Category Archives: Determinism

Why Checks and Balances Won’t Stop Government Tyranny

Government is tyrannical by nature. It doesn’t evolve to tyranny, it is tyranny from its very foundation; and this tyranny follows it to the inevitable societal collapse which is tyranny’s conclusion. Government is authority, authority is force, force means forced compliance, forced compliance nullifies choice as a fundamental means of social interaction, nullified choice means a cancellation of man’s will, a cancellation of will makes thought irrelevant, irrelevant thought nullifies human agency, nullified human agency implies metaphysical determinism, determinism nullifies morality, nullified morality as a function of metaphysical determinism implies the politics of “survival of the fittest” (where politics is taken in the philosophical sense to mean how humanity interacts with itself as a function of accepted ethics), survival of the fittest implies the perpetuation of those with superior power by which to command, control, and/or adapt to their environment, superior power always belongs to the State—that’s the whole idea. Otherwise, the government doesn’t govern…it suggests. It negotiates. But ”suggestion” isn’t “law”.

This is basically the sum and substance of it, in a nutshell.

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Government isn’t people, government is a metaphysical principle. It is a premise of Determinism—man navigates reality not fundamentally by volition (by thought and action), but by determinative forces compelling him outside of his own conscious existence. Man’s sense of individualism is a false front; a liar. Man from birth lies to himself, according to his nature, which has corrupted him by giving him a sense of “Self”. This sense of Self compels man to always act contrary to the truth, which is that the Self is a lie, and that reality is something outside of this Self, which utterly determines all he is and does…which of course doesn’t include “him” at all. So, because man is born with the “original sin” of Self-Awareness and a natural inclination to defer to his own individual thoughts, ideas, and choices, which always and necessarily act contrary to the truth of determinist reality, he must be controlled. He must be forced. He must be governed. The idea that man could ever live a categorically voluntary existence away from and irrespective of some manifestation of supreme coercive Authority is anathema, by definition, to government, then. Freedom, which can only ever really mean freedom from a fundamentally compelled existence, is inexorably exclusive of government. It simply must be. Even at mere face value this has to be apparent to us. The exercise of individual will according soley and utterly to the volition of the individual is a complete contradiction of the very essence of the State. This is arrant; it is obvious. Any attempt to fuse freedom and force is a rejection of reason and an appeal to madness. And this is itself nothing but tyranny.

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Again, government isn’t people. Again, government is a metaphysical principle. And again, it is determinist, which means it is collectivist (the inexorable link between collectivism and determinism is pretty obvious; and I have addressed it several times before, so I won’t do it now). Government transcends individuals at the metaphysical root, like all manifestations of collectivism (churches, tribes, gangs, appeals to “objective” class/racial/sexual distinctions, science-as-philosophy, cultural movements, fads and trends, and on and on). And this is why “checks and balances”, while ostensibly an infusion of sanity and sobriety into governmental polity, cannot serve as any kind of truly effective hinderance to the tyranny of the state. You see, whether you gather coercive power into the hands of only one man, or you spread it across a vanguard, and separate that vanguard by distinct institutions and offices, and regulate the terms by which this power may be consolidated with a complicated paradigm of rules and benchmarks, the very fact that it is coercive power we are dealing with makes all of it a mere ceremonial spectacle. Coercive power, being the fundamental and only really meaningful and efficacious aspect of government, cannot be converted into liberty by sticking it in a blender with constitutional hoops and hurdles and pressing “purée”. Freedom is freedom from coercion. Nothing more. Nothing less. Period. Yet the governmental deals exclusively in force…that is its only real currency. Anything else is window dressing; pretend play; an attempt to excuse the inevitable violence and perfidy of the ruler, and to sooth or mask the misery of the ruled. But the truth is that the square peg of  humanity will never be forced into the round hole of government without crushing them both.

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The operative and ultimate moral issue with government is a priori coercive (violent) ruling power. It’s not about who happens to wield that power, or how many hurdles—“checks” and “balances”—are ostensibly erected in his path before he can exercise ruling power absolutely. Those hurdles are a function of the very same appeal to authority which gives him his ruling power in the first place. Ruling authority cannot be checked because it is fundamental…it is not merely a facet of government, it is government. The foundational principle of Authority establishes the government, the government doesn’t just happen to wield authority as though its power to compel behavior by violence and threats of violence is merely tangential to some greater munificent purpose. The ability to use superior violent power to compel “right” thinking and behavior isn’t a “last resort”, as though the primary purpose of governing Authority is negotiation and compromise and/or the encouragement thereof! See how foolish this is, and yet we all believe that it is indeed somehow the case, even though it defies simple, remedial logic. The necessity of power to point a government gun in someone’s face to get him to do the “right” thing specifically because he is born a rebel and a sinner to reality, itself, and is utterly insufficient to existence if left to his own mind and will, has about as much to do with compromise and negotiation as a ham sandwich has to do with Shakespeare. Getting the “right” ruler or establishing the “right” checks and balances simply cannot change the fundamental purpose and essence of government:

to govern.

And governing is forcing, and forcing is controlling, and controlling, fully and properly realized, is tyranny.

The problem is not getting the right checks and balances in place. And it’s not who rules, but it is simply the fact that they rule at all. Once it is accepted by metaphysical principle that man must be ruled, he will be sacrificed to the State. There is no way to avoid the inevitable conclusion of the premise which demands the governing of individuals in order to integrate them into the “Truth”, which is always merely some insipid and tangential collectivist Ideal (the Nation, the Tribe, the Race, the Chosen Ones, the People, the Workers, the Good, the Just…almost anything can pass for an Ideal).

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Finally, I’d like to address the bromide—the political trope—which is the notion that the ruling class (politicians and other government officials) should somehow be expected to follow the same laws as everyone else. This…is utter and complete nonsense. It hasn’t happened and it will never, ever happen, because it has about the same practical existence as the tooth fairy and the same practical efficacy as a black highlighter. It is foolishness. It’s a contradiction. It’s a fantasy. It is a rank contradiction to government’s essence at its very heart to obligate the ruling class to the laws by which they govern everyone else. By definition if the ruling class is also ruled (and this, impossibly, of themselves) then the ruling class is not the ruling class! And if the ruling class isn’t the ruling class then who is? In other words, if the ruling authority isn’t the ruling authority then by what means can law be established as actually binding upon the men it is supposed to govern? And if it’s not binding then how is it law? Law depends on someone to force men to obey it, regardless of whether men want to obey or not, or choose to obey or not. But if law is to be chosen by men, not forced upon them, then it’s not law. It’s suggestion…negotiation, voluntarism. And this is not governing, it’s merely cooperating.

People think that somehow choosing rulers via “free elections” is the same thing as choosing to be obligated to law.

It isn’t.

The law demands that rulers rule, and that’s what they will do, regardless of who they are, how they were elected, or who voted for them and why. The law is not a function of those “freely elected”, but the “freely elected” are a function of the law, and the law is force, not choice.

Authority—the ruling class—cannot be obligated to itself . And it is foolishness to assert that the ruling class should also be ruled like the rest of us. The ruling class cannot be both and simultaneously the ruled and the ruling. Men are part of one or the other, they are never one and the same. This is merely a contradiction which obscures the truth.

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How Christians and Secularists Both Define You as Nothing (Part TWO)

The question of “you” (or me or anyone) is an all or nothing proposition. The question of “what are you?” can only be answered in terms of Absoluteness or Absolute Nothingness. That is, you are, at the most fundamental root, either you, absolutely (Absolute You), or you are utterly NOT you (Absolute Absence of You). You either are or you are not. Period. No matter how science, religion, or philosophy, of all and any kind, attempt to equivocate, or make allowances for “mystery”, or the “unknowable” (a conceptual contradiction if there ever was one), or “epiphenomenon”, or even “magic”, there is no way to get around this simple bifurcation of the root existential question: To be or not to be.

Are you, or are you not?

So which is it? Only one answer is correct. And that correct answer is the only possible answer. Thus, we must choose wisely. The answer may seem obvious, or at least intuitive, of course…at least it should. But after thousands of years of the mass acceptance and integration of reasonless and impossible ideologies on the matter, underwriting and permeating every human endeavor and institution from here to the Great Wall of China on both sides, from the State to Society, Religion, Science, Arts and Entertainment and on and on, it seems that rational blindness is solidly ensconced as the undisputed conveyance of human philosophical wisdom to the point where ascertaining the existentially obvious, at least as the foundation for epistemology and ethics, is as improbable for the average man as winning a gold medal in the Olympics.

From part one in this article series we already know how Christians fundamentally define you—as null. A zero. A cegorical non-entity. A non-agent…despite their unwillingness to plainly admit as much. “You” are merely a placeholder…or rather, a character in a play, having no substance until God fleshes out your role with his all-determining will. In other words, you are an arrant projection of God’s infinite foreknowledge; an agency-less character in his cosmic production. His “gospel narrative” drops you in, with lines, actions, consequences, and destiny all decided for you, outside of you, and thus (and ironically) having nothing actually to do with you at all. Because there is no “you” in Christain metaphysics. No self. No cognition nor agency nor conceptualization of any fundamental substance. You are made from “nothing”…spoken into existence; materializing into reality from a place that not even God can define (if you follow the logic) because it is nowhere and at no time…like the Big Bang. You are not of God, himself, because that would make you a part of God, and yet you are not from a substance which co-existed eternally with God because only God is eternal. You were birthed somehow from an infinite vacuum. You are something which is beget from nothing (ex nihilo). You are thus a contradiction—a lie. An unsolvable, indecipherable enigma…a lock with no key nor combination. You are, but what you are is absolute nothingness. Indeed, “you are nothing” is the rank metaphysical contradiction which forms the fulcrum upon which your liar’s existence pivots, points, and from which it proceeds, only to utterly return to itself inexorably and infinitely.

