Category Archives: Ethics

Douglas Murray and Jordan Peterson: The terrible and fascinating car crash of IQ and moral worth

I know in my last article I said would deal with the difference between mystery, paradox, and contradiction.  But alas, I must detour. Because yesterday I stumbled upon a video that I simply must address.  Thank you for your forbearance.

It was a discussion between Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray, two of arguably the greatest libertarian (I mean ideologically, not politically) social commentators of our time.  (If you don’t know who they are, just look them up on YouTube…you’ll find as much information as you want.) They were discussing, adroitly, as is expected, a myriad of things, among which was the controversy of Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and race.  Unsurprisingly, the notion of some races performing better on IQ tests than others came up, and with that, the concern that this information may cause some manner of genetic superiority collectivism to rear its ugly head and begin to categorize human worth based on quantifications of intelligence. That this method of collectivizing humanity is so particularly scandalous seems at first surprising, given that humanity has been collectivizing itself, to disastrous moral effect, for thousands of years, based upon almost any reason at all.  Since any group characteristic can be and has been used to classify humanity into superior and inferior classes and castes since time immemorial, why is this so particularly shocking to heady thinkers like Murray and Peterson?

Well, the reason is pretty straightforward, and you’ve probably already figured it out.  You see, intelligence is a scientifically proven and statistically verified means of predicting future life success, even correcting for race, language, social context, socioeconomic status, and any other factor you can think of.  It has been used since the early 20th century and has never failed, as a general instrument of measure, to gauge intelligence and then empirically verify the results through objective evaluations of life performance.  Put simply, IQ tests are overwhelmingly effective at predicting life success (where “success” is defined according to socioeconomic scales in a given sociopolitical context), no matter who is being tested or where or when.  Okay, not so controversial…so far so good.  But here is where intellectuals and moral men like Peterson and Murray get the vapors, and you saw this coming a mile away.

Which groups, pray tell, score highest on IQ tests?  Asians, Jews, and Whites.  Now, in this day age of rampant, insatiable, and insidious social Marxism in the West, the first two aren’t much of a problem.  But the last one…the Whites…well, to say that Whites are more intellegent than Browns is like saying the Devil is more powerful than God.  The argument that “Jews and Asians are smarter that’s Whites” is irrelevant to the rabid masses of Marxist ideologues rampaging through the West with their bike-locks-turned-cudgels and their Malotov cocktails, both literally and figuratively.  The fact that a white person is more intelligent than a brown person on average is the problem, and is a fact that must be denied, and is just one more example of Western “institutional racism” and the white man’s inherent existential proclivity towards deception and manipulation and of course his endemic natural evil; and just one more reason white people need to be destroyed en masse. And make no mistake, to marginalize any group by claiming an inherent existential moral deficiency, which is exactly what the left is doing with whites, is to declare the need to wipe them out.  Regardless of what anyone tells you, if you concede the root existential moral failure of a group of people, the only rational means of dealing with them to murder them.  If the white man is evil because he is white, which is a function of nothing more than his birth, then he has no right to live.  If the existence of the white man means that he is inexorably White at his very natural root, and White is evil, then the white man has no right to exist, period.  The logic is clear, it is simple, and it is utterly consistent if we concede the metaphysical premise that Whitness = inherent moral depravity.

Now, as I said, the left explains the discrepancy of IQ between whites and browns on institutional racism, social manipulation, and outright perfidy and mendaciousness on the part of the western “White Patriarchy”, due to the natural depravity of white people, who are born this way.  But see, Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray know that this is not the case.  At the same time, the empirical and statistical evidence cannot be ignored.  The scientific fact is that, on the whole, white people are more intelligent than brown people.  And because it is a fact, there is some concern amongst both Peterson and Murray, that this information will be used by some right-wing ideologues to declare whites a superior class, and, necessarily, to seek to demonize and politically (and eventually, ACTUALLY) eliminate the inferior classes.  Because, well…let’s be honest.  It’s not like it hasn’t happened before.

As a hedge against this kind of argument, Peterson quickly, and rightly—for morality obliges him—points out the fact that the level of one’s intelligence does not determine the level of his moral worth.  And “moral worth” means the value of an individual’s life qua life…of their root existence.  And with that, all the controversy dissolves into mist, right?  It seems logical, after all.  Only a fool would deny such an obvious assertion.  How much your brain can do has no bearing how good you are as a person.  And…well, this is true.  I’ve no problem asserting that as an axiom.

But here is where it gets messy, and here is where I DO have a problem with the assertion.

Both Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray know that this is true, but they do not know WHY it is true.  And this is where it gets so, so interesting to me.  Because there is nothing more fun and fascinating than watching men who are geniuses in their fields venture into intellectual areas where they are so very clearly NOT geniuses.  Whilst there, they make some observations, and then never, ever address the gaping rational errors behind their ideas.  They talke about IQ and morality, utter an axiom, and then never address the problem of their premises not actually leading to the conclusion that the axiom is in fact axiomatic.  And you can hear the uncertainly in their voices…the cold, sharp claws of that thing digging into their brains telling them that no, it is not actually resolved at all.  That they haven’t any idea how to handle this.  And why?  Why?  They don’t know…it’s a big blank space.  Nothing is there…but is that because nothing is there, or something is there and they just can’t see it?  The axiom is clear:  Intellgence doesn’t define your moral worth as a person.  This is so intuitively true.  And it IS true….so why the hesitation?  Why is there no satisfaction in asserting something so true?

I will tell you why:

Peterson and Murray’s declaration of the truth that intelligence is exclusive of moral worth flat out contradicts their assertion that IQ is, in fact, an objective measure of objective outcomes. Because you cannot have it both ways.  You cannot divorce intelligence from morality AND claim that intelligence has objective VALUE.  Because value is, itself, at root, a function of morality…it is a matter of ethical truth, not epistemological truth.  To claim that something is objectively useful to reality, in some context or another, like, for example, the prediction of one’s socioeconomic performance via intelligence levels, is, in fact, a claim of objective moral worth.  In other words, to say that intelligence is objectively useful to man is to imply that it has value.  And value judgements—the degree to which something is good or bad, which can also be rendered as “useful or degrading”; “helpful or harmful”—are judgements at root of morality (meaning, they fall into the philosophical category of ethics, which deals with the distinction between what is good and what is not).  If high levels of intelligence are objectively useful to objective success then high intelligence must be said to be objectively GOOD.  Which in turn must mean that low intelligence is objectively BAD.  And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the rub.  You cannot divorce the “OBJECTIVE usefulness” of high intelligence from the “OBJECTIVE morality” of high intelligence.  The fact that having high intelligence produces “objectively” good outcomes for people and societies means that the people who possess high intelligence must be morally superior to those who possess low intelligence. If, of course, you accept the premise that the “success” intelligence predicts is objective. Which I promise you Murray and Peterson do.

And THAT is the nagging, gnawing thing in their brains which torments them.  They know, somewhere inside, that this must be the case (that intelligence = moral value) but the abomination of such an idea offends, and rightly so, their sensibilities as good and honest and kind and empathetic men, which they clearly are.  They know there’s a monster in the woods, but they have never seen him, so can they be so sure?

The answer is: Yes they can.  But I promise you that they will not like the reason.  They will very likely not and never accept the reason…so it goes.

