AuthorTopic: Is God a Doomer?  (Read 19947 times)

Offline Ka

  • Global Moderator
  • Waitstaff
  • *****
  • Posts: 887
    • View Profile
Is God a Doomer?
« on: February 04, 2014, 11:18:34 PM »
And if so, is he Lite, Full, or Uber?

Pretty much all of what I see in trying to predict what sort of doom is upcoming is based on a particular view of nature, and of humanity, both of which do not stand up to factual scrutiny. But to include the reality of God as a fact is, of course, controversial. And even if included, how can we know what he, she, or it, has in mind? What I want to do here is to present some facts that do not require revelation, yet do show that the role of the supernatural in our current predicament should not be ignored.

I could spend a couple of pages to make clear what I mean by 'God', but that is unnecessary. What matters is whether one accepts (a) that there is a supernatural realm, and (b) that it is anterior to the natural realm, that is, what happens in nature is to some extent dependent on the supernatural, even if not completely determined by it.

So. Is there a supernatural realm? Well, if we take 'nature' to be all that we see, hear, taste, smell, and touch, then clearly there is. On the one hand there is the quantum realm, which to the extent we understand it, does not at all act in the same way as that which we sense. On the other hand, there is our thinking, feeling, and willing, none of which is explicable in terms of that which we sense. Of course, there are those who are doing their damnedest to convince us that it can be made explicable in those terms, but their attempts to do so (epiphenomenalism, emergence, or simply denying the reality of the mental) are absurd to anyone who hasn't a dogmatic commitment to materialism.

However, just accepting that there is a supernatural realm does not, without more pages, warrant accepting (b). But here are some non-philosophical things to think about that do.

Here is a fact, accepted by all (pointed out by Barfield in Philology and the Incarnation): All of our words we use to describe our mentality have their roots in what we consider words that describe natural things and processes. 'Expression' comes from 'pressing out'. 'Spirit' meant 'wind' or 'breath'. 'Emotion' from 'move'. And so on. The use of these words for mental processes didn't start until about the middle of the first millenium B.C., and it took a long time after that before some forms came to have only their non-physical meaning.

Another fact: In the beginning of the Iliad, Achilles is angry at Agamemnon because the latter took the former's slave-girl from him. Achilles would, then, naturally want to kill Agamemnon, and being Achilles, could do so. But he doesn't, because if he did, that would mean the end of the whole Troy expedition. Now in a modern setting, we would say that Achilles' reason prevailed over his passion. But that's not what Homer said. Instead, he said that Athena told Achilles to restrain himself for the greater good. Similarly, all through the Homeric tales: it is the gods that do the thinking for the humans. And, of course, the poet didn't regard his poetry as his creation either: it was credited to the Muse.

Nor did this attitude just stop with the rise of reason among the Greeks. Consider Socrates' daimon, or that it was only in modern times that the word 'genius' stopped meaning a source external to the inventor or discoverer.

We can interpret these facts in two ways. One is that the ancient peoples had minds just like ours, but were too stupid to be able to distinguish the mental from the non-mental. The other is to say that, for them, there was no such distinction. That is, for them, there was no 'mental' and 'non-mental', there was just....call it something like 'life'.

The only reason to accept the first interpretation is because we are committed to rejecting the reality of the supernatural. But this amounts to rejecting evidence to maintain a dogma, in short, an irrational fundamentalism. So let us take the second interpretation, and see what that implies. (Note: I am aware that I have not here considered various objections that could be raised to accepting the second interpretation, so if you have them, raise them, and I will try to respond.)

Ok. So for early peoples, there was no distinction in their experience to call for dividing reality into 'mental' and 'non-mental'. But since their reality included speaking, feeling, and willing, then that means that in our terms, where we do make the distinction, all of their reality was mental. And so it was. There was no stream or tree without its spirit. They didn't "make up" gods and nymphs and so forth. They experienced them. Which should lead us to ask: why don't we?

Before getting to that question, it might help in trying to imagine what it was like to live in those times to consider a group of people in a similar situation. These are children, before age six of seven. They have no ego, and no conscience, yet can speak. What they don't do is reason. Reason passes through them -- they can understand "do that and you will be punished", but they can't question such reasonings. Basically, they do not have a mental capacity that is detached from the non-mental, which allows them to observe and think about things. And that is why we can't remember things from that time. (Note: I am not saying that an adult from the Homeric age was just like a child today, just that they shared to some extent the same kind of mental capacity.)

Another thing to consider: if the general run of the population did not think (but had their thinking done for them), how did technological advances come about? How could they become civilized? Well, ask them (so to speak) -- what did they say? That innovations came from the gods. Why should we doubt them? Why else would they acknowledge the authority of priests and prophets -- those who were more able to listen to what the gods had to say? And why they regarded their kings as gods -- because, in a sense, they were, that is, incarnations of more advanced spiritual entities than the norm.