And that, my friend, is not hyperbole…it is theology. It is the sum and substance of your meaning and worth to God. it is the metaphysics of Christian canon. Your value as an individual is null because your individual self is the illusion in which only the unsaved reprobate indulges. To be saved is to recognize that there IS NOTHING of you worth saving in the first place, and this is because you don’t actually exist at all.

So what do you do with this cold slap of Christian doctrine? Well, you might do what many others have done when they realize that all hope must be abandoned once they cross the threshold of the institutional church. They flee to the ostensible “safe haven” of the stoic, cold, unflinchingly certain, emotionless arena of “objective” and “empirical” science, and embrace the metaphysics of scientific determinism (which is the practice of science as a philosophy). Its arms are not warm or loving; its embrace is not meant to comfort or sooth; its wings are not going to transport you to the safety of the eternal afterlife and lay you gently down in a diamond city with gilded streets. But what it does offer is the hard, rigid truth, so at least you always know where you stand. It doesn’t get your hopes up, but then there are no hopes to be dashed when the empiricism of reality inevitably comes crashing down upon you, grinding your life back into dust.

Scientific determinism is closed to bribery. It has no use for dreams or wishes, nor does it offer any. There is no Grand Consciousness to which one may nor must make supplication; it pretends no miracles…no defiance of reality does it promise. And despite the fact that its determinist metaphysics are indeed philosophical, it implies that philosophy is for fools—the opium of the masses because it’s really nothing more than religion, anyway. Metaphysics is psuedo-science and psuedo-rational, like alchemy or phrenology as far as science is concerned. Science explains “what is” in terms that can be measured, and thus in the only terms that can be trusted to be truly meaningful.

So…what of all of this?

Is it true?

No. All of this is a lie, of course, and thus what actually happens to erstwhile Christains when they flee the rational madness of Christian metaphysics for the nuthouse of the metaphysics of science—by becoming atheists or some other iteration of secular determinism—is that they become even more preachy and insufferable than before. Out of the frying pan and into the fire, as they say. The labels change…the vocab, the ribbons and bows. But the metaphysics—and the pretension—remain the same. If you want to know how the scientific determinist defines the nature of existence, and specifically man’s existence, you need look no further than the mysticism from which they ostensibly fled.

The reason, you see, why so many Christians turn to the scientific determinism of secular ideologies after their disillusionment with the church is because they are lazy. Atheism provides them with all the trappings of Christain metaphysics in new clothes…they FEEL better without actually having to do the work to GET better. Scientific determinism provides them with remedial and superficial change, and relieves them of the time and trouble and loss and hurt which accompanies real, substantive change.

Real change, you see, is humbling, not empowering. It proceeds along years and years of uncertainty, it does not gift wrap instant truth in the form of formulas and equations. It is not simply tearing off a red jersey and donning a blue one. It is not simply switching to another team that is still playing the same game. It puts you OUTSIDE of “cause and effect” and makes you an observer of it. Which is what you truly are.

The scientific determinist rejects “God” in favor of physics. They forsake an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient Diety for an omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient Natural Law. But of course both mean the exact same thing. Both determine all things; both know what was, is, and shall be, forever and ever; both are everywhere and in everything to the point where it is impossible to know just where they begin and that which they govern ends, and vice versa. And both interpret man, his existence and his consciousness, in the same way: you are a function of that which is absolutely outside yourself, and so there is no “you” in the deep, foundational, and primary sense. “You”, in other words, are a direct function of “NOT you”…and thus You qua You is a lie. “You” do not, in fact, exist at all.

Christianity, and scientific determinism—which is the philosophy of secularism—are metaphysically identical; and this means that they interpret the PHYSICAL universe in indentical ways as well; only the terminology is different. Whether theology (God) or mathematics (Natural Law), both are notions of some kind of Infinite Causal Absolute, which is of course a contradiction in terms. The infinite cannot create anything outside of itself, by definition. At any rate, God or Natural Law are merely broken up into abstract units, organized into various categories of “reality”, and presumed (somehow…the logic is very loose at this point) to be creative…causal. But then beyond that, “God” and “mathematics” as Christianity and Science define them respectively in their spurious philosophical terms, by absolutely causing everything, must necessarily BE everything. In other words, outside of God and Natural Law there is no thing which they did not create ABSOLUTELY. In this sense then, there can be no distinction between what is created and that which creates it. In truth, then, “God” and “Natural Law” do not really explain reality so much as they eradicate the distinction between it and them.

Now, certainly theology and mathematics provide humanity some practical efficacy and utility, which lends them their veneer of philosophical sensibility. Christianity is good at listing rules for man to follow in order to promote some desired, and even perhaps remedially ethical, outcome…an ostensible moral existence: do not kill, do not covet, do not steal, and so on. Mathematics is a fine blueprint for the organization of what is observed in order to provide an a reliable abstract foundation for society’s infrastructure: here’s how you build X to do Y; here is how A can be measured and formulated in order to produce B, and so on. But when we take this rote practical utility and attempt to construct from it a full-on existential paradigm which INCLUDES man, the Observer, we go way astray. The practical utility of “God” and “math” is NOT philosophy…it’s not even a premise…of any kind. It is a tool of cognition…as hammer is a tool of the hand. You cannot reverse engineer “God” or “math” to a metaphysical primary (e.g. man is X, or man is Y) anymore than you can reverse engineer a screwdriver to determine what the user IS. Perhaps you can determine what he does, but not what he is. You do not derive existential meaning from mere practical application. But this axiom is lost on the world, it seems.

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When it comes to our existence, the old idiom tells us that we have no control over the cards we are dealt. Some of us, we are told, win the “genetic lottery”. Others don’t beat the odds. They are unattractive, ignorant, awkward, disabled, in poor health…any, all, or some combination thereof. You’re either a “winner” or a “loser” as Nature has dictated. That we are born to rich parents or poor, nurturing or abusive; we are servant or ruling class; tall and handsome; short, fat, and ugly…all is determined for us upon our birth. True we may escape some of these circumstances, but the intrinsic characteristics which allow us to do so—our intelligence, toughness, resilience, diligence—these are all dictated to us by nature.

All of this is merely an appeal to the same fundamental metaphysical premise as that of the Christian who describes your “talents” and “time” and all other characteristics as “God’s gifts”. All of that which makes you you is nature’s gamble, nothing more—the cause and effect of the all-determining Law of Nature. And of course this premise carries with it the same rational failure of imagining that a distinction can be made between you and all of the characteristics endemic to your birth; that your eye color, for example, hair and skin color, height,  intelligence, parents, the socioeconomic class into which you are born…all of these exist in a cosmic closet outside of your Self, and Nature costumes you with them upon your birth.

Well, except it is a little more complicated…or perhaps, more manipulative. If you examine the metaphysics which inform this idea, to say that you may somehow be defined as distinct from your inherent and endemic characteristics is at root to remove you from yourself, and THIS ultimately and necessarily renders You qua You an existential contradiction. All the things which make you, you, are not actually OF you, but outside of you, which makes “you” a false premise. Science and Christianity are truly the bedfellows of determinist metaphysics (which, by the by—because I don’t think I’ve mentioned this yet—are simply a remedial version of Collectivist metaphysics). Ironic perhaps, but on the other hand, not really ironic at all. All variations of determinism are GOING to be based on mysticism—appeals to the Unseen, the Unknowable, the Infinite Cause, which create all things ex nihilo. Whether we call the the Creator “God” or “Natural Law”; whether the beginning is the Bible’s “In the beginning God created…” or the Big Bang, the definition of reality is the same. Reality is a place where “you”, at best, is entirely imaginary.

Think about it…science decreees that there is no “you” until the moment of your birth, or your conception, or of any given number of gestational weeks…it really doesn’t matter with respect to the metaphysics. Yet it simultaneously asserts that the child born to rich parents, and/or with abundant intellectual or athletic ability, for example, has simply won the genetic lottery. And this means that he has been birthed as a function of random cosmic occurrence. He is a child as much of probability as he is of his parents. Of course the question that is either unknown, ignored, or forgotten is: how can one win the genetic/cosmic lottery if one does not exist until AFTER the lucky number has been drawn? Or perhaps better said: how can one win the lottery if he is a FUNCTION of that lottery? The lottery—meaning the determined cause and effect of all object interaction as a function of Natural Law—is what CREATES the one who is said to have won it. The “lottery” generates the winner out of itself. The one who is said to have won (or lost) the “lottery’ is created DIRECTLY out of it…it doesn’t select a winner it produces him. The “winner” is nothing but a direct function of the very probabilistic mechanisms which are also said to have given him his winnings. This is a contradiction. What I’m trying to say is that there is NO ONE to “win” the “genetic lottery”…the “winner” doesn’t submit the lucky numbers, the winner IS the lucky numbers.

The “lottery” isn’t actually a lottery at all, then. The “lottery” is only random manifestations of the Infinite Determining Cause. There is no “you” who upon his birth wins or loses some cosmic game of chance. “You” is an illusion. You can make no claim to Self because the Self is a lie.

The question which follows then is: If there is no Self then how can be conscious of yourself?

The answer is that you aren’t, according to the deterministic metaphysics of science. The spurious assertion that there is a “you” somewhere behind all that genetic code and foreordained cause and effect is a bromide given to the masses to placate any possible protest. Behind that bromide however is the truth…and the facade is very thin indeed. Behind it is the truth that scientific determinism is an ideology which is fundamentally anti-human and pro-Authoritarian.

The insidious nature and consequence of both the Christian and Scientific determinist metaphysical premise of the fundamental non-existence of the Individual Self is that man shall therefore not be ALLOWED to exist AS an individual. Since all men are a function of the exact same determinist force (“God” or “Natural Law”) there is no possible individual distinctions to be made among them. Mankind is thus collectivized under the auspices of some fatuous, subjective, abstract ideal and then ruled by an Authority, usually the State, which acts as a surrogate—the physical incarnation of that ideal which exists to eradicate all expressions of individuality, as these are considered an imposter to reality.

