and GOOD if it can be rationally known as perpetuating and affirming the standard.  Without those things which we concede as GOOD and TRUE being understood within the context the objective standard, there is simply no way to actually (rationally/objectively) know whether anything is actually GOOD or TRUE.

Let me define what I mean when I say GOOD and TRUTH, in terms of the overarching philosophical concepts.

TRUTH refers to those things we say are true and those things we say are not true.  What I mean by this is that some true things are truly true and other true things are truly NOT true.  For example, “the sky is full of air” is truly true, while “the sky is full of chocolate pudding” is truly NOT true.  The knowledge catalog of TRUTH contains those things which can be actually known as true and false (truly NOT true) in order that man may properly define and organize his environment.

Why?

Well, the why is the standard of TRUTH and GOOD (by which they are known), which is the point I am getting to.

GOOD refers to those things we say are good and those things we say are not good.  And what I mean by this is that some things we understand as “good to know” are truly good, while some things we understand as “good to know” are truly NOT good.  For example, walking on the sidewalk is GOOD; and walking in traffic is NOT good.  Both of these things are truly GOOD to know, but one concept–walking on the sidewalk–is GOOD, and the other–walking in traffic–is NOT good; one is morally a good thing and one is morally (morality defined in this case as maintaining one’s life) a NOT good thing.

You see, there is more to knowledge than what is true or false; the flip side of of the epistemology coin is the moral implication of that knowledge.  Knowing things objectively and non-relatively means that those things which are known–that is, defined as this or that–will also contain some moral imperative; either they will be known as good things or as bad things, in accordance with the moral standard, which is the same as the knowledge standard.  And in both cases, whether the thing is known as objectively good or objectively bad (objectivity being established, again, by the standard) the knowledge, broadly speaking in terms of the concept of GOOD, is good to know.  Ergo, the concept of morality I prefer to label as GOOD; while the concept of definitive (objective) knowledge I prefer to label as TRUTH.

Both the good and the NOT good are GOOD to know, and to know reasonably, because proper moral understanding is efficacious to maintaining and affirming and perpetuating the standard.  The standard being the “why” things are actually good and actually true.

*

Okay, so what is the standard?  Those of you who are at least somewhat familiar with my philosophy will likely know the answer to this already.  And to be honest, it is the only answer possible.  There is no other answer which can in any way be reasonably defended, or rationally explained or defined.

The standard I am speaking of is HUMAN LIFE.  HUMAN EXISTENCE on the level of the individual, singular, SELF of you, and me, and everyone else who exists and shares the same inherent and autonomous ability of self-aware consciousness.  And you should understand that any Christian who concedes this wholly rational and objective standard will almost certainly be labeled as an unsaved, unbiblical, anti-Christ heretic who undoubtedly is “preaching another gospel” and as such is eternally accursed.  Agree with me at your own risk.  You want to see brother against brother, mother against daughter in law, and the like?  Try proclaiming YOURSELF as the infinite standard of morality and truth, as a child of God, able to define God as God and God as Good and SELF thus as good because you first exist to do so, making your existence the prerequisite for the efficacious truth of anything, even God.  And watch them flee.  Watch them light the fires and prepare the s’mores.  And then try to convince them that it is the height of humility to acknowledge the moral standard of SELF, because it means you can define God rationally, and thus understand His place of Honor effectively.  Good luck with that.  It is a thankless, uphill slog, and it must happen in the short time between when you first express your ideas and when they write you off as a hopeless apostate they want little if anything to do with.

Better yet…maybe you should just do what you’re used to.  Do what’s comfortable.  I mean, we have “orthodoxy” to rely on, after all.  Surely God will be happy with that, no matter how many children are raped and hapless lives wrecked in the name of “sound doctrine”, right?

No?  So be it.