But this all changed, and went away, so that now the reader is likely to think that what I said in the last paragraph is nonsense. On the other hand, to reject it outright is what C.S. Lewis called "chronological snobbery" -- the belief that we know what's really going on, while they didn't. There is one thing we do know, however, which they could not, and that is the difference between us and them. And so, back to the question: how and why are we different from them?

To understand it, we must ask about the intervening period, the classical and medieval ages, from about 500 BC to about 1500 AD. And here I will start with a comparison like the one used above, and say that, in general, the people of that time were like modern children from age six or seven up to puberty. The "in general" must be noted -- there were exceptions, just as there were exceptions in the early period. Those latter were the priests and kings (some of them, anyway), while in this middle period the exceptions were the occasional Pythagoras or Socrates or Augustine. When I say that one could compare modern pre-pubescents to the generality of that time, what I am saying is that they could experience themselves thinking, but they hadn't acquired the ability to think for themselves. Instead, they copied the thinking of their superiors, the authorities. (And here we must guard against another case of chronological snobbery. We now look back with disdain at those who blindly followed the Church, or the Emperor, while the case is more like why we do not allow children to run their schools, or live without parental authority.)

Now we still haven't answered the question of how this change, from the pre-classical to the classical came about. Nor can we answer it in natural terms. There is no way that people "just started" to do their own thinking. Rather it is something that occurred on the supernatural level, with new incarnations having that ability to move from the early to the later stage of childhood. With the second change, from pre-pubescent to post-pubescent, though, we do have some indication of what caused it. And that is that ability to experience one's own thinking, and in particular, the ability to think about that which is outside of ourselves. Thus we have a distinction between what would come to be called subject and object. And the more we think about things, the less we experience a thinking reality in the things. Until the modern age, no one (except maybe a few oddballs like Lucretius) doubted that a thinking, feeling, willing, and rational reality lay behind what was sensed. And, though it gradually died out, that reality was experienced, but extra-sensorily. This is what Barfield calls 'participation', and which was a fact for ancient and medieval philosophers.

But now we don't experience it, and the philosophers, for the most part, went badly in error in trying to make sense of a world without apparent participation. Religion too was affected. The Christian fundamentalism that arose in the beginning of the 20th century couldn't have happened in an earlier age, but even the modern so-called "liberal theology" has in major ways gone off the rails. Well, going into all that takes us too far afield, so I'll just restrict myself to noting the worst result -- the rise of scientism and the materialist/physicalist/naturalist metaphysics that has dominated the intellectual class for the past 150 years or so. Which, of course, denies (a) and (b) above, that there is no supernatural, and so can have no effect on the natural. It might also be noted that materialism, when taken to its logical conclusion, ends up as nihilism, and nihilism leads to despair, which according to Christianity is the greatest of sins.

Obviously, I disagree, and hope that what I said above shows that, at least in the past, the supernatural did direct the development of humanity. Which means that I don't expect it to stand by and let it all disappear. Yet one cannot discount that possibility entirely. For a major significance of the modern stage we are now in is that further development in human consciousness is, to some extent, up to us. We can, intellectually, figure out that the supernatural is real, but clearly something more is needed to experience it in its fullness. And if we are to survive in the long term, that is what we must do. Athanasius said (back in the 4th century) "God became man so that men can become gods". But it won't happen because God waves a magic wand. It will happen if and only if we make it happen.

What does all this imply with respect to Doom? Several things.
- There is a relation between modern intellectuality, with its belief in a mechanistic nature, and the rise and now collapse of industrial civilization. The latter will collapse, with accompanying die-off, but the more the relation between the two is recognized, perhaps the better we can deal with it, and build something more rational.
- That something will not be tribalism. Well, it may look like that for a while, but in the long term that is unworkable. Consciousness has changed, and the modern (and post-modern) consciousness would have to retrogress to make it viable. That is because modern consciousness is that of individuals. Tribal organization does not foster individualism. Since individualism is a necessary step in the evolution of consciousness, it must be fostered.
- So what does foster it? Civilization, which makes possible an elite, thanks to having a majority of peons to do the scut work and allow the few to think. To date, however, most of this thinking has been directed toward selfish ends. If there is to be a future, that too must change. The vehicle for changing it is religion. But, also to date, that hasn't been going so well either. Consider, though, that in the modern age there has been a huge expansion of the intellectual elite. But, as noted, it has largely been captured by those who deny the reality of the supernatural. Suppose it comes to its senses and this vast army of thinkers starts taking religion seriously? Chesterton said "It is not that Christianity has been tried and failed. It is that Christianity is hard, and has not yet been tried." Collapse just might tell us that it is time to try it. (Not that one must be nominally a Christian to "try" it. One can say the same for Buddhism, or other traditions.) And, perhaps, one might try to build a civilization where everyone does some scut work, and everyone is given time to think.