Which it is…IF we concede the false metaphysical premise that the Self (You qua You) cannot exist. And by the authority of THIS foundational belief comes every and all manner of moral violation…everything from petty crime to the Holocaust. The idea that man is not in fact himself is the ideological root back to which all violence and violations of humanity can be traced.

Think about it. Man does not actually exist as himself. Thus he does not earn himself. His existence stems from a birth that provides him with ALL of his attributes—all that he IS—by mere accident; infinitely determined outcomes by the Infinite Determining Force, which is the infinite essence of all of reality and everything in it. Your existence has nothing to do with you…it’s not work; it’s not an action of you, and thus you cannot rightfully claim ownership of yourself and thus you cannot claim ownership of anything that proceeds from your existence. Your life is not your own because YOU are a lie. Your time, talent, property, family, business, labor…these are things over which you can claim no just ownership because you don’t even own yourself. You didn’t earn YOU, so you cannot claim to own anything that is a consequence of you.

We can sum all of that up with this simple maxim: You’re existence is a function of forces outside of you; you do not earn yourself and therefore you do not own yourself, and therefore you do not own anything you produce.

Of course it is hard to avoid the glaring contradiction in this determinist argument. In order to assert that you do not earn and thus do not own yourself, YOU must be assumed as de facto. In other words, the essence of the claim that “you do not earn yourself because you are a product of forces outside of you” is this: YOU do NOT (de facto) exist. However, the claim “you do not exist” is self-nullifying—a contradiction in terms, like “false truth” or “unknowable knowledge” or “infinite time”. In order to make any claim about “you” you must have an existential reference for “you”, and to have that reference “you” must by definition exist. In other words, you must exist in order to claim that “you do not exist”. The very notion itself is utterly dependent upon the presumed existence of “you”.

To be clear, the claim that “you do not exist” is not the same thing as saying something like “unicorns do not exist”. This is because the “you do not exist” is a metaphysical argument based upon “you”, which is a metaphysical premise, not merely a distinction between what is physically present verses what is only imaginary, cognitive or abstract. In other words, “you do not exist” more precisely means “you CANNOT exist”. That is, “you” are impossible to reality itself  in all its forms…physical, cognitive, object, abstract, etc.. “Unicorns do not exist” can never mean “unicorns cannot exist” simply because unicorns qua unicorns are NOT contrary to reality itself because they are not a metaphysical premise. Unicorns may exist in reality, though they may be limited to the imagination; the Self, or You qua You CANNOT exist in reality AT ALL, even in the imagination, because it is a metaphysical concept which is categorically contrary to determinist metaphysics.

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”You” is an all or nothing proposition. You either absolutely are or you absolutely are NOT. But only one of these propositions is correct; only one does not self-nullify due to rational inconsistency. I submit that you ARE, period. “You” as a metaphysical premise cannot be parsed, divided, or distilled. “You” is irreducible. Your essence…your Self is a root metaphysical premise, and the proof is that you speak forth the pronoun “I” via an apprehension of its greater meaning in language in general and in communication. The very fact that this is a concept that can be meanginfully and efficaciously formed and communicated is proof that you ARE. “I” would be infinitely impossible as a concept were it a metaphysical fallacy and thus anathema to existence and reality. “I” is either devoid of all context within reality or it IS the context for reality, itself, and irreducibly so. And as you have no other reference, and will NEVER and can NEVER have any other reference for reality, this statement MUST be true: You are you; You qua You is, in fact, a thing.

And by your ability to be you, you EARN you and all of the characteristics which make you YOU in the practical sense; and therefore you own you and thus own all which exists as a willful consequence of you.

END

How Christians and Secularists Both Define You as Nothing (Part ONE)

The other day my daughters received a thank-you note from a sweet little old lady to whom they had given a small homemade gift on Easter Sunday. The valediction read “May you continue to use the gifts that God has given you.”

And within those sweet little words we find the devil. And thus began quite a long lecture—given to my girls on the spot—on the dangers of ideologies which reduce existence to an idea which enslaves them to authoritarianism for the rest of their lives. That idea is that life and existence are UNEARNED. And though Christians are more ostensibly to be blamed for this evil, the idea is in fact a foundational component of secular metaphysics as well.

Wow. Hmm. Where to even begin. This is tough. There is so, so much wrong with this that it’s like trying to determine which of a thousand maurading orcs I should decaptiate first.

Let’s start with the obvious and aforementioned presumption that one’s talents are gifts. Which implies that they are unearned. So, let’s work backwards to the premise, and from this we shall then have our conclusion as to what this really means…and we will see how sinister it is.

You want to build a cabin, but you have no tools. So someone gives you them. You don’t work for them, they are gifts. Now, you might have “earned” them in the sense that the giver must like you or at least value you as a human. So that’s something. I mean, you didn’t work for them, but you can argue that there’s some inherent value to yourself that serves as the reason why one would give you something out of the profits of their own time and labor.

So, can you call the cabin you build from gifted tools your own? Yeah. Probably. I mean, you’d have to thrown in the obligatory “I could never have done it without you” platitude pretty much every time you had the person over, but they’d be hard pressed to take any real credit for your work, or even more, to claim some kind of shared ownership of it.

What about if the materials for the cabin were gifted, too? Hmm…getting a bit harder to claim that you’re the sole owner of it. At this point, you could still call it yours, and appeal to the meaning of the word “gift” as grounds for sole property rights, but you’d probably have to give the gift-giver carte blanche when it came to using the cabin. They probably could convince you to allow them to come and go at will and to stay for as long as they felt comfortable.

What if they also gifted you the land on which to build the cabin? Now its harder still to claim it as soley yours. But still, it’s a gift, right? And a gift means that you now own the thing gifted and thus can do as you please with it.

True, perhaps in object principle. But let’s be honest, here. When that much is gifted, propriety, etiquette, social convention, and basic consideration at this point imply and, I submit, necessitate a level of gratitude that begins to bleed over into obligation. It’s “your” cabin, but only in abstract principle at this point. Still…you could make a claim based on the strict meaning of the word “gift”.

What if the food and water were also given to you so that you had the energy to build the cabin? And the clothes and the work gloves and the work boots?  And the medical insurance in case you got injured, and the pick-up truck for trips to the hardware store and lumberyard; and the gas for the truck and the insurance for it?  And the fees for the permits, and the water which will be piped into the cabin, and the electricity which will power the appliances and provide heat and air conditioning? What if all the training on how to build the cabin was also a gift? No fees. Just a free ride at the vocational school of your choice?

Well, you might still appeal to the very definition of “gift” to make the case that the cabin belongs solely to you. After all, you might argue, this is pretty much what it means to be a parent. You provide all of these things to your children so that they can go out and build their lives and you don’t necessarily claim to own the things they acquire after they leave home and start their independent lives. And true this may be, but lets’s be honest. There is still some expectation placed upon the children. All things normal, it wouldn’t be considered anything less than rank insult if the children left home, with all the knowledge and resources the parents have provided, and then declined to have anything to do with them. So, there is some quid pro quo expected, even in the parent-child context.

At this point we must begin to face the obvious. “Gift” doesn’t really imply no strings attached. In fact I would say it’s quite the opposite. Which is why when there are no strings attached to a gift, the giver usually has to make that specifically clear:

Hey, Bill. Got you this new putter. And don’t think you have to pay me back…this is my treat, and I’m not looking for you to return the favor. No sir, not one iota. No strings attached, bro.” 

Still, you could argue a technical right to categorical ownership. One is never obliged to give a gift, and thus the recipient can’t technically be obligated to provide return value. I mean, yes, you can make an ethical argument, which is compelling and is the norm in real life, but “legally” the receiver of the gift is not on the hook to return the favor at all.

So, while it’s unlikely, we could at least at this point technically say that God has given us, as gifts, the talents we have and use. It doesn’t mean that we necessarily owe him anything or that we didn’t necessarily earn the gifts. I mean, we could say that we “earned” them in the way that children earn the gifts of their parents. Certainly there is value endemic to the children in their very person that compels parents to provide nice things for them, right? And similarly God could be said to give us gifts because there is inherent value to us, in and of ourselves, that drives God’s desire to give us skills and talents and potential, right?

Sure…this is all possible, if we don’t wade any further into the quicksand of untenable Christian metaphysics. And frankly, the idea that we aren’t obligated to God in EVERYTHING and in EVERY WAY is complete anathema to the church.

Now, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I stopped here. To explore Christian metaphysis no further than this is why the Church is the rational disaster that it is. Thus far, though we are speaking technically, it still sounds relatively hunky dory. God gives us our talents as gifts because he loves us. Of course in our gratitude we’d use them “for his glory”, as they say. But we still own them, and this is because we are valuable to him.

Of course, in order for us to be valuable to God there must be an actual “we” somewhere in the equation. Meaning we must have an existence of our own, independent of God, for us to be loved and thus the recipients of his affectionate gifts.

And here is where Christain metaphysics take their inexorable sinister turn. This is where all the talk of love and value and affection and gifts goes right down the toilet. Because the truth is that there IS NO WE.  There is no “me” to me. And no “you’ to you. And you’ll see what I mean as we move further along with our cabin example.

So, we’ve already hypothesized that our resources, including clothes and food and education and tools and raw materials, are all gifts to us. Let’s take it a step further. What if your vision is also a gift. What if your very ability to see the nail in order to hit it with the hammer was given to you…you didn’t work for it, didn’t earn it. It’s a true gift. And what if your ears and hands and feet are gifts, too? And your very brain, and all therein, and thus your very capacity for learning; and the roots of that capacity, as well—your innate potential to be good at this or that…your natural, genetic proclivities, like your IQ, your talent for abstract thinking and organization, and your creativity.

Not seeing a whole lot of “you” in the mix are you now? Starting to feel a little squeezed, huh? Starting to wonder just who it is that is receiving these gifts. You’re starting to see that there is a very fine line between “you” and “that which you have been gifted”.