Thus it goes when you try to introduce reason to mysticism.  And that is what Christianity is.  Christianity, except for a distressingly tiny handful of us –and I say that not arrogantly, but sadly and exasperatedly and matter-of-factly–is full blown mysticism these days.  Go around the world.  Scour the internet; the books; catechisms of the medieval “revelators”; talk amongst the pastors and priests of any denomination you like.  That’s fine…take all the time you need.   Just don’t check your Bible…well, unless you approach it with the false and evil interpretive concepts they almost all do.  For if you look at your Bible with an objective eye upon the rational standard of human life, you might actually see that Jesus Christ was a human being who was God.  If this doesn’t convince you that HUMAN life is fully capable of being an objective standard of TRUTH and GOOD then nothing will.  Well…almost nothing.

I am living proof that drowning in a sea of evil theology need not be permanent.  That rebirth is possible.  During the throws of confusion and anxiety which followed me and my family’s separating from Sovereign Grace Ministries (an entity dedicated to dark ages Christianity, Calvinist hedonism and wicked theology, and believes that FORCE and AUTHORITY are the plumb line for spiritual “truth”) I found myself contemplating returning to that crucible of evil ideas out of sheer stress.  And in the midst of this I heard the Holy Spirit speak to me in an audible voice and He said, “You have Me; you do not need them”.

And I never looked back.  And that?  Was the beginning of my understanding.  You see, a little after hearing those words I decided that God must be rationally explained; that any theology which rested upon a foundation of “who the fuck knows; its all a mystery at the end of the day” could not possibly be true.  And that if the Creator Himself was not able to be defined rationally and consistently (objectively) then man’s epistemology was doomed, and faith was completely wrecked.  I understood that blind faith was really NO faith.  That madness and the LACK of TRUTH could not pass for TRUTH and faith without impugning God; without relegating Him into the same corner as every other false god and foolish religion man had ever conjured up in his ultimately empty, pointless mind.  Now, I would be lying if I said I was on the brink of giving up  my faith.  Truly, I knew that the Lord had answered prayers in my younger days so clearly; so apparently and actually that that alone, I was convinced, would make my walking away from the faith even LESS rational than concluding that it could only be explained by “mystery”.  This is testament to teaching people about Christ as early as possible.  Because God indeed responds to the faith of children.  He NEVER disappointed me.  Not once that I can recall.  It is amazing that when you concede that you ARE, and that God IS, and that there is a mutual exchange of value based upon the rational notion that BOTH have freedom of the mind to define and know the other in truth and reason, how God will respond to that.  It was only when I began to sink in the quicksand of SGM’s determinist lie that the answers stopped.  They stopped because I no longer had a definition for ME, for mySELF.  And God will not hear the prayers of the unbeliever.  Because believing in God means that you must believe in the TRUTH of the SELF; and this means valuing the SELF as God’s supreme creation.  And if you cannot answer the question “what are you?” (what is man?) then it is impossible to answer the question “what is God?”.  And that is why I fear so greatly for the salvation of those who have given themselves over to the despotism and lie which passes for Christianity these days. I was once asked if I was a Universalist.  I laughed…not because I was surprised, you see.  You must understand that when you believe the things that I believe (that faith must be rooted in reason, and all TRUTH must be rooted in individual SELF/LIFE) you get confused with all kinds of things.  First it was that I was Arminian.  But then I explained I didn’t know anything about Arminianism because I had been a fucking Calvinist all my life.  Then it was Universalist.  Then it was probably some other thing I don’t know anything about, and now it’s just heretic or “idiot”.  Whatev.  Like I said, try to introduce reason into matters of “faith” when that faith is rooted in rank mysticism which looks more like a Hindu Caste system than anything resembling what Christ or Moses taught and get ready for some serious frothing.

And we think we are so much better than the hoards which stormed the Bastille or burned fake witches in Salem or dunked wives in ponds for “back-talking husbands” to the point of drowning in rural Pennsylvania or drove a generation of innocent Jews to the gas chambers or commit “honor” killings in the name of Allah.  (“Honor killing”?  Now there’s a contradiction in terms.)  What a bunch of fucking hypocrites.

