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June 04, 2013

Comments

Some statements aren't even worth responding to. But here goes. The bible says that everything we do is taken into account and will be dealt with on judgement day. This provides incentive to do right. We are also compelled by a moral duty to do our best to reciprocate love by serving a God who loved us so much as to send his son to die for us.
The unbeliever on the other hand has none of these things, which may be the cause for the atrocities committed by them within recent history.

If nothing has any meaning, then why even breathe? Why even expend any energy? However, creation's beauty and unfathomable emotions like compassion, kindness, self sacrifice, love, although not the norm, point to the logical inconsistency in such a belief. If nothing matters, there is no reason for laws, fairness, justice, or mercy. Life is then unlivable. Every cell shows life is not anarchy, but order, design, purpose and dependence. Death is a consequence of our rebellious choice, not the determiner of our life's mission and destiny.

Who says I'm going to "paradise?" If the Bible is true, then God's Grace assigned to what I believe will determine my final destination. If the Bible is true, then Who I believe, or don't believe, will form my incentive for earthly actions. On the other hand, if there is no afterlife, I have no incentive whatsoever to behave in a "sentient, rational, and compassionate" manner.

The most ridiculous thing about this half-witted piece is that Ms. Moran assumes that people will inherently do good believing this.

We all know this, of course, is lunacy.

Her premise is that this life is all there is. I'm sure she has in mind that her idea of a good life is the right one and that everyone else will arrive at that same decision if they start with the same premise. The problem is that it's a non-sequitor. People will generally arrive at a conclusion for a variety of reasons that are less than reasonable and then apply false premises that appear more reasonable in order to give their conclusion credibility.

The problem with this statement is that she didn't tell us what she thinks is the more reasonable way to live life. What we can be certain of is that the logic is supposed to flow the other way: Since the reasonable life is built on naturalistic presuppositions as we are told, we are supposed to conclude that belief in an afterlife results in an unreasonable life. But even that requires denying the antecedent.

Therefore, the logic of this statement is flawed in more than one way.

I fail to see how belief that one is dying makes one more rational, sentient or compassionate. For some it might; for others it may make them more vengeful, hateful and violent. There is no reason to think that the entire planet thinking they are dying each moment will turn everyone into more loving people; could be the complete opposite.

She also seems to believe that believers in the after-life adhere to some kind of purgatory where it can all be "worked out" which is not the classical Christian view.

Darth Dutch

Aside from the fact that Ms. Moran has no credibility on this matter being at best an author of a book feminism which is apparently the source of this quote. I would like to see the context behind this, there might be more rationale for the statements there.

But to the argument. The first paragraph. "We are all dying." This is true and has no connection to our belief in the afterlife or not. The second statement in bold for emphasis can be considered true regardless of a belief in the afterlife or not.

This whole argument stands on the statement "Believing in an afterlife totally negates your existence." From this she makes the unconnected conclusion that belief in the afterlife awards us with some transcendent 'do-over'. Which is at best conjecture and totally unsubstantiated.

She would of course have to explain what she means by 'existence'. At face value, I believe in the afterlife and therefore, according to her statement, my existence is totally negated.

The final sentence is the most profound of all. Like the others, the statement has no bearing on the belief in an afterlife. I think that those who do believe in an afterlife would find this statement even more significant than those who do not. I could write more about that but this is already overly long for a comment post.

Interesting that the above picture is directed at religious belief. I believe it was the french existentialists atheists Albert Camus and John Paul Sartre who often wrote plays and books that depicted life as being ultimately meaningless if atheism (i.e. no after-life) is true.

Camus argued that the only philosophically serious question left to debate was whether or not to commit suicide. Nihilism is really the only worldview that logically follows from atheism and doesn't really provide any incentive to give your best everyday.

Of course atheists will continue to assert the contrary, but that's just part of the delusion of being an atheist.

If atheism is true its not just religious practice and belief that's waste of time it's everything.

In the OP it states "Death is not a release, but an incentive."

Tell that people who are severely depressed and are fighting thoughts of suicide every day. Tell me how, to them, the fact they are dying is an incentive to live a better life. For many it is motivation to end it all.

Darth Dutch

If I knew anybody who thought that this life was a freebie and we get to "sort it all out in paradise", I would have little respect for their lazy attitude or their religion either. I have never heard of any religion teaching that. Most err 180 degrees in the other direction: if you don't get it perfect here, you'll never reach paradise.

As far as Ms. Maron's philosophy leading to sentient and compassionate behavior? Well, most of those who cry "YOLO!" are using it to justify the opposite kind of life.

Her premise is that we are all dying. She then makes 3 claims that do not logically follow from her premise. These are merely assertions with no supporting arguments or reasons.
1) Believing in an afterlife negates your existence
2) It doesn't matter if you screw up, you can sort it out in paradise
3) Once we believe we are dying we can behave like compassionate beings

When I read Hebrews 10:32-35, it is abundantly clear that the ONLY people who are of ANY earthly good are SO heavenly-minded they, as Luther wrote, "let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also."

Their possession was better than houses and iPads and abiding -- unlike houses, which could be plundered (as it was for them) and iPads, which could be stolen. And so they gave it up to serve.

Lord, teach me to be more heavenly-minded.

It is absolutely wrong to say, as many respondents in this thread have said, that the absence of an eternal afterlife for our precious individual souls must entail that there is no meaning to our present physical life.

It is our physical existence as life that creates meaning and purpose in this universe. Galaxies, stars, planets, atoms all do what they do, totally lacking purpose and oblivious to it, but once life emerges, there is purpose - life creates and sustains purpose.

We can't be entirely sure, but there's a clear likelihood that humanity will perish before it has the chance to avert or transcend whatever turn of events will end our existence as a species. If/when that happens, the meaning and purpose of human life will perish with it (perhaps some other life form will eventually pick up where we left off - more power to them). But while humans exist, our meaning and our purpose exist.

You make a childish and petulant insult to basic intelligence when you assert that an atheist lacks a genuine sense of meaning and purpose simply because he doesn't accept someone else's guesswork about existence beyond observable life. Grow up.

What hubris it is - or what immature wishful thinking - to assume that, just because you have a brain capable of sentient self-awareness and emotional attachment to others, it must be true that the universe was created just so you could exist and have a chance to spend eternity with your divine, loving, all-powerful creator in perfect bliss.

Oh by the way, what are your chances of that, really? Isn't there always some niggling uncertainty? Maybe you aren't doing enough good works, or maybe you're doing the wrong works, thinking they were good because you somehow got the wrong interpretation of His Word, or maybe your good works really don't count at all but rather your sense of faith, and that was somehow lacking despite your best intentions? How do you live with all that doubt?

Then again, if you have no doubt, if you're really certain that you are a shoo-in for that eternal bliss, well... that's great! Be proud! Or humble. Or... whatever. I'm happy for you - I really am. Just please understand that this supernatural course you've plotted for yourself doesn't diminish - not a whit - my own sense of self-worth, and happiness, and meaning, and purpose, and love, all of which operate fully and purely in this natural realm.

I personally don't understand why a relatively "local" sense of purpose (limited to the scope of what humanity can grasp) is deemed insufficient by theists. I don't understand why it has to be "all or nothing", why our precarious sense of "meaning" - infinitesimal against the magnitude of physical reality - must encompass the whole universe, or else we lack all meaning. That seems incoherent to me.

Otto,

It is absolutely wrong to say, as many respondents in this thread have said, that the absence of an eternal afterlife for our precious individual souls must entail that there is no meaning to our present physical life.

That’s fine. People find meaning in all sorts of stuff. Some atheists come right out and say life has no meaning, others believe life has meaning as defined by the individual. But there is a difference in definitions here. “Meaning” can take all sorts of forms. For the Christian, the meaning of life is much different than the atheist’s meaning of life. You acknowledge as much as you spent a little time belittling, what you believe to be, the Christian’s view of meaning in your post.

Galaxies, stars, planets, atoms all do what they do, totally lacking purpose and oblivious to it, but once life emerges, there is purpose - life creates and sustains purpose.