Well, that make senses. Because the root premise is that there is no line. Because there is no distinction. Because there is no you at all.

Your DNA is a gift. Your genes are gifts; and the interaction of the genes by which you are formed in the womb, and the atoms and molecules, and the inherent ability of these things to interact in meaningful and efficacious cause-and-effect ways…these are all gifts, too. The very ability of any of these things which make up you at your most fundamental physical root are God’s gifts. And beyond the physical then we must go, deeper and further until “gifts” comprise all of your reality, and your existence, itself. The very ESSENCE of you—the ABILITY of you to BE you—is not of you, it’s a gift. Indeed it’s no strain on credulity at this point to admit that YOU, YOURSELF, are a gift.

In other words, YOU are given by God…as a gift to YOURSELF.

But wait. That doesn’t work. YOU cannot be something God gives TO YOU. If your “you-ness” isn’t of you then there is no you in the first place in which TO GIVE YOU.

And now we have arrived. This is the whole point.

When a sweet little old lady tells you to “use the talents God has given you” she is actually implying many, many Satanic things, which is disappointing and terrifying.

She is implying that your talents, and thus ALL of the fruits of those talents is unearned. This is meant to stem the sin of “pride”, but “pride” is only sinful when it is irrational. To say I am a better man than you simply because I am rich and you are poor (I promise you I’m not, by the way) is an example of pride as a sin. To claim that a cabin I built is a wonderful cabin and to take responsibility for its beauty and functionality is NOT sinful pride. It’s merely a statement of fact: my hard work has EARNED me a beautiful cabin of which I certainly can, and I would argue MUST, be proud. But Christain metaphysics make no such distinction at all. You see, because your very talents are gifts from God, you can fundamentally take no pride of ANY kind in anything. You cannot claim to have done anything, in and of yourself; you can claim no ownership nor credit for any thing of value you create. Without your talents, you can do nothing productive…because “talents” is a broad, broad category. Everything from your intelligence and creativity to your physical deftness and dexterity, attention to detail, your wit, your ability to organize, your innate understanding of color, your conscientiousness, your photographic memory, your compassion, empathy…and on and on and on. And this evil, false, thoroughly anti-Biblical idea of “talents as gifts” or “talents on loan from God”  has been used by the church to guilt, terrify, manipulate, and exploit the masses of believers for thousands of years.

Next, the sweet old lady’s words imply that one can draw some kind of objective and verifiable distinction between “you” and “your talents”. As though there is any frame of reference for yourself ABSENT the very things that make you YOU, like your creativity and intelligence, contentiousness and organizational skills, your physical dexterity…etcetera, etcetera. These are all things that distinguish you from others. Without these things, who exactly are you to me or anyone else? Take away my wife’s tremendous organizational skills, her intelligence, her extraordinary work ethic, her compassion, her careful and caring nature, and yes, even her occasional rush to judgment, her critical disposition, and her relentless drive to finish her list of chores which never ends, and I don’t know her at all. Take away her talents, and even her foibles, and you take her away from me.

The claim that man has no innate and inherent talents that really belong to him, and BECAUSE of him, and from and to none other BUT him, represents—when followed back to its premise, and then pursued to its logical conclusion—the very death of man, and God by proxy. This is the premise: that God made YOU, entirely, completely out of nothing, or out of something completely NOT you. And thus there is nothing constant…no you QUA you, and thus you can claim NO aspect of yourself that you fundamentally own from beginning to end, and thus you can claim to have earned NOTHING that you acquire and possess in life. It doesn’t belong to you because there is no you.

This premise is the bane of man, and has been an excuse to terrify, torment, and murder human beings for thousands and thousands of years. It is evil. It is not true. It should be rejected for the rank lie that it is.

The dirty little secret behind “the gifts God has given you” is that there is NO YOU at all.  You are nothing. A placeholder for “God’s will”, or “nothing”; at best you are merely a character in the cosmic play of God’s divine determinist plan. You are an illusion…a name on a page, an actor without will. You have no Self, and therefore you have no right to anything. Not even your very existence.

In the next article I will explain why this idea, or a semantically different form of it, is loved and adored by many strains of secularists and scientific determinists the world over, who only THINK they are different from the Christains they ridicule as blind and/or stupid.

END PART ONE

Why Jesus Has No Free Will and Niether Do You: Christianity’s moral determinism fallacy

“Jesus lived a perfect life so you don’t have to.”

Sometikes you hear it put like that. Or sometimes…

”Jesus kept the law perfectly because we couldn’t.”

Or…

”Jesus’s perfect life is imputed to us.”

If you are a fan of Christian whimsy you might like…

”Christ obeyed so we could be saved!”

However it’s put, the point is the same. And for the sake of argument let’s accept it as true. We’ll concede the point for now: Jesus obeyed the Law perfectly; we do not, and so our ability to be accepted by an absolutely holy God in the face our own absolute unholiness (our “fallen state”) depends entirely upon Jesus’s perfect obedience. That perfect obedience means perfect innocence before the Judgment Throne, which is then applied to the guilty—or at least those whom God has given the grace to receive it (the doctrine of “election”)—and this is how we can be saved.

Now, a dizzying amount of intellectual gymnastics must be performed to make this case, complete with a landing that doesn’t quite stick. Christian soteriology is one long smorgasbord of rational error, with contradictions tripping over themselves as they fight for space, and it begs a lot of questions. Questions which of course are never really covered in the church, let alone answered…not at least since John Calvin “answered” them by burning Michael Servitus at the stake. But, like I said, we willl accept the aforementioned explication of the salvation process for now.

Also, I ask the reader to please note that in accepting the terms of Christian soteriology in this article I must ignore the fact “choose to obey” is a contradiction in terms, as obedience is simply forced compliance which has nothing actually to do with choice (“you will obey or die” is NOT a choice, but is, in reality, quite the opposite). So, I will assume for now that Christ, in keeping the Old Testament commandments, used his will and chose to do so, as opposed to God using threats and force to compel him. In other words, I will assume that Christ’s relationship to the Law is one of voluntary acceptance and not authoritarian coercion, even though by definition law demands that you obey it, it doesn’t accept that you may choose not to. Of course the law would accept it if the law had anything really to do with choice. But then it wouldn’t be the law.

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In looking at the claim that Christ fulfills the Law for us, we naturally ask how? To which the orthodox reply is that he ACTED in a way which satisfied the commandments, perpetually, for those who accept the imputation of the righteousness that this implies. In other words, Christ’s behavior reflected the commandments of the Law. The Law commanded, and Jesus acted accordingly.

We could thus say that it was Jesus’s obeyance of the Law which allayed the wrath of God towards us (through him) and not because he WAS God (accepting, only for now, the veracity of the Trinity doctrine). In other words, we must assume that Christ was not given an automatic dispensation simply for being God. His willful obedience of the Law thus is the only possible explanation for his fulfillment of it. In fact, being God doesn’t imply fulfillment the Law as as much as it implies a circumvention of it.

Ah. That’s very interesting.

Let’s pose this as a question.

Is Christ’s fulfillment of the Law a function of his willful obedience or a function of him simply BEING Christ (which equals being God)?

Here  is where we find the problem which undermines the entirety of Christian theology, I submit. As usual, greed gets in the way of truth. Like all authoritarian ideologies, they want their metaphysical cake and to eat it, too. For Christians answer this question predictably. They will say both. And why is this predictable? Because contradiction is ALWAYS their response to questions concerning doctrinal premises.

But reason, and therefore objective truth, doesn’t contain a rational frame of reference for contradiction…which in this case is the claim that Christ merits what can’t be merited. Either Christ CHOSE to obey the Law or he fulfills the Law by metaphysical fiat. To say it’s both is to say it’s neither. And that’s nonsense, of course. Fake words.

As one method of getting around this clear violation of reason Christian soteriology attempts to merge two DISTINCT metaphysical components: man’s thought (man as a conceptualizing agent) and man’s choice (man as a willful agent). Of course doing this always goes wrong in hugely embarrassing and destructive ways, as church history reflects. Christian metaphysics FUSE the ability to think with the ability to choose, making them one and the same. But choice is in truth a mere CONTEXTUAL function of man’s metaphysical identity as a thinking agent, stemming from the fact that thought implies will. It’s the equivalent of saying that a pencil IS whatever it happens to write; there’s no root difference between what IS written and what IS the pencil. So one’s choices are not actually chosen, and yet in Christianity, with the right metaphysical subterfuge, it can still be “technically” called choice. That subterfuge is…

…it gets worse, because Christianity further fuses the false “thought/choice” singularity with an ABSOLUTE ETHICAL value. It makes ALL of Christ’s choices ethically GOOD by applying to Christ a “metaphysically ethical” (or we could say moral) value of Absolute Goodness; and it conversely makes ALL of man’s choices EVIL by applying to man a “metaphysically ethical” value of Absolute Evilness. This is why man cannot CHOOSE to keep the Law, and Christ always CHOOSES to do so.

Let me explain further.

Man, we are told, cannot keep the Law because he is fallen. By dint of his birth, or the fundamental existential depravity he acquires at birth (same difference), he CANNOT consistently (“perfectly” is the religious euphemism) follow God’s commandments. He has free will—this the Christian will concede—and CAN thus freely choose to do so, but because of his depraved nature WILL NEVER ACTUALLY choose to do so. In other words, his disobedience is a free choice that is utterly determined by his nature. His free will will only ever lead to a confirmation of his root metaphysical wickedness. His “choice” is always simply a reflection of his root moral-metaphysical Identity: Evil. Man is free to sin…and to ONLY to sin. Man is choosing his own condemnation, which is HIMSELF. Because he acts from his root moral-metaphysical Identity, and his root moral-metaphysical Identity is Evil, it is only possible for him to choose to disobey the Law.