But anyway, I laughed at being labeled a Universalist because if anything, I explained, I believe there will be far fewer people in heaven than we think.  That the “mansion with many rooms” is going to have…well, not that many rooms, relatively speaking, and won’t be as big as we imagine.

Deep down though, I was confident that my faith would not come to mystery; because if the understanding of my Creator was ultimately rooted in mystery–which is just a euphemism for “shrug”–then I could not know myself.  That ALL I observe, including the SELF of ME, is an illusion.  And you know what?  An illusion cannot be aware of an illusion.  That is a rational impossibility.  I  knew that I WAS.  And if I was, then God WAS.  And HOW He was and I was could not be rooted in mystery, because mystery is nothing but an illusion when we speak of matters of reality and metaphysical essence.  If I was me and God was God then I knew it was all a matter of reason…of logically reconcilable assumptions which would lead to the rationally explainable need for a Creator and a Savior.  And once I conceded that, it was just a matter of thinking about things..about all the questions that remained unanswered or “paradoxical” (which they aren’t, they are contradictions), and not assuming that since all this shit had already been “done before”, and that “people have tried to figure this out for centuries” it therefore must be impossible to know…as if the fact that Christians haven’t developed a rational understanding of their faith yet is relevant in any way.  It’s only relevance is that it illustrates just how far we have to go and why so much of the world flees our bullshit in droves.  The “we can’t really know, because it’s been tried before and we’ve always failed” mantra is a rank, intellectually lazy cop out.  It is much easier to throw your hands up and cry “mystery”.  “All is mystery!”.

Except when it isn’t.

Except when you are having panic attacks and debilitating anxiety and it’s all rooted in the assumption that someone who cannot define himself on a metaphysical level as rationally existing with rational reasons why and rational conclusions as to how cannot possibly know that this anxiety is BAD, and is not “God’s will”.  And its fucking hard if not impossible to get better if you think it is likely, in your determinist assumptions, that God WANTS it this way.

And that’s when I realized that all of that was wrong.  That if I was determined and God wanted it this way then good and evil had no real definition.  Right and wrong, true and false could not be known or defined.  And if that was true, then God had no business being believed in, so there was really no God who could “want it this way”, or to have “determined it”.  Because if I couldn’t know right and wrong from good and bad or true and false because ALL things were determined by a “sovereign” God according to His “sovereign grace” then God could have no definition because there was no such thing as me knowing anything.  Everything I knew was determined, and as such, there was no ME thinking it, because there was no ME.  I was DETERMINED.  Which meant that my consciousness was a lie, which mean that God was a lie, too.  Determinism, not God, was God…so to speak.  You see, if all is determined then all thoughts are determined.  And that means you have no choice but to think what you think and believe what you believe.  Which means that there is no YOU, because without the ability to choose what you will believe you cannot declare that it is YOU believing.  Even your very notions of SELF are nothing more than an extension of the determinist force.

So I began to develop, for the first time since I was little and prayed God prayers that He actually answered, a rational sense of SELF.  A sense of my own consciousness and that it was mine.  Mine alone.  Mine to BE, and with it I chose to think what I thought and believe what I believed.  And if I WAS, rationally, then I understood something even more profound and something more important:

The fact that I was, was ABSOLUTE.  It was the singularity of my entire SELF.  Me, existing, was the singular and infinite source of everything I was and everything I saw and all truth and all good that I conceded.  The fact that I existed was even the source–the vehicle–for knowing God.  Which meant that God’s practical existence depended first on MY existence and being aware of it; that I had to BE, first, before God or anything else had any relevance or meaning. And that this awareness and being had to be autonomous and independent or it could not be defined as anything but an extension of the determining force, which made me a lie, which meant that I could not possibly know God, because determinism is absolute, and as such removes even God from His place.  All there is is determinism.  Period.  Full stop.

