I mean…it’s like this.
There are some people who have a vested and emotional interest in towing the Reformed theology line. For the people in power (Pastors, Elders, Apostles, or whatever the fuck they are calling themselves these days…Dalai Lamas, Ayatollahs, whatever), the interest is obvious. Power, wealth, security, bragging rights…the list goes on. Whether they truly believe what they teach is besides the point. Deep down I submit that every teacher of this bullshit who isn’t registered clinically insane understands that their theology is a series of contradictory doctrinal shish kababs.
But what about the laity? The “everyman” who will literally die on the hill to defend the idea that he has absolutely no value, no purpose, no SELF, no power, and no ability to even comprehend what it means to be alive in the first place, because there is no definition of “life” anywhere in the philosophical framework? What about that everyday church goer who benefits nothing of any sort of efficacious value whatsoever from his beliefs and yet still demands that what he thinks, as siphoned off of the Reformed authoritarian teat, is what the rest of the world is obligated to submit themselves to, and WILL, whether they think they will or not?
In this person’s mind, human behavior is pre-programmed, and human reactions are simply an instinctive response to inexorable and intractable universal forces which “cause upon” him. These forces are direct functions of God, who is, they declare, the “uncaused first cause”, whatever the fuck that means.
The sum and substance of this Reformed patriot’s message concerning ideas like “God sets the standard of truth”, “suffering is inevitable” is this: that what you think and how you observe your own individual life and context is irrelevant. You simply act in accordance with the irresistible and all-determining forces of “objective reality”.
In this case, “objective reality” is God; but it can also mean other things as well. Now, normally we do not associate the phrase “objective reality” with Christians, particularly “orthodox” Christians (your Catholics, your Protestants, and all the sundry flavors thus of each, which are basically all the same except for some doctrinal piffle, which they make a colossally huge fucking deal over, wasting yet more time and more money in pursuit of total irrelevancy…but, whatever). More commonly, “objective reality” is a phrase reserved for those considered more rational; more…well, scientific. Those who believe that objective reality is built upon the idea that man can observe his environment and its repeatable interactions and consistent causes and effects, and “discover” the forces which cause objects to act, react, interact, become, and fade to nothing. That reality and thus truth has nothing to do with man’s ideas, nor his philosophies; and certainly has nothing to do with God, who pales in comparison to the wondrous voices of the material universal denizens, in all their various forms, who sing to us in soaring folk songs of mathematical verse.
The “objectivists” among us, you might say, are the ones to whom we ascribe the term and doctrine of “objective reality”; that is, the the idea that the only true reality is essentially a mathematical reality. A reality of empirical natural laws which only certain, cosmically gifted men are able to codify, translate, catalog, and ultimately apprehend.
And here is where it gets really interesting for me.
The Reformed Christian is thus not functionally different from the sober physicist. The chanting mystic no different philosophically from the wild-haired, lab-coated genius who adorns the chalk boarded stage at MIT or Cal Tech.
Interesting, and troubling. Troubling because I now understand that great intellect is not a hedge against the constant, seeping drip of Platonism. Even those whom I consider to be some of the world’s finest thinkers and best, most adroit, theologians, offer, at the bottom of it all, nothing more than the notion that objective reality is summarized by forces which compel us in spite of our will; a will which cannot possibly exist in the first place. And now I truly understand that if we don’t pull up every corner of what we believe and scrutinize it inside and out…well…we always seem to miss something, don’t we?
I submit that a defense of “objective reality” according to the the world’s objectivists (those who genuflect before Ayn Rand’s philosophy, and those who assume the that the existence of the physical universe rests upon the Standard Model: the pragmatics, the “sensible”, the “rational” atheists amongst us) can only find its premise in the idea that matter humanity observes is at its root governed by the laws of physics, which they declare as having absolute, actual, quantifiable, and causal power over man and his actions. And this is especially true of those philosophies, like Objecivism, which, being atheistic in their approach to the question of “how did everything which is here get here”, has no other choice than to defer to science. And science defers to the laws of nature which it “discovers”.