Now, the reason I say it is a “moral-metaphysical Identity”, and not simply a metaphysical Identity, is because Christianity, as I mentioned earlier, merges metaphysics with ethics. In other words, it fuses two completely distinct philosophical categories. And in this way they believe they can claim that man is responsible for his own condemnation, via choice, and yet ALSO claim man’s CATEGORICAL moral degeneracy as a function of simply existing at all.

Of course Christ then represents the obverse side of this determinist coin—and yes, it IS utter determinism, having nothing to do with choice and will despite some relatively clever philosophical obfuscation. Christ we are told CAN keep the Law consistently because he is God. By dint of his birth he is able to CHOOSE to follow God’s commandments. But more than that, he MUST follow the Law. His perfect moral-metaphysical Identity which enables him to keep the Law likewise makes him UNABLE to break it. Because as with man, Christianity concedes that Christ has free will, and thus chooses to obey; but also like man, Christ’s choices must ALWAYS affirm his root moral/metaphysical Identity: GOODNESS. Because Christ is Good, all his choices must be Good. Likewise man, being Evil, must always make Evil choices. (For even if man were to choose to obey the Law on one day (Christianity concedes that man can sometimes do good, but only “in part”, or contextually) he will inevitably break it the next…which means that the Law, in general and in essence, remains COMPLETELY unfulfilled by man.)

Christ’s choices are determined by a singular source—his moral-metaphysical Identity of GOODNESS—that represents the inevitable conclusion of every choice. All of Christ’s choices will be in obedience to the Law; he cannot choose any other way, and yet still he is choosing. He is PRE-DETERMINED to always chose to keep the Law, just as man is PRE-DETERMINED to always choose to break it.

Remember, I am not making the argument that ANY of this makes sense. On the contrary, it is entirely EMPTY of sense. It is gnostic determinism in Enlightenmnet garb. This eradication of the lines between meaning and meaninglessness, between metaphysics, epistemology and ethics; the ascribing of blame to man and credit to Christ whilst also claiming that all choice is a pre-determined function of one’s declared root moral-metaphysical Identity; the clumsy integration of reason and mysticism…this is only what passes for truth in the Christian faith, not was truth actually is.

Behind it all is a fulcrum of intransigent nonsense upon which the entire theology pivots and directs itself. Thousands of years of equivocation, propaganda, and fear mongering have made the faith enigmatic and arcane enough, and the masses uncertain and anxious enough, to allow it to permeate the souls of billions of people, and to settle there with almost no resistance, and concommittantly without love. There is no love without truth. And there is no truth in the church.

*

Let’s summarize.

How does Christ fulfill the Law for us? Is it because he is God, or because he chose to obey?

If we say it is because of his choice, then morality is a function of making the right decisions in the face of moral options. And thus man can likewise choose to make the right decisions and likewise fulfill the Law. But if we say that man cannot choose to make the right decisions because he is man, whereas Christ is God and thus can, morality and the fulfillment of the Law have nothing to do with choice at all, but are simply a pre-determined function of what one IS (his moral-metaphysical Identity) and not what one BELIEVES.

You see, belief drives the distinction between right and wrong and thus informs all of choice…which doesn’t actually exist because it is absolutely pre-determined, which makes it a contradiction in terms. Of course this nullifies “belief in Christ” as having any rational meaning and thus any moral value. One’s belief in Christ is irrelevant given the fact that he doesn’t actually choose or not choose to follow Christ; his nature DICTATES and DETERMINES his choice.

Choice, being determined by one’s moral-metaphysical Identity (e.g. Christ = Good and Man = Evil) is not actually choice. Which means that Christ did not in fact make any right choices in fulfilling the Law and man did not make any wrong choices in disobeying it. Christ was ALWAYS going to do good because he IS Good, and man was always going to do evil because he IS Evil.

So in conclusion, here is the truth that we all really need to accept; we need to stop holding on to childish, fantastical interpretations of reality. For fantasy, when we attempt to make it reality, is just hell.

If what we believe matters, and from that belief we act, and those actions matter, and thus both belief and action have real moral value, then man is capable, in and of himself, of fulfilling the Law because he is capable of making REAL and EFFICACIOUS choices. His nature is to apprehend right and wrong and to make REAL DECISIONS  accordingly. For man THINKS, and to think is to believe, and belief matters because it drives actions and consequences, and those consequences are what the Law morally values. To say that man cannot fulfill the Law in and of himself BECAUSE HE IS MAN is to render thought and belief and action and consequence irrelevant, which makes the moral valuing of consequence irrelevant, which makes the LAW irrelevant, which makes CHRIST irrelevant.

Truth which cannot be acted upon and confirmed by REAL CHOICE by man and Christ precludes ANY Law based upon its moral implications. There is no moral value to the Law then if one cannot CHOOSE to follow it. And if the Law has no moral value then it can serve as no measure of Christ’s perfect life which is thus imputed to man so he can be saved.

The entirety of Christian theology is top-heavy with intellectual error: determinism, the suffocation of morality, the death of meaning, and the rejection of the will. It totters and collapses accordingly.

END

Divine Creation and Evolutionary Process are Philosophically Identical and Therefore are Identical in Their Philosophical Insufficiency

Not being designed by God or evolution for flying, man flies highest; not being designed for digging, man digs deepest; not being designed with thick fur, man is warmest; not being designed with fangs or claws or camouflage, man is the deadliest and best defended.

This is because man has not been designed, you see, it is that he is the designer. And this is the Divine Image in him.

*

It is an impossible task to rationalize the claim that man is designed by God or Nature to observe or conceptualize himself as specifically and absolutely DISTINCT from these things. Because by “design”, the root assertion is that man is NOT in fact, himself at all, but is a DIRECT function of the powers which have designed him. In other words, “designed by” really means “entirely created by”, which really means “absolutely a function of”, which means that all that man, and his reality, is and does is utterly DETERMINED by the Creative Force.

And just like that science and religion utterly unite in metaphysics.

How can God or Nature determine that man should observe God or Nature, and all of that which is a function of Him/It—that is, Reality, Itself—from OUTSIDE of Him/It? For he who is absolutely determined by divine or evolutionary Force can by no rational means observe and conceptualize a distinction between himself and that which determines him.

Determinism, you see, is not a physical phenomenon or an adjunct religious doctrine, but a METAPHYSICAL premise. It asserts that whatever IS, does not, in itself, exist, but is merely an expression of the Determining Force, either God or Nature. It is scientifically “proven” by appealing to empirical “cause and effect”, but the the presupposition which makes determinism in fact deterministic, and thus “cause and effect” a thing which is said to be efficacious and practical in reality, is that there is no ACTUAL distinction between the two. The cause utterly creates the effect; which means, at root, that the cause IS the effect. For if the two are separated, intrinsically, then they cannot exist.

Determinism as a metaphysic, whether ceded to be a function of God or Nature, despite what you might hear, allows for NO distinction of any kind between the Determining Force and the determined thing. To make a distinction is to concede that the thing which is being determined possesses a root essence, or really, an existence, which is of ITSELF, and not of that which determines it. In this case, the thing which exists of itself is caused upon by the Determining Force fundametally because IT is ABLE, intrinsically of ITSELF, to be caused upon. Without the inherent, endemic ability of the “determined” object to be acted upon by the “Determining Force”, there is no determining action, and thus there is NO Determining Force. Meaning that the Determining Force is entirely subordinated to the inherent and endemic ability of the object to be acted upon.

So here is the root, self-nullifying contradiction of Determinism, whether divine or evolutionary:

Without a distinction between the Determining Force and that which is determined, there can be no determinism because there is NOTHING (no thing OF ITSELF which is being caused upon) to determine, and thus by definition no Determining Force. Yet if there IS a distinction then there can likewise be no determinism, and thus no Determining Force, because what actually—that is, fundamentally—causes the object to “react” to the force which compels it is not the Determining Force but rather the root ABILITY of the object to be caused upon by the Force in the first place. It is this ability, and not the Determining Force, which is the source of ALL of its behavior, including EXISTING, which makes its very existence a thing of itself, and to itself, and nothing else, at root. Which means that the Determing Force is not actually determining anything at all, which means it, unlike the thing it is said to determine, does not actually exist.

Due to its inexorable, intrinsic, self-nullifying rational contradiction, the Determining Force, be it God (as religion currently and for the most part defines Him…which is wholly irrational and therefore a lie) OR Nature, is relegated to the category of pure abstraction; utterly useless with respect to any philosophy of virtue and integrity and intellectual honesty/consistency. As a determining force, God or Nature is not REAL in the ontological, empirical, physical sense, and therefore is irrelevant in the metaphysical sense (the metaphysical being the substrata of the physical). All that is said to be determined actually determines itself, we might say (and human consciousness (will and choice) is THE practical manifestation of this, I submit).

And thus is the irreconcilable schism, at the most fundamental level, within the ideal of a divine or evolutionary creative force. Because of the contradiction inherent in the proposition (that that which exists is intrinsically a function of an all-determining Force), the proposition, though it may have some practical utility (e.g. science as a means of technological progress), this utility is  limited, and substantially so, I aver. Man may progress only so far as his metaphysical premises will take him, and the overwhelming and prevailing determinist metaphysics underwriting virtually all of science and religion/spirituality can and will NEVER rationally nor efficaciously describe reality qua reality. And if man doesn’t truly understand reality he doesn’t truly understand himself. Which ultimately makes ALL of his ideas fundametally destructive, because they necessarily affirm the notion of the insufficiency, irrelevance, and incongruency of man as a CONSCIOUS being. And this means that the only rational purpose of man qua man (man AS HIMSELF) is to die.

END

Rethinking Prayer: Asking or telling? (Part TWO)

What do I think prayer is?

Well, this question cannot be answered without discussing what I think God is.  So, both questions will be looked at here, though not necessarily in any particular order…and I cannot say this will be an easy read.  These are complicated subjects, but if you apprehend the essence of what I mean then I’ll consider it a win for both of us.