And that is when it hit me.  The root of all truth and morality stares at each one of us in the mirror every morning.  Our efficacious, root existential, metaphysical SELF is the source of all we know and all that exists.  Why?  Because if it doesn’t exist to US, then it cannot be qualified as existing, period.  Without YOU, there is no way for you to know anything; and if you don’t know anything, you cannot argue for the existence of anything…anything at all, even God.

Thus, YOU (and me, and him and her, and all of us individual SELVES) are the objective standard by which all things are properly defined, and properly and efficaciously known to be TRUE and GOOD, even God.  And for those of you who cannot accept this, so be it.  But you must understand…and I DEFY you to refute this…you must understand that there is no other rational standard.  There is nothing you can concede, there is nothing you can say, there is no way to reject or deny my standard without automatically contradicting your own argument.  Why?  Because the prerequisite for you disagreeing with me is–like it is the prerequisite for anything else–YOU.  YOU must EXIST FIRST before you can “know” I am wrong, and declare to me that SELF is not a requirement for the TRUTH and GOOD of anything we know, even God.  And that automatically makes your counter argument a hypocrisy. 

*

The standard is the human SELF.  It is the standard because it is the prerequisite for knowledge and belief.  All knowledge and understanding is a direct function of the actual IS of man.  And this is why the root of moral perfection and truth is man’s life, and not anything else.  Not even God.  God is known as TRUE and GOOD because man first EXISTS to know it…and even if you cry “revelation!” you must concede that man must posses an inherent ability to be revealed to.  Man must exist first, before he can be “given” the divine knowledge.  Existence cannot proceed revelation!  That’s simply impossible.  If there is nothing or no one to reveal to, then revelation is not only pointless but it is not revelation at all, by definition.

So the human SELF is the standard.  It is why anything can be good or true.  And if that offends some, I really don’t care.  I’m tired of caring…because I’m tired of being called an idiot and a heretic, or that my ideas are unbiblical and lies by people who have no standard of truth, which makes them hypocrites of the worst kind.  How dare they declare me a blasphemer when they cannot even rationally define God because they have murdered Him and themselves upon the altar of their false religion…of their “sound doctrine”.

I have no kind words for people like this.  And there is no limit to the invective I maintain for their ideas.  They are the seeds of despotism…and they worship the murder of humanity as the greatest and only moral “good”.  He who has no answer for “what is man?” is the worst kind of liar.

When the Creator is Also the Creation; and the Theo-Marxism of the Abstract Christian Value Hierarchy

(Part One)

The completely subjective abstract value hierarchy under consideration in this series is the following:

1. God

2. Family

3. Church

4. Work

Or, as we are already starting to see in the orientation schools of spiritual and state tyranny, the neo-Calvinist/Reformed “local churches”, it may be expressed something like:

1. God/Church

2. Family

3. Work

What this adjustment to the hierarchy means is that not even the lip service paid previously will be given to any distinction between God and the Church.  Remember, in any entity which roots itself in Marxist philosophy–which is rooted in Augustinian/Luther/Calvinist theology, which is rooted in Greek gnosticism, which is mysticism–the assumption is that the depraved, unwashed, unenlightened, uninformed, or socially “disadvantage” masses are existentially unable to apprehend TRUTH.  And TRUTH is a direct function of “god”, in whatever form the philosophy happens to acknowledge him/it.  This puts the masses inexorably outside of the absolute WILL of the One who demands that all people and all things conform to a particular Standard of existence; some “law” of reality, if you will.  Therefore, in order to compel the masses into right behavior and thinking someONE must “stand in the stead” as “god’s”  proxy to compel.  The means of compelling the ignorant masses is always–by virtue of the metaphysical assumptions the philosophy makes about man–through violence, but the violence is not always blatantly physical.  Often “lesser” forms of destruction are used, such as indoctrination, propaganda, subterfuge, conflation, subliminal messaging, persistent monitoring (i.e. the destruction of privacy), blackmail, intimidation and fear-mongering, and so on.  All of this is in service to ushering in the only model of civilization that “god” will accept: “Salvation/Eden/Heaven”, the “utopia/workers paradise”, the “categorically fair and socially just society”, the “divine destiny of the Nation/State”, the “promulgation of the Race”, the “New World Order”, etc., etc..  Now, these ideas are merely euphemisms, employed as vessels of indoctrination, for the utter benefit of the ruling autocrat who becomes the very root and source of all reality, and thus, is the only one metaphysically and epistemologically capable actually receiving “good things”, because only he is able to truly apprehend them, because only he possesses the pure and divine Gnosis, or “special knowledge”.

