Monthly Archives: June 2014

Infanticide to Save Your Children from Hell = DEATH is Man’s Primary Moral Imperative

BTW, does anyone remember Andrea Yates? “She believed that the children would be tormented and perish in the fires of hell unless they were killed,” Dr. Melissa Ferguson testified.

-Commenter, A Mom

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While in prison, Andrea stated she had considered killing the children for two years, adding that they thought she was not a good mother and claimed her sons were developing improperly. She told her jail psychiatrist: “It was the seventh deadly sin. My children weren’t righteous. They stumbled because I was evil. The way I was raising them, they could never be saved. They were doomed to perish in the fires of hell.[59] She also told her jail psychiatrist that Satan influenced her children and made them more disobedient.[60]

-Wikipedia Article; Andrea Yates (Bold type mine)

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A Mom,

Yes, I remember reading about Andrea Yates. To be brutally honest, the thinking behind her actions is the root moral premise of ALL philosophies which do not ultimately place man’s life at the center of morality and truth (which makes man’s life the only objective and categorical standard of both).  And what is the root moral premise  behind these destructive philosophies, as a function of their root metaphysical premise?  Simple:

The death of man, not his life, is the solution to the problem of evil.

Here are just a few examples:

* Marxism = The individual must be ruled; must be compelled to group integration, governed absolutely by the state.  Why?  Because the individual inexorably trends towards greed and exploitation, as a function of his root metaphysic.  Individual man IS greed, racism, oppression, and selfishness.

* National Socialism/Socialism/Fascism:  The individual must be ruled; must be compelled to group integration, the utopian ideal embodied and governed by the state.  Why?  Because purity is defined by the group– the workers, the people, the disadvantaged, the advantaged, the wise, the racially pure, etc.–never the person.  The individual thus has no definition, no meaning, no purpose as a function of his root metaphysic.  Individual man IS nothing and no one.

* “Orthodox” Protestantism of ALL varieties/Catholicism:  Man must be ruled, compelled to “right thinking and behavior” by the church authority divinely selected to “stand in the stead” of God.  Man must worship at the cross, the instrument of death, to remind man of death’s perfect moral outcome.  Why?  Because the death of self is God’s great command, and His divine example in the crucifixion.  The individual IS totally depraved; he IS evil incarnate.  Pursuit of self then is man’s greatest vice.  The “church” alone possesses the keys to God’s kingdom; they are not found in the individual because that which is absolute evil (man and his life) cannot be coupled with that which is absolute good (God).  Man must be purified by integration into the collective church as ruled by God’s divine and divinely inspired proxies.

* Tribalism (which is Racism, cultural-ism, fad-ism, trend-ism):  The individual must be ruled.  He has no meaning outside of the tribe; no relevance, no purpose.  He is solely defined by his integration to the tribe and its collective psyche and ideals.  Alone and pursuing self, man is a “Wigger”, an “Uncle Tom”, a “house nigger”, a “Wannabe”, a “poser”, a “traitor”, a “Jew/Nigger/Gay lover”, thinks he/she’s special, a “freak”, a “geek”, a nerd, a bleeding heart liberal pussy, a greedy white supremacist capitalist pig homophobe…and on and on and on. Why?  Because man’s instincts are always evil, always contrary to nature, and always subversive.  Integration to the tribe is the only way to keep his existential immorality in check.  Death of self in service to the trends of the tribe, whatever they may be, is the plumb line for man’s worth and righteousness.  Why? Because man IS selfish waywardness, which is exploitative by nature.

Need I go on?  Of course not.  You get the point.

Andrea Yates was found not guilty by reason of insanity, if I read the article right.  That would be funny if it was not indicative of the intellectual blindness and rational lethargy which plagues this nation to a terrifying and astonishing degree.

Crazy?

No.  Not with respect to her religious reasons for murdering her five children.  She was as doctrinally fucking pure as they come.  The doctrine of ALL Christian orthodoxy, I submit and as far as I can tell, terminates at the conclusions Andrea Yates arrived at right before she drowned her innocent babies.  She was in the position, and by that I mean mentally, to carry them out, and so she did.  Far from being insane, her actions are entirely rational with respect to the doctrine.  Death is man’s greatest moral good.  Man MUST die in service to the absolute truth of God’s sovereign and all determining WILL, and the sooner the better.  If children are innocent until the age of reason and responsibility, mercy demands they be murdered before that time.  That way, they can avoid the great probability that they will not be arbitrarily elected by God to heaven (for narrow is the road, after all, the Bible says) and thus burn in the fires of hell for all eternity for being the depraved reprobates they are.  Any loving mother would and should do the same for her children if the logic is taken to its deadly consequence.

And if children are born depraved, then their murder is their just punishment.  Surely God cannot condemn the righteous woman who snuffs their lives out in an act of reverence for God’s justice, which must be fulfilled, especially if she is wise and clairvoyant enough to see the inevitability of their plunge into rebellion.  The children were rank and pure sinners, and they got what they deserved.  How can any mother who venerates God’s moral perfection so gratuitously by murdering the fresh affronts to His glory be reprimanded or categorized as insane for merely meting out the punishment which Divine purity demands?  God should never be opposed by that which is depravity incarnate, especially that which is so freshly and purely evil:  the children, who are naturally the most selfish of all human scum.  They aren’t even able to make a pretense to good or to give nod to God’s glory.  All they see is SELF.  And that SELF is nothing but sin in its most uncut and perfect form.

And finally, if God is sovereign, and we define “sovereign” as “in control of all things”, and as the determining force by which all that happens was able to happen and did happen, then the murder of Andrea’s children is a moot point, morally speaking.  For how can we declare any action immoral when by doctrinal definition all things which come to pass MUST be as a direct function of God’s will?  The answer is we cannot.  The children who were elected to heaven will still go to heaven; the children who were elected to eternal torment in hell even before their birth will still go to hell.  Each group will be utterly cast into its pre-ordained place.  The lives they might have led are irrelevant at best.  For their lives would have offered them nothing in the grand scheme of God’s sovereign will.  Not that they could have lived them.  The fact that they were murdered by their mother is proof that they were never meant to live in the first place.

Dear readers, this is not hyperbole.  I dare anyone to dismantle my reason by appealing to orthodox Christian ideals.

Andrea Yates was not insane.  She was acting in perfect accordance with the doctrine of the church today.  She just had the will and wherewithal to see it through.  And any orthodox Christian who condemns her is a hypocrite.  You believe the same things.  The only thing that makes you different is your unwillingness to practice your doctrine as it demands in its consistent form.  You are either then a coward, a rebel, or are ignorant of what you really believe.  You are either afraid, stiff-necked, or blind; and none of these makes you righteous according to your beliefs.  I will say it again:  any Christian who concedes “Original Sin”, the “Fall of Man”, “Total Depravity”, God’s divine control and determinism, or the existential inability of man to do good of his own free will and yet condemns Adrea Yates is a full-on hypocrite, and is twice as evil in their beliefs. Their only hope is that they are wholly unaware of what they believe; but I confess that the chances of intellectual laziness (and the resultant complacency with the pervasive influence of evil) being excused because it is argued that it was due to forces outside of their control…well, they are exceedingly slim.

And if you are reading this article, you have no chance to make this excuse before God.  You are morally and intellectually obligated to investigate your beliefs and follow the breadcrumb trail to the logical conclusions.

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Andrea Yates’ perfectly SANE (i.e. internally rationally consistent) doctrinal rationale looks like this:

Death is the answer to life; because man is by existential nature “fallen” and his life is certain to be full of torment and suffering and guilt.  Therefore, death remains the supreme moral and final solution for man’s problems. Man is evil incarnate; man’s birth the source of all existential and universal ills. Pursuing the destruction of man is the moral obligation.