Once life “emerges,” what makes life different? And where did this purpose come from in your view? When did purpose arrive in the big picture?

Then you write:

What hubris it is - or what immature wishful thinking - to assume that, just because you have a brain capable of sentient self-awareness and emotional attachment to others, it must be true that the universe was created just so you could exist and have a chance to spend eternity with your divine, loving, all-powerful creator in perfect bliss.

An atheist that acknowledges life has no meaning might say:

What hubris it is to assume that just because you have a brain capable of sentient self-awareness and emotional attachment to others, it must be true life has meaning.

How would you argue the point that life has meaning to another atheist that believes life has no real meaning? Would you try to convince another atheist that believes his life has no meaning that it does, in fact, have meaning? OR Does the individual get to decide?

Otto, I think I will probably use your last paragraph for a future challenge, since the subject of objective meaning is an interesting one. But I don't want to get too far off track here, since the main subject is whether or not belief in an afterlife leads to people doing less good than they would have done if they had thought their death was the end of everything. Our understanding of meaning and purpose plays into that, yes, as Neal pointed out, so without getting sidetracked by a defense of what kind of meaning atheists can have, I'm interested in hearing how a sense of meaning plays into a person's work--from both the Christians and the atheists here.

Does a sense that meaning is objective and eternal cause a person to get all he can for himself in this life while he can, or does it cause him to sacrifice in this life to give to others? Do Christians really think that what we do here doesn't really matter, or do we think everything we do here has eternal significance? Moran's speculations about what Christians do doesn't seem to me to be based on what I see today, let alone what we've seen throughout history.

To focus this really specifically, we don't even have to argue that not believing in an afterlife makes a person do less good. We need only explain by use of reason, theology, and history why it's unreasonable to think that believing in an afterlife makes a person do less good.

"But I don't want to get too far off track here, since the main subject is whether or not belief in an afterlife leads to people doing less good than they would have done if they had thought their death was the end of everything...We need only explain by use of reason, theology, and history why it's unreasonable to think that believing in an afterlife makes a person do less good."

Since Amy conveniently summarized the main part of the challenge for me since I'm a little slow on the uptake, I'll take a bite now ;)

First, let's define what is good and who can do good. The Bible makes it clear that no one who is dead in their trespasses and sin can do anything good. In fact, the only thing that person can do is bad. That doesn't mean that they can't do things that on the surface seem like good things (for instance, feeding the homeless, donating to charity, helping your neighbor, etc...). But if you are doing these things apart from God's salvation, when compared to what is required of a holy and righteous God these things are "wood, hay, and stubble." They are of zero eternal value.

Further, the Bible makes it clear that those who are saved have good works to do "prepared in advance." Therefore, "doing good" is that which has been prepared for God's chosen people to do and only those who have been regenerated by God's grace can do them.

I want to key in on a phrase I used earlier: "zero eternal value." I think that's the whole point of this discussion. The Christian belief in the afterlife subsumes any temporal argument and elevates the discussion to that which matters most, the eternal. What weight do temporal concerns have when compared with that which is eternal? Answer: none. Thus, not only is it unreasonable to think that a Christian belief in the afterlife makes us do less good than we otherwise would have, but it actually is the only thing that enables anyone to do anything good, because of that which is eternal.

The Bible addresses this exact issue when Jesus asks, "For what does it profit a man if he gain the whole world, but loses his soul?" "Gain the whole world" doesn't just mean material wealth; it also covers anything "good" that might be done without thought for that which is eternal.

It is apparently bad when Christians say that a particular view has bad consequences and is not to be believed for that reason. The fact that the godless are the most bloody-handed people in history is not to count against the truth of atheism.

On the other hand, it is good when atheists say the same thing. Believing in the after-life causes one to waste the precious days one has to live. That apparently does count against the truth of theism.

(Forget about the fact that the bad consequences of godlessness are horrifically confirmed by history, while the tendency of theists to waste their lives is simply something that Ms. Moran firmly believes...though it is pretty obviously false.)

Amy,

Thanks very much for your helpful clarification about the intended focus for this thread. (I hope the others, like "WisdomLover", will be able to understand it.)

Looking at the Christian population in the aggregate, I'm inclined to agree with this statement of yours:

Moran's speculations about what Christians do doesn't seem to me to be based on what I see ...

Of course, just as with every other category label applied to some quantity of people, there are "outliers" among the Christian population: the people who attend Mass and confessions, and also steal, extort and murder for the Mafia; the mild-mannered ladies who hold respected positions at the local Protestant church, and also embezzle funds from that church to help with their home furnishings, vacations or casino habits; and so on. But these, like the child molesters in the clergy and the "proselytizers" who tell blatant lies to push their evangelism (and get more donors), are the rare cases, the exceptions.

I think that when we do a careful, evidence-based review of mankind, and of the various labels that are supposed to subdivide us into into tidy groups, we can find a similar distribution of "often good, mostly not bad, and some bad" in nearly every such group, not only the various subgroups within the Christian archipelago, but also the groups who believe in gods other than the Christian one, as well as the godless.

Indeed, the evidence I've seen indicates that these gradations apply within every individual. The best among us know their own faults, and perhaps the worst among us view their own faults as strengths. That dimension may be orthogonal to one's inclination to accept or reject notions of afterlife.

The presence or absence of belief in an afterlife, and the particulars of the belief when it's present, would seem to be very poor predictors of one's capacity for compassion, empathy and altruism.

KWM,

I appreciate your thoughtful comments and questions. I might not be able to devote as much time as they deserve in responding (I'll be away and out of touch for a week or so, and I need some sleep before leaving).

But I hope I can establish this point: atheists who deny that life has meaning are either making an overly presumptuous statement, or else are being misconstrued, possibly for one of the following reasons:

* they're being (overly) reactionary to theistic claims about meaning (and expressing themselves poorly in the process), or

* they're referring to solely to one scope or interpretation of "meaning" (or "purpose") - i.e. meaning in the full context of the universe as we know it, and they're either ignoring or simply not talking about the more appropriate, local, human-scale scope.

As we learn more about the actual time lines of existence, and the development cycles of stars and planets and species on this planet, it's hard not to reach the conclusion that humans as a species must certainly be doomed to extinction at some point, because of one or another inevitable change in our surroundings, or some inescapable flaw in our own make-up.

Various prophets, mystics, "holy men", visionaries, poets and science fiction writers have presented various scenarios whereby we can somehow transcend that ultimate doom. None of them can be proven right or wrong. We still don't know what will happen to us, or when it will happen, or what we may be capable of accomplishing before it happens, either as individuals or as unified, collaborative community. Maybe some kind transcendence (or at least some means of "collision avoidance") will be within our grasp soon enough. (Side note on the Christian claim that the essential transcendence is already at hand: the evidence for that claim is still insufficient.)

But in the meantime, it is pathological (i.e. psychopathic, or sociopathic) to decide that our individual lives, taking place among families, communities and cultures, are meaningless and purposeless. There is interdependence amid diversity; there is both the capacity and the urge to make changes that improve well-being, and to do so in ways that yield an ever-wider range of positive impact.

You asked what what makes life different, and where does the purpose come from? For me, a defining property of life is the ability - in fact, the necessity - to manipulate the environment for the sake of sustaining life. And for life as we know it, "sustaining" means not only surviving, but also expanding, elaborating, and diversifying.

Given the few billion years of life's existence on this planet, it has only been very recently (within the last few hundred million) that the expansion, elaboration and diversification have led to complex nervous systems and some form of awareness, and perhaps only in the last 100 thousand or so that this awareness grew to include what we would recognize as memory, anticipation, emotion, the ability to manipulate abstractions, and the ability of individuals to communicate those abstractions to each other.

It's the awareness that creates the sense of meaning. It's the memory, anticipation and emotion that create the sense of purpose. Meaning and purpose exist as tangible attributes of our daily existence; it's part of our evolutionary endowment.

"When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, it concentrates his mind wonderfully" - Samuel Johnson.

His mind might be concentrated, but we cannot say on what, but most likely, himself.

Moran is claiming we are rational, sentient, and compassionate only in the face of death.