So my answer to the original question can be summed up as: yes, God is a doomer, in that the modern age has been an orgy of materialist (in both senses of the term) excess which, being false as an ontology, and immoral as a lifestyle, cannot continue. (Note: I am not saying that God is going to punish us. Rather, materialism, again in both senses, is simply irrational, while reality is rational. Sooner or later, the irrational ceases to work.). But what kind of doom is basically up to us. We can get through the zero point if we acknowledge the reality of the supernatural and bring that reality into our daily lives.


Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 42013
    • View Profile
Re: Is God a Doomer?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2014, 01:09:57 AM »
And if so, is he Lite, Full, or Uber?ind of doom is basically up to us. We can get through the zero point if we acknowledge the reality of the supernatural and bring that reality into our daily lives.

Now THAT is TRUE Heavy Artillery, in the Ka Style!   :icon_mrgreen:

Drop the Bomb on NBL Ka. Let's let them know the Diner's are no Lightweights.

At the very least, I think you will have great opportunity to spread the Barfield Gospel to a new Audience.  :icon_sunny:

Besides that, the reaction should be positively wild.  LOL.

RE
Save As Many As You Can

Offline Surly1

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 18654
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Re: Is God a Doomer?
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2014, 03:32:14 AM »
A truly remarkable essay, Ka. Thanks for posting it-- a pleasure to read.

A question. You say
Quote from: Ka
Tribal organization does not foster individualism. Since individualism is a necessary step in the evolution of consciousness, it must be fostered.
- So what does foster it? Civilization, which makes possible an elite, thanks to having a majority of peons to do the scut work and allow the few to think. To date, however, most of this thinking has been directed toward selfish ends. If there is to be a future, that too must change. The vehicle for changing it is religion. But, also to date, that hasn't been going so well either. Consider, though, that in the modern age there has been a huge expansion of the intellectual elite. But, as noted, it has largely been captured by those who deny the reality of the supernatural. Suppose it comes to its senses and this vast army of thinkers starts taking religion seriously? Chesterton said "It is not that Christianity has been tried and failed. It is that Christianity is hard, and has not yet been tried."

Why is individualism a necessary step in the evolution of consciousness, and why must it must be fostered? It seems to me that the cult of the individual is the foundation stone of the church of modern materialism.
Chesterton is right: it IS hard, and is not often tried, and when it is its practitioners walk a lonely and frustrating road. It seems to me that is essence of "Love Thy Neighbor" is to put the news of others at a par with one own, which seems at its heard to be at odds with the cult of individualism as currently practiced.

Your essay reminds me of a quote I have heard in relation to Jung, who supposedly answered a question about the ancient Greek gods, "The gods came down from Olympus and now reside in the human heart."

Really enjoyed it.
"...reprehensible lying communist..."

Offline WHD

  • Administrator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 3177
    • View Profile
Re: Is God a Doomer?
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2014, 07:24:36 AM »
What about a tribe open to the best of Civilization, dedicated to fostering individual consciousness?

Ka, to say tribalism categorically does not foster the evolution of consciousness is to suggest all native Amer-Indians were inherently spiritually ignorant. Which is categorical BS.

Otherwise I agree the adaptation we need to survive collapse, is one of consciousness.

WHD

Offline roamer

  • Global Moderator
  • Waitstaff
  • *****
  • Posts: 907
    • View Profile
Re: Is God a Doomer?
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2014, 11:32:13 AM »
Ka,
As a whole a deep brilliant essay too much to chew on.

What matters is whether one accepts (a) that there is a supernatural realm, and (b) that it is anterior to the natural realm, that is, what happens in nature is to some extent dependent on the supernatural, even if not completely determined by it.

I agree with a and b and too think that this is the root of our crisis.  I also agree that there is an evolutionary progression of consciousness towards the development of the individual. Without throwing out any sort of support for my belief i'll just say that i believe at present that our purpose as humans is to develop into beings that eventually have God like (i will forgo discussing what that means too) creative and loving capabilities.  That said i see our fall into a materialistic mechanistic individuating civilization as perhaps an inevitably hard cycle whereby humanity as a whole acquires a conscious tool-set needed for our development towards our deeper end goal as a species.  There is of course no guarantee we won't totally screw up at this stage (particularly once one realizes we have been endowed with free will) and the experiment with developing high order sentient god like beings on this planet (perhaps the only one like it in the universe) will crash and burn. 

I am in agreement though with WHD that individuation has been well supported in a tribe, what  could not be supported in a tribe though is any sort of deep mechanistic understanding of reality.  There was not enough surplus of time and energy to allow for the expansion of that view, survival required a deep integration and participation in nature and the mechanistic view would simply be antagonistic and harmful to their overall survival.  Civilization may have been among other things a necessary vehicle for developing a mechanistic understanding of the world. 