I did an article a while ago dealing with this very thinking. The idea that we should just kill babies so that they’ll go to heaven instead of risking that they should grow up and not believe in Jesus, thus damning themselves to hell for eternity. The logical flaws in this argument are massive, and unfortunately no one really seems to see them.

Without going into the finer points of my article(s) the fundamental assumption behind the assertion that babies should be killed in order to avoid damnation is just what I said above: Life is too risky to be lived. Life is fraught with evil, and as commenter, Tom over at SpritualTyranny stated, even if you don’t believe that man’s nature is depraved surely man’s environment will inevitably coerce man into inexorable and irresistible sin. Following this thinking backwards to its logical premises, the idea is that this sin-compelling environment is a direct function of man’s, not the world’s, existential evil.  Again, man’s life represents the sum and substance of all that is evil and all that causes suffering. Destroying man saves the world from his utterly evil existence, and may even save man. From what? From himself.  Do you see then the fundamental problem with Tom’s argument?  Man’s environment is a direct function of man’s sin, not the other way aroundMan caused and causes the environment to fall and languish, man’s environment is not the culprit.  Man corrupts the environment; the environment does not corrupt man.  The environment doesn’t influence man to sin; man’s root existential depravity exploits the environment as a natural consequence.  Man is the root evil, the source of universal corruption, not the world around him.  Eliminate man and the environment is not longer fallen.  It regains its lost moral perfection and purity.  Kill man, save the environment.

So, disregarding Tom’s non-logic,  the real argument being made is: Kill the babies as a means to save them from their own existence, which by their nature demands absolutely that they will do evil, reject Christ, and be damned. And all of this simply because they were born. And rather than allow them to live the life that they were by definition created to live, murder them as a solution to their first and fundamental problem: being.

In conclusion, I would like to appeal to my philosophy as the panacea for the madness which is so overwhelmingly pervasive in the world today:  All of this dissipates when we concede that human life and the perpetuation of the SELF of man is the single standard of truth and morality. Then life becomes the solution, never the problem of evil.

The only way evil is repelled is if PEOPLE are allowed to LIVE in order to confront it with better ideas.  Ideas and beliefs that venerate man’s existence as the pinnacle of God’s creative GOOD. Any other philosophy WILL logically conclude with death as man’s primary moral obligation. Period.

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The Impossible Separation of Man’s Consciousness and His Material Self: A look at the fallacy of the mind/body duality

Call it what you want…mind and body dichotomy, flesh and soul, flesh and spirit, consciousness and existence.  They are all the same fallacy, and they plague Christianity like…well, like the plague. And what’s more, even science itself assumes that human consciousness can somehow be removed from the existence of the material body.  In fact, it is so ingrained in our thinking that even the smartest people in the world seem to miss the massive logical contradiction staring them in the face and daring them to take notice.  If they could but for a moment walk forwards even a step, out from their stubborn and all pervasive insanity, they would trip over it and chip a tooth.

Just yesterday I had the displeasure of reading a silly article concerning a silly study entitled: Free Will Could be the Result of ‘Background Noise’ in the Brain, Study Suggests, and you can read it in its entirety here.

The second sentence reads thus:

“It has previously been suggested that our perceived ability to make autonomous choices is an illusion – and now scientists from the Center for Mind and Brain at the University of California, Davis, have found that free will may actually be the result of electrical activity in the brain.”

Now, I have an entire article outlined on this study and ready to be typed up, and all in due time, but suffice to say, for now, that the rational mind…hell, even the mind which occasionally entertains mild common sense needs no more than this sentence to debunk the study in its entirety and obliterate its ridiculous premise.  This is nothing more than a “scientific” approach to the mind/body dichotomy, which heretofore will be referred to as the “mind body contradiction”.  It is a “scientific” attempt to reconcile mutually exclusive absolutes:  the physical body of man, and his “mind”, or “thoughts”, which are assumed to be somehow outside of this physical body but which, of course, cannot be observed absent the physical body, making the concept of the “mind” categorically unknowable apart from the physical body.

Put simply, what I mean is that man has NO frame of reference for a “mind” or  “thoughts” or a “consciousness”, or a “spirit” or a “soul”, without the body, because man cannot see past the context of his own consciousness which is observably and objectively a direct function of his physical body.  Man can make no claim to any such thing as consciousness containing thoughts and knowledge absent the body because the body, which includes the brain, is the singular (i.e. only) context man has.  There is no such thing as YOU apart from the physical you.  To claim otherwise obligates you to verify this…which means rationally, and without appealing to contradiction or mysticism (e.g., for Christians, the Bible “says” so”…this is a non-argument; the Bible is not proof of itself, for if it were, then man would be categorically irrelevant…ponder that), yes, it obligates you to verify objectively just how this can be true.  And how do you propose to do that apart from your body?

Take your time, I’ll wait.

Ho dee hum….

Okay, I’m impatient, so let me save you the time.

You can’t.  Period.  Full stop.

For as soon as you make an appeal to a “you” apart from your physical body, you have already destroyed your own argument.  For in order for you to declare that there is a mind or a soul or a spirit or a consciousness apart from your body you need to use what?  Language.  Communication.  You need words, or gestures, or pictures, or Morse code, or tongue clicks…hell, even the Vulcan mind meld requires Spock to use of his hands.

Do you see what I mean?  Communication requires language, and language requires a conscious agent, and that agent requires an objective distinction between ITSELF and OTHER(S) (i.e. what is not it), and that?  Requires an observable, spatial, literal, physical distinction.  And that requires a body.

So before you can even make the argument for the separation of body and mind you MUST concede the axiom that “I must be physically distinct from that which is NOT me, (YOU, for instance), in order to validate my assumption that I am not really me, but am me, the physical body, and something ELSE…that is, the “me”, which is my “mind/spirit/consciousness”, which is me, also, but then again, is not me at the same time”; and thus, you have already conceded that your assumption is false.  Your mind and your body are not distinct; for one is the other and the other is the one.  And this is due to the simple fact that you cannot be both you and NOT you.  YOU are metaphysically singular, period, and your epistemology is a direct function (extension) of that metaphyic…and remember, Argo’s Universal Truth Number One:  Whatever is a direct function of an absolute IS the absolute.  That holds true in this case.  You have no other context but your conscious self, which IS, absolutely, and is absolutely and observably and objectively tied to your physical body, by necessity.  Absent the physical parameters of absolute SELF, there can be no you at all.  And in your attempt to argue that your mind is YOU as distinct from the YOU which is your physical body, you run into the impossible contradiction I just mentioned:  you cannot be you and NOT you at the same time.  The SELF is a metaphysical singularity.  It cannot be parsed.  How we choose to label our attributes on a conceptual level is up to us; but pretending those attributes are full-on metaphysical absolutes encompassing the totality of SELF distinct from the root metaphysic is to make a mutually exclusive argument.  And this is madness.

Incidentally, this is the very reason why I reject the doctrine of the Trinity.  It attempts to make God a rank, self-canceling, contradiction in terms.  We may label God’s attributes according to our need and our natural right to organize our environment efficaciously.  But may not make God a party to our mystical existential horseshit.

“But, Argo!” you protest.  “Aren’t you proving the article’s point?  Man doesn’t have a mind of his own?  Man cannot think, because he cannot choose?”

Well…no exactly, though I get the question.  This article is really trying to play both sides of the epistemological fence, and these scientists are utterly contradicting (and making asses out of) themselves in the process.  They want their epistemological cake and to eat it, too.  On the one hand they want to argue that man has no free will, which means he has no thoughts of his own (for a man with no free will cannot claim his own thoughts), and cannot make any claim to knowledge of any kind, and that choice is an illusion, and as such, man is merely a product of the laws or processes of nature which determine his every move, physically and cognitively; that man as an individual SELF is a lie, and that no such “you” exists as it were, for what you think is “you” is nothing more than the beeps and bells and whizzes and bangs of neurons which break down into atoms, which break down into all manner of particles, and from there the determinative force of the mathematical proofs of Standard Model is found in the wheelhouse steering the ship of YOU into its determined infinite oblivion.