Despite disagreeing, her argument makes goods proportional to embracing the idea of dying, which makes them contingent upon it, which is incoherent.

This has been posted on the BBC this morning by one of our most vociferous and nasty atheists - Stephen Fry - on his suicide attempt last year:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-22797866

Knocks a bit of a hole in Moran's argument considering how smugly rational and superior he always claims he is compared to 'religious bigots'...

You asked where does the purpose come from.

I did ask that. And I’m still unclear as to what you believe.

Again, you wrote:

Galaxies, stars, planets, atoms all do what they do, totally lacking purpose and oblivious to it, but once life emerges, there is purpose - life creates and sustains purpose.

So, in your view, did purpose arise from unpurposed material?

Cascading particals possess intent?

Otto,

I’d also add as it relates to:

but once life emerges, there is purpose - life creates and sustains purpose.

Putting aside your view that life creates purpose (whatever that means), does all life have the same meaning/purpose in this sense? In other words, once this life emerged from unpurposed material, did it have the same purpose as you do today?

Perhaps Amy will carry this subject over in a different post.

Otto has yet to show us why Life houses Ought whereas Life-Less-Ness houses either no moral Ought, or, Ought-Not. Mathematical frequency? Obviously not. Is there a Good which Nature herself cannot define?

Amy noted this: “We need only explain by use of reason, theology, and history why it's unreasonable to think that believing in an afterlife makes a person do less good.”


Atheism holds the record thus far as housing the mindsets which gave birth to the bloodiest century in history with the hundreds of millions lost in the last 100 years to the wars of the Nietzschean, Atheistic, and Secular hopes of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Hilter, Idi Amin, Lennon, and others. With the birth of Nietzsche's Super-Man and the death of God we've seen the energizing of the vulgar and the violent. As one secularist commented, "If God is dead, and he is, then something must take his place. It will inevitably be Heffner and Hitler, the Phallus and the Fist." Human relations on all levels have borne this out. God is Love; and He has died. And with Him, Love has died. The Vulgar and the Violent come to the fore where societies and where human relations are concerned.

This is incontrovertible.

Now, some atheists use this line: Whatever works to perpetuate life or unity is what “life values”. Now, clearly the above paragraph about atheism’s harsh toll on life (the worst in human history) stands in stark contrast to The Paradox of the God Who is Love. I don’t know about Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, or others, but thankfully the Light of God’s Love and of Christ’s teaching that there is innate worth in ALL people, that there is no value distinction between male and female, Jew or Gentile, Free nor Slave, whore nor priest, thief nor saint, sick nor healthy, adult nor child, and, that Christ tells husbands to lay down their lives for the happiness of their wives, to surrender their “Self” for her “Other”, and, that Christ tells the slave owner to treat his slave like he is Christ Himself, despite the mammoth economical consequences such will one day have on the slave-owners, thankfully all of this has been spreading over the globe and displacing, over the last centuries, much of the cruelty we find. Now, Natural Selection will call all these “notions of equality” mere fantasy for the atheist himself will tell us there are no such things as any moral oughts other than the fantasies inside our skulls. “Innate equal value” is an Ought which is fantasy, per that philosophy. And thus as our population grows the idea of what works (their language, not ours) will once again be cheap slave labor in order that there be the least pain, the least want, the least lack. Well, it certainly is tenable, given food and population and energy issues, and so on and so on. There is no universal ought where natural selection speaks to these future vectors soon to weigh in on our species. But in Scripture and in theism there is an ought-not as the Light of Love’s teaching is one day laid aside for the “benefit of the species”. What works will still be “bad” while the atheist will have to call it “good”.


Life’s Grand-Clock of billions of years has yet more nadirs to come given the evidence of Mathematical Statistics where population densities, food densities, energy densities, and so on and so on all weigh in. Well, whatever works to maximize either the raw number of humans, or, the least pain, whether it be cheap slave labor, whether it be….whatever works.


Clearly Christianity has more to offer mankind given the track record of Atheism and Christianity upon the world stage where mass slaughter, slavery, oppression of women, societal liberty, and championing the equal value of all human beings are concerned. History has all its noise on the Theist’s side.


The atheist shouts whatever works until he realizes what has worked and then his definition changes. Just like his definition of mathematic’s Highest Frequency defining the Highest Ethic changes once he realizes that Life-Less-Ness is this universe’s statistical norm.

Some atheists seem unwilling to define good based on mathematical frequency. Is there a Good which Nature herself cannot define? “What happens is what is good” they tell us. Now, we can veer off of this path but to do so we must invoke a set of Supra-Natural lines in the sand which Nature and its slave Nurture somehow insult or contradict, which invokes God, for if Nature does not define herself then some greater Something must do so, or, we must invent a fantasy, which invokes nonsense.


It is worth repeating: Clearly Christianity has more to offer mankind given the track record of Atheism and Christianity upon the world stage where mass slaughter, slavery, oppression of women, societal liberty, and championing the equal value of all human beings. History has all its noise on the Theist’s side.

Perhaps KWM and scbrownlhrm failed to read this sentence in the last paragraph of my last reply, so I'll repeat it:

It's the awareness that creates the sense of meaning. It's the memory, anticipation and emotion that create the sense of purpose.

So the question "Where does the purpose come from?" turns into: "Where do awareness, and memory and anticipation and emotion come from?"

In one sense, taking that approach is just like asking "where does water come from?" or "where do heavy elements come from?" or "where does heat come from?" Searching out the natural causation leads to an understanding that can be confirmed by careful observation. But in another sense, questions about awareness, memory, etc, are significantly different, because of the difficulty in defining exactly what we are referring to when we use these terms.

You can say "It all comes from God," but that doesn't actually explain anything and doesn't provide us with anything that qualifies as useful comprehension, because there's no single, coherent, confirmable understanding of what God is. There are countless inconsistent, conflicting claims about God, and among the few things these claims all have in common are their vagueness and equivocation, and the fact that they are based solely on this or that human author's say-so.

As for scbrownlhrm's diatribe ("Atheism holds the record thus far as housing the mindsets which gave birth to the bloodiest century in history..."), that is tiresomely off the mark. The Nazi motto was "Gott mit uns" (God with us), and their "final solution to the Jewish problem" was made possible by generations of anti-Semitism fostered and promoted by Christian leaders among a gullible Christian populace. The massacres and purges conducted by all those despots killed atheists as well theists, and were "justified" only by despotism and totalitarianism, which have nothing to do with atheism.

If you think that Christianity has some magical power to make such atrocities impossible for Christians, you are outrageously mistaken - Hitler and the Nazis, not to mention the Crusades, the Northern Irish "troubles", and the massacre of Native Americans by Christians throughout North and South America, are ample proof that Christianity has its own bloody streak, with "inerrant scripture" as its justification.

As for progress on things like slavery, oppression of women and "societal liberty", you seem to forget that theists have argued (and continue to argue) with each other, holding opposite opinions in each of those areas. How do you, scbrownlhrm, know which side is "right"?

(Oh, I gather you do it by forming some abstract understanding from "the whole of scripture", in some manner that manages to cover up or ignore its internal inconsistencies. Well, that begs the question: what establishes the certainty that your personal abstraction from scripture is the "right" one? How do you know that everyone who disagrees with you is wrong?)

How long exactly will this "bloodiest century of history" -nonsense keep showing up? During this "bloody" century, Human population increased from 1 billion to 6 billion, life expectancy went up tremendously, infant mortality rate dropped to near zero, advances in agriculture meant billions of people did not die from starvation, despite possessing the most destructive weapons developed by mankind capable of obliterating cities in instant (imagine if the Mongol hordes would have had that), there has been relative peace especially in the developed countries for 50 years. Less people die from warfare then ever, violence and murder are at all-time historical low, and despite the capability to strike pretty much everywhere in the globe rather then just few neighboring countries most militaries are not destroying the "less advanced" cultures.

Yes, there were horrific examples of hatred and genocide and political oppression, just like in any other century of history.

Erkki,


I'll stand by the 100's of millions slaughtered in our last ten-millionth of a second (on the Grand-Clock of Life's time) and the mindsets of the Nietzschean, Atheistic, and Secular thoughts of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Hilter, Idi Amin, Lennon, and others which played into that madness.