I think there are several ways out of our mechanistic epistemological errors.  What is needed is simply to subordinate mechanistic knowledge to supernatural or divine knowledge.  This could be done within the framework of many spiritualities and religions, it will require its participants to gain an immanent experience of the divine and then integrate the mechanistic knowledge accordingly.

The harder problem though IMO is how the heck do we live and support our basic needs in a low energy dense future with high populations and overall resource degredation?  For starters we'll have to free ourselves of the tyranny of a growth based economy, but even after that imposing hurdle has been cleared we'd have to arrange ourselves in an overall distributed manner just to live on the resources we have.  Civilizations and their inherent tendencies towards centralization are simply too inefficient as we have known them to be perpetuated with solar derived resources in a degraded environment with high population densities, no spiritual reconciliation will fix that fact.  That is why i agree with WHD that a new type of tribe or distributed community will need to be borne, if not now at least over the upcoming centuries of decline and there is IMO no reason such a tribal topology need reject individualism.




Offline Ka

  • Global Moderator
  • Waitstaff
  • *****
  • Posts: 887
    • View Profile
Re: Is God a Doomer?
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2014, 12:39:06 PM »
@RE,

Not a good idea, IMO. In the first place, I consider it bad etiquette to have one's first comment on someone's blog be a long, complex screed, and I don't see any way to cut it down to a reasonable size and still get the message across. In any case, I'm not much of one for flame wars.

@surly1,

Quote from: surly1
Why is individualism a necessary step in the evolution of consciousness, and why must it must be fostered?

For the same reason that children must become adults. What I'm saying (or Barfield is) is that growing up just is becoming an individual. In the pre-classical age there weren't any individuals, while in the intermediate stage they started to appear. With the modern age, that transformation has been accomplished -- we are all individuals. But...

Quote
It seems to me that the cult of the individual is the foundation stone of the church of modern materialism.

...we have yet to learn how to be individuals in proper ways. To continue the analogy used above, we are now like adolescents -- capable of independent living, but often reluctant to take responsibility for our actions, and often reckless and unheeding of others. So when I say we need to foster individualism, I am basically saying we have to recognize that we are individuals, and that means being responsible, in particular for our own spiritual development.  I certainly don't want to sound like Impermanence here, though. Community and individuality are mutually dependent. Nor do I want to sound like a libertarian, at least as far as property is concerned. What I am saying is that we have rejected authority, and there is no reversing that (nor should it be). That means we have to become our own authority.

Quote
Chesterton is right: it IS hard, and is not often tried, and when it is its practitioners walk a lonely and frustrating road. It seems to me that is essence of "Love Thy Neighbor" is to put the news of others at a par with one own, which seems at its heard to be at odds with the cult of individualism as currently practiced.

Yes, as currently practiced. So the question is, since we can't stop being individuals, how to change that practice? Well, as you suggest, by coming to realize that the Sermon on the Mount is not some impossible demand of some Authority, but is simply good, rational and practical advice.

@WHD,

Quote from: WHD
What about a tribe open to the best of Civilization, dedicated to fostering individual consciousness?

Ka, to say tribalism categorically does not foster the evolution of consciousness is to suggest all native Amer-Indians were inherently spiritually ignorant. Which is categorical BS.

Actually, if you follow the Barfieldian argument, it is saying that they were a lot closer to spiritual truth than we are. The problem, though, is that consciousness has changed, and there is no going back. The tribe worked, given the stage of consciousness of its members. It no longer does. So why the change? Because, though they were aware of the spiritual reality in nature, they were also at its mercy: spirits were something to fear and propitiate. And so, we were guided out of that stage of consciousness to where we are now. Spiritually, we are almost totally ignorant. But we now have the potential to reawaken it in ourselves, and thus reconnect with nature.

So what I am saying about tribalism and the coming upheavals is that it is a bad idea to take past tribalism as a model. While community is vital, it should be limited to organizing the means of production so as to provide physical necessities, but that's all. If you say (as you once did) "no one allowed who doesn't sing and dance", well, I'm excluded. That is squelching my individuality, not fostering it.

@roamer,

Quote from: roamer
The harder problem though IMO is how the heck do we live and support our basic needs in a low energy dense future with high populations and overall resource degredation?  For starters we'll have to free ourselves of the tyranny of a growth based economy, but even after that imposing hurdle has been cleared we'd have to arrange ourselves in an overall distributed manner just to live on the resources we have.  Civilizations and their inherent tendencies towards centralization are simply too inefficient as we have known them to be perpetuated with solar derived resources in a degraded environment with high population densities, no spiritual reconciliation will fix that fact.  That is why i agree with WHD that a new type of tribe or distributed community will need to be borne, if not now at least over the upcoming centuries of decline and there is IMO no reason such a tribal topology need reject individualism.