On the other hand, they want to make this claim:  Look what we have discovered!  Look what we know!  We have learned that we have no free will.

Anyone besides me have a problem with this?  They are claiming that they KNOW that man cannot KNOW ANYTHING; because what this article means is that man is not himself.  Man has no free will…all choice is an illusion; any thoughts and appeals to individual knowledge of anything is a lie, and this includes the SELF.  My point is that there can be no scientist who can discover and thus claim to know that man has no free will.  This is a flagrant and embarrassing contradiction in terms.  And the fact that they so readily assume that this is a reasonable position, to the point where they would take the time to secure the grant money, requisition the student assistants, run the experiment, and publish the findings shows you just how inept science is at employing anything even approximating consistent thinking…and I might even say common sense.  They are blind to the contradiction, and this is because they, fundamentally, are Platonists.  They concede a “forms and shadows” reality…a material and spirit dichotomy.  A consciousness and existence distinction.  A mutually exclusive mind/body separation.  They fundamentally and wholly believe it is possible for man to know something while at the same time they declare that man is merely an effect of some external determinative force which entirely subverts man’s existence as anything distinct.  Man is not really man, and yet man can somehow know something.  Like this:  Free will is an illusion; a product of brain activity.

If this isn’t a bleak and depressing sign of where our society is headed intellectually, at the very least it is a frightening one.  The screams of the Jewish children burning to death in the ovens of Auschwitz were merely the perfunctory effect of brainwaves as governed by the mathematical equations which determine all the outcomes of the cosmos.  Suffering and torment are an illusion.

Think this is hyperbole?  I defy you to argue rationally how this is not the logical conclusion of the very premise being made in this dangerous article.  I dare you.  Explain to me why it is an impossible leap of logic to go from “man has no free will, and no thoughts he can claim as his own; all his choices are merely the determinative outcome of biologic electrical impulses” to “Fuck it, just fry ’em.  It’s not like they are aware of it anyway…what is a ‘human being’ after all?”

Human beings, like the fire which consumes them, are but a concept…a cognitive mist, and not even that.  For even the mist of cognition is a lie.  A process of an un-seeable, indifferent, automatic universe which begins and ends at yet more processes.  The universe is endless processes upon processes.  Nothing is real.

Finally, we must ask this question:  What compels this brain activity, exactly?  Why, the “laws of nature which govern”, of course!  The mathematical proofs which are the “language of the cosmos”! Forces which deny consciousness and exist beyond the material world, and which are thus unobservable and therefore unknowable and mutually exclusive to it but nevertheless exist, the geniuses would have us all assume.

I have said it once and I’ll say it a million times:  do not look to science for truth.  Scientists are mystics, philosophically speaking, pure and simple.  They are the most obtuse motherfuckers around when it comes to discerning the nature of reality.  And articles like this make me despise the arrogance of the mathematical elite even more.   For all of Stephen Hawking’s articles, degrees, and awards, he is a staggering dolt when it comes to seeing the universe  through rational eyes.

So, for the purposes of this article, let us examine specifically the fallacy of the separation of consciousness and existence, for that is what this kind of thing is all about.  The devil’s philosophy has always been about separating man from himself, and this is accomplished with great success in the dichotomies I have illustrated, both in this article specifically and others on my blog.  Mind and body, ideas and behavior, spirit and flesh…it all leads to the same place:  man is not himself.  Therefore, he has no right to claim ownership of himself.  The appeal, so easily seen in the “free will” study, is that man is not really man; and yet, knowledge is somehow possible.

How do they get around this, exactly?  What is the assumption which lets them get away, at least in their own minds and the minds of their peers, with this rational larceny?

I will answer this with a question:  Is knowledge possible by everyone?

Of course not!

Knowledge is purely given to those who are “called” to know.  Those who have been given the grace to perceive the truth.  The scientist who can claim that HE knows that YOU cannot know is he who is cosmically destined to rule you…to compel you towards your inevitable and sole moral obligation:  death in service to the determinative and absolute truth outside of you.  For he is the proxy incarnate.  He is the Person of the Truth.

It is, after all, a mathematical certainty.

Part two next.

 

 

Why Orthodox Christians are the Real Universalists (and a Few Other Brief Thoughts)

The thing I most enjoy about being involved in the effort to deconstruct abusive philosophies (like reformed theology) is using reason as a weapon. Once we have successfully debunked all the equivocations the emissaries of the neo-Reformed movement employ in the service of peddling their false ideology, we reveal it for the rank mysticism it is.

On SpirituallyTyranny I successfully backed Tom into a logical corner whereby he was forced to admit that he had no rational counter-argument (here). The only place left for him to go was A. The admission that “faith” precluded reason (I COULDN’T be right, because who the hell am I to demand that Christians actually have a BETTER explanation for their beliefs than your run-of-the-mill witch doctor?), and/or B. More equivocation…which he proceeded to do in his last comment to me. Which really pissed me off but I’m through arguing with someone who considers “truth’ a fickle target…they can never be wrong because they merely change the definition to suit their argumentative whims at any given moment. For example:

Tom: Argo, you are dead to me

Argo: Tom believes he is morally pure as a “Christian” in his hatred of me; because according to his doctrine I am sub-human. I am controlled by satan…I AM depravity incarnate.

Tom: My attitude never approached the level of hate you attribute to me.

Argo: And I quote: “Argo, you are dead to me.”

And the rest of his comment was equally as nebulous in its logic.

The reason I harp on this kind of thing–aside from the fact that it is impossibly exasperating arguing with a demagogue (it’s a waste of time) because they are irrational by definition…reason is an insufficient vehicle for truth–is because our purpose should not necessarily be to convince these true believers of their rational folly (again, won’t happen because truth is bestowed by God, never learned), but instead to prove that what they peddle isn’t the “way” or the “truth” or the “life” AT ALL. Indeed…absent any reasonable definition, these terms cannot have ANY relevant meaning to man’s life. So while Wade, for example in his above comment, attempts to use them as a form of compassionate persuasion, he can’t really define them. As such, they peddle, again, mysticism. Or the idea that all truth and all determinative power which causes all things including man’s thoughts and ways is OUTSIDE of human epistemology. Humans are, in fact, non-existent as such. And therefore, are disregarded as stumbling blocks to God’s will…and abused and exploited accordingly.

This makes Christianity “proper”, as it were, NO different than any other religion on the planet. The fact is that though I am often accused of being a universalist (which is a riot, because I submit there will be fare FEWER people saved than most Christians believe…and I can tell you that reformation teachers should be very worried about their souls; for they cannot define man or God in their doctrine, and that is NOT going to be a good thing for them on the last day), the real universalists are the the “orthodox” Christians. Because they have no reasonable argument to offer for what they believe, and as such they offer no different “way” or “truth” or “life” in their message. People can go to any one of a hundred religions and be presented with the exact same metaphysical and epistemological assumptions regarding man. These “orthodox” Christians think they are saved because they merely use different names for their gods; they use different, perhaps more cerebral, equivocations to defend their ideas; they have different semantics by which the “explain” their faith.

It isn’t a better message because “better” to them has no rational explanation. What is better about being a Christian? Well, if you concede the same metaphysical and epistemological assumptions as every other two bit shaman or Islamist terrorist shithead or atheist communist party dictator, then…well, there is nothing better about being a Christian. By definition.