It's true. Those mindests. Those actions.


And it has real world implications as to how, not atheists, but Athe-ism ultimately provides no innate and immutable worth to Personhood.


In other words, when Athe-ism drives such, it is not a philosophical contradiction to do so. I don’t know about Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism, and others should those mindsets dive such. But I do know that Christ tells us to love our enemies, and bless, and not curse, them. And so with woman, slaves, sick and deformed people (the unfit in evolution’s terms), and so on. I also know that when any Christian has engaged in these assaults against Personhood (and they have) they do so in stark philosophical contradiction to Love’s express tenants, and so on.


That is what this piece is about: How Mindset, Action, and Philosophy can all be on one coherent plane. Which trinity of [Mindset, Action, Philosophical Necessities] necessarily allows, that is to say provides an inherently open door for, shall we say, “ugly stuff”?


It is not this: Ultimate Reality Is Love. That is to say, God is Love.


It is easily many other things, but certainly this: Ultimate Reality Is Life-Less-Ness. That is to say, god is death, or, just no life at all. And Whim (contextual meaning) provides no innate differentiation, just competing fantasies: the fantasies about right and wrong inside Bob’s skull versus the fantasies about right and wrong inside Billy-Bob’s skull, and well then, 51% of the vote wins the day. That’s how slavery stayed alive so long.

We can all point out sins. God agrees with you: Christians sin, quite a bit in fact. But it is not Christian-ity nor is it “the Christian” which Love Himself offers. He offers Love, that is to say, He offers, in the realest and fullest sense of that word, Himself.

So again, the trinity of [Mindset, Action, Philosophical Necessities] need to all agree, that is to say, not violate one another necessarily.


I think that is what this blog post is aiming at.


I agree with you on the Christian’s violation of Love, and the God who is Love does as well. It seems you disagree with Athe-ism’s incoherency though where ultimate value, and thus necessary actions, are concerned. Well, you’ve a tall order to fill then. I don’t think you can show any innate and immutable value to Personhood which transcends the fantasies inside our skulls. Contextual meaning leads to 51% of the vote (assuming we agree to be democratic; not every fantasy embraces that) and such has defended slavery (etc) for far too long.


So again, the trinity of [Mindset, Action, Philosophical Necessities] need to all agree, that is to say, not violate one another necessarily.

I think that is what this blog post is aiming at.

Otto,


I have to say I always enjoy your writing. Very thoughful and well done. What I mean is, you are a pleasure to read.

Ultimate Reality Is Love. Now, your own sense of thins is, I know, quite different.

You seem to be changing your goal posts. As KWM noted, you started here:

“but once life emerges, there is purpose - life creates and sustains purpose”


Now, we can assume that here you must mean that all those billions of years prior to Consciousness (which you have admitted is determined psychic phosphorescence, or have yet to show otherwise) the fungi must have also had “purpose” (intent in cascading particles perhaps?)


Now you have changed to this:


“It's the awareness that creates the sense of meaning. It's the memory, anticipation and emotion that create the sense of purpose. So the question "Where does the purpose come from?" turns into: "Where do awareness, and memory and anticipation and emotion come from?"


So what you are saying with this new goal post is that “purpose” never really existed in Life all those billions of years until something became self-aware.


We’ll get to that in a moment…..but, just to be sure we don’t ignore tenants, you’ve yet to address how slavery’s mathematical models noted to benefit the maximization of our species’ numbers, happiness, lack of pain, and so forth weigh in on your notion of valuing what works. You can ignore such possibilities but given what our species will be facing in the next 1000 years as predicted by Mathematical frequency densities where population, food, energy, and so forth weigh in, the road to the greatest amount of happiness (Mathematically speaking) and the least amount of pain (Mathematically speaking) and the most amount of Human Life (Mathematically speaking) finds very tenable, and likely, scenarios over in those vectors of oppression as to what maximizes such goals mathematically speaking and what I’m curious about is how your model accounts for such, for such works.


Well, since you decided that Life in and of itself has no purpose (prior to awareness? Cascading particles with intent?) but is from Consciousness, it falls back into your court as to how any reasoning we have can rise higher than this Ceiling of Naturalism:


"You can't, except in the lowest animal sense, be in love with anyone if you know (and keep on remembering) that all the beauties both of the person and of the character are an illusion produced by the momentary and accidental pattern produced by blind forces constraining intention-less reverberations of photons, and that your own response to them is only a sort of psychic phosphorescence bubbling up through neuronal lipid bi-layers and arising from a deterministic dance to blind, indifferent genes. You can't go on getting very serious pleasure from music, or displeasure from injustice, if you know and remember that their air of significance are both pure illusion, that you like the one, or dislike the other, only because your nervous system is irrationally conditioned to like the one or dislike the other." (C.S. Lewis paraphrase)


I know you bemoan this quote, and I apologize for coming back to this, but, well, “thought” and “reason” and “consciousness” seem to be the new goal post (Life without such has no purpose now? Cascading particles with intent? Fungi?), and, you’ve yet to show us how Naturalism can shatter this ceiling.

I’ll refer you to my post above this one addressed to Erkki, and to the trinity of [Mindset, Action, Philosophical Necessities] needing to all agree, that is to say, not violate one another necessarily. And I’ll refer you to what it is that “Ultimate Reality Is Love” is offering us where all your passions about love seem to be concerned. Love Himself offers what? It is not Christianity, nor is it the Christian. He, Love Himself offers, that is to say, pours out, in the fullest sense, Him-Self for the Beloved Other. And this immutably and everlastingly.

Erkki S.,

In my post to you I mistakingly addressed you as Erkki. I had not intention to shorten your name there. Apologies.

So, in your view, purpose did arise from unpurposed material. Put a different way, there once was a time when there was no meaning to anything (e.g . Galaxies, stars, planets, atoms, etc.) Now, we live in a different time, and there is meaning everywhere we look.

Perhaps KWM failed to read this sentence in the last paragraph of my last reply, so I'll repeat it:

It's the awareness that creates the sense of meaning. It's the memory, anticipation and emotion that create the sense of purpose.

No. That’s the sentence I had to read twice. I still don’t see how you get meaning from memory, anticipation and emotion.

Let’s say you’re talking with your son or daughter. They ask you, “Dad, why do I play a role in making your life meaningful?” Do you respond that it’s because you have memory, awareness, emotion, etc? Do you simply respond by listing qualities of yourself? Is it possible that this meaning you have is apart from yourself?

You may respond, “Because I love you dearly.” I suspect you would. But then the question becomes why does our interpretation of what love is translate into “meaning” for our lives. Some atheists would say that the love they have for others is ultimately meaningless, but it serves a very basic and naturalistic purpose in the here and now.

This here and now would be tied back to your view posted earlier:

there's a clear likelihood that humanity will perish….If/when that happens, the meaning and purpose of human life will perish with it

But in your view, just because humanity may perish, it doesn’t mean “purpose” and “meaning” can’t just pop back into existence any old time. : )

Interesting, there are two sides to every coin...If this can be said about Christians than what about flipping that coin over to reveal glass half-empty, realistically speaking, this is their attitude, am i right? (evil minded half-empty vs. heavenly minded half-full). It's all in the Attitude (Mind) & (Heart)that we are clearly exposing here with these brasin comments if we are to be honest with ourselves. An Earthly-Minded Individual would not have enough forethought or decency to even notice your thirst if you were dying. They wouldn't offer you a single drop to cool your tongue...They are so Earthly Minded that no good could ever spring forth out of a selfish hardened heart surely leaving you to die right where you lay.

Compare a parable like this to the Word of God (water), tongue (the instrument) and thirst (lost sinners). As a Christian who approaches and Un-Believer in Love and Truth, most often times then not, I am met with this style of Adversity. I would give the water in my glass to a thirsty brother and die in his place. Just as Jesus did, in His cup He willingly drank all Sin of Mankind and died on the cross for all so all could have Life..Because He loves us so. What more does Jesus have to do to prove this to the unbeliever and lost sinner?