My reply here is basically combining what I said to Surly and WHD. What I agree with is that the community has to be a "new type", and I suppose I am just quibbling over using the word "tribe" to describe it. The real question, I think, is: how will we herd cats? I think the only answer is by educating the cats, and by that I mean, like you said: "What is needed is simply to subordinate mechanistic knowledge to supernatural or divine knowledge.". although I would not call the process "simple". I don't know if you saw my "seven (unwarranted) assumptions made by materialist evolutionists" comment a couple of months ago. They are also (most of them) made by most theists, and I would say, by most Diners.

Offline Ashvin

  • Troll
  • Sous Chef
  • *
  • Posts: 3134
    • View Profile
Re: Is God a Doomer?
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2014, 01:13:24 PM »
This article raises a lot of quality points about spirituality and the supernatural as it relates to Doomer outlooks, but I have a few objections:

We can interpret these facts in two ways. One is that the ancient peoples had minds just like ours, but were too stupid to be able to distinguish the mental from the non-mental. The other is to say that, for them, there was no such distinction. That is, for them, there was no 'mental' and 'non-mental', there was just....call it something like 'life'.

The third possibility is that their minds could distinguish between mental and non-mental, subject and object, but their social, cultural and linguistic edifice could not (for most ancient societies).

One thing that sticks out to me in ancient writings is the use of phenomenological language when describing "non-mental" things. We do this today too - people talk about the "sunrise", the "sunset" or the "moonlight" all the time, but most everyone also understands that the meaning of such words can't be found in a wooden literalistic interpretation of them. The Sun doesn't literally "rise" and "set", and the Moon only reflects light rather than being a source of light. Yet those words are still used and carry significant meaning independent of the objective reality about the Sun, the Earth and the Moon.

I also see this type of language throughout the Bible, from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22, which arguably spans a time period of 1500 years. Speaking to the Pharisees, Jesus says "And do not think you can say to yourselves, We have Abraham as our father. I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham" (Matthew 3:9). Does that mean Jesus believes the stones are objectively capable of becoming faithful disciples of God the same way humans are? I think not.

So there is a definitely a sense in which ancient writings intertwined the mental and non-mental, or spiritual and physical if you will, to a greater degree than we do now. However, I believe there are many explanations for this discrepancy that do not involve a fundamental difference in the quality/capacity of our vs. their minds. One being that the ancients were simply more concerned with expounding God's inextricable link to and purposes for his creation, and therefore used that kind of language whenever the opportunity arose.

Quote
Before getting to that question, it might help in trying to imagine what it was like to live in those times to consider a group of people in a similar situation. These are children, before age six of seven. They have no ego, and no conscience, yet can speak. What they don't do is reason. Reason passes through them -- they can understand "do that and you will be punished", but they can't question such reasonings. Basically, they do not have a mental capacity that is detached from the non-mental, which allows them to observe and think about things. And that is why we can't remember things from that time. (Note: I am not saying that an adult from the Homeric age was just like a child today, just that they shared to some extent the same kind of mental capacity.)

I'm not sure this holds up to scrutiny. The "Homeric age" could be said to include the time at which the poetic Book of Job was authored. To me, the latter clearly displays the capacity to question reasonings beyond that of a young child, and, not only that, but it displays the importance of using that capacity to seek out God and his wisdom.


Quote
To understand it, we must ask about the intervening period, the classical and medieval ages, from about 500 BC to about 1500 AD. And here I will start with a comparison like the one used above, and say that, in general, the people of that time were like modern children from age six or seven up to puberty. The "in general" must be noted -- there were exceptions, just as there were exceptions in the early period. Those latter were the priests and kings (some of them, anyway), while in this middle period the exceptions were the occasional Pythagoras or Socrates or Augustine. When I say that one could compare modern pre-pubescents to the generality of that time, what I am saying is that they could experience themselves thinking, but they hadn't acquired the ability to think for themselves. Instead, they copied the thinking of their superiors, the authorities. (And here we must guard against another case of chronological snobbery. We now look back with disdain at those who blindly followed the Church, or the Emperor, while the case is more like why we do not allow children to run their schools, or live without parental authority.)

Again, the generalization above seems to be much more than a rule with a few exceptions. I will refer to the Bible again, because it provides a relatively constant strain of traditions and writings that cover all of these periods you mention.

The whole of the New Testament and the screeds of early Church fathers essentially displays an array of people and their proteges (and their followers, etc., etc.) who were able and willing to challenge the thinking of current religious authorities, whether those were pagan or Jewish or both, when the risks to one's health of making such a challenge couldn't possibly be higher. Although one may argue this only lasted a few centuries before Imperial Church authority dominated people's thinking once again, I believe aspects of this "rebellious", individualist strain of thinking can be traced from 500AD through 1500AD as well.