The truth, which reconciles the moral dilemma, is that the “life success” which intelligence predicts is, in fact, not objective at all.  And this means that intelligence is nothing more than a character trait, which, like skin color or the size of one’s nose, may or may not have any meaning or value to the individual, his life, or reality.  Intelligence, you see, being divorced from morality, which it must be in order to avoid the  very real ethical dilemma Peterson and Murray discuss (valuing an individual according to his intelligence) doesn’t really have anything to do with knowledge, and I mean in the philosophically primary sense.  Because the knowledge of what IS is inexorably bound to the knowledge of what is GOOD; and furthermore the knowledge of what IS and is GOOD is only relevant and therefore objectively meaningful if it drives behavior.  Since IQ does not and cannot incorporate the relevant knowledge of objective truth corollary to objective moral truth BY also incorporating actual observed objective moral behavior, then intelligence indeed has NOTHING to do with one’s moral value. This being the case, intelligence is not the equivalent of what we might call “wisdom”.  And wisdom is where the Truth is.  Wisdom is knowledge, and the knowledge of what IS includes the knowledge of what IS GOOD, and is made manifest—made REAL—by one’s actions.  Wisdom is really all that matters when it comes to OBJECTIVE success, I submit.  And by that I mean, success absolutely, existentially, forever and ever.

See…I told you they wouldn’t like the answer.  In fact, I’m willing to bet that you don’t like it either. Which one am I?  A fool?  Deluded?  Possibly both?  Lol…I take no offense, dear reader.  Correct me where I stray, and if you cannot, then accept it.  Those are your only two rational choices

Here is my point in summary:

“Intelligence has nothing to do with one’s moral worth” is the assertion made my Jordan Peterson and Douglas Murray, and it is a correct assertion.  What this means is that intelligence doesn’t have anything to do with morality, in general, at all. Intelligence, in other words, having nothing to do with man’s moral value, cannot itself have any moral value, because MAN provides the only rational reference for morality.  MAN decides the value of intelligence, not the other way around.

What DOES have something to do with man’s moral value, and incorporates morality, itself, in general, is knowledge of the Truth, or Wisdom. Because wisdom is the understanding of Truth and it’s corollary, Good, and is made REAL and meaningful through man’s behavior.  How do we know whether or not a man has moral worth, or to what degree it is?  Watch his actions and gauge them against objective morality…objective morality being that which references the individual, and thus does not violate his sanctity.  Does not kill him, steal from him, lie to him, abuse or threaten him.

Intelligence then becomes a subjective predictor of success, which makes the success which it predicts necessarily subjective also.  In such a case we are forced to consider intelligence, again having nothing to do with morality, as little more than a character trait which may or may not have any actual value, depending on the individual in question.  It may have value, if one’s definition of his success is that which intelligence can predict, but OBJECTIVE success—that which is manifest by the implementation of wisdom—is not a function of intelligence.

END

 

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You Want to Know the Real Problem of Evil? You Got It.

Now that we have—by illustrating the rank contradictions which make up its substrata of rationale—dispensed with the theological and logical fallacy of the “Problem of Evil” as presumed by Christian orthodoxy, we can talk about the real problem of evil.

But what do we mean by “evil”?  Well, first, we need a reference.  That is, in order to call something moral or immoral we must reference it to that which can rationally arbitrate ethical value.  Without such a reference, it’s impossible to ascribe a moral label.  So, what’s the reference? The only reference which is rationally consistent is the Individual. Now, please note that in this article I am not going to explicate ethics in detail at the philosophical primary level. You can find that elsewhere on this blog.

I thus define evil this way:

The willful action of one individual which violates another.

Think Old Testament.  Think Ten Commandments.  Stealing, hurting, killing, lying to yourself or others.

Now, there is a subsection of ethics which deals with “acts of nature”, so to speak.  Those incidents where the innocent are subjected to torment, neglect, and death that have nothing to do with the willful acts of other human beings.  Like natural disasters, accidents of poor judgment (e.g. getting lost in the wilderness at night and falling down a steep ravine), or even something like a bridge collapsing.  We can argue that these things are technically violations of human life, and thus may be described as evil.  But I don’t think they fall under the category of a “problem of evil”, unless you consider God the fundamental controller of everything and thus must implicate Him in some way.  But as I explained in my previous article on the subject, this is not really a problem, because it is not actually paradoxical. It’s a contradiction and thus a lie.  So, when we are talking evil, we’ll keep it simple…basic rational ethics a la the Ten Commandments.  Kiling, lying, stealing, and all their various forms (bullying, psychological abuse, manipulation or fraud, etc.). That’s basic rational ethics, and it need not be complicated.  What is complicated is dismantling the fraudulent ethics of irrational philosophies and other various hijacking of reason.  But true ethics is simple, and I would argue, innately understood by all of us as a function of our nature.  This innate understanding of goodness is corrupted by bad philosophies, and specifically bad metaphysics, not unlike those which underwrite governments.  All of them.  Which leads us to the main thesis of this article.

*

Why do people do evil?

Who are the greatest and most prolific and persistent culprits?

The answers to these questions most likely will surprise you, and I can tell you right now that the rest of this article won’t win me any friends, and will likely lose me some. Because the answer to the second question is: you.  And me, in the past.  And the why is this: because we think evil is good.

I must step carefully around this prickly subject. I am not trying to shame anyone.  I am not condemning you to fire and brimstone.  I am not ultimately imprecating the character of friends and family, or even of humanity in general.  I am not saying you ARE evil, because I know that that simply isn’t true.  This is an admonishment to a new thinking, not a condemnation of your soul.  I am aiming to help people to re-evaluate their root assumptions about he nature of man and reality, and to realize that those assumptions are the difference between our lives contributing, on the whole, to sublime morality or the utter abasement of God and the world.  Because no matter how good and reasonable and true and honorable we think we are, our root assumptions—and we all have them—define, ultimately and foundationally, our moral contribution to reality.  And that contribution is either evil or it is good, period.  The question begged, then, is this:  Can a person with evil assumptions who truly believes that these assumptions are good ultimately do good with their life?

I guess I should explain what I mean about “evil assumptions”.  What I mean is assumptions about the nature of man and his relationship to realty which nullifies man’s will, and demands him inadequate, by dint of no less than his very own birth, to existence, itself.  The philosophies in which this is done are varied and copious, and without any rival anywhere in the world I submit, but at root they all share the same theme:  Man is fundamentally controlled by some determinative force outside of himself, be it God, or natural law, or mathematics, or his own “sin nature”, or the Unknown, or evolution, or all of the above, and therefore his will—his sentience and agency—is, at the very foundation of his existential make-up, fraudulent.  Will is an illusion; choice is determined and thus a lie.  Man is incapable of being himself qua himself—there is no such thing.  And thus, for his own good, and to ensure his own real and true existence, his will must be censured, and he forced into “goodness”.  He must be forced to thrive because he cannot do it on his own.  Man speaks as if he is an individual, but this is a function of a root existential error, and his individuality is an illusion at best.  His reality is that he is collectively driven by a single Cause (God, Nature, some other Force), and thus his false sense of self must be oppressed so that his true self—his determined and collective self—can prosper.  He must be forced to thrive—forced into his proper collectivist role—because he simply cannot do it on his own.

*

People committing rank atrocities against their fellow man are easy to spot when the definition of evil is rational.  It is hard for the liar, or thief, or murderer to hide when the ethical context is clear.  They stick out like a dead fly in a glass of milk.  And thus, I don’t consider them, and whatever pathology drives them, be it physiological or behavioral or genetic or whatever, to be the real root of the problem of evil.  The liar lies, the killer kills, and the thief steals.  This is clear.  The real problem evil—of evil which is endemic and pervasive—my friends, is not the evil person, but rather the good one.  That is, real evil is found in the majority…the masses who wish to do good, to save and promote fellow man, but do so from a false assumption. The assumption is this: The only way to get men to behave morally is ultimately to grant a small group of people (or a single person) the power to compel human behavior by violence.