That is why it behooves us to do two things: Possess a thoroughly rational explanation for our beliefs; and make human life the objective plumb line for truth.

If the Truth is True Without Man’s Existence, Then Man Cannot Claim to Know Truth at All

If TRUTH (the universal composition of all that man declares true) does not require my existence in order to be true, then it is quite impossible for me to declare that it is true at all.  My observations; my thoughts concerning it; my concession of its axiom…all of these things are entirely irrelevant.  Thus, if my existence presents an absolutely irrelevant component to the reality of truth…that is, it is true regardless of whether I am around to observe it or not, then I am always and perpetually operating from a place of irrelevance with respect to the truth.  There is literally and absolutely nothing which is an extension of me which offers anything of any meaning or worth to truth.  Which  makes it impossible for me, being inexorably me, absolutely outside of truth, to even acknowledge that truth is true at all.  It is beyond my observation because the sum total of my observation, being a direct function of ME, which is absolutely outside of truth, is irrelevance.  Period.

I, in other words, due to my abject and utter irrelevance, am antithetical to truth.  Perpetually and wholly outside of it, I represent nothing less than a categorical affront to the truth, which not only does not need me to be true, but finds that my existence poses a contradiction…an insufferable limitation to its absolute-ness and its absolutely true existence.

Further, if we say that truth is absolutely true regardless of whether I exist or not–which is what absolutely true means–then we have in fact posited a contradiction in terms.  If concede that  I do exist, and if I concede that truth is absolutely true outside of me, then my existence is NOT actually irrelevant.  My existence, again conceding that I DO in fact exist, must represent a limitation to the absolute true-ness of the truth.  And thus, with my existence established, the truth can no longer be absolutely true, it is only relatively true.  Relative to what?  Relative to its position with respect to ME.  Which makes my existence an integral and utterly defining component of truth.  Instead of being absolutely true without me, it’s true-ness depends on my existence to give it meaning at any given moment….it cannot and does not operate in a vacuum.  I exist, and therefore I am a boundary to its truth; a boundary it must include and reconcile when defining the terms of its truth.  And since, between truth and myself, I am the only one who is consciously aware of truth (for truth is not a self-aware agent, but purely a concept in this paradigm), the responsibility falls to me to utilize truth, to declare it, in service to the only frame of reference I have for truth:  my own existence.  For man and truth cannot exist in tension as absolute forms in and of themselves.  One MUST subjugate the other to its singular frame of reference, its SELF.  Otherwise an insurmountable and perpetual contradiction arises whereby man and truth are constantly at war with each other.  As soon as man declares the truth true outside of his SELF, then that truth demands his submission leading to non-existence as the logical conclusion of that which hinders the absolute truth from being, in fact, absolutely true:  man’s life.  But if man declares himself the categorical reference point of truth–the standard of truth, which I wholly affirm he is, as the only rational conclusion–then truth must be completely submitted to him; to his life, and must itself instead be rendered non-existent.  Not that I am proclaiming that the existence of man means the death of truth.  On the contrary, I proclaim that truth is a concept derived from man’s brain…it is not actual (thus it never actually existed as such in the first place) but it is a cognitive invention of man’s astonishing brain, rooted in his ability to simultaneously observe SELF juxtaposed to what is NOT SELF.  This is the power of his unique consciousness combined with his senses.  Truth doesn’t die in service to man, as though man’s existence destroys truth and thus man represents an inexorable and subversive (read “totally depraved”) presence to all that is true and by extension good.  Rather truth never actually exists at all, in so many words, as though it were some kind of objective force beyond man’s mind and singularity of SELF.  Not in the least.  This is the perspective of the demonstrably wicked and destructive collectivist ideologies (Calvinism, Islamic terrorist shitheadism , Marxism/Socialism/Fascism, neo-Reformation protestantism, Catholicism), and their oceans of blood upon which the history of the world has sailed since practically the beginning of time.  I am arguing that truth doesn’t exist outside of man, but rather that man’s life is the source and standard of it.

In short, without man’s life, the truth does not get to be true.

And thus, by logical extrapolation, if the truth is declared true outside of man, absolutely, then man never gets to be man.  And thus, if we declare man wholly irrelevant to truth, meaning that truth exists absolutely in spite of his life, then what we are really saying is that man must be dead…must be nonactual for the truth to be absolutely true in order that its infinite boundaries are not limited by man’s existence.  Thus, in order for truth to be true outside of man it cannot be conceded that man gets to exist at all, so that he cannot present an affront to absolute truth. And if you don’t exist, then you don’t get to affirm that truth is actually true.  In other words, either man’s life MUST be the standard of truth–that which defines what things are true and what things are a lie; which things are good and which things are evil–or man is dead.  Though he wakes, he is death walking.  He is non-existence incarnate.  Thus, it isn’t that the plague of collectivist ideologies like Calvinism/neo-Reformation theology murder and exploit the living…it is that they do not recognize that the living are in fact alive at all.  You are an extension of the truth outside of you.  Thus, whatever happens to you, be it your death or suffering or injustice or abuse or the theft of your property, it  is ALWAYS in service to truth.  You may claim no ownership of your life because your life is a figment of fantasy.  It is the great lie of Satan:  that YOU are actually ALIVE, and therefore, entitled to justice and consideration commensurate to your status as an absolute, sentient child of God.  Your belief in yourself as actual is the singular source of all the evil which exists in the world.  And indeed, spend a couple of Sundays in a Sovereign Grace Ministries church (a cauldron of pure Calvinist death-worship), and you will observe this message first hand.  And it will be couched in the most sanctimonious, sage, pensive, and reverent of terms.  But once you train your vision to observe beyond the propaganda, you can clearly see; and clearly see that the terror you feel is entirely appropriate; that message is nothing more than: God hates people. And people will be sacrificed into submission by His ecclesiastical proxies or burned alive for eternity in a lake of fire for being born.

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The truth which is outside of us and doesn’t require our existence or the context of our SELVES, which is our perpetual reference point, indeed cannot recognize us, and neither can we recognize it.  And if we pretend that it can and it does, then affirming that it indeed is absolutely true outside of us demands our removal from reality.  It demands our death; the eradication of that which sabotages its truth, and we are obligated to acquiesce to this demand.  We have agreed that the truth is true regardless of our existence, and thus we have tacitly agreed that we offer it nothing except an unacceptable boundary to its perfect truthfulness outside of ourselves.  Our existence trespasses upon its domain, which, being absolutely true, is everything.  If everything which is said to exist, exists in the presence of an absolute truth, then it follows that everything is a direct extension of–a functional and utter part of–absolute truth, and therefore we meddling humans must forfeit any claim to SELF we might like to believe exists autonomously.  To assume that we ARE…that man IS, and therefore has his own SELF, is to blaspheme truth, which does not need us; and indeed, must obliterate us if it is to indeed be an absolute, unlimited, categorically objective truth (that is, a non-relative, objective truth).

Of course the problem this poses for truth and those who proclaim truth outside of man (those who peddle the wares of determinist and causal “natural law”, be it the mystics of today’s “orthodox” Christianity, or the many purveyors of the causal power of science’s laws of the universe which “govern” and determine) is the immutability of consciousness.  You are perpetually YOU.  YOU are the objective prerequisite of the existence of anything else NOT you…for if something cannot be observed by YOU to exist TO YOU (that is, relevant to YOU; meaning, providing the environment necessary for you to know the difference between what is you and what is not you) then YOU cannot argue for its existence at all.  In order for you to concede that there are things–a world, a universe, a God–which exist, you must BE you.  You must possess an infinite and absolute SELF of your own…a consistent and singular frame of reference by which you can know that the truth is actually true.  Which means it can only be true, again, if it is true TO you.  And therefore the absolute reference point of your SELF, whether you find this consistent with your beliefs or not, must become the standard…the yardstick by which anything you observe can be declared as true.  You, in other words, are are absolutely you, which means that truth cannot be absolutely true, it can only be relatively true insofar as it affirms the standard of truth, which again is YOU; your life; your SELF, and that of others who can be observed to demonstrably exist as metaphysical and epistemological equals (man and God).  The frame of reference of SELF is the only absolute standard of TRUTH, which makes human life the only absolute truth, beyond which nothing man observes can have any relevant meaning or practical, sensible definitions…things cannot even be declared as existing at all absent the conscious observation of man from the inexorable and infinite vantage point of SELF.  Thus, and again, the movement of things you observe and the subsequent concepts you (or we, as a human race, cooperatively) create in order to categorize and organize this movement are only relatively true depending on how they agree with and affirm the standard of YOU, which is the truth at any and every given moment.