In response to this thoughtful question from KWM:

... does all life have the same meaning/purpose in this sense? In other words, once this life emerged from unpurposed material, did it have the same purpose as you do today?

The core thing to understand is that purpose is a by-product of awareness. The earliest forms of life (the initial, most basic self-replicating molecules, the first single-cell organisms, the first multi-cell organisms) could not be said to have "awareness" as this term is normally used today.

Those basic life forms follow a deterministic regimen in reacting to their environment. The plodding, intention-less sequence of natural selection affecting descent with modification is the mechanism; the intrinsic drive of the life forms to replicate and expand is the motivation; and the elaboration and diversification of life forms is the predictable result.

But a qualitatively different situation arises when this progression leads to metazoans with sensory systems, motor muscle systems, and neural systems that mediate the interactions between sensation and behavior. Once those neural systems develop the capacity to store and reuse particular associations of stimuli and outcomes, that is, once the life form can be said to behave on the basis of memory and anticipation, there is awareness.

This emergent property continues to operate in conjunction with the established processes of natural selection and descent with modification; the predictable result, again, is further elaboration and diversification. Eventually, the neural system in a given species becomes so large and complex that awareness encompasses the abilities we now take for granted: language, culture, ethics, logic, mathematics, devotion, and an ability to discover, store, retrieve and share knowledge and comprehension that spans vast ranges of space and time, far beyond our limited life spans.

With this level of awareness comes the new, qualitatively distinct property that we normally refer to as "deliberate intention"; the key feature here is the profoundly non-deterministic relationship between stimuli and behaviors. I confess that I can't provide an explanation here that can do justice to the complexity of this topic, but I can at least try to get across the importance of looking at it through a lens of empirical, objective naturalism - we cannot claim any understanding of it without the ability to test our understanding against evidence.

(I expect this will be my last post in this thread. I look forward to discussions on newer threads at STR, when I return in a couple weeks.)

Otto,

" The plodding, intention-less sequence of natural selection affecting descent with modification is the mechanism"


Consciousness is still enslaved here; one would need real data to prove that Consciousness is now free of this process, and free of Nature, and thus not determined (not mere irrational psychic phosphorescence).


All of science, not just part of it, speaks against this and runs screaming in the other direction shouting, "Precursor!". We have NO material stuff which behaves like that. Not anywhere. Zero. It would be unscientific to even suggest the slighest evidence exists. Nature is not free of nature. And nothing within nature is free of her.


Psychic Phosphorescence.

But, we know this is not the case, because we know that Ultimate Reality is Love.

An interesting dilemma arises.


Once Consciousness breaks free of nature how is it that Consciousness then proceeds to evolve, morph, improve relative to the Nature it is now free of? Now, there is Genome, and this is entirely determined. Wholly subject to wind and weather, irrational gamete mutation, and so on. What we call Natural selection. Nature selects it, pushes it around, rather than the other way around.



And somewhere between Genome and Consciousness we find a slave breaking free in which Genome is no longer able to reach Consciousness, to impact Consciousness with any of its photon fluxes, its tentacles. For, should it retain such a reach then truly Consciousness is yet determined.



Now, here is part of the dilemma: If free of Nature, how does Consciousness ever again evolve in a way which improves its status relative to the Natural world in which it finds itself, or, in point of fact, in any way at all? What drives that process of selection? For, even if we allow some “other vector” of Nature to do the pushing upon, to have access to, Consciousness, then Consciousness is yet not free of nature.

It seems we are left with one of two doors. First, either no physical system can break free of Nature in this manner, and thus Consciousness will always be determined. Secondly, it seems if it is Consciousness which does the pushing upon Nature, has access to Nature, rather than Nature having access to it, rather than Nature pushing it, we find that Consciousness is thus forever and wholly free, and, it seems, unable to evolve in any sense which makes sense in naturalistic notions and definitions on any level, and, not only thus wholly free, but, even more ominous, dominant. Whenever Consciousness and Nature would impinge, collide, converge, tap upon one another, it would not be Nature which shapes Consciousness, pushes Consciousness around, but it would be Consciousness which shapes Nature, pushes her around. The thing that is wholly free of Nature, yet finds itself within nature, finds in its ability to touch Nature not the phenomenon of being touched but, rather, of touch-ing, else no freedom.

The Naturalist seeks his own abdication here, for once he draws a line in the sand and states, “This is the point where Consciousness breaks free!” then he has at that point lost any hope of explaining how Consciousness ever again evolves ahead of that point. He has thus found the Supernatural: that which Knows, Sees, and Shapes Nature, and this by Will, by Volition, and which will never, in any way we can comprehend from within nature, improve, change.

The Un-Change-Able, Un-Evolve-Able Will which Sees, which Knows, which Intends, and which shapes nature, which pushes her around.

It seems Consciousness, or, Mind, either becomes, is, the abdication of All-Things, and thus becomes the Only-Thing, or, Consciousness is fated to be forever enslaved to Nature.

It seems impossible to have this go both ways in favor of Naturalism, for it seems Nature either runs racing towards her ultimate and total abdication, or, she is forever the taskmaster.

Now, should we think the King of Nature, Unchanging Mind, could be found within Nature there upon a small blue planet which is full of the knowledge of good and evil, pushing her around, we should think an odd thing indeed.

Regress to Mind: "Some have said that the laws of nature are simply accidental results of the way the universe cooled after the big bang. But, as Rees has pointed out, even such accidents can be regarded as secondary manifestations of deeper laws governing the ensemble of universes. Again, even the evolution of the laws of nature and changes to the constants follow certain laws. 'We’re still left with the question of how these "deeper" laws originated. No matter how far you push back the properties of the universe as somehow "emergent," their very emergence has to follow certain prior laws.' So multiverse or not, we still have to come to terms with the origin of the laws of nature. And the only viable explanation here is the divine Mind.” —Antony Flew (There is a God , pp. 121-122.)

Another dilemma arises.


It seems we find that whatever Nature is, Nature cannot be free of herself. Wherever she goes, there she is. And thus the contradiction, the incongruity of X free of X.


Now then, what of the Mind of the serpent? Or of the fly? Or of Man? Is there sweet, pure volition within all these Minds? How is the Consciousness, the Mind, of Man more evolved than that of the fly, that of the serpent? How, upon the point of our slave breaking free, say, for the serpent, did Mind then go on to evolve, change, while yet within the gametes, from that now free Mind, to, say, that of the bird, that of Man? Is there some unknown Dark Matter which yet pushes the Mind around? Well then, so much for freedom. X is yet pushed around by X. And if X1 is determined and pushes X2 around, then X2 is yet the slave of her Taskmaster X1.


Nature is not free of herself. Indeed, Nature is not free of nature. And nothing within nature is free of her.

Yet Mind is.


The Naturalist has two options here. He can shout of Consciousness, of Mind, “Tis-Not! Or, he must run racing towards that which Changes Not, Evolves Not, that which only selects and tis-never select-ed, that which is wholly free of Nature, which pushes her around and is not pushed by her. The Naturalist seeks his own abdication here for if he does not concede Mind all his philosophy becomes determined, and so all of beauty, all of our sense of Justice and of Injustice and so on as all things are but the slaves of psychic phosphorescence. And if he concedes Mind he runs into this problem: X can never be free of X no matter how far one moves in any direction, yet Mind is free of X. Thus Y. And Y is but that ominous dominance which only selects and tis-never select-ed.


Thus we find Actuality has this: XY


Now, because X cannot account for Y, yet Y is, it seems we cannot sit upon our hands hoping for X to one day to the impossible and free X of X. We cannot hope that Nature will one day be free of Nature. X will yet be pushed around by X. And if X1 is determined and pushes X2 around, then X2 is yet the slave of her Taskmaster X1. The incongruent statement would read like this: “Nature is determined and without volition and is free of Nature and is thus not determined and has volition because Nature is free of Nature.” One has just invoked nonsense.


Because Mind is, yet Nature cannot be free of Nature, it seems Consciousness, or, Mind, has never become the abdication of All-Things, but rather is the abdication of All-Things, and thus is the Only-Thing.