I’m talking, in essence, about government. And the fact that after thousands of years of state-sponsored mass murder, oppression, exploitation, slavery, torture, economic regression, and nepotism, we all still accept that the most moral form of humanity is that in which it is governed.  We accept that by eradicating morality, which destroys choice by forced compliance to legality, which is an entirely different ethic altogether, goodness can be brought about in the world.

It can’t.  It hasn’t.  It won’t.

What is the assumption which guides our moral code, almost to a person?  It is found in the answer to the question: Why government?  The answer is always the same, though in various semantic molds:  Without government, man is doomed.  Left to himself, man’s base natural instincts to oppression, exploitation, and murder will erupt and the earth will be a cauldron of misery…a hell, itself.  That man’s very inherent and natural ability to choose his own actions cannot be trusted.  And choice, dear readers, is the root of what makes a human being a human being.  Absent choice, there is no individual.  And thus, this concession to the necessity of government implies that man IS EVIL, ITSELF.  And that’s why government. That’s why human will must be replaced by obedience to law.

Of course, how the political elite get a pass on their own mendacity and natural depravity is a question that is alway punted into the cosmic abyss of grand Mystery.  The fact is, we are told, that our sense of One Self—of “I”—is by nature false, and our choice thus is the vehicle for our own destruction.  And therefore we must be ruled.  It is the only way to save us.  We must have ourselves forcefully denied so that humanity can survive.

And that is REAL evil.  That idea…right there.

So you shall never get to experience life out from under the unblinking eye of Authority, no matter how benevolent or special or God-ordained that authority is claimed to be.  The Bill of Rights, Magna Carta, Pax Romana…it’s force, force, force.  It’s the State, and it means law, and law is the eradication of choice by its nature, and this means the nullification of morality, which means that there is no longer any  consequence for actual evil…because evil becomes not that which violates the individual—YOU or ME—but which violates Law.  Because YOU and ME are a lie, we are told and believe.  So, you will never know what it means to be you, ultimately.  You will never know the freedom of You qua You.  You must always have an overlord, and a cage in which to put you, even though its borders be the size of a continent.  You may have a shadow of freedom, but you will never have it in the flesh.  You will never get to be the real You.  The Self is dead at birth.

And now, right now, you’re telling yourself that I’m a fool…a nut, a radical, a denier of reality, lost, or angry, or irrational, or all of it.  Perhaps you should no longer associate with me, you’re thinking. Perhaps you will unfriend me on Facebook…or perhaps you already have.  I’m a bad influence, a reprobate, a rejector of clear truth.  An arguer, a rebel, a non-compromiser, a denier of God’s sovereignty, a rejector of the empirical, unenlightened, unsaved, a know-it-all, arrogant, and without faith.

Of course we need government, you’re thinking.  Of course we can’t just let people do whatever they want!  That’s complete madness! The death of us all! Idiotic!

Nothing I can say will change your mind. Nothing I can do will cause you to question. I can show you the graves of the millions that government has slaughtered; the starving children ravaged by polical despots who are called the “savior of the people”, the “dear leader”, the “Fuhrer”.  I can show you internment camps and gas chambers and killing fields and nuclear craters and whole cities on fire and severed heads on poles on castle walls and bodies littering the colosseums and the crucifixion of Christ, and all of it a government program, and yet you shall reject the idea that government, and in particular its philosophical roots, might just be the source of the horror. No, in your eyes, I am forever the fool.

And that, my friends…is the problem of evil.

 

 

The Point of Law is to Eradicate Moral Consequence, Not Enforce it (PART THREE)

In the world today, collectivist metaphysics are a philosophical juggernaut, with virtually every school of thought, field of study, and religion in the world, including and perhaps especially the “hard sciences”, conceding these metaphysics as a priori, whether they are consciously aware of it or not.  Which, they usually are not because…well, who needs philosophy when you’ve got math, right?  Numbers beat reason every time.

Hmmm.  To that I’d say: numbers are units of infinity, nothing more.  So be careful.  It’s easy to replace truth with abstraction when the abstraction you’re working with is designed to be rendered an infinite number of ways.  Give me infinity to work with, and I can come up with anything…by definition.  And thus, for mathematics to be in any way reasonable and relevant on the level of arrant and object reality, we must hem them in by rational consistency.  That is, by truth. That is, by understanding what is rationally possible and what is not, and from this, what is actually good and what is actually not.  And truth is a function of philosophy.  Period.

Anyway…

By the collectivist metaphysical premises which underly practically all subjects it seems, and along with these subjects society at large, the denizens of society seek to eradicate the “illegitimate” and “invalid” moral consequences of an “illegitimate” ethic.  Which is to say, of morality, as opposed to legality.  And thus the metaphysic in which this ethic is rooted, the Individual (I, the Self) is marked for death, figuratively unto literally, by “the people” demanding that the government nullify moral consequence through the power of Law, which government wields alone, as the One, True Authority.

To put it much more bluntly, people who have conceded the collectivist ideals of all the “truths” upon which a collectivist society is based will appeal to the State to use its giant hammer of coercive monopolistic brut force to pound into a bloody mash the individual freedoms of everyone in response to the unwanted moral consequences brought about by the choices of the evil or irresponsible.  In a society ruled by Law, and not morality, everyone is a sinner.  Everyone is guilty for the sins of everyone else.  And this is because under Law, there are no individuals, and this due to the collectivist metaphysics which imply legal ethics.  Man as an individual is insufficient—morally, intellectually, existentially—and thus the failure of some men (criminals) is merely the reflection of the failure of all men; so how can the Law treat those who commit no crime as innocent?  All individuals are merely latent criminals, which is why the Law is declared necessary in the first place.  The innocents therefore are punished for the crimes of the guilty, and this is how we think justice is done and how humanity is protected.  By using the State to destroy the distinction between the good and the evil, the innocent and the guilty, the responsible and the deadbeat, the giver and the taker, the host and the parasite, we wreck the individual at the point of his very metaphyscial reality, and by this we think we can eliminate his curse—his natural ethical failure, due to the choices he makes as an individual.  We take guns away from the non-violent; fossil fuels away from good stewards; money away from the generous; tobacco and other “vices” away from the moderate; and force licenses to ply trades upon the honest and compassionate; and so on.  We do this thinking we are protecting the innocent public, while all we are really doing is punishing the innocent for being individuals.

It need not be said that this never, ever works in the long run.  Appeals to the Law as a panacea for social ills merely enlarges the State, which like a gravity well draws to it every sadist, narcissist, and greed-monger who has the means and intelligence to get there, and heaps exponential misery upon the nation, compounding the very moral atrocities it claims to alleviate.  Without a shred of irony this farce continues, day in and day out, election cycle after election cycle, and no one seems to notice.  It’s shocking.

To remediate unwanted moral consequences, we, the lemmings of collectivist ideology, appeal to government violence—the use of state force to compel obedience through death and threats of death—to fix and prevent the fallout of poor moral choices…to clean up the messes left by individuals who have committed specific immoral acts.  Instead of encouraging better choices through a saturation of society with rational philosophy, we, without a hint of irony, appeal to the monumentally immoral act of using violence to force the innocent to comply with legal regulations which are deemed a collective necessity due to the immoral actions of some. In short, we use the law to burden the innocent for the crimes of the guilty.  This is not only irrational, it is an object evil.

As I have said, this will never work because to apply legal solutions to moral problems denies the real and root truth of the individual.  The individual is truth, the collective is a lie, metaphysically speaking.  Which means, when we are talking about the fundamentals of human existence, the individual is that from which reality flows.

