Monthly Archives: November 2015

Equality, Social Justice, and the Inverse Corollary of Existence to Identity

Since existence between objects is relative–that is, movement between two or more objects in a vacuum (of space) means that depending on how an observer chooses to measure the relationship, either object at any given time can serve as the reference for said measurement–the only thing which can be said to be fundamentally equal between objects is their existence.

Now, before I go any further, and before one of my many philosophically astute readers observes and comments upon the inevitable rational dilemma involved in taking “existence” as the metaphysical primary to its logical conclusion, let me provide you with the following disclaimer:

I submit that existence isn’t actually the metaphysical irreducible–that honor is reserved for “ability”.  The ability to exist (which really has its foundation in the ability to conceptualize existence), in other words, must precede existence.  But for the purposes of this article, and to use a concept that is more readily understandable and familiar to most people, “existence” as the assumed foundational metaphysic is acceptable.  In any case, whether we assume “existence” or “ability” as the metaphysical primary does not significantly change the argument within the specific context of this article.

Moving on…

Now, what I mean by “the only thing equal is the existence of the respective objects” is merely that the being–the IS–of object A is equal to the being–the IS–of object B.  This is due to the fact that objectively, and necessarily, each object, empirically apprehended, must be said to possess absolute existence.  In other words, each object is not an amalgamation or an integration of existence and NON-existence, for this would constitute an impossible contradiction.  Because the objects exist, they cannot, by definition, NOT exist in any measure.  You cannot integrate a NOT with an IS; and since clearly each object IS, then they are by no means any value of not.  And further, because there can be no such actual thing as nothing–for nothing, by definition, cannot be something–each object must be entirely, infinitely, and categorically something.  Put another way: each object must have existence, and they must have it absolutely.  And since the existence is in equal measure absolute, or infinite, there is absolute, or infinite, equality between the two objects.

This is validated by the fact that there is no way to observe a distinction between each object’s relative and respective existence, for all we can say about existence is that it is relative, which in no way mitigates or limits existence as the absolute metaphysical primary.  (On the contrary, I would argue that in order for existence to be relative, it must be infinite…it must be absolute and limitless; and the the contradiction is only ostensible, not actual.)  The identity distinctions between objects are based upon the premise that they each possess absolute existence first, in order that they can then be defined (conceptualized) relative to one another.  In other words, existence must precede any relevant application of relativity.

To put this in simpler terms, we can say that the moon, for example, absolutely exists, and likewise the apple.  One cannot be said nor measured to exist in a greater or lesser degree than the other.  “Lesser” and “greater” are concepts which require relative distinction, which is only relevant if the objects exist first in order that distinctions, which then are relative, can be made.  In other words, the relativity of existence is predicated upon existence, itself.  And…well…at the very least, relativity and existence are corollaries.

Because of the fact that existence between objects is utterly equal to an infinite degree, any attempt to apply equality beyond the application of the truth that both object A and object B exist, and this infinitely, and therefore literally, and unambiguously and, in the literal sense, indistinctly, is a gross logical fallacy.  The reason for the logical fallacy is as follows:

The absolute existence of object A demands that it, by definition, is simultaneously absolutely not object B, and vice versa.  As object A and object B have utterly equal (even, identical, really…but that’s another, even more nuanced article) existence, they are also simultaneously infinitely distinct from one another.  What this means is that these objects are infinitely different once we concede their absolute existential equality.  A succinct way of putting it is:  as their existence is infinitely equal, their identity is infinitely distinct.   Their identity is distinct to the same infinite degree as their existence is equal.

This is why any attempt to cultivate “social justice” based upon “equality” of individuals (a contradiction, since “social” is a collectivist, not individualistic, philosophical ideology) must fail.  It is rooted in the false notion that there can be an equality of identity, and not existence.  The notion is false because it violates the Law (as postulated by myself) of Existence as Inversely Correlate to Identity:  If A is itself absolute, it is likewise and simultaneously absolutely not B.  Or, stated more abstractly:

Where A(Existence) = B(Existence), A(Identity) ≠ B(Identity)