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The notion of absolute truth outside of absolute man presents us with an immovable impasse.  How can two absolute truths co-exist?  Man concedes the absolute truth exists outside of him, thus he necessarily makes his own SELF totally besides the point when it comes to truth.  You see, since man always functions from a place of absolute SELF (your essence of YOU; your metaphysical SELF is indivisible and perpetual) but then turns and declares himself to be absolutely irrelevant to truth, man cannot in actuality claim any truth outside himself because his observation, being a direct function of his immutable SELF, is wholly unable to perceive this truth which is absolutely outside of the absolute frame of reference of his SELF.  Thus, he concedes the un-actuality of SELF when confronted with the “objective” truth.  Man dies. And if not, the emissaries of “objective” truth tell us, the truth dies.  And then its all just an orgy of sin and chaos, and God or nature or both will have to blow up everything and start over.

Well, the solution to this impasse would seem obvious after considering the aforementioned facts:  There is no such thing as man conceding any absolute truth (any external standard of truth) because his observation is always tied to the infinite reference point of his SELF; their is no absolute external place beyond himself by which he can observe and know truth to be utterly true, by definition.  It is mutually exclusive to him, because it, also being “absolute”, cannot include man’s external observation in the realm of its own absolute existence.  There is no other point outside the SELF of man’s observation which man can declare is the reference point of truth.  He alone is the reference point.  And since man IS, the reference point of SELF likewise IS, to the utter exclusion of all other reference points.

This makes all “external” truths purely conceptual; purely abstract; purely a function of man’s mind, and not some absolute force outside of him, which therefore must, being absolute, determine all things, including man and his mind, his thoughts, and the knowledge of his SELF, effectively removing man form existence altogether, making man a lie, as he must be nothing but a direct manifestation of the absolute and absolutely determining truth outside of him.  Thus, you, insofar as you are aware of YOU, if you concede this, are obligated to deny this errant sense of yourself, and allow yourself (not “choose”; for you can do nothing of your own volition, as you don’t exist) to be sacrificed to the absolute truth outside of you, because it IS you, being absolutely absolute, and it therefore owns you, lest you present yourself as an immoral boundary to this infinite truth; which again claims an inherent right to your life as its own, to the utter denial of YOU in totality, which finds perfect moral fruition in your literal death.  For death is the ultimate and most assured way to eradicate your conscience, which can only ever serve to condemn you, but more importantly, condemn the truth, as it constantly lies to you, and proclaims immorally and relentlessly the existence of the autonomous SELF of YOU, which deceptively believes itself to lay somewhere beyond the infinite boundaries of absolute truth, which is impossible.  And thus this rebellion of your mind…your awareness, represents the greatest evil of all, and is the father of lies, making human consciousness THE paramount violation of GOOD…of TRUTH…

…of God.

And this is the philosophy of Calvinism, Reformation protestantism, and all other collectivist ideologies, stripped bare and to the bone.

An Axiom Qualified is Not an Axiom; and the Pure Abstraction Which is Mathematics: Conversations with Tom (Part One)

Recently I engaged commenter “Tom” over at SpiritualTyranny.com.  What developed was an interesting discussion concerning the idea of “axioms in a specific context”…a concept which Tom introduced.  I’d never heard of a “contextual axiom” before, and upon musing for a bit, I realized just why that was.

It’s a contradiction in terms.  By definition, I submit, if something is an axiom, it cannot depend on context.  Axioms, I further submit, ARE the context by which everything man observes has a relative relationship with him and other objects in the universe.  They, themselves, are non-contextual, and thus, they are axiomatic.  They are fundamentally, irreducibly true as a matter of the whole of material reality.

When one begins to take the terms by which we organize a fundamental belief system and employ them inconsistently (which is usually a matter of convenience, in order to deceive), one inevitably travels the path of mysticism and despotism.  This is precisely the suicide/homicide mission Tom was on as he attempted to introduce a rank contradiction as the sound basis for a discussion of philosophy.  I was compelled thus to challenge Tom’s premise frankly, which I did…an action to which he did not take kindly, putting it mildly.

Whatever…his impugning of my motives as a means to short circuit the argument, or because he felt intellectually disadvantaged (that’s merely a self-esteem issue, not an issue of aptitude, by the way) is not the point here.  The point is that we must always be bold when we are confronted with those–well-intentioned or evil-intentioned–who would serve us the poison of logical contradiction while explaining its sublime health benefits.  This, I submit, is how the devil operates.  He gives you a rat and calls it a hat; and then lauds your smoldering epistemological wreckage as a holy virtue when you proclaim “humbly” your failure to rationally apprehend this “truth”.

This kind of thing must never go unchallenged, regardless of the amount of verbal (or physical or psychological) violence heaped upon us.  And Tom…er, heaped a LOT.

By the way, if you want further proof that despotic movements employ this tactic often and with great enthusiasm (that is, the redefining of words to fit their destructive doctrines), just look at how America’s neo-Calvinists discuss the term “antinomianism”.  It is a word that perfectly applies, with bulls-eye precision, to their own reformed theology and yet they use it as a pejorative descriptor of their theological enemies.  Their hypocrisy is a deep, deep well.

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In this article I pull a few short excerpts from Tom’s comments–the relevant bits–and then proceed to explain my contrary position in some detail.  Much of the material which comprises these explanations was taken from my responses to Tom as seen on Spiritual Tyranny; however, I have elaborated and expanded, in some cases significantly, upon them in order to more precisely and fully flesh out my perspective.  Something which is difficult to do in a comments thread.

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Tom said:

“In mathematics, one can produce Axioms that are relevant, well understood, and atomic within a context. Why can this not be done in Philosophy?

So, again, what do philosophers call a “Set of Axioms Defined and Relevant in a Specified Context?”

Tom said:

Wikipedia defines Axiom this way: “As classically conceived, an axiom is a premise so evident as to be accepted as true without controversy.”

Within Christendom, “Jesus is Lord” is a premise so evident as to be accepted as true without controversy. So within Christendom, “Jesus is Lord” can reasonably be called an axiom.

There isn’t any such thing as a contextual axiom. “Contextual axioms” is a contradiction in terms. What this means is that outside of its context, the axiom is not in fact axiomatic. This makes the contextual axiom merely–and contradictorily–a relative posit. It’s the same reason the Bible cannot be infallible. “Infallibility” cannot have a context. As soon as you explain that the Bible cannot be used to fly a hundred people on the red-eye from Philly to LA the apologists start claiming context. And once they do that, they’ve already lost the debate, they just don’t know it because contradictions are endemic to their belief system, and so they spout rank nonsense, nod confidently as if to say “You see?! Simple!“, and then become confused, which quickly morphs into anger when you refuse to accept “mystery” and “paradox” as legitimate interpretive premises.