The Law seeks to regulate the choice out of reality by using regulation to compel obedience, which is the antipode of choice with respect to root ethics.  But choice is actual reality, because the individual, not the collective, is what is real.  The individual is concrete; the collective, abstract.  To attempt to subordinate the concrete to the abstract is at best hope over reason.  To attempt to solve ethical problems by destroying that by which ethics has any meaning in the first place—namely, the individual—is the mere substitution of soundness for madness.  And this only ever multiplies and compounds unwanted ethical consequences.  It sews misery among the populace, it doesn’t resolve it.  Further, the implimention of an irrational ethic like legality is, itself, patently unethical, because it is immoral.  And it shouldn’t have to be said that you cannot solve or prevent immorality by appealing to immorality.  Yet, this is precisely what the Law is.

Replacing morality with legality destroys and brings abject misery to humanity for the simple reason that collectivism is a lie by virtue of it being a metaphysical contradiction. That is, it defies reality.  And there is no power in the universe which can change reality.  This is because power is, itself, real, and therefore can only ever confirm reality.  Even if that confirmation comes in the form of a Roman cross, a guillotine, a killing field, a concentration camp, a gulag, mass starvation, or a mushroom cloud.

END PART THREE

The Point of Law is to Eradicate Moral Consequence, Not Enforce it (PART TWO)

As I stated in my last article, the bigger the State the smaller the moral consequence. To be clear, the reduction in moral consequence is more of a psychosis, rather than a manifest reality, and this due to the substitution of morality for legality in the minds and thus the practical sociology of the populace which has been incessantly indoctrinated into the collectivist metaphysical premise for thousands of years.  There is of course no actual eradication of moral consequence, because this is impossible via legality. Collectivism, you see, due to its object rational error and its rank violation of that which makes consciousness, conceptualization, agency, and all by which truth can be known and thus reality defined, experienced, and made possible, is a lie.  A fantasy.  Thus, all such “effects” of collectivism, whether they be described as positive or negative, are purely psychosis—a belief that that which cannot exists does exist, and efficaciously so.  Further, the actual destructive consequences of collectivism are not due to collectivism qua collectivism, or collectivism per se, but to the attempt to apply madness to a reality that is ipso facto utterly exclusive of the collectivist lie, and can only respond to truth, even if the truth is that society is attempting to conjure up a lie and make it true. Which is what governed societies do. And which is why they all torment the denizens of the world to some degree or another and collapse so dreadfully.

At any rate, because morality and legality are entirely different ethical systems, legality will not merely augment morality, but must necessarily replace it.  The greater the replacement of moral consequence with legal consequence, the greater the perception that moral problems—everything from crime to education to economics—are being handled.  Though this is the perception, and may perhaps be true by strict collectivist definition, the remediation and prevention of moral problems in society is only because the individual—he who exercises morality, itself…who exercises will and choice—has become more and more marginalized under Law.

The individual is antithetical to the collective ideal, which is the philosophical rationale for all societies which are ruled.  Which is to say, all societies.  That is, to governments and “the people” as a collective Ideal which the government represents as its tangible incarnation; which is to say, as It’s Authority to assert itself through violence upon individuals.  The individual, being an agent of will, is the practical manifestation of morality, whereas the government, being an agent of force, is the practical manifestation of legality.  Thus, individual moral consequence is perhaps technically mitigated by government, but only because government mitigates the individual at his very existential root.

Moral consequence is a product of one’s will, choice, and action.  The individual is existentially—by his nature, that is—in direct contrast and opposition to government, which is a product of force, compulsion, and obedience.  And therefore individuals who accept that government and law have legitimacy—or, as is so oft annoyingly equivocated, have a “legitimate role”, whatever that means…it’s double-talk, really—must necessarily accept that their own individuality is an impostor, or an illusion, or a lie, or all three, regardless of what they might say, or think, or think they think, because collectivism and government are corollary.  You do not get government without a prevailing societal acceptance of the collectivist metaphysic.  Period.  Full stop.  And if collectivism is the metaphysical standard of society, which the presence of government objectively proves, then legality must be the ethical standard.  And if legality is the ethical standard, then morality is irrelevant by definition, and thus so is the individual.

The Point of Law is to Eradicate Moral Consequence, Not Enforce it (PART ONE)

Under a legal system reigns legal ethics. Legal ethics are exclusive of moral ethics because morality has to do with choice and legality has to do with obedience. Another way we could put it, so as not to completely nullify either concept within the framework of ethics, is this: obedience drives individual will under a system of legal ethics and will drives obedience under a system of moral ethics. Because of the root mutual exclusivity of these two ethical categories, morality has fundamentally no meaning nor relevancy to or within a legal system. That is, in a society governed by a political ruling class, which we call Government, or the State, this ruling class will necessarily appeal to the Law for its legitimacy of purpose and power. It exists to make sure everyone is acting ethically. All that is necessary is to convince the masses that legality is the best way to do this. Which isn’t difficult because it seems that humanity almost universally accepts the collectivist metaphysical premise: that the individual is a product of some greater collection of parts—the tribe or the nation or the race, for example—or some outside force of nature or of the divine; that the individual, as a function of something outside of him, is, in fact, an existential illusion, or a mystery, or a lie.

Since morality has no meaning nor relevancy under the auspices of government, because government is necessarily rooted in legality, then moral consequence likewise has no meaning.  Society is organized according to legality, and this enforced by government. In a framework like this, moral consequence then can have no place in the organization protocol. Society is to be ruled, and this makes it fundamentally subject to obedience, not to the choice of individuals living out a distinct and metaphysically singular existence. The point of the State is to eradicate the consequence of moral choice in order that perfect legal order can be established and realized, and by this, the perfect ethical utopia—perfect goodness—and this as the proof of the legitimacy and efficacy of government, which really means the legitimacy and efficacy of the ruling class, and this really means the manifestation of the zenith of power, which is absolute, which is the point of collectivism.  And this is why we see, as the nations wear on in their programmed and inevitable way, from rise to certain collapse, more and more reliance upon the law for the remediation and prevention of social woes, and less and less on individual choice and responsibility.

The reason the State gets bigger, up until the point the State no longer asks what its citizens want or think, is no mystery, and yet the amount of woe and teeth gnashing and shaking of fists at the heavens at every expression of government excess and increase by those of a more conservative or libertarian political bent belies the simplicity of what should be perfectly obvious. The reason the State gets bigger is because the people want it bigger. Period. To vote for government, because of the very nature of government and because of the metaphysical and eithical presumptions one must accept in order to accept the existence of government in the first place, is to tacitly or implicitly, at best, desire government to grow; to desire the reduction of individual choice and the increase in government control. You cannot affirm government (by voting, for example) whilst simultaneously demand it contradict itself by giving you more freedom and itself less authority.  That’s like getting a cat, buying it litter and cat food and cat toys and scratching posts and calling it Felix and then decrying the fact that it’s not a dog.

So, yes, the State gets bigger because the people want it bigger. And its not hard to see why people want this, and are so tempted by government, and why it seems to win every time when it comes down to choosing how society will be organized.  People WANT to be ruled MUCH more than they want to be free. It’s obvious, its arrant, and here’s why:

The existence of the State is a hedge against moral consequence, by the very fact that it supplants morality with legality. The bigger the State then, it is eventually assumed, the smaller the moral consequence…and the smaller individual misery due to bad choices. In a legal system morality is null, and thus unwanted moral consequence should likewise be null and this should translate into people no longer feeling such consequence. And if you think people don’t know this, or don’t understand it on some fundamental level, just look at how quick people are to appeal to the Law when some shit goes down that they don’t like. Don’t like abortion, make it illegal; like abortion, protect it by Law. Don’t like guns, make them illegal; like guns, waggle your finger emphatically in the direction of the second amendment. Don’t like illegal aliens, have the government build a wall; like illegal aliens, have the government provide them with public subsidies and sanctuary. And the list goes on and on and on—education, healthcare, poverty, war, etc. etc.—unto absolute power. Without getting into the minutiae of it right now, it will suffice to say that all of this can be handled by appealing to choice and the responsibility of individuals to deal with the consequnces of those choices. Why don’t we, then, you ask. Well…I suspect because it’s not as linear; not as mathematical; not as ostensibly simple. Legality is also very abstract, which makes it look and feel very intellectual, requiring a high degree of erudition and competence to mange it. Which makes people feel safe in the hands of those who say they shall wield it for the common good.