Practically applied, what this means is fairly obvious:  I (for example) am not you and you are not me–our identities are infinitely distinct.  We are each One…we are absolutely ourselves whilst being absolutely NOT each other, which makes us infinitely individual at the most basic level: existence; and only here, at existence, is equality rationally applied to society.  And by this I mean that equality simply means that one individual in society may not deny the other individual the right of pursuing his/her own life as he/she chooses and is able as an extension of their infinite existence.   And thus this individual, distinct, existence, being  ipso facto and therefore necessary, must be both True and Good.  And therefore pursuing such existence as one chooses–also by virtue of being the only one who possesses the singular frame reference of Self, absolutely, from which to manifest his or her life, and thus CAN be the only one who can rationally choose how to manifest his/her own life–can only be considered an explicit right.  Equality cannot mean that one individual has the right to impose his own, or a collective’s, wholly abstract standard of “equality’ upon a society of individuals.  For this (irrationally and contradictory) subordinates the absolute individual to the “group”, contradicting his/her existence entirely.  Which means that instead of making individuals equal, “social equality” denies them entirely.  And once individuals are denied, there is no frame of reference for either “social” or “justice” or “equality” at all.  Once the individual is eliminated from the existence equation, there is no way to define existence in the first place.  And without existence, you have no relative relationship between people or objects; and without those, there are no distinctions.  And without distinctions, there are no definitions, no concepts, and no values.  And without definitions, concepts, and values, there is no reality.

Because I am infinitely me and infinitely not you, how we express ourselves within the environment –being an extension of our unique individual Selves–must also be infinitely different.  But to demand “society” to give us equality of resources in the hopes of fostering an equality of outcomes is logically untenable.  Giving equal amounts of resources to distinct individuals, who are distinct at the the the most basic level, their identity, cannot possibly create equality in any practical sense because equality is not about identity, and doesn’t belong to it.  It is not about how we express our utterly unique and distinct Selves upon the earth.  Rather, equality is about existence.  Or, more formally, t is about sharing the same fundamental metaphysical absolute: existence.

And how do we exist?

As individuals.

And individuality is how we apply and express ourselves upon the environment.  The way we express ourselves, practically, or socially, is via not our existence but via our identity; that is, via that  which we are as infinitely and always distinct from that which we are not.  And in the “social” sense, what we are NOT…is other people.  We are NOT, then, the GROUP.  Because if we are the group, then we are not ourselves…in which case, we loose our identity, and thus the idea of “group”, or “society”, or “justice”, or “equality” (in the false collectivist sense) becomes entirely, and ironically, irrelevant.  You cannot advocate the equality of individuals without also advocating the identity of: “individual”.  And once there are no individuals, there is nothing to make “equal”, in the social sense.  And thus, the only way to make individuals “equal” in the social sense is to destroy that which makes us equal in the real sense (the rational, efficacious, moral sense): our existence.

And this is why all forms of collectivism (e.g. fascism, communism, socialism, religious gnosticism) will always destroy humanity, and horribly, violently so.  Collectivism can never prosper humanity because it fundamentally denies the REALITY of humanity. 

Now, this is all, of course, merely the petals on the flower of metaphysics; and also, it’s really important to understand that “existence” as a metaphysical primary breaks down spectacularly once we climb several rungs deeper into the ontological discussion (but not in a way that necessarily effects the veracity of this article’s assertions or its conclusions, I submit, as I mentioned in my disclaimer, above).  Nevertheless, the discussion of absolute equality of existence as an inverse corollary to the absolute distinction of identity is helpful in analyzing the practical applications of collectivist ideologies in general, and specifically the morally defunct and ultimately humanity-razing Marxist notion of “social justice”.

 

 

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Church-22: The Fallacy, Irrelevancy, and Tyranny of Biblical Authority and Divine Inspiration of Scripture

Recently I received the following question from a reader (see quote below).  I spent a few days mulling it over before I responded, and when I did, my comment, as usual, became so long and involved that when finished it resembled more an article than a comment . So, I decided the rational thing to do was to post it as such.

Indulge me a few words as an introduction first.

Heretofore, I have not yet dealt (not sufficiently, in my mind) with the question of how I, personally, integrate the Bible into my philosophy and ideas–a notion about as scandalous as it gets to Christians…for who am I to apply Biblical ideas to my beliefs, and not the other way around?