The Bible being infallible in context only means that it must be fallible outside of context. Thus, strictly speaking, the biblical infallibility apologists are attempting to argue that the Bible is both fallible and infallible at the same time. Which is of course impossible. These concepts are mutually exclusive. If the Bible is both of them, then it is really neither, by definition.  Absolute fallibility and absolute infallibility quite obviously cancel each other out.  And you are left with…zero.  Void.  Irrelevance. Biblical inerrant-ists are nothing more than Bible deniers.  They have no definition for the Bible, and thus, the can argue no purpose for it. Whether they know this or not is irrelevant.  It IS the case when you attempt to reconcile mutually exclusive ideas and present them as the “truth” of the Bible.  Denying the Bible as having anything practical to offer man’s life, or any efficacious philosophical value  may allow the voracious “Christian” ecclesiastical leadership to creatively contort its ideas in the interest of their horribly flawed and preconceived hermeneutic, but it is hardly honoring of the scriptures to do so.  The Bible, like humanity, is exploited in service to doctrine.  It is nothing more than a convenient means by which neo-Calvinist governing bodies satisfy their insatiable will to power.

Anyway…

The same is true for axioms. If the axiom is axiomatic in context (that is…the axiom is qualified), then the clear implication is that it is NOT axiomatic outside of context, and thus, is not in fact an axiom.  An axiom cannot be both irreducibly true and wholly untrue at the same time.  Once an axiom is no longer axiomatic–like a “contextual axiom” outside of its context–then it is no longer an axiom by definition. Further, If an axiom is considered both true and untrue simultaneously at any given moment, then it must be neither. Which means it has a practical and applicable value of zero.

A practical value of zero where exactly? Where ANY axioms actually matter…in the real world.  And reality is never contextual…reality…existence, IS context.  And since reality and existence is the sphere in which philosophy is wholly focused, philosophical axioms are the only ones which can be truly defined as such, because they are immutable, and irreducibly true, precisely because they cannot be considered contextual and thus cannot be considered qualified in any sense.  In other words, philosophical axioms are the only ones that are actually axiomatic, because they are irreducible truths as a function of existence itself. The existence of what IS is what philosophy and its truisms/axioms concerns itself with.

Now, this is not to argue that all philosophies are equally rational.  A cursory glance at some of the more common schools of thought (like Calvinism) prove this to be otherwise.  But the point is that philosophy, of whatever flavor, seeks a comprehensive explanation of the roots of human and universal existence, from the metaphysical (the IS of what is) to the aesthetic (how what IS is ultimately represented in a culture’s art).  Thus, the axioms in which philosophy dabbles are sprung from the roots of existence itself, and thus they are intended to provide the foundation upon which reality operates, BEING the very context of everything that is.

Though I recognize the controversial nature of the following statement, it must be made regardless:  Mathematics has absolutely nothing to do with reality or the universe as it exists materially and actually soIt is neither a product/extension of the objects and agents in existence nor is it a governing force of them.  On the contrary, it is purely a product of human cognition.  It is the apogee of human conceptual abstraction…it is abstraction in its purest form. It bears little resemblance as a field of study to philosophy even though some of the earliest philosophers where also some of the earliest physicists and mathematicians.  And I submit that this tradition of merging what I consider to be mutually exclusive studies is the seed of all manner of human destruction, war, bloodshed, paranoia, and political madness.  Ever since the earliest philosophers attempted to make mathematical law a causal force of universal and human existence, human beings have been relegated to the status of “by-product”.  An unfortunate blight upon an otherwise perfectly ordered reality.  Humanity’s free will, instead of being considered an act of natural perfection in and of itself, has been seen as an offense to truth and morality.  And ever since the causal force of mathematical law was thrust upon us in an act of pure insanity, man has been paying for it in blood ever since.  His free will is either punished relentlessly by becoming the very source of immorality itself, or it is tortured without mercy in an attempt to exorcise it from the human body so that the “laws of nature” may regain control of man…to stifle his wicked rebellion of SELF and to help him once again take his rightful place amongst the perfect order of the universe’s immaculate proofs.

Or, man’s free will has been declared an illusion.  A farce.  A cosmic sleight of hand for which man has fallen in his unique-to-creation gullibility (research  Spinoza).  Man, of all the animals, is the most vile and pitiful, because only man is stupid enough to believe that he is actually capable of thought and therefore volition.  And so many philosophies have concerned themselves with convincing man that he is not special.  On the contrary, he is the cosmos’s greatest blunder.  An imbecile.  A moron.  Worthy of death like no other animal on earth, because no other animal pretends that they are somehow above the natural and all-determining mathematical order.

Now, the hypocrisy and contradictions which rage perpetually across this kind of thinking like the wildfires of hell are stark and obvious once one grasps just a few key truths.  But dismantling this kind of bullshit is the topic of another article.  Suffice to say that the sacrificing of man to his own concepts, like mathematics, is a categorically evil thing.  And yet, as we can see in Tom’s comment, equating mathematical examples with the examples of reality is considered quite reasonable.  The reciprocity between pure abstraction and the material universe is simply self-evident.

This never ceases to amaze me.

In truth, mathematics is merely a way man organizes the relative movement of the things he observes in his environment.  Mathematics itself cannot be observed, obviously, because mathematics does not actually exist . Further, mathematics, being purely conceptual/abstract, is not causal…is not determinative. It is an effect of human existence and cognition, not a cause of them. Philosophy is the study of the nature of what IS, not an abstract method of organizing its relative movement.  Mathematics and philosophy are simply not the same thing, regardless of the amount of historical precedence.  Mathematics attempts to organize the relative movement of objects.  Philosophy attempts to explain how objects can relatively move in the first place.

Hence, Tom’s mathematical axioms are not actually axioms at all. They are a direct function of man and his material reality. As such, they are not irreducible…they, in a vacuum of themselves, are nothing at all. Axioms are observable truths as a function of what is real which are irreducible in any context because they precede context. They provide the reality by which everything else has context.

Tom said:

Argo,

You misstate my position (straw man) and then prove that I am a moron by flogging the straw man…

However, let me try on my amateur philosopher hat for a moment.

Argo: If the axiom is wholly true in context, then the implication is that it is wholly untrue outside of that context.
Me: Really? In what universe does that naturally follow? Not this one.

Axiom: within the context of healthy, unmaimed, genetically normal cats, it is axiomatic that such cats have four legs.
Argo Bizarro Universe implication: no animal has four legs unless it is a healthy, unmaimed, genetically normal cat.
Argo Bizarro 2: Outside of the context of healthy, unmaimed, genetically normal, no cat has four legs.

As John Immel has said, we group concepts and abstract them. I DO NOT CARE what we call these things that are self-evident and not controversial. Wikipedia calls them “Axioms,” but please tell me what you would like to call them.

Tom quotes me thus:

If the axiom is wholly true in context, then the implication is that it is wholly untrue outside of that context.”

He then begins to take issue with my statement by providing examples of what he thinks I mean.  Frankly, his examples are obtuse at best and nonsense at worst and reflect literally nothing of the point I was making, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

My statement is entirely reasonable: If something is wholly true as a function of a specific context, then it can only be wholly untrue beyond of that context. By Tom’s own admission the salient point is not the axiom itself but the CONTEXT…that is, it is not that the axiom is in fact axiomatic, being the sum and substance of its own definition, but context is what makes the axiom axiomatic.  Which is a contradiction in terms because an axiom is axiomatic precisely because it cannot be qualified by context but simply IS (like, man IS SELF, for example)…that is, it is true because it is reflective of the absolute nature of existence of which it represents, and existence by definition is a-contextual.

But further examining Tom’s definition:  absent context, there is no way to validate the absolute nature of the axiom…and an axiom must be absolute and irreducible to be considered an axiom.   If it is absolute within context, then it is NOT absolute outside of context.  And the opposite of absolute is void…is nothing.  Is NON-truth.  Is irrelevance. Absent context an axiom is at best irrelevant, and thus NOT axiomatic…which is the same as saying it is false.  For there is no such thing as an irrelevant truth. That, like so many of Tom’s ideas, is a contradiction.