Quote
So my answer to the original question can be summed up as: yes, God is a doomer, in that the modern age has been an orgy of materialist (in both senses of the term) excess which, being false as an ontology, and immoral as a lifestyle, cannot continue. (Note: I am not saying that God is going to punish us. Rather, materialism, again in both senses, is simply irrational, while reality is rational. Sooner or later, the irrational ceases to work.). But what kind of doom is basically up to us. We can get through the zero point if we acknowledge the reality of the supernatural and bring that reality into our daily lives.

Totally agree!
« Last Edit: February 05, 2014, 01:20:19 PM by Ashvin »

Offline monsta666

  • Global Moderator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 1557
    • View Profile
Re: Is God a Doomer?
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2014, 01:38:40 PM »
we have yet to learn how to be individuals in proper ways. To continue the analogy used above, we are now like adolescents -- capable of independent living, but often reluctant to take responsibility for our actions, and often reckless and unheeding of others. So when I say we need to foster individualism, I am basically saying we have to recognize that we are individuals, and that means being responsible, in particular for our own spiritual development.  I certainly don't want to sound like Impermanence here, though. Community and individuality are mutually dependent. Nor do I want to sound like a libertarian, at least as far as property is concerned. What I am saying is that we have rejected authority, and there is no reversing that (nor should it be). That means we have to become our own authority.

I think a big part in making people assume responsibility and ownership over problems is if people are held accountable for their actions. One of the things with industrialised civilisation or any large society for that matter is that responsibilities for the worst problems are not well defined so finding a guilty party when something goes wrong is difficult to impossible to pin down. This lack of accountability allows people to behave in an adolescent manner were they take no responsibility for their actions as they will not get punished. I believe this behavioural trait is pretty natural as you see it everywhere. In short everyone is trying to "game" the system to their advantage and the detriment to others because there is no/little punishment. In addition to that the suffering parties are not often easily seen as people are too detached from one another and it is not in your face. Therefore this gives the impression that any gaming from your end is a victimless crime and is thus easier to commit without suffering from a guilty conscious.

I believe this matter can be resolved, at least to a certain extent with a smaller communities where abuses can be more easily identified provided the figure of authority is not corrupted itself. I think that is another issue that while people can submit to authority quite readily the source of authority may not be enabling the right behaviours. This is a major issue that needs to be addressed and continually monitored thereafter. As for personal ownership I do not think people have sufficient self-control and restraint to practice personal authority at least not on a societal level. In my personal opinion there must be strong social pressures to make people conform to basic codes of behaviour. Self-regulation does not seem to work.

In the end though I do more or less agree with the basic message that the mechanistic knowledge is emphasised too much and greater importance must be place on matters of supernatural. In time I believe this will come out of necessity when the growth paradigm is forced to end, there is suffering, anguish and even a die-off. As it is sometimes stated: we learn more from our failures than successes. It will most likely be the case here. Plus going beyond the collapse the natural selection pressures for growth based societies is likely to be less in a world of constrained resources allowing mankind the best opportunity to progress into becoming the individuals as you describe.

Offline g

  • Golden Oxen
  • Contrarian
  • Master Chef
  • *
  • Posts: 12280
    • View Profile
Re: Is God a Doomer?
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2014, 02:32:00 PM »
Quote
Quote

    So my answer to the original question can be summed up as: yes, God is a doomer, in that the modern age has been an orgy of materialist (in both senses of the term) excess which, being false as an ontology, and immoral as a lifestyle, cannot continue. (Note: I am not saying that God is going to punish us. Rather, materialism, again in both senses, is simply irrational, while reality is rational. Sooner or later, the irrational ceases to work.). But what kind of doom is basically up to us. We can get through the zero point if we acknowledge the reality of the supernatural and bring that reality into our daily lives.


Totally agree!

Materialism may be considered irrational and  immoral and unable to continue for some, but can that be accepted as truth or reality? Isn't it the view that the materialists relish; that it shows weakness, someone tied to a foolish religious concept? It would appear they view the ridding of themselves of this foolishness as a main ingredient of their success and well being at the expense of others who are content with much less and revel in the spiritual. As Ka mentions they are the ones with the time and luxury to ponder, to think, while the rest of us provide them with their material.

What of the view that there was an epic spiritual battle between good and evil? That free will was not enough to overtake original sin? That God is Spiritual and Man is material? That Lucifer knew mankind was doomed at his creation and started his rebellion and battle over good with evil on account of it and only when he realized it?

What of the view that Evil has finally triumphed over Good, and this spiritual reality is now being reflected by humanity; and believing this has not happened is merely providing more material for the materialist to enjoy and affording them more time to ponder what else we can provide them with?