The bigger the State the smaller the perceived moral consequence.  The smaller the moral consequence the greater the perception that social woes are being or have been handled. And, well, they have been, legally. But not morally, which is why moral degeneration continues not only unabated but even exponentially, whilst legal intervention increases likewise exponentially, as though there is an inverse relationship between the two. But people, confusing moral ethics with legal ethics, continue to vote for this person or that, swinging back and forth with the regularity of a pendulum between the conservative parties and liberal ones, seeking out more and more radical players, in the futile hope that if they just get the right person in charge everything will be fine. Instead of blaming the philosophical assumptions which legitimize government, they blame rulers for not ruling properly. As morality then declines in a morality-less system, and as moral consequence continues to be felt with greater severity, the people begin to vote in greater numbers for ideologues and authoritarians…people who will push or promise to push their agendas with greater force and less compromise. This is because once you’ve accepted that government is good and government is truth and authority is reality and legality is ethics, you understand—though perhaps subconsciously; or even emotionally—that the more despotic the ruler, and the more worthless and disinterested he is at doing anything other than slaking his own thirst for power, the BETTER he is at ruling. Because power IS the only rational objective of ruling Authority, period.

END PART ONE

 

 

If it is Good That Guns be Made Legal Then it Must be Good That They be Made Illegal: Legal Ethics Belong to Authority, Period

     Though I do understand why we are concerned that America’s second amendment may be suspended by an increasingly overt form of government autocracy, what we should not be is surprised. Once morality—moral ethics—has been replaced by legality—legal ethics—then we must understand that what is legal may be rendered illegal at any moment and for any reason without any hypocrisy nor rational violation on the part of the Authority (the State, in this case), which exists as the practical and necessary manifestation of the Law.
     Why is this?
     Well, legality itself is the problem. You see, legality makes all men criminals because it criminalizes will. Our (mine and yours) own choice to act on our own behalf is subordinated to the Law….indeed, that’s the whole point of law—we may act only insofar as we are allowed to act. Our individual wills then are not free…they are hedged in by the law, and guided necessarily to their eventual and inevitable complete nullification, which the Law implies according to its philosophical premises. This nullification of will by law grows more overt and obvious over time by nature and necessity, regardless of what kind of political officials are put in charge of the law’s carrying out. The pebble which is dropped will fall, no matter the character of the man who lets it go. This is why all governments must and do eventually snap the bloody trap of collectivist despotism…government, ironically, is the trap which becomes trapped. It’s in the premises. That is, it’s the nature of government. Government by its very root philosophical purpose and meaning is independent of man’s will. That’s the whole idea. Under law, which means under authority, which means under government, it’s not about will and choice, it’s about obedience. This is obvious and I hope needs no explanation…legal dictums are commands, they are not suggestions. And the most benevolent ruler of all cannot change this fact, because if he did, he would not be a ruler in the first place. A contradiction in terms—e.g. a ruler who does not RULE, for example—cannot be made manifest. It cannot be made real.
     To summarize the above, man’s will is nullified by law. Obedience to the law is the ethical standard, not morality, which has to do with will…with choice. And obedience to the law really means obedience to the Authority, without which the law has no practical relevancy and thus no functional existence.
     So now to guns, specifically.
     The problem is not that guns may be made illegal (and almost certainly will be), the problem is that some ruling class of political elites think that they have the right to subordinate man’s will to that which they decide to allow…by law. The problem is not that guns (or anything else for that matter) may be deemed illegal, it’s that we accept that our lives are futile absent an Authority (government) which claims for itself the right to allow man to act—which means to exist, at root, once the logic is teased out—by placing him under law, and thus which subordinates his will entirely by making it subject to an external ethical standard (the Law) utterly in the hands of this Authority. So, while it’s technically correct to state that it’s wrong to make guns illegal, the bigger issue is that we accept that they should be subject to legality at all.
     My overarching message here is that you cannot synthesize morality and legality. They are completely antipodal ethical premises. If we accept that guns are properly subject to the law, then why do we cry foul when the Authority makes them illegal? To accept legal ethics is accept that the Authority—which IS the practical incarnation of Law—knows what should and should not be allowed at any given moment. What you want became irrelevant the moment you agreed that the Law was good and by extension that government was good and by extension that your existence should be ruled, not chosen by you. So to say that guns should be legal and not illegal is some very, very fine hypocrisy, quite frankly.
     Unless you happen to be one of the ruling elite.

The Absolute Ethics of Violence

The nature of groups organized according to collectivist metaphysical principles (the individual as a function of group identity, not the other way around) is to conquer. When one collective conquers another, we are simply witnessing a natural process. For example, when Europeans conquered the tribal peoples of America, they were simply pursuing the logical course of their metaphysics. And today, when “ethnic minorities” of the Americas are quickly reconquering the land using collectivist metaphysics expressed specifically through Marxist politics to wrestle control of the state away from the “whites”, they are simply pursuing the logical course of their metaphysics. Which are, except for mere labels, completely identical. So what we have is a lateral move. We have the evolution of collectivist metaphysical principles, destructive and irrational as they are, as they express themselves via the ebb and flow of violent oppression over the whole of the earth while it ceaselessly runs red with blood

To cry injustice at any of this by anyone except the individualist is dishonest equivocation. That is, it is merely to assert that one collective somehow holds the moral high ground over another in a given circumstance. This is of course entirely irrational because once the individual, by way of collectivist metaphysics, has been subordinated—to be eventually sacrificed one way or another—to the collectivist Ideal (the Tribe, the Nation, the Church, the People, the Common Good, the Race, the Worker’s Utopia, etc. etc.) at the hands of the ruling class (the King, the Leader, the State, the Government, the Priest), etc.) then the only ethical plumbline is violence. Since collectivist Ideals are naturally and necessarily absolute, ethereal, and transcendent, and individuals are naturally and necessarily outside of the Ideal and therefore cannot from this existential frame of reference reason themselves into choosing their own obedience and sacrifice (choice and reason being fundamentally incompatible with obedience and sacrifice, by definition and principle), then it becomes necessary to use violence and violence alone to subordinate all things (and propaganda and lies, deception and artifice qualify as violence, since they are intended to subvert the individual qua the individual and lead him to accept his own denial). The utter ruin of everything becomes the practical manifestation of the Ideal, and thus we shouldn’t be surprised when collectivist metaphysics bring abject and object destruction to those “outsiders” (other collectives) who are not able to exert ethical superiority over the conquering collective. That is, are not capable of weilding superior violence. What is surprising is when those collectives who are conquered cry foul, scream racism, and shout injustice as if equivocation and throwing temper tantrums is anything but meaningless noise. They should know that according to their own accepted and asserted metaphysics “might makes right”.

Further, if they do know this and cry foul anyway, they are liars. And if they don’t know this and cry foul anyway, they are fools.