Now, if Mind exists, yet has never become via X, via Nature, and in fact can never become via X, via Nature, then we find of Mind that it must precede Nature, or, Mind stands apart from X, apart from Nature . X cannot be Y. Yet XY. Thus Y stands alone. And, if it is Y which pushes X around, and not X which pushes Y around, then Y is dominant.


First Mind. Then Nature.


Idealism.

Per my last two posts here, it seems Mind precedes Matter. Dominates Matter. Of course, that is nothing new. Scripture got us there long ago. New philosophies like to borrow, or, to offer a tone less impugning, likes to get there by their own avenues. Very well. But a word of caution to our Idealist friends out there. Idealism must be careful not to succumb to the temptation to pull back away from those nuances of Word, of Mind into some other some-thing which would become, with such a move of timidity, mere materialism as some thing would thus become the “thing” which serves as Consciousness’ precursor. But if it does not pull back, we find in idealism its final regress to Mind, and worse, to an ontological topography weighing in on idealism’s necessarily triune epistemological regress to Mind for Self/In Knows and Keeps-On-Knowing both in and by the Self/In and also in and by the Other/Out which thus too Knows and Keeps-On-Knowing too both in and by such embraces for these forever embrace within Mind’s necessary Self-Other, In-Out, which brings yet that Third Distinct which just is the Singular-We and Mind thus Knows, thus Tastes, thus Sees, and so forever as Knowing just does exist in, among, and by these three, amid I-You-We and thus idealism testifies to us of Uncreated Mind’s necessarily triune epistemological bedrock. We know how we know because such is how He knows there within the Triune. Short of Immutable and Everlasting Love within Personhood and Uncreated Mind’s I-You-We one's regress ends in rather loveless places for atheism and for naturalism's necessary regresses, and, for the Idealist it would end in the self-contradiction of simple materialism if the Idealist is timid and cannot resist the urge to pull back into some other some-thing which would become, with such a move of timidity, mere materialism as some thing would thus become the “thing” which serves as Consciousness’ precursor and the self-contradiction of Nature free of Nature would thus ensue.

Post 1,


A Few posts on how the trinity of [Mindset, Action, Philosophical Necessity] tell us why the God Who is Love has far, far more to offer this world than Athe-ism can ever offer her.


We’ve seen in earlier posts that should the trinity of [Mindset, Action, Philosophical Necessity] cause slaughter upon the world stage, Atheism remains quite congruent and un-offended as there are no necessary contradictions within the trinity where “Action” equals “slaughter” for Life-Less-Ness is the final regress and thus Death does not run against the grain of Athe-ism’s final actuality. And we’ve seen that should the Christian thus engage in slaughter, he does so at his own peril, for Love’s Ultimate Reality contradicts him, and so on, for Death is that which runs against the grain of Actuality, for Actuality is but Life, but Love, and so on.


And we’ve seen that Volition is housed quite easily within Love’s topography, whereas it becomes a contradiction within Naturalism. And thus all the slaughter upon the world stage houses no ill will within Athe-ism’s necessarily open doors, whereas, all the slaughter upon the world stage houses ill will, that is to say, volition intact and running against the grain of ultimate reality within that topography of Ultimate Realty Is Love, that is to say, within the topography of ‘God is Love’.


And we’ve seen that thankfully the Light of God’s Love and of Christ’s teaching that there is innate worth in ALL people, that there is no value distinction between male and female, Jew or Gentile, Free nor Slave, whore nor priest, thief nor saint, sick nor healthy, adult nor child, and, that Christ tells husbands to lay down their lives for the happiness of their wives, to surrender their “Self” for her “Other”, and, that Christ tells the slave owner to treat his slave like he is Christ Himself, despite the mammoth economical consequences such will one day have on the slave-owners, thankfully all of this has been spreading over the globe and displacing, over the last centuries, much of the cruelty we find in the oppression of women, of the sick, of the weak, of the ugly, of humans via slavery, and even of children, and so on. And we find that all these actions and fruits by Love’s Mindset upon the world stage is quite easily coherent within the trinity that is the [Mindset, Action, Philosophical Necessity] of “God Is Love”, just as we’ve seen that all of the slaughter which we find on the world stage house no necessary contradictions to the trinity of [Mindset, Action, Philosophical Necessity] that is Athe-ism. We say Athe-ISM to differentiate "it" from the Atheists who try to believe in it, though they know very well Love's Actuality is Actual and thus proves their philosophy hollow.

Post 2,


A few points to fill in the gaps as to why “offering proof of progress to humanity” really has no evidence at all over there in Naturalism’s desperate appeal to millionths of a second:


Our Grand Clock of 14 billion years as our first Day breaks down to each century accounting for 0.0006 seconds. From Life-Less-Ness till Now, that is to say, from existence till now, assuming we do not even consider any pre big bang “existence” (no one really believes everything arose from nothing) accounts for our last century as but a few ten-thousandths of a second. Now, if we hold that “existence of something” was an Actuality prior to the Big Bang, then, well, the oddity of Time becomes even more ominous and confusing where the Naturalist’s Grand-Clock is concerned for what is a century compared to, well, forever and ever and ever? But in kindness (we need not be kind) we will throw around the term of a few ten-thousandths of a second to reference the last century. And whenever the Naturalists insists on something more in his favor, we will insist on that forever and ever and ever when “something” was surly existing, or, we will insist that the Naturalist, should he wish to get rid of that forever and ever and ever, then insist that in fact everything really did come from nothing.


Upon second thought, since everything cannot come from nothing, and thus forever and ever and ever is a necessary actuality, it seems to yet be pure kindness if we take back but one decimal place in this discussion, and, so, rather than a few ten-thousandths of a second, we will say a few hundred-thousandths of a second. That is quite kind given forever and ever and ever where existence is concerned. Everything, whatever it is, has always existed. The Material Uncaused Cause, and so on.

Time’s Grand-Clock of billions of years has yet more nadirs to come given the evidence of Mathematical Statistics where population densities, food densities, energy densities, and so on and so on all weigh in. Well, whatever works to maximize either the raw number of humans, or, the least pain, whether it be cheap slave labor, whether it be….whatever works, yes, that is what is valued in Naturalism. The last few hundred-thousandths of a second of Naturalism’s stage has seen the worst slaughter of all time, and looking forward as our population grows the idea of what works (their language, not ours) will, mathematically speaking, likely be (again) cheap slave labor in order that there be the least pain, the least want, the least lack. Well, it certainly is tenable, given food and population and energy issues, and so on and so on. There is no universal ought where natural selection speaks to these future vectors soon to weigh in on our species.

Right now the Naturalist wishes to claim this is the most slaughter-free few hundred-thousandths of a second, and, well, the last few hundred-thousandths of a second have actually been the bloodiest, but he ignores that and only looks at the last millionth of a second in his desperate attempt to point out progress. Oddly we can look backward in time and see all sorts of similar “calm” periods (a calm millionth of a second) which were only shattered by Nadir after Nadir after Nadir. Similarly we can look at this decade, say, about a ten-millionth of a second and we find all sorts of bloodshed in Africa where Tribal “We against Them” pressures abound and this despite the plenteous time we live in. Now, as we look forward in time and we take the value of system of whatever maximizes life and look ahead to the next few ten-thousandths of a second (about 1000 years) we begin to see how slavery’s mathematical models are noted to benefit the maximization of our species’ numbers, happiness, lack of pain, and so forth as all this weighs in on the naturalist’s notion of valuing what works. The Naturalist can ignore such possibilities but given what our species will be facing in the next 1000 years as predicted by Mathematical frequency densities where population, food, energy, and so forth weigh in, the road to the greatest amount of happiness (Mathematically speaking) and the least amount of pain (Mathematically speaking) and the most amount of Human Life (Mathematically speaking) finds very tenable and likely scenarios over in those vectors of oppression as to what maximizes such goals mathematically speaking for such works and thus as the pressures of the future’s overpopulation and climate issues (and so on and so on) ensue we’ll see a shift in mindset evolve which values these mathematical maximizations.