Anyway…

As a believer (I am no longer comfortable calling myself “Christian”, due to the Protestant and Catholic doctrinal assumptions this label necessarily implies nowadays), it is  important to be able to coherently explain how I appropriate the Scriptures, for they do possess much value, I believe…though I reject the idea that they exist in the form of some magical talisman or divine oracle–which is precisely how American, institutionalized Christianity interprets them.  This is a mistake, and has led to much abuse and misuse of the ideas of the Torah and the New Testament.  Ideas which in their purest, un-mystified form seem to affirm human life, and yet must subjugate it, I submit, when they are claimed to exist in a vacuum of “divine inerrancy”.

The Scriptures, in today’s Christian “orthodoxy”, have become the new Temple…, or, more specifically, the new “most holy place”.  A place where only God’s divinely appointed priests may enter; and a place where the untouchables of the laity and the rest of the world’s blind masses must inevitably find death and destruction should they gander a look around inside.  Oh sure, today’s priesthood of Reformed Elders (among other false teachers…like, say, the priestly lessers who advocate that most egregious of mystic false offices, the Papacy) pay lip service to “quiet times” and the importance of daily Bible reading.  But make no mistake:  by no means are they suggesting that you in any way have the divine and existential capacity or mandate to actually understand them apart from their–the ecclesiatsy’s–perpetual authoritative tutelage.  You are permitted to gaze lovingly and ignorantly from the outer courtyards of “truth”…you may examine the words as you would the walls of a fortress from the outskirts of town.  But to attempt to wander inside and examine the wells, the towers, or the bedchambers for yourself…to seek to apprehend the blueprint of the structure in the hopes that you may one day build your own…well, tsk tsk, sinner.  You are not an architect.  You are a brick.  Real understanding is the sole territory of the priesthood…the right only of those whom God has given His divine enlightenment, wholly apart from the graceless, bumptious, and pedestrian reason of fallen humanity.

Do you not yet understand, you poor, poor Protestant plebe; you Catholic spiritual leper?  Do you not realize that what is wholly inerrant cannot possibly be reconciled to that which is wholly depraved.  And that which is wholly depraved…is you.

And me.

So what do I think of the scriptures?  What do I think of a book that has had more revisions than the Ford Mustang and yet is continually and paradoxically adored as perfection in a vacuum?  Well, like anything else its usefulness goes only as far as reason takes it.  If its truths are beyond the context of human existence, as apprehended and organized via rational consistency, then they are irrelevant.  However, if its truths speak to the utter right of man to form his own moral standard, by his nature, and thus the perfect morality and necessity of his existence and essence, then the truths of the Bible are perhaps the most powerful to have ever graced the face of the earth.

The scriptures, as with all ideas, are bound to a standard of, as I mentioned, reason–that is, conceptual consistency rooted in the identity of the individual human Self.  Beyond that, they are meaningless.  In other words, the Bible, as is so often falsely claimed, is not itself axiomatically irreducible.  It is not, itself, the premise.  So, what is the premise?

The premise is…you.

And me.

Please, read on.

*

“Well, for me your key lines were: “examine [the faith] metaphysically, using Reason as my guide. My assumption is that faith must coincide with what is both logically and metaphysically consistent. I reject contradictions as being outside of reason[.]”

I’m the same as you in that regard — yet I also strongly affirm the divine inspiration and authority of the Bible. Therefore, while I’m committed to logical coherence, at the same time I draw no theological conclusions based on metaphysics alone. God’s word /must/ inform me.

So where in your line of reasoning about the faith do you “allow” (so to speak) Scripture to have a say in the conversation?

Andy”

Hmmm…I’ve been trying to decide how formulate a response to you. There is a lot going on in your comment…maybe even more than you realize. So, I guess I will just figuratively point at some spot on the chart in my mind and go from there.

Okay, first, I reject the idea of “authority” as a means to teach; to educate. Authority equals force, and so to claim authority is to ultimately claim the right to coerce by violence or threats of violence my beliefs and behavior. To claim the right to violence over an individual is in essence to claim ownership of that individual; in which case that individual cannot really be expected to learn, because the implication is that he has no right to the ownership of his body or mind. Which renders his existence as a volitional individual irrelevant. In other words, there is no need to appeal to authority to teach, because teaching becomes superfluous. Why instruct when you can simply force?

Next, I submit that when people appeal to biblical “authority” they are really appealing to the right of a select group of men to interpret reality for the masses according to a specific doctrine, which may or may not have anything to do with what’s actually in the Bible. For example, the words “the fall of man” and “total depravity” appear nowhere in Scripture, nor can one even reasonably argue that the bible speaks to these ideas despite its lack of direct mention. Nevertheless, man’s “fallen nature” and “pervasive” depravity form the whole of Christian metaphysics.