*

Prayer, or more specifically the answer thereto, is the necessary response of reality—specifically its underlying RATIONAL philosophical apparatus, and this apparatus is God.  In other words, God is reality as expressed, and as possible (efficacious), through the objective rational principles which utterly imply it.  Starting with an irreducible metaphysical primary (which can only be Ability, because existence must be active for it to be possible, and all action must be underwritten by the Ability to act), and proceeding through epistemology, ethics, etcetera, etcetera, where all the root philosophical premises (epistemological premise; ethical premise, etc.) proceeding from the metaphysical primary are corollary to promote, affirm, and reinforce the primary (and therefore themselves) thus creating  what I call the Great Corollary…or the Many Truths (the premises) from the One Truth (the metaphysical primary).

Now, I know this explication is pretty abstruse (though less so if you follow my blog) and this is a function of the complexity of the subject.  And the reason, in large part, for this complexity is because the church has spent almost the entirely of its existence avoiding the question.  The substitution of truth by the Church, you see, with equivocation, tarted-up logical fallacy (contradiction explicated as Truth), mysticism, pagan and neo-pagan syncretism, despotic absolutism and collectivist authoritarianism, emotional blackmail and outright blackmail, spiritual manipulation, excuse-mongering, and plain old lying, has made getting to the truth of what God is, and thus what is meant by prayer to God, exceedingly more complicated and enigmatic than it ever needed to be if we could have avoided the past two thousand years of the intellectual error of the sociopaths, psychopaths, narcissists and fools who have traditionally comprised Christianity’s ruling (priest) class.

If you have spent any time in the Church you will know, unless you are a child or have the spiritual mind of a child, or are blinded by or thoughtlessly committed to the Platonist propaganda which passes for truth there, that there simply does not exist any actual definition of God anywhere therein whatsoever.  And you will understand that this is precisely why no one in the church really knows what prayer is, means, or how to do it.  Oh, for certain there are some mildly clever attempts to provide a meaningful answer to the question “what is God?”, like “he’s the Creator”, which in reality tells us not what he IS but what he DOES, and this only vaguely and insufficiently; or we might hear “he is the Alpha and the Omega (first and last)”, which only obliquely describes his nature and utterly omits the relevant practical implications of such a claim, and does not describe how such a label has any meaning beyond the mere figurative and/or poetic.  Alpha and Omega implies an infinity of being, which is fine, but what is required, and omitted, is how one reconciles the paradox of an infinite Agent manifesting as somehow distinct (finite) in reality. I am not saying that such a paradox cannot be resolved, just that the church has never done so…and will NEVER do so.

Next, of course, we have the extra-biblical assertion that God is a “Trinity”…the “Three in One”—whatever that means.  And don’t bother asking, because NO ONE knows.  If you do dare put on your hazmat suit and wade into the fetid abyss of Christian apologetics and ask about the “Trinity” you will get a smorgasboard of  equivocation amounting to, in practicality, a big fat shrug.  All explanations of the Trinity are designed to dazzle, not inform, because the church realized some five hundred years ago that explaining a rank contradiction in terms was impossible, even with all the divine clarivoyance of the whole medieval priest class, including the Pope with his magic tin can and string direct to God.  Back then, of course, demurring from the orthodox interpretation of God as Trinity was apt to get one murdered for heresy.  Today, murder is not the church discipline de jure, as much as the modern priest class would ABSOLUTELY embrace that power being that it is entirely consistent with Christianity’s doctrinal premises, however, disagreeing with the unbiblical notion of God as “Three in One” indeed marks you as an outcast and a troublemaker, unsaved and evil, denying even the most basic of God’s “truths”.

And here’s something else about the Trinity, as long as we are on the subject…and this relates to my overall point in the article here anyway.  I submit that the doctrine of the Trinity is a thinly veiled ADMISSION that Christian orthodoxy has absolutely no idea what God is or how to describe his nature.  Thus, a contradiction in terms (Three which is simultaneously One) has become the final word on God’s essence…and it is assumed that  this makes him somehow awesome as opposed to ridiculous.  We are supposed be inspired to literal and figurative prostration at the thought of our Creator as that which man cannot possibly fathom by any cognitive faculty or conceptual framework.

And herein lies the whole damn problem.

In an effort to make God astonishingly vast and complex, and thus to inspire man to worship and tremble at his feet, Christianity has instead made him a farce—an arrant joke—by placing him utterly beyond anything rational, and thus (and most abominable) playing straight into the hands of his those who mock and scorn his existence.  God defined as “Three in One” creates an interpretation of the Father which has been punted beyond man’s cognitive, conceptual, and intellectual frame of reference.  By defining God as a contradiction, Christianity has ensured that man cannot possibly apply the Father’s existence to reality in any way at all, making him utterly irrelevant to man, and exchanging practical and rational theology for mysticism, superstition, spiritual despotism, and willful ignorance; and making these things virtues whilst mocking, condemning, and murdering as heretics those who nurture a pure, holy, innocent, and RATIONAL desire to know him.

And finally, it would do us all well to remember that the madness known as the doctrine of the Trinity saw its Protestant canonization punctuated with murder when the scoundrel and false teacher, John Calvin, had Michael Servitus burned at the stake for rejecting it.  And this is the spiritual primordium from which today’s Christians claim to know God?!  I think not.  Look not to the church, my friends.  God is not known there.  The church has ghosts, but they are not holy.

Needless to say, then, since Christianity contains within all its disputations, catechisms, liturgies, and doctrinal interpretations no description of God which may pass for even a remedial or marginally realistic definition of the the nature of the Almighty, it clearly cannot provide a definition of prayer to him, nor how one should pray, nor what one should pray for, nor when, nor what one may expect with regards to its efficacy and outcomes.

*

So what is prayer? Well, I will tell you…understanding that this is a summary.  Giving full attention to such a topic would, I think, necessarily fill volumes.

Prayer is an extension of man’s right not to be governed by deterministic cause and effect (cause and effect being purely an abstract rendering of what is an entirely relative relationship between objects when excluding the presence of the observer).  Prayer is an extension of man’s existence as a function not of abstract natural law, but of reason.  Reason extends beyond the mere physical/ontic parameters of the “laws of physics”, and demands that reality accommodate man’s RATIONAL will.  And this either by man’s physical OR metaphysical extension of himself.  That is, either by his hands or by his rational will—his understanding of his intrinsic right to witness his rational desires BEYOND those hands; that man’s will as it controls the object known as his body may likewise control ALL of that which is rationally obligated to affirm his absolute Self.  And because prayer is an expression of man’s categorical right to his own rational and absolute existence, he need not ask or entreat or beg or bargain with reality.  He commands it.  And then it shall obey.  God, you see, then, is not the worker of the effects of man’s prayer.  MAN, himself, is.  God, however, being an extension of the rational/moral (rationality and morality being corollary) existence of man (or, rendered more allegorically, he is Father and man is Son) is man’s PARTNER in manifesting the outcomes of that which is commanded.

END

Rethinking Prayer: Asking or telling? (Part ONE)

Prayer is both a thing and a concept with which I have struggled for quite some time now.  Probably like you, I have had my share of answered prayers, and also my share of unanswered ones.  And this I think naturally leads one to consider the actual efficacy and legitimacy of prayer.  If we observe that prayer is only inconsistenty answered at best, then how can we not say that perhaps it is the mere cause and effect machinations of normal reality and is nothing of prayer?  I would think this not only reasonable but obvious.  If prayer only inconsistently effects change as we may observe it, then it’s logical to assume that what’s really going on has nothing to do with prayer at all, but is merely a matter of probability.

For example, I have chosen to fly on airplanes dozens of times, and I’ve prayed for each flight, and all have landed safely.  However, to call this an example of “answered prayer” is, in fact, quite a stretch of logic since statistics clearly show that the percentage of flights that crash is so very low relative to how many flights have taken place in history.  This makes “safe flight” much more likely a function of human engineering favorably manipulating the probability of a safe outcome rather than divine intervention.  The safety of the flights may have something to do with answered prayer, but how can one really know? The only way to know even mildly is if one observed that all his prayers were answered all the time…and even this would be logically subjective, but at least it would make a strong circumstantial case. Logically subjective perhaps, unless we are speaking strictly of the miraculous, but certainly compelling.

My thinking on the matter of prayer has  evolved through several iterations.  I went through the neophyte version of God-as-genie when I was a kid…but not quite so disrespectful as that sounds.  My prayers as a young person were never overtly  irrational…I prayed to be ignored by bullies at school—or, as I like to refer to them:  the bastard spawn of the mass dysfunctional family wreckage which hallmarks  the worst generation in history:  the Baby Boomers—to recover from illness, to do well on exams.  That sort of thing.  I remember God being quite gracious back then, but this is perhaps just the positive memories of childhood rising to the top.  Maybe God answered my prayers, but as I had no rational working definition of God back then (most Christians don’t, in fact) I really couldn’t say.

During my fifteen years as a neo-Calvinist in the cult of Sovereign Grace Ministries (SGM) I brushed up against the congnitive dissonance of prayer as it relates to object and abject divine determinism.  This view of prayer makes it merely ritualistic, signifying nothing of any real efficacy, since all things are up to God anyway, so it goes, and he has already decided what to do with everyone, from birth unto hell or heaven, whichever you happen to get.  You’ll never really know until the day God disposes of you into one or the other eternal receptical.

Is that just a peach of a belief?  And yet this is where most Christains today tread water with respect to prayer…in this arrant folly of reason.  And don’t let them tell you they don’t actually believe this.  If you are BORN evil, which is precisely orthodox when it coms to the Christian interpretation of man’s nature, then you are entirely insufficient to any good thing, and this includes knowing the difference between good and evil.  And since this knowledge is the root of ethics (how man values what he knows), and ethics is inexorably tied to epistemology (how man knows what he knows), then the eradication of man’s moral compass by the doctrine of “original sin” completely wrecks man’s ability to know anything at all.  Thus, God must necessarily determine man to his eventual eternal destiny, regardless if he be “saved” or not, because man, once you tease out the doctrine to its logical conclusion, is utterly mindless.  You may go to church and follow all the commandments and abstain from all worldly temptations and throw out your television and excoriate the idea of modern technology as merely the devil’s distraction, but to think that you can know you are saved…that somehow you, who is rotten to core from birth, can know the mind of God and what his grand plan is for you is something that in a different time would have gotten you burned at the stake.