How the Law Promotes Crime (Part Two)

The law, by making right and wrong a function of obedience, thus nullifying morality by nullifying choice, does not provide any fundamentally rational incentive for the individual to avoid the behavior the law forbids under threat of punishment via the state. The law tacitly proclaims the individual irrelevant. Even more than irrelevant. Counter productive; an aberration; anathema; a mistake; unnatural. The individual, you see, is self-aware, which means that he thinks for himself, and has an absolute frame of reference from himself (singular) that demands that he exist and act to and for himself. This is of course not what the state wants; it is not reflective of what the state needs and what the state is. The state, by its nature, demands that all individuals view reality from the perspective of the state, and act to and from and for ITSELF. Because the state is Authority. It is the incarnation of the collective ideal to which all men are then bound. The collective ideal is the reality which necessitates the Authority of the state…to compel individuals out of their individuality and into the collective.

But the individual of course cannot do this…for he only observes reality from a single existential position: himself. By his nature and because of that nature the individual chooses. He must chooose. He must will.

Because knowledge (thought) is rooted in distinctions between truth and lie, and good and evil, knowledge is the practical working out of these distinctions. And the practical working out of these distinctions implies choice. But the law sees choice as anathema…as completely unnatural. The law is force, and force has nothing to do with choice. Man cannot choose to obey because obedience implies force, and force makes choice irrelevant.

Absent choice—absent will—man has no frame of reference for himself. A man whose choice is considered illegitmate must also consider his existence illegitimate. For absent choice the distinction between right and wrong and true and false and good and evil are irrelevant to him, and thus any knowledge, even that of his own SELF, is entirely meaningless. And this, taken to its logical intellectual conclusion, means that no one actually exists to obey the law in the first place. As soon as the law becomes the ethical standard the individual ceases to exist. He cannot obey because he isn’t real. His very nature is anthethical to reality as defined and accepted by the state. And thus the state’s law delegitimizes man at the level of his root existence. And because he has been delegitimized, he cannot be truly, rationally, incentivized to obey.

The state will claim that the law safeguards the best interests of the individual (sometimes by explicitly collectivizing him, a la Marxist totalitarianism). But this is impossible because it cannot recognize him. And the individual, I submit, understands this fact in his base instinct, and therefore the market for crime goes up because the law provides no meaningful reason to obey it. All it can offer as a disincentive is punishment, but this inevitably fails because for man to be perpetually under law he is, implicitly, already punished, and perpetually so…for existing. And so if the desire or reward for committing a crime outweighs the chances of getting caught or the penalty, then crime, by the very ethics which underwrite the law, is going to be worth it. Crime thus has implicit value. And this, dear readers, is why there is a market for crime.

Further, and even more troubling, is that a given individual may view the commission of a crime—the disobeying of the law—as an expression of his truth…of his individuality. And thus he may feel empowered and even free by his crime. Of course certain acts defined by law as criminal can certainly also be immoral—as in the case of theft or murder, for example—but the criminal, should he intuit in his soul nothing more than that the law renders his individuality meaningless, will not apprehend this. He may engage in crime as a sort of means of self-expression, not understanding that just because an act is illegal does not mean that it is not also actually immoral.

Now, for those of us who do understand that violations of other individuals are immoral, the law at root has nothing to do with why we do not commit such acts. We do not commit them because they are illegal but because they are immoral. We reject them upon the truth of their immorality in spite of the law, understanding that the law has nothing to do with evil or good, but only with power. I submit that if someone refrains from murder simply because he does not want to be punished then he has committed murder already in his heart…because he has conceded the law’s false morality and rejected the value of the individual. For there is nothing truly immoral under law because the law does not recognize morality’s one true and rational standard:

You, and me.

How the Law Promotes Crime (Part One)

We are led to believe, in western Democracies, that legality and morality are related.  We are taught that our governments make something illegal because it is, at root, immoral.  We pride ourselves in our ability to discern true evil from true good and then dictate behavior to men, through the coercive power of the state and according to the law, in the service of the good, where the good is not merely what is subjective according some ultimately unproven/unverified root assumption about the nature of reality (metaphysics), but is Absolute…or as close as humanity can come to it.

The truth, however, is that legality and morality are entirely different ethics, as I have discussed in previous articles on this blog. If something is illegal, then it is only immoral apart from the law. That is, what is illegal may be immoral, but it can be so only when it is removed out from under the auspices of law and the metaphysics from which law stems.  That is, though an illegal act may also be immoral, the law cannot recognize it as such.  It is NOT immoral according to the law.  This is because ethical behavior dictated by law precludes choice, because the law FORCES behavior via the coercion of the state regardless of one’s will to engage in it or not.  This is the nature of law…this is the whole POINT of law.  Obedience, not choice, is how the law is fulfilled.  And obedience means that ethics are rooted in authority—the State—and the authority’s legal imperative to compel man to submit to the law by violence, if necessary.  To underwrite ethics by requiring submission to authority as the means by which ethical behavior will be brought about renders choice irrelevant.  “Obey or die” is the fundamental mantra…meaning that under law the authority, the State, has the right to force you to act in specific ways that the law deems ethical, up to and including your death.

Morality on the other hand—that is, true good—demands choice, and so it can have nothing fundamentally to do with law.  To be moral means necessarily to act morally.  And the only means by which one can act morally is to will it.  To choose it.  Only choice makes an act truly moral or immoral.

The reason that crime is never eliminated in a society ruled by law and not by choice has nothing to do with human nature—that “there will always be bad people” as we are so often told.  This is merely a form of ethical determinism which ultimately renders morality irrelevant, and paves the way for rapacious and mendacious men to seize power under the guise of “keeping the peace” or “ensuring a civilized society”.  It’s all a lie.  If you don’t belive me, take a cursory look at America’s national debt and then ask yourself how a financial liability like that happens in the absence of selfish, power-drugged, self-worshiping boobs.

The answer is, it doesn’t.

Further, the argument “there will always be bad people” is non-falsifiable, which makes it tautological, and ultimately nonsensical.  The argument is that there will always be bad people because man is inherently bad.  In other words, there will always be bad people because there will always be bad people.  But here’s the truth:  The reason why crime is never eliminated under the rule of law is because law, by necessarily excluding choice, wrecks morality.

The only way to eliminate crime, you see, is to eliminate the market for crime.  The only way to eliminate the market for crime is to incentivize people to stop buying it, as it were, which in turn demands that men will stop selling it.  And the only real and fundamental way to disincentivize crime is to define and value it according to what is truly immoral; and the only way to do that is to make ethics a function of choice, not obedience to the law. Once we define crime as truly immoral, and rationally and objectively so, and value it as such, man can understand that it is rationally and objectively destructive to himself, at all times and in all contexts.  And thus, the consequences for crime are real, absolute, and existential. [Note: A discussion of morality as a function of an objective metaphysical premise—that is, a rational definition of the nature of reality—is beyond the scope of this article; please reference this blog for other articles dealing with this topic.]

Law cannot make crime immoral, as I said, because it invalidates choice.  And so, at root, law cannot give a real, rational reason why people should avoid it.  “So you don’t get punished by the authorities” is not a real, lasting, or fundamentally meaningful incentive because the consequences for crime defined by law are not really objective, and thus have nothing to do with the fundamental nature of reality.  The consequences of crime defined according to the law have nothing to do with any real devaluation of man qua man.  The law serves the authority at root, not the individual.  It has nothing to do with man, and thus it says nothing about his true worth and his true value and his true morality.  And I submit that men instinctively know this.  And that is very, very important.