In general, I consider the concept of “authority” like I do the concepts of “perfection” and “inerrancy”. Since these are ultimately contextual concepts, their meaning is always contradicted. For example, the Bible is inerrant, we are told, however, I cannot use my Bible to pound nails; thus, its inerrancy is contextual. Out of context, it is in fact, wholly errant, contradicting the appeal to its inerrancy by definition. The same holds true for “perfection” and “authority”. The perfect car is not the perfect candy cane; and the authority of the police is not the same as the authority of a child’s parents.

In some cases, the concept of authority is equated to “expertise”. This is a fine application of authority, however, we must remember that in all areas of knowledge, authority is and must be subordinated to reason. If one’s doctor, who is an authority in the field of cardiology, tells you that you must swallow motor oil to lubricate your heart, you will naturally reject such advice on the grounds that it is absurd. In short, being an authority in a given subject does not give one license to deny reason. One cannot appeal to his expertise as grounds to completely spurn human identity. A human being, as we all agree and understand, cannot digest motor oil. It is contrary to his identity as a human being. Therefore, such advice, regardless of the source, must be false.

In the same way, when it comes to matters of Scripture, the idea of “divine inspiration” and “authority” must be subordinated to reason, which makes them functionally irrelevant with respect to Scripture. Even if God Himself declares something that contradicts man’s identity, and therefore his ability to ascertain reality, man is morally and epistemologically obligated to reject the declaration. Of course I’m betting that God would not declare something as truth if it destroys man’s identity. A declaration which hinders man’s ability to interpret reality must also hinder his ability to define God as God in the first place. Which makes the declaration moot.

Thus, when I read Scripture, I never actually consider ideas such as “divine inspiration”, “authority”, or “inerrancy” at all, because they have no practical application. They are ultimately irrelevant to anything the Bible says; and if we attempt to say they are, then the Bible becomes meaningless because “authority”, “inerrancy”, and “divine inspiration” denies the existential context of individual. For example, if am told that the Bible declares something that cannot possibly be true from the frame of reference of my identity as an individual, the only way I can accept it is if I do so by forced coercion. I cannot really voluntary accept it because I have no context whereby my volition is relevant. The declaration denies me as adequate to grasp and thus act upon such “truth”, because any such actions must be from my mere human context, which, again, is insufficient and irrelevant with respect to “God’s truth”. God’s “truth” trumps human truth, you see. But since my frame of reference is always human, I must be FORCED to accept God’s truth. I cannot verify it as truth because it is outside my context, so I can only act under compulsion. I cannot volitionally choose to accept it as true…for, again, I have no frame of reference.

Take for example the idea of human “total depravity” as a function of man’s very ontological nature. This doctrine cannot possibly be true because A.) it does not specify, by definition, where one’s depravity ends and where it begins. And B.) If man is totally depraved he is epistemologically insufficient to understand the truth of the bible in the first place. He “learns” by the forced coercion of a divinely enlightened priesthood established to compel the blind masses into “obedience”. Man’s pervasive depravity makes him entirely irrelevant to God’s goodness and truth, which makes the Scriptures meaningless to him.

This phenomenon is what I refer to as “Church-22”, and it is a direct consequence of the doctrine of Total Depravity:

The only way to be saved is to realize you cannot by nature be saved, because what is wholly evil cannot be reconciled to what is wholly good. And that the only way to choose to be saved is to recognize that you cannot choose to be saved…and that, again, is due to your sinful nature. You are told God has to choose you, for you, because you are insufficient to make your own choices for good. Which means that you are saved in spite of you, making you entirely superfluous to the salvation process. You cannot experience it, because it can only occur by the entire existential rejection of you, since you are entirely depraved.

This is rank fallacy on its face.

So, while I do read the Bible–and have many times–with great interest and find it to be of immense value to the objective of instructing humanity on the absolute morality of individual life, among other things, I apply it to bulwark and underscore my philosophical premises (i.e. my metaphysics, wherein the human individual is the moral and epistemological standard). I do not look at it as a means to subvert my premises simply because some self-appointed pontiff (God proxy, also known as the “senior pastor”, or whomever else claims a superior spiritual caste) tells me that it has some kind of spurious “authority” over them, and myself.