Post 3,


Looking backwards we find Nadir after Nadir pouring in every second, in fact, many, many times per second. In a clock of but 24 hours we find the Ugly Nadirs riding right up into the last few hundred-thousandths of a second. And we’ve only scratched the surface of this Grand-Clock.


The naturalist takes a funny and circuitous, and inconsistent, leap in logic here for he looks at the last few hundred thousandths of a second and, realizing it was the bloodiest ever, he then takes his razor and desperately looks for any tiny sliver in the hay stack he can find which he can point to in order to be able to use the term “regress” where this last century is concerned. And so he ignores prior millionths of a second laced all throughout our past which seemed calm but which yet more nadirs only ravaged, and, then, takes our current millionth of a second of relative calm where slaughter is concerned (ignoring prior millionths) and shouts, “See! We can love after all! Progress! Progress!” (as if he is now free of being forced to embrace prior valuing of tooth and claw as “good”). He thus points to our last few hundred-thousandths of a second and employs the term “regress” as if they are new or fading upon the world stage, when the fact is that they’ve never left, or, as if they are magically, now, long gone. And they like this term “regress” but never tell us how this definition of regress is tenable on naturalistic terms given that Life-Less-Ness affronts no innate moral ought in this universe and when all the evidence points towards Life-Less-Ness as the greater reality, the statistical norm, in this universe on the whole, and especially given that such cannot be a real regress if we are taking a Day and speaking of millionths of a second when laced all throughout history there have been many similar millionths which some other Nadir only ravaged.

If the Naturalist wishes to ignore the ebbs and flows of whole seconds because they show no progress then so be it. If the Naturalist wishes to hang all his hopes on a millionth of a second and think this comes across as reasoned analysis, then so be it. It comes across as desperation though, for to ignore obvious patterns is to ignore evidence. To hold up a needle in, not a hay stack, but in, say, a continent, and worse, a continent which has in the past had similar needles which fell prey to nadir after nadir themselves, reeks of desperation and certainly bears no resemblance to honest analysis. Nadir after Nadir after Nadir; they just keep coming and the reason is because nature and nurture (which is nature’s slave) just do whatever works.

Post 4 of 4,


No progress, and, progress:


When Man appears on the stage, all our records, all evidence, shows us Man as we now find him where social traits are concerned, where tendencies are concerned, where learning is concerned, where love and hate are concerned, and so on. We find Man alive, Man at war, Man in love, Man learning, Man in the fight for his life, Man in Worship, Man in pain, Man in hate, Man in cruelty, Man in empathy, Man rescuing Man, Man killing Man, and so on.

The Naturalist’s entire story of some sort of imaginary plane of progress, where Evidence for Mankind is concerned, in all these nuances and traits shows us nothing which is not still with us as all that we find has never left us. Unity and Division. Love and Hate. Empathy and Cruelty. Learning and rising to the Joy which Love’s Image brings and rebelling against this Light and falling into Misery. All can be traced back to whatever evidence we have on Man eons ago, and, all are still right here with us today. God’s prophecy long ago of Man’s knowledge increasing greatly further along inside of Time is yet another vector of evidence of Man’s place in the world which speaks against naturalism. All this talk of some plane of progress amid these nuances within Man is imaginary and without real evidence at all for every time we find Man upon the stage we find Man in War and Love, in Empathy and Cruelty, and so on and so on, for these are all alive and well, right up till the last millionth of a second on Man’s Grand Clock of eons.

Good and Evil are traced from right now and forever backwards through all that we find in Man Alive, Man upon the Stage. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is our Actuality.

But we need not fear the fruits of Volition for there inside of the triune God Who is Love we find those everlasting Motions among, amid, and between His Multiple Perfect Distincts as that everlasting I embraces her beloved, that everlasting You, and therein forever beget Love’s Third Distinct, that everlasting Singular-Us. E Pluribus Unum. Yes, Love void of Volition amid, among, and between Real-Selves tis-not love, but Love is, thus Volition. Man upon the Stage. The pain of Love’s destruction by the Self’s Volition which leads to that fierce imprisonment within the Eternally Isolated Self is necessarily available to any Created Self due to its Volition accompanying its innate Insufficiency for what Created Self can shout, “I! Only I!” and stand Alone within Sufficiency? None can, for In-Sufficiency finds Love’s rescue from Isolation as she us but filled up by Love’s All-Sufficiency there within the I-You. Thus we find that Love rescues such fatal moves of any Created Self quite easily by Love’s Eternally-Sacrificed-Self for the Self which forever empties-out, which is forever poured-out thus readily forever fills-up the Self thus Isolated as Love forever pours Him-Self out for His Beloved. In-Sufficiency is herein forever filled-up by All-Sufficiency, worlds without end. The interior vectors which comprise Power’s Will towards Love’s begetting of yet more Love are eternally found within and among these everlasting rivers which cannot run dry, which forever empty-out and which forever fill-up there within Love’s necessarily triune I-You-We wherein the Whole-Show ultimately takes us according to every verse and every chapter in all of scripture as the Whole-Show is thus swallowed up as all vectors converge ultimately within Word’s Corporeal there within Man finally filled by Love, there within God-In-Man finally, Man-In-God finally, that is to say, Love-In-Man finally, Man-In-Love finally, for Ultimate Actuality is Love, that is to say, God is Love.

"How long exactly will this "bloodiest century of history" -nonsense keep showing up?"

As long as it remains, not nonsense, but true.

"despite possessing the most destructive weapons developed by mankind capable of obliterating cities in instant (imagine if the Mongol hordes would have had that)"

Yes, and imagine if Hitler or Stalin or any other of the wonderful atheist regimes of the twentieth century had had that first.

"there has been relative peace especially in the developed countries for 50 years."

Joking right?

1946-1949 Chinese Civil War
1946-1954 French Indochina War
1948 Israel's War of Independence
1950-1953 Korean War
1954-1962 French-Algerian War
1955-1972 First Sudanese Civil War
1956 Second Arab-Israeli War
1959 Cuban Revolution
1959-1973 Vietnam War
1967 Six-Day War
1979-1989 Soviet-Afghan War
1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War
1990-1991 Persian Gulf War
1991 Ten-Day War (Slovenia)
1991-1995 Croatian War of Independence
1990-1994 Rwandan Civil War
1991-2002 Sierra Leone Civil War
1991-Now Somalia

And on and on.

Millions dead in the process. Many conflicts and many of the worst conflicts involving atheistic Communism. Though Islam and naked tribalism also deserve dishonorable mentions.

But WL, the evolutionary "greatest good for optimum survival" concept/web/motif simply cannot be troubled with examples of selfish mankind gripped in the lust for power, and greed for material at the expense others. It has to be accounted for in some other way--no matter how void of proof--just say it and keep repeating it.

Regarding WisdomLover's laundry list of conflicts from 1946 onward:

(1) Have you tried to compare that list to any period of recorded history prior to 1900, in terms of: (a) the quantity of conflicts, (b) the quantity of deaths, and (c) the proportion of the world's population destroyed by the conflict? (For that matter, the proportion of world population affected by the recent conflicts you listed is a relevant detail, which points to a remarkable reduction in the scope of deadly conflict since the 1950's.)

(2) Since the point of your argument seems to be about the role of "atheism" vs. "theism" as a contributing factor to deadly conflict, did you happen to notice how many of the items you listed had a religious component involved in the antagonism among warring parties?

Otto,


Yes. Feel free to pin all your philosophy on but one hundred thousandth of a second, and, while you do that, go on ignoring prior one hundred thousandths of a second which have also had relative calm which were only ravaged by some other nadir (as if calm is proof of net progress) and of course go on ignoring what naturalism has to say about the myriad of selfish acts done by the billions daily, as pointed out earlier.

Otto,


Since you pointed out theism, we'll have to reduce your argument to the last millionth of a second and leave atheism behind (no inherently closed door to slaughter) and leave lots of other theisms behind (no inherently closed door to slaughter) while still leaving “God Is Love” (Christianity) well insulated where Ultimate Reality is concerned, yet not where the sinful acts of men, Christian or otherwise, are concerned, who thus violate our Ultimate Actuality Who is Love Himself.