The law is not “to the man”, so to speak, but to the state.  To the authority.  Violations of law are not violations of morality when morality is defined according to the ethics of law, which is the only way the state CAN define it, because  the state is FORCE, by its very nature, not choice.  Thus, the commission of crime is really only bad for the state—the authority—not for man, himself, as far as the law is concerned.  And I believe that men instinctively know this as well.  Therefore, as far as the individual is concerned, who has been taught that morality is a function of law, breaking the law is only “bad” if he gets caught.  So crime becomes a gamble, not an act of immorality.  If one can commit a crime beyond the eyes of the authority, then there is no consequence for crime. The commission of a crime says nothing about the individual, morally and existentially speaking, because the law is not about recognizing his individuality and therefore his will and choice, but rejecting the legitimacy of these things, and thus is about nothing more than subordinating him to the authority.

Without the authority to enforce it, the law is neutered, and the law cannot define moral and immoral behavior, so a man not caught hasn’t actually done anything wrong, according to the law.  Unless you are caught and punished, you never did anything bad, because “right” and “wrong” are only relevant if the law judges you.  And before the law can judge you the authority must catch you.  So crime, again, legally speaking, is merely a gamble.  A game of chance; or a game of desire.  A high chance of evading the law can make the commission of a crime very rewarding; a desire that transcends the fear of getting caught and/or the pain of punishment makes it worth committing the crime.  But a truly immoral act is never worth it…and can never be worth it.  Period.  A truly immoral act can destroy the individual at his very root Self, now and forever.  And this, and only this, will ultimately deter men from acts of immorality, and eventually weed out from humanity those who would choose such acts for whatever vile reason.

I am, of course, not suggesting that men break the law…that would be an entirely false and foolish interpretation of my arguments here.  I am suggesting that if society’s objective is the elimination of crime, then we must understand the difference between morality and legality, and why the two are not compatible, and why the former is rational and the latter is not, and how thus the latter ironically guarantees the perpetuation and promotion of that which it seeks to end.

Why Athiesm is Exclusive of Morality

Morality and ethics are not equivalent.  Morality is, in fact, simply a TYPE of ethics. Therefore it can be logically asserted that not all ethics are moral.

The other day I was watching a debate between Walter Block and Stefan Molyneux, both atheists and libertarians, on the Non-Aggression Principle, a specious code of libertarian ethics that includes both morality and legality.  Which…should tell you right there that libertarians either A. Haven’t thought their premises through, or B. They HAVE thought them through and simply don’t see the contradictions.  I’m not sure which is worse.

You can’t do that.  You either have moral ethics or you have legal eithics.  You can’t have both.  You cannot ethically obligate man to BOTH obedience AND choice.  Man cannot be free to choose how he shall act AND be forced to obey a legal code under pain of punishment.  And this is just one of several disturbing rational contradictions evident in libertarianism.  It may not be the most egregious, but it’s certainly rank.

During the course of the debate, the topic of morality came up, naturally, and Walter said something that was quite startling to me, and quite interesting as well.  He said he “didn’t understand this morality thing”…or something to that effect…if not those words exactly then it was pretty darn close. And it got me asking myself.  Does Walter not “get morality” because he’s a libertarian, or because he’s an atheist? Or both?

Well, I figured it couldn’t be libertarianism because libertarianism asserts the existence of moral behavior. So that left me with atheism…as a hypothesis, I mean. I understand there could be other reasons, like ignorance or personal experience or a different definition of what constitutes libertarianism, but going on what I can truly know for a fact about the man—that he’s an admitted atheist, and having some understanding of what that means in the formal sense—I decided to examine atheism.  I had some free time on my hands…my daughter was in a two hour dance class, so I slouched down on the stiff leather couch in the waiting room and had a think.

And it hit me.  The Christians are right.  Atheists cannot define morality.  Atheism, in fact, utterly precludes morality. Now don’t get me wrong, Christianity (as practiced by Christians in the Augustinian sense, which is pretty much all of it) precludes morality, too, and for the same fundamental reasons, just with different semantics.  But of course in this article we are discussing atheism.

Without going into the minutia of metaphysical premises (reality from fantasy) leading to epistemological conclusions (truth from lie) leading to ethical principles (right from wrong), I will, to keep things relatively short and accessible here, simply define the terms this way:  Morality is an Ethic which is referenced to the individual; Legality is an ethic which is referenced to the Law. At the root level of Ethical principles these two are completely incompatible, for the reasons I gave above. Man cannot be ethically obligated to both choice and obedience.  Moral action demands man choose his behavior for himself.  Legal action demands he obey an authority which dictates behavior.  In other words, morality is chosen good and legality is dictated good.

Morality demands thus that man must own himself, based on the premise that the individual—the Self qua Self (the singularity of “I”)—is the epistemological reference.  Reality is true because the individual is the Constant—that is, the reference for truth—which in turn makes the individual also the reference for ethics, as epistemology and ethics are corollary (truth has meaning and meaning has value; meaning is epistemology and value—the extent to which a thing is considered good—is ethics).

Legality on the other hand demands that an authority—the most obvious example being the state—must own the individual, based on the premise that there is no such thing as the Self qua Self, but that the individual is a function or product of some external-to-the-Self process or power, which makes epistemology and ethics entirely beyond the individual’s INDIVIDUAL (singular and conscious) frame of reference.  These processes or powers can be anything from the Laws of Nature or Physics to God’s Divine Will ex nihilo to some form of collectivist Ideal—the Nation, the Race, the People, the Workers, the Church, the Chosen, the Enlightened, etc.. Man thus, as an individual and the singular consciousness which he possesses (manifest through the natural use of the pronoun “I”), is an illusion, and all his thoughts and his will are therefore irrelevant and, more importantly, inadequate to EXISTENCE. This being the case, he must be compelled into ethical behavior by force.  And so with legal ethics, man’s obligation is obedience to the law, the law being whatever principle(s) the authority has decided to codify so that the metaphysical premise (natural law, collectivist Ideal, etc.) can be practically (socially) implemented. The law then is dictated in order that man can know those behaviors which he must perform, upon threat of punishment, in order to properly exist.  As a side note, notice the inherent irony here.  Man is given a law so that he can know how to behave. But if he needs a law to know how to behave then obviously “knowing” is an activity for which he is entirely insufficient.  The whole point of the law is to circumvent what I call the collectivist or determinist “Lie of Man”…that is, his irrational and illusory consciousness.  Thus, appeals to his “knowing how to act” are entirely hypocritical.  And you get this from Christians all the time, too, it’s not just a statist thing.  Man needs God to tell him what to do. But if God needs to tell man what to do then it’s implied that man cannot fundamentally know what to do on his own, which really means that he cannot know truth for himself.  In which case, he cannot really know ANYTHING, so God telling him what to do is hypocritical, irrational, and pointless.  Not exactly the characteristics of God I would pick, but that’s just me.

With moral ethics, man’s ethical obligation is to the individual. Thus, he himself, being an individual, is the ethical reference, and so he cannot obey a law OUTSIDE of himself, but instead CHOOSES to act in ethical ways within the context of his individual, not collective, existence.  That is, ways which do not violate the individual (and we will save the specific explication of what those ways are for another article). In short, moral ethics demand choice and preclude obedience; legal ethics demand obedience and preclude choice.

And, by the by, obedience is NOT a choice, or a form thereof.  You cannot choose to obey; because if you are choosing, then obedience is a moot concept; and vice verse.

*

I submit that atheism cannot be moral because it cannot recognize the existence of the individual qua the individual. Atheism MUST appeal to empiricism as a means of defining reality. For an atheist to assert that reality is rooted in anything other than the tangible, the observable, and the material is to assert that reality must be INTERPRETED, which means to appeal to a power or truth—that which provides and defines the interpretive lens—beyond what can be known by human observation. And as soon as we concede that reality is interpreted, not de facto as it presents itself ostensibly, then we must concede the reality of such an underlying power or truth. We could even claim it “transcendent”. Such a power/truth can indeed RATIONALLY be called “God”, whether it be God in the Christian sense—that is, in the sense of a deterministic, omnipotent, creative and causal agent—or simply as a general reference to that which utterly informs reality beyond mere perception.  In either case, “God” is a perfectly acceptable nomenclature for such a thing, despite the fact that most atheists, being on the whole average thinkers like most people, usually only think of  “God” in the narrow religious orthodox sense.