In other words, the autocrat is “god” for rest of the world.  And as “god’s” incarnate proxy, he is the only one with the proper frame of reference by which to truly understand the benefits of the pure utopian society.  Therefore, the overwhelming lion’s share of spoil goes to him.  The rest get what he decides to give them, and they are expected to be content with that.  Any discontent is seen as pridefully asserting the lie that the dissenter is capable of apprehending TRUTH on his or her own, apart from the “grace” of the leader who represents God to them.  This naturally is met with swift punishment, which can be and often is exceptionally violent.  You must understand that once you deviate from the collective, your value as a “life” is nullified (and I put “life” in quotation marks because the philosophy does not permit the existence of anything which can rationally be defined as “life”).  The only way to deal with you is to either force you back into the collective or to eliminate you in service to the collective’s absolute TRUTH; which I have already explained is represented by the autocrat as its incarnate form.

From this vantage point, I think you will notice, or have begun to catch at least a glimpse of, the extremely interesting position this places the autocrat in.  He is no longer merely the incarnation of “god” to the masses, but also represents the incarnate singular form of the masses as they are presented perpetually before “god”.  In this position, the autocrat has truly become “all in all”.  He is both God and the Group, the Primary Consciousness and the Collective, the Nation and the People.  He is the absolute and infinite SELF of ALL Creation as well as (and as inexorably integrated into) the absolute and infinite SELF of the Creator.  Indeed, I am sure those of you with any significant experience with neo-Calvinist/Reformed churches have heard the Pastors explain how they will have to “give an account” for you before God on the day of judgement, and this is why you should submit to them and make their calling a “joy”, not a burden.  They have been called to care for you and your souls, because they are ultimately the ones responsible for them before God.  This plea for obedience because it is they, not you, who will give an account for you at the final calling is precisely what this means:  they are the singular, incarnate form of the church collective before God.  They are YOU to God as much as they are GOD to you.  To the sane among us, the level of presumption and conceit it takes for a Pastor (or any priest of the Primary Consciousness) to actually believe this is utterly beyond words, and is awesome in its evil.

This is a very interesting metaphysical position indeed.  And one that is rationally impossible and self-defeating at its core.  And is why collectivist societies in any form always wind up in tyranny, with the death of the individual touted as the greatest moral good.

The sad and terrifying irony of this is that since the autocrat assumes the identity of both Creator and Creation, he has lost his ability to define himself, since there is no such thing as any efficacious, rational, practical or relevant definition of what he IS without the ability to make the observable distinction of what he IS NOT (an issue I covered in my Borg post).  This makes him a man without any identity and without any rationally grounded, objective understanding.  The moral equivalence of all things, ideas, and actions is the inexorable and inevitable outcome of this psyche.  And though I have discussed this before, it bears a review.

What is moral equivalence?  Moral equivalence is the final, destructive outcome of the more commonly heard phrase “moral relativism”.  It is not the idea that there are dichotomies of good and evil, and that these dichotomies are relative as a function of specific and quite possibly mutually exclusive contexts, as we find in relativism;  rather, It is the idea that there is no such thing as good and evil at all.  That all actions are morally identical…that they are morally inert.  Thus, and by definition, the rape and murder of a twelve year-old child is the moral equivalent of Jesus’s feeding of the five thousand. Mother Theresa the moral equivalent of Genghis Khan.