Therefore, what I was attempting to get across to Tom, using his own Wikipedia-cited definition, was that that axioms–non-controversial, self-evident truths–simply cannot be contextual. Because outside of context, they are NOT self-evident and NOT non-controversial. Which means they are not axiomatic…again, by Tom’s own definition.

For example, to say “Jesus is Lord” is an axiom, which Tom declared, according to the definition he provides (as an axiom within the context of the Christian church) is false, because “Jesus is Lord” is both controversial and non-self evident to those who do not identify themselves as Christians and do not identify with the Christian church.

Further, Tom’s ridiculous example wherein he attempts to mock me was a perfect illustration of the sporadic and disconnected nature of his thought:

“Axiom: within the context of healthy, un-maimed, genetically normal cats, it is axiomatic that such cats have four legs.”

This is not an axiom because, again, an axiom cannot be contextual. Being a cat is not a context, it is a SELF. It is an essence of being. It is an IS. It IS, absolutely, non-contextually, a cat. It is a materially existent THING. Tom believing that states of being, such as being a cat, imply a contextual existence is the utter root of his rank cognitive dissonance.  As though being what one IS is contextual to..well, to what, exactly?  I mean, seriously….what exactly is the outside context where a cat is not really a cat and thus the axiom of “being a cat who is healthy and therefore has four legs” could also exist in a contrary form…that is, where is the context of “outside the SELF of cat” where a “cat” could non-axiomatically exist?

I mean, this literally makes no sense unless one is a rank mystic attempting to proclaim a external-to-SELF-existence which is the source of all truth.   If the cat or any other agent or object (like man…who is really the only relevant object in the matter) is not absolutely a cat, it is nothing.  This is observably true…it is axiomatically true.  Except Tom does not concede this.  I submit that he is fully convinced that there is some “reality” outside the context of the SELF of objects and agents where they somehow are themselves, but also are not.  That is, their BEING what we observe them to be is purely an illusion, or part of the truth at best.  Reality itself or at least the relevant and salient “component” of reality  exists outside of the root metaphysical SELF of all objects and agents, and only there is “truth” found.  Thus, truth is never a function of reason or observation, but of divine, mystic revelation.  And that’s exactly the argument Tom is making, and either he doesn’t want to state it openly, or he is not really seeing it, blinded by his own assumptions.

Also, Tom accuses me of hindering the conversation.  This is merely subterfuge…an attempt to impugn my character and motives in order to distract from the issue at hand and his own serious logical flaws. This is either because Tom is pushing an agenda or he senses that he is intellectually out of his depth.  Personally, I don’t care which.  My point is that any reasonable person can engage disagreement with civility…it doesn’t take a genius to do this.  Hell, it doesn’t even take an adult to do this. A child can understand the basics of propriety and reasonable social interaction.

At any rate, I was clearly not stifling the conversation. I was attempting to take it to the next level by illustrating the contradictions which hinder the progression of logical thought. If we assume a contradiction can be true and then stumble on to the next step in our rank ignorance, then it is a truism to proclaim that we will never arrive at truth. And I understand Tom’s  desire to merely establish a new word if “I or John don’t like ‘axiom’” and move on, but the more important thing is to understand the foundational contradictions which undergird our thought process so that we can move forward from a place of reason. Otherwise, we are just circling the drain of mysticism yet again. And if I know anything at all it is this: Contradictions have a tendency to snowball in philosophy.  If contradictions are allowed to pass as legitimate benchmarks of truth then there is really no need for further discussion at all. We can all believe what we want and be lost in a sea of epistemological equivalence where everything is true and therefore nothing is ever true.

Stay tuned for part two.  Thanks for reading!

The Root of All Tyranny is the Dissection of Man’s Metaphysic: When man doesn’t get to be him SELF, he has no right to live.

This is the transcript of a conversation I had with a commenter named “Tom” over on the comments thread of the latest post at Spiritual Tyranny (here), with a few extra thoughts specific to this blog article at the end.

Herein, Tom commits the same mistake of reason which eventually leads all well-intentioned Christians right back into the arms of mystic abuse and tyranny.  (I hold aloft Wartburg Watch as exhibit A of how this can happen…see my last post).   It is the mistake of ALL despotic doctrines, no matter which flavor you prefer…political, religious, economic.

It’s basically this:  man never gets to be man.  The absolute metaphysic of the singular SELF of the individual is parsed.  Man is no longer an IS, he is man plus something NOT man, which makes man a direct function of what he is NOT; which is, of course, rationally impossible.  We see man plus his depravity; man plus his class; man plus God’s grace; man plus the laws of nature and mathematics; man plus his race; man plus his collective “people.  These outside forces are claimed to have a causal power over man that he is unable to resist, and consequently, man is never in a position to really make a rational or moral decision or to perform an efficacious act independently.  He is always governed by something outside of him.  And whatever that happens to be is the plumb line of whether he is at his root good or evil.

Now, most of these parsed-metaphysic apologists will argue that the ownership of man by these outside forces is only partial.  Man still bears some free will of his own, of course, they will sagely assure you.  He’s totally depraved, but not really TOTALLY totally depraved.  Or, the laws of nature govern material reality absolutely, but still, man, somehow, possesses the ability to have an unfettered mind by which to freely observe these absolute laws.

Now, I won’t go into detail here as to why this argument is rationally unsustainable, but suffice to say that the logical progression of this thinking inevitably leads to man’s total and utter inability to ever really BE himself, which means he cannot really know anything, which means he cannot really do anything, which means he ultimately needs to be compelled by force to behave.

And this is what I am attempting, in part anyway, to get across to Tom.

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How can a Christian philosopher ignore this distinction? How is it that those “In Christ” are expected to behave precisely like those who are not? How can these two groups agree on a metaphysical starting point? How, when Christianity is in decline in a nation, can that nation have an increasingly Christ-honoring metaphysic?” – Tom

Tom,

Are you suggesting that there is a metaphysical difference between those who are “saved” and those “not saved”? And if so, what by what argument can you defend such an assertion? Metaphysical states are absolute, I submit, and cannot be morphed from one “essence” to another (e.g. the “depraved and unable” metaphysic to the “righteously able” metaphysic). This makes the existential root of man’s BEING merely a direct function of some force OUTSIDE of him. Depravity pre-salvation, and “grace” post-salvation. This is of course nothing more than determinism…and is simply another way of arguing that man as an actual, legitimate and distinct SELF does not exist. Which of course makes the metaphysical distinction you speak of entirely irrelevant, for obvious reasons. If man is not really man, then what difference does it make to him which force controls (determines) him at any given moment. The answer: none at all. –Argo

Argo,

I certainly would not suppose actual metaphysical reality changes when I become saved. But my reality does. Metaphysics must be considered both absolute and relative. God is absolutely who God is. That cannot change. But my relationship with God is very different than an atheist’s. Further, SOMETHING happened when I got saved. I was “translated out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of His dear Son.” I am a “new creation.” That changes not the absolute metaphysics that governs the universe at a macro level, but the relative metaphysics that now attends to my new status. At minimum, God now exists *for me*. That changes (or should change) my entire picture of the universe, at a metaphysical level. For me, a new cognitive filter becomes active, in which I judge the ideas floating around based on MY NEW metaphysics.