And, then, we can begin to ask exactly what the trio of [Mindset, Actions, Philosophical Necessities] have to say about slaughter. We already know Naturalism’s trio embraces it (and the billions of selfish acts done daily) as beneficial to us on many fronts and is even now valuing it (them) (why else is it (are they) still here?) and in fact ends ultimately in Life-Less-Ness and Meaninglessness, which you have just conceded. We also know that [Ultimate Reality Is Love] provides a trio which provides rationality and necessary validity to all your fist-shaking against slaughter (though your naturalism can never provide you with this) as something beyond a simple temporal fantasy inside of irrationally conditioned neuronal reflexes to irrationally driven environmental stimuli.

Right now while looking at our whole 24 hours the Naturalist wishes to claim this is the most slaughter-free few hundred-thousandths of a second, and, well, the last few hundred-thousandths of a second have actually been the bloodiest, but he ignores that and only looks at the last millionth of a second in his desperate attempt to point out progress.

Well, I guess we can point out the last trillionth of a second in some place where child sacrifices are done and, by this same line of logic prove that such is "good", and so on.

This line of logic is, well, not "logic" at all.

And odd charge is brought about an odd crime, and it seems to be a charge against Naturalism ultimately, and it is this:


Otto asks, “…….did you happen to notice how many of the items you listed had a religious component involved in the antagonism among warring parties?.......”


Now, of course [Ultimate Actuality is Love] has exactly nothing to do with “theisms” in general, and only refers to one in particular, thus leaving “God Is Love” (Christianity’s Eternally Sacrificed Self) well insulated where Ultimate Reality is concerned, yet not where the sinful acts of men, Christian or otherwise, are concerned, who thus violate our Ultimate Actuality Who is Love Himself. Secondly, it seems the naturalist is using an illogical approach here. He is telling us that Naturalism is both true and innocent where various theistic constructs have been irrationally conditioned into Man’s neurons via Natural Selection. In other words, Natural Selection values these religious Mindsets (they didn’t come about by some Non-Naturally Selective process) and thus calls them good yet the Naturalist points to the violence necessarily embraced by these various mindsets (which Natural Selection also likes) and shouts, “See how bad those mindsets are!”


How illogical.


And how self-condemning for the very guilt of a crime here must end in the lap of none other than Natural Selection itself.
Yes, if there is a “badness” here then it belongs entirely, every bit of it, to the Naturalist’s own beloved god: blind and irrational conditioning of neurons comprising various useful mindsets.


Thus we find that the worse that religion gets upon the world stage the worse it thereby necessarily becomes for Natural Selection.


There is no way out of this circular and self-damming logic of the Naturalist. Whenever he points a finger, ever, he charges his own beloved god of the irrational with any crime he ever charges against any product of mindset ever seen in Man.


He is desperately trying to tell us that Natural Selection is not only true but also responsible for making all of Man’s irrationally conditioned fantasies (which is also what he happens to label love) and yet, as if by magic, Natural Selection is supposedly (he is trying to tell us) somehow innocent of any crime of some man of some mindset of some philosophy of some religion which was entirely constructed in that Man by that selective process.

How illogical.


And how self-condemning for the very guilt of any crime here must end in the lap of none other than Natural Selection herself.


The worse that religion’s moral status gets upon the world stage the worse it thereby necessarily becomes for Natural Selection herself, for she is entirely responsible for every bit of it.


From Life-Less-Ness to irrationally conditioned neuronal reflexes against irrationally driven environmental stimuli and back to Life-Less-Ness again. But of course we know such is not the case after all. We know the God Who is Love stands immune from all of our insanity. We know that the topography of Ultimate Actuality forever presents His unending Necessary and Immutable Grain against which the Self’s Volition struggles to both embrace love and refuse it, struggles to both embrace death and refuse it as we find Man’s Self weighted down beneath a burdensome and necessary contradiction to Love’s immutable and everlasting pattern . The pain of Love’s destruction by the Self’s Volition which leads to that fierce imprisonment within the Eternally Isolated Self is rescued by Love’s Eternally Sacrificed Self as Ultimate Actuality is found forever inside of Love’s topography and so becomes our final regress. All-Sufficiency pours Himself into In-Sufficiency and where there were two we find but one.

Otto,


What proportion of humanity was killed by man against man in the year 50,000 BC? How about 25,000 BC? How about 500,000 BC?


What about the periods of great calm amid empires in recorded history? You give us no reason to believe that these are insulations against a nadir into violence, just as you give no reason to believe our current calm is an insulation against future nadirs into violence and this becomes especially apparent given how mathematical frequencies on survival will be impacted by mathematical frequencies in energy, food, weather, and other stressors on Man to weigh in over the next few thousand years. Meanwhile all the evidence we have tells us that such nadirs into calm are just no insulation at all against nadirs into violence, as all we have at our fingertips shows us Man in this perpetual ebb and flow amidst Good and Evil, never free of either. And you have no recorded data to support your proportions of 500K BC, and so on.


When did Man not love? Not hate? When did it become 0.50, half love, half hate? How about 40/60 there inside of our thoughts, moods, desires, fantasies, jealousies, passions, and other sorts of internal heat, good or otherwise? When did 40/60 there inside Man forever transition to 60/40 in favor of “the ugly stuff” or in favor of “the good stuff”?

What recorded evidence do you have on the human condition to show us your unidirectional plane of differentiation where Man upon the Stage is concerned?

When Man appears on the stage, all our records, all evidence, shows us Man as we now find him where social needs are concerned, where tendencies are concerned, where interior nuances are concerned, where learning is concerned, where love and hate are concerned, and so on. We find Man alive, Man at war, Man in love, Man learning, Man in the fight for his life, Man in Worship, Man in pain, Man in hate, Man in cruelty, Man in empathy, Man rescuing Man, Man killing Man, and so on.


The Naturalist’s entire story of some sort of imaginary plane of progress where Evidence for Mankind is concerned in all these nuances and traits shows us nothing which is not still with us as all that we find has never left us. Unity and Division. Love and Hate. Empathy and Cruelty. Learning and rising to the joy and peace which Love’s Image brings and also rebelling against this Light and falling into misery. All can be traced back to whatever evidence we have on Man eons ago and all are still right here with us today.


All this talk of some sort of uni-directional plane of progress amid these nuances within Man, within the human condition, within his selfishness and his love and so on is imaginary and without real evidence at all for every time we find Man upon the Stage carving, writing, singing, building, and so on we find Man in War and Love, in Empathy and Cruelty in countless peaks and troughs over the eons for these are all alive and well, right up till the last millionth of a second and there is no Nadir now nor Calm now nor War now which shows us any evidence at all which we don’t also find in eons past where recorded human history is concerned.


The Naturalist also presents us with no reason at all to think such ebbs and flows are any sort of natural insulation to yet further ebbs and flows for all the evidence points in the opposite direction. When Man arrives on scene he arrives with the interior human condition we find him with this very day.


When did Man not love? When did Man not hate? When did Man not make war? When did Man not hope for peace? When did Man never have peace amid war? When did Man never have war amid peace?


You present no evidence for the evolution of the human condition and yet you keep pointing to periods of Calm and periods of Violence as if these are somehow occurring on some sort of uni-directional plane while all the evidence we can lay our fingers testifies against your entire hypothesis.

You have no evidence to support your hypothesis on Love and Hate where Man Alive upon the Stage is concerned from 25K years ago, nor do you have any from 500K years ago, nor do you have any from 10K years ago, and you can never tell us when the magical 50/50 mark was finally, and forever, passed. All the evidence that we do have shows us the human condition as one perpetual condition with perpetual ebbs and flows, peaks and troughs scattered about by the winds of the human condition upon the world stage there in all his nuances.

He longs to be free of all of it yet he longs to employ all of it for he is never able to declare himself free of any of it.

The knowledge and the experience of Good and Evil are traced forever backwards through all that we find in Man Alive, Man upon the Stage. The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil is our Actuality. Yet we know there is another Tree after all and it is not the false god of naturalism’s Life-Less-Ness but is instead the Uncreated Topography of Love Himself there within Immutable Life.

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