This thinking inevitably turns individual human beings into playthings which exist for the sole purpose of satisfying the whims and insatiable appetite of the autocrat, who will exploit living and breathing souls as though they were so much pocket change dumped into the slot machines at Caesar’s Palace, or dollar bills stuffed into the crotch of some Chippendale’ s thong.  He will do favors for his friends, and commit genocide to eliminate his detractors.  He will lie and cheat and steal and deceive and there can be no one in the position to question his actions because no one else actually exists.  And this is precisely how wind up with…North Korea.  And Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.  Stalin’s Russia.  Hitler’s Germany.  Communist Cuba.  The Weather Underground, the IRA, the UDA/UFF, and various sundry Islamic baby killer clubs.  They are all of like mind.  The Primary Consciousness is the cause, the Collective is the outcome, and the autocrat is the incarnation of BOTH.

Welcome to the jungle; come, all you children of the Beast.

*

(Part Two, Redux)

The specific “Christian” abstract value hierarchy we are examining is generally considered to be a product of puritanical influences, which find a contemporary voice most vociferously within the Protestant church, predominantly those which espouse an adherence to “Reformed” orthodoxy.  These churches often advertise themselves as being “Bible believing”, and practicing “sound doctrine”, which is based “only upon the “Word of God”.

Do not be fooled by such deceptively innocuous and benign terminology.  What they mean by “solely appealing to the God’s Word” is anything but.  Rather, their doctrine is rooted very much in Greek mysticism, most notably Plato’s theory of Forms, from which almost all totalitarian states derive their ideological foundations.  This mystic tyranny is codified and systematized and stamped “Christian orthodoxy” most cohesively in John Calvin’s “Institutes of the Christian Religion”, which for all of its loquacious and academic ramblings is little more than a primer on how to subvert the individual and press them into the service of the State.

Modern day Protestantism in general I submit is, by virtue of its shared roots in Greek mysticism/Platonism/gnosticism, inextricably linked to Marxist totalitarian philosophy, wherein we find that the sum and substance of man’s material and “spiritual” being is found only via the complete integration of the individual SELF into the collective which–and this is important because it underscores the hypocrisy inherent in the philosophy– is governed by a central autocracy, which must always terminate at a single person, who proclaims himself the full-on, indivisible, incarnation of the Primary Consciousness (that “essence”, always metaphysically unobservable, outside of humanity, existing in a sphere of being which is mutually exclusive to the senses and thus the epistemology of the “masses”).  In communism, fascism, or socialism, the Primary Consciousness is simply known as the State; in Monarchism it is the King or Queen; in Tribalism it is the Tribe; and in the “melting pot” of America’s societal subcultures it is the Race.  And in the virulent strain of neo-Calvinist/Reformed “Christianity”, it is the Church, or the Body.

In all of these we need to recognize that the root of belonging to the collective has absolutely nothing to do with the individual person him or herself.  Literally nothing at all.  You are a direct function of the group or your do not exist at all; there is no distinction between the individual SELF and the group COLLECTIVE, which is, of course, purely a conceptual abstraction and as such is completely beyond the scope of man’s senses and therefore his understanding.  Thus, there is no answer to the question “What is man?”in neo-Calvinist/Reformed theology because no MAN exists.  “Man” is the collective, and the collective is man.  Man becomes the concept of “many”, which, because the “many” is a totally absolute collective has no quantifiable, relevant, or efficacious parts.  The collective IS, period.  Which means man as a SELF can only be metaphysically defined as IS NOT.

With that in mind, let us turn our attention once again to the abstract value hierarchy in question:

1. God

2. Church

3.  Family

4.  Work

The church loves to use this scale ostensibly because it is a reasonable way to organize the most prominent spheres of one’s life.  As always, the church must play the role of the benign altruist.  It is a role they play well, thanks to two thousand years of practice on live subjects.  The ostensible argument for such a hierarchy is this:  if we can effectively organize these integral components of life into their respective levels of importance, surely we will be much better able to prioritize our time and our money, no?  We will be in a much better position to pursue the most important goals according to their relative value to the grand objective of “glorifying God”, and therefore we shall be in a much better position to effectively live up to our Christian calling and our personal responsibilities before our heavenly Father, right?