Sadly, most of Christendom wants to teach the flawed metaphysics you and John are all excited about. So, most new Christians adopt that metaphysics as their own. And that metaphysical basis is identical to that of “the world.” To me, the metaphysics of “the world” is beyond our control. The only metaphysics we have any control over is that which we can control, i.e. in “the church.” But the church is corrupt and teaches bad metaphysics. So I propose a church which is founded with a goal of avoiding obvious corrupting influences (power, domination, favoritism, government tax collection, paid clergy, hierarchy, disbursement and collection of funds, ownership and disposition of real estate). Such a church may, as John seems to believe, be impossible. But given the options (Corrupt Church as Usual or Just Not Congregating Anymore), it seems to be worth a try.

And yes, btw, such a church would be composed of metaphysically different people. If only because they subscribe to the fundamental metaphysic of the universe: “Jesus is Lord.” Most Christians behave as if He is not. If He were Lord, churches would obey His clear instruction in Matthew 18. But they do not. Will adherence to Matthew 18 resolve all conflict? No. But it will provide a safe place for God’s sheep to grow in the grace of loving one another. Which is the *only* commandment of Jesus. Again, if only He were Lord!!! –Tom

Tom,

With respect, you are attempting to argue both sides of a mutual exclusivity: Metaphysical reality is absolute; metaphysical reality is not absolute.

Put more simply, you are trying to argue that man is man while NOT actually being man, at the same time. Man is distinctly different at the “micro” and “macro”levels. Man is a duality of absolute SELF. Unfortunately, there is really no logical argument built to carry that idea.

If metaphysical reality is ABSOLUTE and therefore does not change, then there is no such thing as a “micro” metaphysical reality (your “relative” metaphysic), and a “macro” metaphysical reality (your “absolute metaphysic”).

So then what changes when we get saved? Not our metaphysical essence, for that is absolute, as you admit. What changes (or rather, should change but sadly doesn’t) is how we DEFINE our metaphysic. There are only two ways to define the human metaphysic, rationally and irrationally. The only rational metaphysic is that which you also rightly define as God’s: God is God…or better said, God is Himself.

If God is God, absolutely, and God is NOT anything NOT God, then the same must be true for man in order for man and God to have any kind of rational interaction. In other words, if God is God, and is never NOT God, then man MUST also be man, never NOT man. “God is HIMSELF” is God’s metaphysic. Which means that man’s metaphysic must logically be likewise: “Man is HIMSELF”. Period. The thing we must ask the proponents of typical Christian “orthodoxy” founded in an utterly irrational view of man as “finite” is: How can what is infinite and absolute (God) have a relationship with what is finite and temporal? The infinite and absolute is utterly incompatible with the finite and temporal, by definition. Existential and metaphysical equality is a necessary prerequisite for any kind of relationship between two agents, be it man and man or man and God.

So man, like God, can never be anything NOT himself. He is what he is. THAT is his singular and absolute metaphysic, full stop. Nothing else can be said; nothing added; no relative this, no micro that. Man is man, period. And you are done in defining his metaphysic. Your essay on the metaphysic of man should be only one sentence, three words. Any longer and it becomes a lie.

That being said, the only relativity in the matter lay in the CONCEPTS man and God, as SELF-aware (conscious) agents use to define their relationship (via language, which is purely an abstract conceptual paradigm used to efficaciously organize what is observed).

The only “metaphysical difference” between one conscious agent and another is HOW they each define the SELF. The rational person, Christian or not, should see SELF as the absolute singularity of their own individual existence, observing a relationship with OTHERS via a conceptual paradigm which ultimately is rooted in relative values (e.g. “distance” between two absolutes is always going to be relative, by definition). But metaphysically speaking, the two agents each are who THEY are. Only this proper understanding of the NON-relative metaphysic can lead to a rational and efficacious relationship with an OTHER (God, or another person).

In short, metaphysics do not change, BELIEFS change. And that’s Christ’s whole message. A change in BELIEF is necessary for an efficacious change in RELATIONSHIP. Jesus was never about denying man’s absolute SELF (and from that his absolute worth and truth) or attempting to redefine man’s absolute metaphysic, He was about getting people to believe in it.

The only difference between the “saved” and “unsaved” is, then, how they think. A new creation is nothing more than the same man conceding a NEW (and hopefully rational) philosophy. Which, as I said, really doesn’t happen in Christendom, and hasn’t for a loooooong time.

The only way you can change the church culture is the only way you can change a nation’s culture: thinking. And everyone, saved or unsaved, can think.

*

You see, what Tom is saying in this exchange is that “something” happens, which (somehow) changes all of reality down to the root metaphysic…even though reality really doesn’t change (the macro/micro metaphysical contradiction). We Christians are the same person we were before salvation, and also we are not.

Tom’s message thus is no different from any other in “orthodox” Christianity. Man is ultimately a function of mutually exclusive concepts which are given causal power (e.g. depravity/sovereign grace) to rule him absolutely, though not (in yet another open defiance of logic) simultaneously.  For man has a totally depraved metaphysic prior to salvation, and then (somehow) gets a grace metaphysic after. This both removes man from the existential equation completely so that there now is no actual definition of man because he is always defined as a direct function of what he is NOT, and it asks us to accept that the foundation of all truth is a zero sum ideal…that is, absolute evil is contradicted with absolute good in man, and the converse would also be true. This is probably as irrational as any thinking can get.

And that’s why it’s all about “faith” today in Christianity, where “faith” is nothing more than the elevation of ignorance as man’s epistemological ideal. And this makes sense because the metaphysical concession that man’s SELF is a function of an absolute force outside of him makes the removal of man—man’s DEATH—the moral ideal.  For instance, man must get out of the way so that God’s will can be fully manifest “in him”…man’s selfishness, his stubborn and rebellious tendency to want to think and act as an agent distinct from God and His plans is the root evil and the cause of God’s wrath and judgment upon the earth.

In short, Christianity in its various “orthodox” Protestant and Catholic pedigrees is little more than the worship of death and ignorance. Go into any church on a Sunday (or Saturday of you are a SDA) and see if I’m wrong . What are they always singing about? The cross as the moral ideal ( the death of Christ–which by extension, of YOU–as the direct cause of life…the meta-narrative of the cross, where the cross, an instrument of torture used to compel the masses to submit to Caesar, is the CENTRAL IDEAL of the faith); and the utter inability of man to make rational decisions and thus engage in moral actions apart from God’s sovereign determining will (complete human ignorance) as “wisdom”.

This of course makes the collection of unsaved souls merely rank barbarians by definition. Therefore, sooner rather than later, some Christian “leader”, like every other tyrant, decides that the metaphysically superior human, who is now a direct function of God as opposed to his depravity, has the moral obligation to rule the world and to lead the blind masses into the collective form of a “godly” nation…by force if necessary.

And it’s always necessary, ain’t it?

Beware of Christians who attempt to argue that their salvation and devotion to the Christian moral ideal is the root of why they should be given the reigns of civil government. They are doing exactly what Tom is doing: indefensibly claiming a superior metaphysic to that of their fellow non-Christian man. Thus, the only way for them to “prove” this “truth” is to reveal their willingness (which is always couched as a test of devotion) to kill for their cause (and cover for abuse, and blackmail, and extort, and lie, and steal); to broadcast their utter lack of compassion, compunction, and sympathy by eradicating anyone who stands in their way.

History is my witness:

The metaphysically altered Christian has attained a new level of existence (Heaven’s Gate), by which he is called to lead the masses of totally depraved idiots who are unable to see or hear the truth and are reflexively rebellious by “nature (Calvinism, neo-Reformationism), which gives him a new  “perfect” and absolute body collective, the authority of which he appeals to in order to force the inclusion of others (Marxism, People’s Temple (Jim Jones)). And he cries from his pulpit in a shrieking vibrato that this is the divine mandate of the master race of God’s elect (National Socialism/Fascism).

It’s all the same philosophy. Rooted in the idea that man’s absolute metaphysic of SELF can somehow be dissected.