And thus you see the implicit evil behind the notion of prayer as merely a ritual we do because God commands it: salvation is not a thing the church can offer.  It’s a lie.  No one knows where they will end up, be they found in church on Sunday or in a whore house.  The advertisement that there is actual salvation to be gained in the church is the greatest bait-and-switch scam ever perpetrated upon man.

This abysmal version of prayer never really took hold in me.  I always found it terribly specious..and while I paid lip service to it, not wanting to cause a stir (SGM doesn’t take doctrinal disagreement with much levity…regardless of the degree, it’s pretty much stomped out with ferocity), I used to despise it when people would pray for me and top it off with “if it be thy will, Lord”.  Because that presupposed that God had already decided what should happen to me, and that what I wanted and intended was besides the point.  And this is the crux of what I want to talk about in this article.  The notion that what I desire for my life through prayer is infinitely subordinated to an outside will, even God’s, doesn’t sit well with me.  Not because I crave control, or lust sinfully and selfishly after what is God’s power alone, but because it is at root utterly irrational.  If God has predetermined for me my experiences, and possesses the ultimate veto on all my choices, and shall tell me whether or not my prayers contain any merit whatsoever, then what is the point of prayer?  What is the point of my having any ideas at all about anything?  God will do what God will do…my very existence then becomes entirely meaningless.  My mind is an illusion of a mind which cannot actually exist because it’s infinitely irrelevant.  And this is a contradiction in terms.  And I may not know everything about God, but I know this:  He cannot be God if his very existence is utterly incompatible to my own, or vice versa, and if what he asks of his children contradicts itself, thus rendering the very words he uses to communicate himself and his intentions utterly meaningless.

But even more superficial than all of that…I mean, we can get into the root philosophical contradictions, and that’s its own brand of fun, but we can put it in more pedestrian terms:  Would you continue to ask favors of someone who has told you to freely ask him favors if you never knew whether or not your favors would be granted; if there were all these stipulations about what could be asked for and when and how and that it really wasn’t going to be up to you and that you couldn’t be trusted to know what you really wanted or needed, and therefore the asking of favors became this tedious and exasperating task of self-examination and naval gazing and groveling and bemoaning your own infinite existential inadequacy and ignorance, and then when confronted with a desperate circumstance like a child with a terminal illness or the loss of a career or a sexual assault you found yourself groveling and prostrating yourself before this giver-of-favors, wailing and begging him to just this once give you relief; and then to forgive you for thinking what YOU want actually matters?  In other words, you are told to ask favors, but then told that you don’t possess the intrinsic wisdom or foresight to know which favors should be asked for.  So favor-asking becomes this giant farce…a facade of love.  Because the giver of favors is going to do whatever he’s going to do whether you ask for it or not.

Needless to say, most of us, if presented with such a clearly ludicrous waste of time would pass on it, and many of us wouldn’t hesitate to scold the snake oil salesman for his wicked deception.  Nevertheless, this is what prayer has become.  It is nothing more than the dance of a medicine man around the fire of primitive, polytheistic superstition.

So what, at root, is the error?  Okay.  Wait for it.  And prepare to be scandalized.

We ask instead of tell.  We politely request instead of demand an answer to our prayers, which I submit as children of God, with all the responsibilities and complexities and challenges that this implies, is our divine birthright.

Now hold on. Let me explain (in part two). This is not without its reason; it comes with much understanding and responsibility.  I promise, it is not a return to the genie in the bottle.

End (Part ONE)

When “God’s Will” is a Moral and Rational Catastrophe

Recently some friends of mine made a very significant life decision.  I felt and feel that this decision is a dreadful one…one that places the family at serious risk.  What the decision is is not really important; and they are certainly well within their rights to make it…so as far as that goes it makes no real difference to me.  They can do what they want with their own lives; they didn’t ask my opinion and they aren’t obliged to do so.  I’m fine with that.  I wish them good luck and it’s not my problem.

Except that it kinda IS my problem, because it stems from an idea about God and the nature of reality that implicitly affects me.  Because how anyone in a system under which citizens are obligated to associate with each other—through the coercive power of the State to requisition property—thinks about reality is going to affect his or her neighbor…because it affects how they VOTE.  And to cast a vote is to proclaim a tacit desire to use force to compel others to your personal political ideals.  So…yeah, this problem affects me.

Once the decision had been realized and formalized these friends stated that it was wonderful to see how—and I will paraphrase here—God made it all happen.   God prompted their hearts and then secured the “desired” outcome…and the reason I use quotes around “desired” is because if God gives you the idea and the will then is the desire really yours? Umm…no, it aint. You don’t have anything to do with it.

And now you see the problem.

God did it.  Not them.  It was GOD, you see. It was ALL GOD.  And praise the Lord, because His divine Will has been accomplished.

Oh boy…I mean, where do we even start with this?  This is a terrifying and dangerous way to approach life and define reality.  To punt your own will and choice AND the outcomes into the intellectual abyss of “God did it all” is to position yourself where the ability to conceptualize reality based upon the rational notion of choices and consequences, and causes and effects, is entirely neutralized.  And this ABSOLUTELY guarantees your own destruction, sooner or later, in some form.  The painful outcomes of pursuing rational disaster may be as of yet unknown, but we can be sure of one thing:  those who do not take responsibility for their own actions will come to ruin.  And the intellectual bankruptcy of “God’s determinative Will” also unfairly and callously tempts others to join you in your folly, and your misery, and, perhaps even worse, to promote and disseminate the evil ideas which caused it.

Think about it for a minute.  If God does something…if God controls the situation lock, stock, and barrel, from its inception as a mere idea coupled with the requisite emotional response of desire, to its final realization in manifest reality, then at what point can we—the mere characters in the great and transcendent spiritual (sometimes called the “Gospel”) narrative—make a moral and rational judgment concerning it?  If it’s ALL GOD then how does what we think, and, of equal importance, how we feel, have any meaning at all?  And if our intellectual and emotional judgments are irrelevant in the face of the omnipotence of Divine Determintive Will then how can we know if the things we think and feel are good or bad?  Should we make this decision or not?  And once we’ve made it, should we change course or stay it?

And beyond being destructive and intellectually barren, the idea of God’s superseding Will is just plain old lazy thinking.  Lazy and irresponsible.  It cares nothing for humanity.  The ones who adopt the lie of “God does all things through me” have no real compassion or interest in themselves or anyone else.  They have punted their own moral and intellectual responsibility away entirely.  It doesn’t matter how BAD the decision is, or the practical destruction it wreaks upon one’s life and those around him, because it’s not up to them, it’s up to God.  It’s God’s responsibility to deal with the carnage, not theirs.  And since it’s all of God, who can really say that the carnage is actually carnage? That the disastrous outcomes are really disasters at all?  What do we know?  We see with merely human eyes, and gauge with only human understanding.  What right to we have to judge as evil that which God alone is doing?

If we make a bad decision and the predictably bad consequences manifest, and we have claimed that “God has done it, praise the Lord!”, then we are left with only two ways to evaluate the situation, and both of them demand that the evil continue:

  1. The bad is actually good, we just can’t tell the difference thanks to our “fallen” nature and our innate existential insufficiency to apprehend the “truth” of God’s universe.
  2. The bad is, in fact bad, but God wants it that way, otherwise it wouldn’t have happened, and thus we need to accept it and stop being so selfish.  Of course, if God WANTS it, then the bad is actually the good, and…see point 1.

And so we stop considering pain, in ourselves and in others.  We don’t use the natural tools we have to determine if what we are doing is right or not.  Once what we do becomes a function of not us, but God, then we are relegated to the status of mere observers of ourselves.  Ultimately pointless…all we think and feel being entirely without meaning.  The pain we feel, or that others feel, stops being a warning to us and becomes nothing.  The love we are to receive and give is rejected for some “higher truth”…some “divine purpose”.  The drained bank accounts, the detached children, the chronic stress of too much to do and too little time, the premature aging and sagging eyes, the added strain on the public purse…it’s all something we hope God deals with, but if He doesn’t, oh well…after all, it’s not about us, it’s about Him.

But friends, if it’s not about us then why are we here? If its not about us then why consciousness?  Why do you utter the word “I” if its not about you?  Why know who God is if you are merely a game piece to be compelled hither and thither by the Great Invisible Hand?  If our choices aren’t our own and the consequences cannot be morally judged then how do we even live?  How do we know what to do and what not to do?  What’s the difference between right and wrong? What IS REALITY?

It’s a void.

God will not be mocked.  He finds no pleasure in you outsourcing your own decisions to Him and throwing up your hands at your own moral responsibilities.  He doesn’t bathe in the false praise of those who will refuse to be their own person and live by their own choices, and accept and manage the consequences thereof.  You WILL reap what your dreadfully facile theology has sewn, and it will hurt.

Your life is YOUR JOB!  It’s not God’s!  What you want and need and how much and when and from whom…that’s YOUR JOB, not His.  God does not micromanage ADULTS; and those who think He does are bound for pain, misery, and perhaps even destruction.

Christian, it’s your job!

Damn well do it.