Of course the one glaring problem with this false hierarchy is that nowhere within it do we find what should logically be affirmed to be the prerequisite for the existence of such a value hierarchy in the first place:  the SELF of the individual…or, YOU.  YOU are nowhere to be found.  Look around.  Call your name.  Do you come?  Do you peek out from behind “family” and wave?  Do you give a thumbs-up from behind “church” and call out cheerfully, “Hear I am! I’m okay!”?

Not at all.

This is by design.  For any mention of YOU automatically makes a distinction between the individual SELF and the abstract concepts within the value hierarchy.  And this cannot be suffered in collectivist ideologies.  The inclusion of YOU simply confuses the issue.   In a sense, “you” are I suppose somewhat of a given, as it were; as the ipso facto bystander who is somehow there, but indefinable.  Pointless.  The irrelevant “external” observer to the abstract ideas which claim sole ownership over your life…your SELF.  This is why human beings individually are never actually defined or formally recognized in the creeds and catechisms and statements of faith of Reformation theology, either official or unofficial.  In these articles, the individual becomes merely a cosmic apology; the scapegoat which makes all of the control and violence necessary in order to satisfy the wrath of God.  The problem of evil is the existence of the individual.  And the solution is to remove him or her from the equation, which is precisely why YOU are nowhere to be found in the abstract value hierarchy.  The point is to erase you from your own existence.  And this is done via the exchanging of the SELF for abstract ideas, notions ,and concepts like hierarchies, caste systems, church membership agreements, systematic theologies, statements of faith, creeds, laws, rules, home groups, care groups, youth groups, committees, church bodies, ecclesiastical offices, etc., etc..  Yes, these are all instituted to function as a metaphysical replacement for the great cosmic offense of the SELF.

YOU are photo-shopped out of existence, like Marty McFly’s dog-eared photograph of he and his siblings in “Back to the Future”.  Wiped clean…the stain of YOU removed from before God’s eyes, replaced with God and Church and Family and Work.  And even these are indistinguishable from each other.  Even these are simply ONE when the assumptions which produced the hierarchy are taken to their logical conclusions.  All of these are merely direct extensions of the collective, which is the Church, which is the Senior Pastor, the Omnipotent Autocrat who stands in the stead of God to you, and in the stead of you to God.

YOU never get a place on the mystic totem pole of abstract value hierarchies; in the caste system of “special revelation”; in the “authority” demarcations of the collective.  Thus, the individual can be given no relevant value.  As such, as I have said, the individual does not actually exist.  You are a shadow, nothing more, having causal power like a shadow causes the doorknob to turn or the gate to move.  Therefore, the individual is afforded no dignity within the collective…and those of you with any measure of experience with neo-Calvinism are likely familiar with this truth.  You recall how often you heard the woes of church financial difficulties, or the lack of adequate volunteers on the Urinal Cake Cleaning Committee, or the conflicts amongst the leadership or laity…yes, you recall how the convenient scapegoat for these difficulties was always the desire of people to “do their own thing” (i.e. own themselves), instead of listening to the counsel of the Church.

Why is that?

Because proclaiming the right of autonomous SELF is akin to the worst kind of apostasy in neo-Calvinism and Reformation doctrine (or any collectivist ideology), and is the root of all evil.  The individual is the devil incarnate, and is rebuked with substantial vitriol.  Church troubles always boil down the dickheads who have the audacity to think that they can exist in any relevant or righteous sense outside of the collective group think…as if God recognizes anyone apart from their proper “role” in the church.  The nerve.  Any assertion of YOU is selfish by definition.  Your resistance to the all-consuming push of the collective is an affront to the absolute truth of its existence.  You are not allowed to say noYou are not allowed to refuse.  For any self-promotion is precisely why God hates people, and why so many are going to roast and hell, and why so few (sniffle, sniffle, and down roll the crocodile tears) find their way to the narrow road which leadeth unto heaven.