On a side note, have you ever noticed that physicists don’t invent, they “discover”? I find it so interesting, and so disturbingly telling. Newton didn’t invent “gravity” as a way to explain the nature of a specific relationship between two or more objects in space, he “discovered” it. The laws of motion and thermodynamics aren’t invented as ways to explain different relative relationships between objects, they are likewise “discovered”. Same thing with Time Dilation and Dark Energy, and Dark Matter, for that matter (no pun intended), cosmic Inflation, the equations of the quantum, the laws of wave mechanics…all of these things have always existed and exerted causal, determinist force over man and the universe, only later to be “discovered” by those who have the unique insight which makes such discoveries possible (and these folks would be your textbook Philosopher Kings, but scientists don’t like to talk about philosophy, so they have conveniently forgotten their full-on Platonist roots). And this is ironic because NONE of these laws can be directly observed, but are only ever seen by man as a DIRECT function of what is available to the senses of man…that is, the tangible objects the scientists claim these laws “govern”. And yet instead of the objects man observes–which are a demonstrable and reasonable prerequisite to the laws having any meaning or relevance whatsoever–the laws are not a function of the material objects. Rather, the material objects are a function of the laws. Now, in strictly rational terms…
…this is broke-dick ass backwards.
The philosophical, salient, and practical problem of this perspective is, of course, that as soon as you give matter completely over to invisible powers beyond the realm of human senses which we are told exist in some fantasy land of fairies named fermion and boson, lepton and quark, all singing songs in mathematical verse, you have erased the lines between tangible reality and the the powers/spirits of the sky which pull the strings from somewhere man cannot see and cannot go and cannot ever really know at all. Thus the irony in declaring reality objective is rooted in the fact that these people have done the very opposite, and have doomed man to an entire life of writhing in and choking upon an endless torrent of utter subjectivism.
You see, man exists as a function of absolute “objective reality”, so the logic goes, which must include his mind, thoughts, ideas, beliefs, observations, etcetera. And since the laws which govern “objective reality” must be absolute and infinite, and infinitely determinative, there is no difference, moral or otherwise, in what one man believes and concedes versus another man. Arguments are moot. Truth unknowable. All anyone does or thinks is an equal component of “objective reality”. Morality has been destroyed…moral equivalence rules the day. There is no functional difference between robbing you and killing your puppy in the process, and bringing you flowers on your birthday. Both acts are equal members of objective reality…both observable and quantifiable outcomes of the absolute laws of physics. And since neither act defies the laws of physics which govern, neither act can be rationally condemned as shirking the moral code.
Do you now see the abject danger of submitting all of reality to objectivity, unless that objectivity is the SELF of the individual? Because if reality is objective outside the individual, then the individual MUST become wholly irrelevant. What he does and what happens to him makes no difference at all. Every act of murder, torture, tyranny, spouse battering, child abuse, chattel slavery, thievery, adultery, etc, etc. is as morally sound and objectively “real” as as any act of kindness or mercy, love or charity. Man exists as nothing more nor less than a direct function of the laws of physics, which are the plumb line of reality (truth) and goodness (morality). And as soon as anyone who concedes the actuality of physical laws (and therefore their absolute causal power) declares that man is able to somehow efficaciously and consciously observe “objective reality” and make moral claims upon it, they become an intractable hypocrite. YOU cannot claim to observe reality because YOU are nothing but an extension of the absolute laws of physics. YOU cannot claim to wield moral categories with relevance and purpose and truth and meaning to any rational effect because EVERYTHING that exists in the universe of which EVERY action is a direct function is governed absolutely by the absolute laws of physics, which are the only moral and epistemological standard, period. There is nothing which happens, in other words, which wasn’t SUPPOSED to happen, and MUST have happened. And therefore, you see, any cries for justice are supremely irrational.