Don’t Let Them Fool You: Mystery vs Paradox vs Contradiction

The staggering degree to which these terms are conflated, either out of ignorance or a desire to manipulate, is shocking.  As I have mentioned many times on this blog, I was a reformed orthodox Christian for about 35 years, including 15 in the “soft” cult of Sovereign Grace Ministires.  At SGM, when they weren’t busy covering up first degree felonies, like the sexual abuse of minors, they liked to refer to themselves as “reformed charismatic”.  And this I suppose was the first time I became conscious of the great orthodox bugaboo: contradiction as Truth.  Some years after, when I began to ardently examine the doctrinal claims of orthodox Christianity through the lens of rational consistency, I started seeing this sophist tactic all over the place.  I mean, once you learn to find the contradictions, it becomes harder to discern what ISN’T a contradiction than what is.  I mean, name the doctrinal premise—double imputation, penal substitution, Original Sin/Fall of Man, biblical inerrancy and authority, faith alone, pervasive depravity and sin nature, forgiveness, salvific belief, the Holy Spirit and divine enlightenment, Total Depravity; Uncontitional Election; Limited Atonement; Irresistible Grace; Perserverence of the Saints (the five pillars of Calvinism, T.U.L.I.P.), complimentarianism, etcetera, etcetera—and you will find little more than a bubbling witches brew of contradiction and self-defeating arguments.  Once you know what to look for, let me tell you, the circus of Christian orthodoxy is quite a show.

And how does the Christain Ecclesiastic Authority, in whatever Catholic or Protestant form it may take, get away with this?  How do they convince masses upon masses of ostensibly intelligent and successful lay memebers to part with their hard earned resources and make Orthodox Christianity a billions-of-dollars-a-year-racket?  By intellectual make-believe.  Take a contradiction, put it into the transcendent context of “divine enlightenment” and, as Philospher John Immel oft says, “Alakazaam…poof!!”, we get God’s Mystery…the Holy Paradox.  The Holy Paradox being, incidentally, the fifth member of the Trinity, just after “Bible”.

In this article, I’m going to explain the real difference between these three concepts…contradiction, mystery, and paradox.  Understand the distinctions, and I can promise that you will avoid the intellectual, philosophical, and theological miasma that will permanently stunt your spiritual growth.  Contradiction-as-truth is the hard drug of Christian theology.  Break the habit and you will save your soul.

Just a quick note…I’m not going to quote dictionary definitions.  This tired and formulaic approach to academic discourse is, to me, a mark of the untalented and/or uninspired.  I will define these concepts in my own terms within the context at hand—specifically, but perhap not exclusively, the church—in the interest of keeping things more punchy and less clinical.  It’s more fun this way, trust me.

Contradiction:

A contradiction is merely the assertion that two or more mutually exclusive concepts are, in fact, compatible.  When we are speaking of ideas, doctrine, theology, philosophy, and so on, you will note a contradiction in some form or fashion this way:

A claim to know that something is true, yet that thing necessarily and/or by definition incorporates two or more mutually exclusive concepts, and predicates its “truth” upon the idea that these incompatible concepts are somehow entirely compatible.  It assumes and expects you to also assume that what are overtly and objectively opposite notions are somehow corollary.  Up is also down; black is also white; the square is also the circle.

Example:

  1. Total Depravity:  Man is responsible for his own practical moral failures and yet is born depraved in his nature.  (Incidentally, the oft-responded notion that Total Depravity doesn’t mean that we are as bad as we could be is also a rank contradiction in terms, by definition…”total” does not mean “partly”, but intellectual license is cheap and easy when you can appeal to “divine enlightenment” instead of reason.  Any old dope can claim to “know” things if he doesn’t actually have to explain them.  Telling people that they will understand once they “believe” (meaning when God reveals it to them by magic) is merely saying that they will understand once they agree.  Which is, again, a contradiction in terms.  Like I said…it just never ends.)  That man is BORN depraved is saying that man, existentially, IS evil, and thus in his natural, absolute Self, cannot do any good thing.  This is PRECISELY the argument for why all men need Jesus—-because all men have sinned because why?  Because they MUST sin!  Because of their nature.  Because they are born sinners.  All Good is a function of God’s divine power and enlightenment upon man who is existentially unworthy and, of himself, alone, unable to receive it.  And yet man is morally responsible for his evil as though he can know the difference between good and evil and can choose the latter over the former.  The contraction is this, in a nutshell:  Man IS totally evil, and yet man also responsible for his evil as though he had a choice, which is why God judges him.
  2. God’s Divine Will:  All which happens is a product of God’s omnipotence.  Yet man’s consciousness is somehow real and relevant, and that man can know something, like God’s saving grace and his own natural sinfulness.  This is a contradiction in terms because if God possesses ominipotence then all which occurs in reality is either a function of God’s direct causal power or his “allowing” something to occur, which…means the same thing.  Nothing happens that God doesn’t directly control either via “action” or “inaction”.  In this context, man cannot develop an independent self-identity.  All man does is in reality a function of God’s doing, in which case, there is no point to nor possibility of man actually BEING himself.  For “being” is an action, which is not of himself, but of God, because of omnipotence. If man does not possess his own self, then he certainly cannot be self-aware.

Mystery:

A mystery is simply that which is unknown.  It is not, as Christian orthodoxy implies or outright asserts, that which is UNKNOWABLE.  The idea that God controls all things, yet man is morally responsible for his natural depravity and INEVITABLE evil actions; that God is in control of all things and yet simultaneously abhors the evil actions of men and demands sacrificial recompense…these things are not mysteries! These things are contradictions.  Christian orthodoxy labels its contradictions as “mysteries” because appealing to divine mystery is the most convenient way to conflate ideological folderol with God’s infinite wisdom, which, when presented in the context of soaring-if-not-insipid worship music, the histrionics and emotional blackmail of the pulpit, and the navel-gazing desperation of the congregation, can seem quite profound.  In reality, however, it is no more than pedestrian intellectual error of the kind found in the most nascent of human minds.  That is, in children.  It’s pretty sad.  And yet there it is, Sunday after Sunday, and making big money and casting a wide net of social and political influence.  So…perhaps it’s not so much sad as it is scary.

Example (of Mystery):

  1. How did the lion escape from the zoo when the cage was closed and locked? (A simple hypothetical mystery.)
  2. Why does the sun rise and set? (A historical mystery, henceforth solved.)
  3. How does an experienced hunter, tracker, and survival expert get lost and starve to death in terrain with which he is intimately familiar? (A hypothetical mystery which may never be solved.)

A mystery can be that which we do not yet know, which we did not know but now do, or that which only one man or a few men once knew and have taken the knowledge with them to the grave.  None of these things are “unknowable”…that is, the answers to the questions do not exceed the existential and epistemological boundaries of man’s identity.  Man’s identiy as “man”, and all that this naturally implies about his consciousness and cognitive capabilities, are the only frame of reference necessary to de-mystify the mystery.  The answers to the questions may rationally exist within man’s reality and will be defined according to reason.

Paradox:

This is, I submit, the most misunderstood and misused of the three concepts addressed in this article.  “Paradox” is not a synonym for “contradiction”…and yet this mistake has become so common that you find it almost as often as you find someone using the term “literally” to mean “figuratively”.  It’s become part of the common vernacular, and we don’t even bat an eye at the massive distortion in meaning it creates.  Paradox shares absolutely nothing in common with contradiction with respect to its own particular meaning, though it is true that one can be confused with the other based on incorrect assumptions or a lack of or misunderstanding about some amount of empirical evidence.

A paradox is something which can as of yet only be described by combining two or more mutually exclusive concepts, but which nevertheless MUST be true based on empirical evidence.  We might also say that a paradox is observably true, but conceptually false.  We cannot describe what we are seeing in terms that do not conflict.  Paradox, then, is only temporary…for any observed phenomenon can and must only be described in conceptual terms that are consistent.  To leave a paradox to a contradictory definition is, I submit, to divorce man from his own reality.  A reality which does not conform to man’s conceptualizing faculties (his reason) inevitably makes man irrelevant to reality.  The consequences of this are disastrous.  To claim that man can observe something he CANNOT and CAN NEVER describe is to drive a wedge between cognition/conceptualization and perception.  Man then, in the metaphysical sense, as a singular Self—the conscious Self, you you might say—becomes divorced from the determinative  cause and effect of “objective reality”.  Man qua man then becomes an imposter to reality, or at best an illusion…his awareness of Self—that by which he describes and defines “objective reality”  becomes, ironically, a paradox of nature—some determined cause of a determined effect prescribed by the blind and unthinking laws of nature.  The “I” of man—the individuality of the individual—is reduced to an ultimately irrelevant epiphenomenon of the utterly determined universe.  Man becomes a paradox which can have no conceptual solution because he doesn’t really, or at best, relevantly, exist.

And it doesn’t take a clairvoyant to see where this goes.

At any rate, a paradox, in summary, is that which is observed, and thus is real, but as of yet has not been explained in rationally consistent terms.

Example:

  1. The wave/particle duality of light.  That light is both a particle and a wave.  For light can be observed in both states, and thus is said to BE both, simultaneously.  As this is a contradiction in terms, we must assume that how light is observed probably has to do with the location of the observer and not with the idea that light both is and is not a wave and a particle at any given moment.
  2. That objects exist, an distinctly so, and yet all objects are comprised of a collection of parts, and thus no objects exist, because all objects are comprised of other objects, infinitely so.

END

There is No Such Rational Thing as Amoral Reality…it is Impossible

For something to be true, it must have value. Hence, for reality to be real—as reality and truth are in the existential and ontological sense equivalent—it must have value. And by value we mean a degree of moral worth…the degree to which it affirms the reference for reality.  That is, reality is only relevant if it has relevance TO that which can give it meaning or purpose…that is, the Observer—the individual, like you and me. Reality and morality are corollary. This is because reality, for it to be defined meaningfully (relevantly and efficaciously) as such, requires a conscious (self-aware) Observer—one who conceptualizes, and integrates concepts to create ideas. But determinism—any flavor of determinism (e.g. scientific platonism; Christian platonism—which is basically the whole of protestant and catholic orthodoxy) rejects this. It asserts reality, truth, meaning without value. This is completely irrational. It is a total lie.