That we are doomers, because we are losers, and the concept of Doom being inevitable is one that applies to us, not them. And, if we wish to think of God as a doomer, all the better. What could be better than us thinking they are all doomed and we can make it trough the zero point.?  :icon_scratch:



I

Offline roamer

  • Global Moderator
  • Waitstaff
  • *****
  • Posts: 907
    • View Profile
Re: Is God a Doomer?
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2014, 02:46:27 PM »

@roamer,

Quote from: roamer
The harder problem though IMO is how the heck do we live and support our basic needs in a low energy dense future with high populations and overall resource degredation?  For starters we'll have to free ourselves of the tyranny of a growth based economy, but even after that imposing hurdle has been cleared we'd have to arrange ourselves in an overall distributed manner just to live on the resources we have.  Civilizations and their inherent tendencies towards centralization are simply too inefficient as we have known them to be perpetuated with solar derived resources in a degraded environment with high population densities, no spiritual reconciliation will fix that fact.  That is why i agree with WHD that a new type of tribe or distributed community will need to be borne, if not now at least over the upcoming centuries of decline and there is IMO no reason such a tribal topology need reject individualism.

My reply here is basically combining what I said to Surly and WHD. What I agree with is that the community has to be a "new type", and I suppose I am just quibbling over using the word "tribe" to describe it. The real question, I think, is: how will we herd cats? I think the only answer is by educating the cats, and by that I mean, like you said: "What is needed is simply to subordinate mechanistic knowledge to supernatural or divine knowledge.". although I would not call the process "simple". I don't know if you saw my "seven (unwarranted) assumptions made by materialist evolutionists" comment a couple of months ago. They are also (most of them) made by most theists, and I would say, by most Diners.

Just went back and took a look at your post "seven (unwarranted) assumptions made by materialist evolutionists" , i  agree those are very unwarranted assumptions.  I think the origin of these assumptions finds its root in our culture predominant mode of knowing, empiricism.  Though incredibly successful at discovering the rational mechanistic backbone of existence it has tyrannically chocked off other modes of knowing, there is no room or acceptance of the realm of internal experience.  We closed to door to the divine in a very literal sense.  I was in a way joking when i said we "simply" need to subordinate mechanistic knowledge to the divine, because clearly these are mistakes of gigantic proportion, and nothing so simple about initiating a spiritual and epistemological revolution.  In many ways it seems more probable the bankers will get together do away with debt and initiate a demiurge system to synch our economy with resource limitations.

The implicit assumption that at the base of reality lies atoms and particles and reality can be known through a connection of these particles is IMO wrong, even though it yields a large amount of useful mechanical knowledge.  We need a different conception of the universe we live in and getting away from that model will be very hard.  I think we need to re-examine the inner experiential evidence mystics and inner knowers across many cultures and many periods of time have consistently reported.  To me that evidence coupled with my own numerous experiences of being way outside the "rationalizing" little egoic filter that is here known as roamer, has led me to conclude that a there is some sort of vast and  immanent prexisting intelligence that permeates existence and that reality has no discontinuities and boundaries.  My hunch is that neutral monism is the right view to work from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutral_monism. but that be a pretty significant diversion from this thread for me to even try to explain why i think that. 

Offline g

  • Golden Oxen
  • Contrarian
  • Master Chef
  • *
  • Posts: 12280
    • View Profile
Re: Is God a Doomer?
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2014, 02:47:29 PM »
What about a tribe open to the best of Civilization, dedicated to fostering individual consciousness?

Ka, to say tribalism categorically does not foster the evolution of consciousness is to suggest all native Amer-Indians were inherently spiritually ignorant. Which is categorical BS.

Otherwise I agree the adaptation we need to survive collapse, is one of consciousness.

WHD

Wish I knew why that word tribe is so abhorrent to me when discussing people. There is something about it that sends off very bad vibes to me. Something barbaric, dehumanizing, humiliating, very degrading about it. Just amazing how it grates on my sense of proper word usage, but others are totally unaffected by it. :dontknow:

Offline Petty Tyrant

  • Cannot be Saved
  • Sous Chef
  • *
  • Posts: 4573
    • View Profile
Re: Is God a Doomer?
« Reply #11 on: February 05, 2014, 03:24:02 PM »
Where do bhudda, krishna, jesus, and moderns like ghandi, mandela, and merrell-lynch or the followers of their paths fit as far as what needs to happen in consciousness shifting?

Assume Jesus and others materialized food. Theres a big step in getting through a zero point. about as big as simply doing away with central banks, debt dollars and need for growth. Those alone would not do enough if we still have possibility forself aggrandizement. There is always the urge to honor with luxury such as the annointing oil, gold, frankencense and myrrh. Always the urge for the temple to be decked in gold, the chief to have the highests head-dress. From there every other lower rung in a system of organization will seek to better their relative position not by virtue of accomplishment or good works but with materia means. A finer garment, that leads to wanting a bigger brighter house and bigger brighter car and more and more and more.

If you say jesus and others cannot materialize food that is sticking to materialism over recognition of the supernatural.