This is is my problem with those who propose an “objective reality” beyond the context of the individual. It utterly destroys man at his metaphysical, epistemological, and moral root. There is nothing for man to know besides what has been already determined for him to know. There is nothing for man to be or do which has not already been determined; whatever happens must happen and so it has functionally happened already. To cry foul and wail for justice over some perceived moral slight is to pretend that what must have happened and could not have happened any other way should have somehow happened differently. But because we are speaking in terms of LAWS, no such thing is possible.
Man’s ability to observe and conceptualize the SELF is meaningless…a full-on farce and a lie. Man’s observation is really blindness, for he observes nothing but that which has already been predestined for him to observe; and so what he observes he has effectively observed already, and thus his present observation, which is perpetually his context (man’s observational context is always NOW) is totally irrelevant. Again, it is in actuality not observation at all, but blindness; it is the awareness of nothing at all. Which incidentally contradicts awareness itself. Man is not aware of SELF (is not self-aware) because man cannot truly observe SELF. Man’s observation in the moment of his existence which is his inexorable frame of reference is an observation of nothing, period. Full stop.
And from that vantage point, how on earth does one argue for the existence of an “objective reality”?
Answer? One does not.
There is nothing for man to know because what he knows is merely a direct product of unseen and unknowable laws of nature. Observation offers man nothing. It does nothing. And if it does nothing then man cannot rationally claim his own existence. For existence itself is an act, and if man’s existence is not his own, and is not a product of the ability of him SELF to BE, and to observe him SELF in relative context to that which he observes, then there is no such thing as man, period. Man has no TRUTH to himself because man has no life; and if he has no life he has no right to life; and if he has no right to life he has no right to SELF, nor the property of the SELF, nor to decide where that SELF goes, nor to decide what that SELF does, nor to declare with whom that SELF exchanges value.
And so what do we do with man given all of this? He is as pointless and mute and insufficient to life as he can possibly get. And so I ask again, in light of all of this, what the fuck do we do with such a beast?
The only thing this philosophy allows us to do. We compel him by force to ends which do not serve him but rather benefit the all powerful “gods” of nature which govern all things, as dictated to him by those specifically called mediators who somehow defy the empty nothingness and infinite blindness of their human existence and act as divinely “called” mediators of the gods, with their categorical affirmation and limitless approval and mandate for these mediators in “authority” to wield hook and crook and iron maiden and rack and stake and firing squad and prison and dungeon and dunking chair. And all of a sudden its deja vu and Rome is burning while Nero fiddles and Caligula is raping wives and throwing children off of cliffs and Ghengis Khan is slaughtering women and children in the name of his “heavenly calling” and John Calvin is nodding his approval as Michael Servetus begins to smell the flesh of his ankles as the ropes which held them to the stake have long since turned to ash and Stalin is massacring the land owners in the name of the Worker’s Utopia and Hitler is building oven tombs for the Jews in the name of the Racial Ideal and nobody will do a motherfucking thing about it because we all just shrug and say, “It’s God’s will, you know.”
And thus it is that I will NEVER concede any idea which must lead right back there…there, right there before your very eyes, in place of your life, where you have erected that mystic idol of “objective reality”; to that place we are all trying so hard to flee. And I don’t care if you are proclaiming that the Bible is “God’s Word” or that there is an Objective Reality outside of man…it is all just one big circle which leads straight back to the mouth of hell from whence it came.
And no one will admit it because they are all just so fucking smart.
We will see. When NOTHING changes for all of their work and all of their words and all of their time, we will see.
2 thoughts on ““Objective Reality” Outside of Man is Dangerous Moral Equivalency”
Somehow, after a segway into watching the BBC this evening, I was tempted into watching a lecture on Youtube entitled “The Neuroscience of Consciousness” but for a untrained yokel such as myself it would doubtless be a mindfuck too far. (Especially as it is by an English Baroness at Melbourne University.)
The comments by Uber Quasar, Caspita and
Patrick Kennedy below the video are fascinating. Consciouness fries people’s brains, man.
Hey Jason, will you link that lecture? Thanks!