Now, here is where I will need to get a bit technical, because Athiests are very specific—pedantic even—about their definitions, so bear with me.

It is impossible that one concede the existence of an aforementioned power or truth whilst simultaneously claiming a lack of a belief in God.  Now, the reason I put it this way—a LACK of belief—and not merely a disbelief, has to do with how atheists, themselves, specify their position. Atheists do not disbelieve, as they explain it, but they LACK belief.  It may seem a merely semantic difference, but it’s actually quite profound. To disbelieve is to say that God does not exist. To lack belief is to say that God CANNOT exist.

“Does not” implies that whatever you’re referring to possesses some kind of underlying ability to act, making “ability” a possible root metaphyscial premise. But “cannot” takes ability out of the metaphysical equation. You see, if a thing doesn’t do existence, the subtle implication is that it DOES do other things. This naturally legitimizes the thing by tacitly conceding its inherent it power to act. Which in turn tacitly subordinates existence to the power to act, rendering the claim that it does not exist of no fundamental significance. But if a thing CANNOT exist, then there is no tacit concession that it does something else because “doing”, or “ability to do” never factors into the claim.  In other words, “does not” metaphysically subordinates existence to ability, whereas “cannot” makes ability existentially moot, and thus ipso facto makes existence the metaphysical premise, which is important since the whole point of atheism is to propagate the idea that God’s existence is a lie. If “existence” isn’t the plumbline for reality and truth, then atheism itself is basically irrelevant. Again, it’s technical, but VERY, VERY important, and allows us to make some extremely important assumptions about atheism, particularly with respect to morality.

When atheists claim that God CANNOT exist they are tacitly admitting that they define reality as entirely empirical. How on earth can they KNOW that God cannot exist? How on earth can they demand that only the theist is on the hook for giving proof for his assertions?  Simple. Because the atheist accepts only an empirical framework for reality. They make a metaphysical assertion and then demand that everyone accept it or they reject your ideas out of hand. This is an example of incredible intellectual dishonesty and hubris, not to mention hypocrisy, but it explains why their platform is first and foremost established upon a negative—what they DON’T believe, or beliefs they lack, instead of what they do or have. And why they focus on being disproved instead of proving themselves. It’s easy to claim a metaphysical primary and demand everyone agree to it. It’s much more difficult to prove your metaphysic and make THAT, not merely what doesn’t fit into it, the root of your movement.

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Atheism by its very nature must assume that reality is empirical.

Now, merely proclaiming empirical reality doesn’t ACTUALLY EXPLAIN anything with respect to reality. Saying reality is empirical is a metaphyscial premise; the reasoning behind it is what matters, though. And this is why I have told atheists a thousand times that I don’t care about what the don’t believe, or what beliefs they lack, but what they DO…and by that I mean I want to know specifically WHY they believe that I should accept THEIR metaphysic. “Observation is truth” is not, itself, an argument. At all.

“Seeing is believing” begs the question: Seeing what? Of course, atheists cannot ultimately rely on concepts generated by mere human consciousness to define things, as consciousness not only says a tree is a tree but also spawns fantastical and irrational notions like “God”.  Consciousness is much too subjective, in other words, to provide an objective definition of what IS. Thus, atheists instead appeal what they accept as empirical systems of measurement, such as the scientific method, which allows the observable to be organized mathematically in order to give specific things common values…values which then can be transferred from one object to another, and from one place and time to another, with predictable results.

But find it a remarkable oversight of reason and common sense to presume, as atheists do, that A. Mathematics, though an utterly cognitive process, is somehow outside of human consciousness, and B. That mathematics is somehow a part of observable reality, when it exists precisely to translate the observable into ABSTRACT terms. And that’s translate, not transliterate. But I’m not sure they understand the difference.

It is so strange to me that atheists do not understand the scientific method and mathematics are a product of human consciousness. And to compound the flaw, this allows scientists to commit blatant fallacy by making the observer a product of what he observes. Somehow mathematics gets exempt from human consciousness and exists “outside” of man, even though it, like “God”, is, in such a context, infinite, omnipotent, and thus, utterly beyond the scope of human perception.

But what’s a little hypocrisy going to hurt, right? After all, 99% objective truth to a paltry 1% contradiction is a ratio that any reasonable person can live with. We can’t be expected to know everything? I mean, in our own narrow dimension and with a whole multiverse thing going on out there the complete truth is bound to be to some degree a perpetual mystery, right?

Hmmm. Now where have I heard that before?

Oh yeah. In church.

Anyway, the point I’m making is that empiricism naturally leads to science and mathematics as atheism’s de facto apologetics given that these are understood to be the plumbline for what constitutes objective reality.  And thus the assumption is that at root reality can ONLY be valued by mathematical measurement.  Math, the “language of the universe”, becomes for the atheist, the ghost in the machine…what gives all things their true essence. And yet somehow, in this case, it’s perfectly rational and empirical to believe in spirits. Through the  “Holy Ghost” of mathematics man can somehow know and define himself OUTSIDE of himself, which proves that there is no actual “outside” of himself at all, because “himself” is just a fluke. An illusion.  All things that ARE exist empirically and objectively. And “empirical” and “objective” do NOT include you qua you.

It’s an amazing display of rational gymnastics. Believe me, it’s not a trite, cute little argument to say that it takes as much faith to be an atheist as it does to believe in God.  It’s an axiom.

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Because atheism = science = mathematics = scientific determinism, there can be no morality compatible with atheism because atheism precludes choice. It makes consciousness a product of natural law, which renders the individual’s will moot.  Thus, ethics cannot imply moral responsibility because determinism is about what you MUST do, not what you SHOULD do. And what you MUST do is an obligation, and obligation is not choice, but OBEDIENCE. He who is obligated to act in a certain way—because he is not a willful but a DETERMINED creature—cannot then be called “good” for acting that way. From the atheist’s point of view, you don’t choose to act, you simply act.  And the way in which you act you MUST act. You are FORCED to act by powers beyond the illusion of your Self. And this being the case, whatever you do, then, is ethical by definition. It’s not moral…that is, it cannot be given a value of good or bad, or right or wrong. But it is behavior that affirms the metaphyscial premise, and thus it IS ethical.  It is what is necessary; what is SUPPOSED to be.

The “natural law” of atheism thus necessarily strips morality from ethics.  And in the absence of morality, the only practical application of ethics is legality.  And this is why ethics debates amongst atheists like Stefan Molyneux and Walter Block are always centered either explicitly or implicitly around CODES of conduct…that is, ethical principles that are COLLECTIVE, applying to all men, because all men are, by virtue of natural law, ONE…that is, individuality becomes collective “oneness”. Ironic.

Some call these codes “laws”, and others, like Molyneux, call them “Universal Principles”. But they all mean one thing: obedience to authority. Atheists debate distinctions between “criminal behavior” and “moral behavior”, as if somehow these behaviors can co-exist at all, let alone in a single socio-political context. As I have already said, you can define behavior as legal or moral, ethically speaking, but you CANNOT define it as both. It is a rational impossibility.

Finally, I submit that since the notion of “law” implied by the empiricism of atheism is implicitly collectivist, any eithical system derived from atheism must also be collectivist. And collectivist ethics always manifest as an authority-submission dynamic, which demands that man COLLECTIVELY obey the law, not choose for himself to act morally.

Thus, atheism is tyranny.