If the human trait of self interest remains what you have on earth is always the same. The realized or semi realized individual is often killed. Ingroup and outgroup tribal thinking is another form of self interest. People lament their jobs being shipped to other countries, and a relative equalization of sorts (with the disclaimer to be careful what you wish for), they pay lip service  to world citizenry and brotherhood of man principles.

Proponents of tribes as solutions similarly propose armed tribes, again group self interest and advantage as well as individual self interest and advantage.

Where anyone is realized and do not have those traits, truly transcend a movement follows such as a religion. The religion is then corrupted by the same human traits of group and individual self interest. If you take the wisdom that each fully realised master free from these traits has taken thousands of lives to achieve that liberation and did not even need to incarnate on earth except to help show the way, then you must accept that the vast majority of people will still be mired in materialism and human negative traits.

If you say that on the whole humanity can take vast leaps in consiousness and maturity, you need to look at fossil record evidence. The missing links are by definition missing. We have a series of sudden  jumps in hominid "evolution". So far this has never engendered nything but species superiority and the more advanced has killed off by outcompeting with the less advanced, the most recent known being neanderthal who were not suddenly a leap of evolution into homo sap but lived alongside for many millenia but eventually went extinct by competition.

The zero point and afterworld is again like the world where various individuals and groups must compete as did the neanderthal and homo sap over resources. Unfortunatey we know that being transcendent and realised or guilless is a disadvantage for survival every time. Broken treaties with more guilless native peoples shows who lost and even went fully extinct or as good as.

The survivors tend to be always the self interetsed not the self sacrificing, its a sad and unfortunate truth. Most of us believe in CO2 threatening the planets ability to sustain life but none of us volunteers to stop breathing. Individuals can work on transcendence for themselves only, nothing is going to suddenly lift human conscioness to become all good. Various individuals with their various levels of better or worse traits can never suddenly be all morphed into better and have their essential natures reprogrammed like a hard drive of a computer with a new OS. You can achieve liberation only for yourself and only through your own effort. This has been known long into the past for thousands of years, adances in scientific and material understanding have made zero advance in explaining how this works or providing any shortcut app so have zero relevance really. You cannot enforce a program of self realization that leads to self sacrifice replacing self interest on a true humanity wide level, rather than just self sacrifice for family or tribe or cause or country, always at a competitive advantage to other groups. You can only work on yourself.







ELEVATE YOUR GAME

Offline Eddie

  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 19728
    • View Profile
Re: Is God a Doomer?
« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2014, 03:45:00 PM »
"merrill-lynch"

Now there's a Freudian slip, unless you were deliberately spoofing Ka. That's our problem in a nutshell. Too many Merrill-Lynchians.


As for your other remarks, UB, I find myself in agreement. If we're a tribe, I'm glad you're in it.

What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Petty Tyrant

  • Cannot be Saved
  • Sous Chef
  • *
  • Posts: 4573
    • View Profile
Re: Is God a Doomer?
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2014, 03:49:59 PM »


What of the view that there was an epic spiritual battle between good and evil? That free will was not enough to overtake original sin? That God is Spiritual and Man is material? That Lucifer knew mankind was doomed at his creation and started his rebellion and battle over good with evil on account of it and only when he realized it?

What of the view that Evil has finally triumphed over Good, and this spiritual reality is now being reflected by humanity; and believing this has not happened is merely providing more material for the materialist to enjoy and affording them more time to ponder what else we can provide them with?


That we are doomers, because we are losers, and the concept of Doom being inevitable is one that applies to us, not them. And, if we wish to think of God as a doomer, all the better. What could be better than us thinking they are all doomed and we can make it trough the zero point.?  :icon_scratch:



I

GO
How do you compare your beliefs with the hindu belief that god destroys the world (or more likely civilzation within the world) when it is either all good or all bad?

Also the biblical principle of sodom and gomorrah that He would not destroy the civilization if even two good people could be found in it, yet there were none so Lot left with help, same deal Noah?
ELEVATE YOUR GAME

Offline Petty Tyrant

  • Cannot be Saved
  • Sous Chef
  • *
  • Posts: 4573
    • View Profile
Re: Is God a Doomer?
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2014, 03:54:36 PM »
"merrill-lynch"

Now there's a Freudian slip, unless you were deliberately spoofing Ka. That's our problem in a nutshell. Too many Merrill-Lynchians.


As for your other remarks, UB, I find myself in agreement. If we're a tribe, I'm glad you're in it.

Thanks Eddie, I was teasing ka who follows a mystic called Merrel-Wolf LOL.
ELEVATE YOUR GAME

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
1 Replies
738 Views
Last post June 05, 2017, 05:02:11 AM
by RE
1 Replies
649 Views
Last post July 27, 2017, 12:52:42 PM
by K-Dog
10 Replies
1898 Views
Last post November 17, 2020, 01:22:37 AM
by K-Dog