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Friday, August 14, 2009

God, the Universe and everything else


I was just watching one of those chapters of Richard Dawkins' series on evolution and religion. Naturally I share nearly every point of Dawkins' discourse, after all I was quite a typical atheist for some 15 or 20 years of my life, since I reached puberty till I neared my thirties.


In my opinion, Dawkins' discourse is one step behind and probably need some psychedelic experiences to get refined. Or at least some good re-reading of Spinoza's Ethics' first chapters.

Thanks largely to Spinoza, I have for a decade now overcome in my discourse and thought the monotheistic or theistic (I call that "alientheism" in fact) monopoly of God. God is not some peculiar Judaistic (or whatever) cultural and ideological interpretation of God but, philosophically speaking the ultimate cause of existence.

This ultimate cause has not yet been satisfactorily explained via science but much less via religion. Naturally, I do not pretend to understand It to the ultimate detail either but it's obvious from scientific knowledge (not just evolutionary biology but nearly everything else (tectonics, astronomy, archaeology...) that the traditional religious myths are totally wrong.

So the alientheist religions basically lie about God and therefore they are a form of idolatry: idolatry of words. Their golden calf is a book or series of books that just utter nonsense. Ok some of those myths may still keep some truth in regard to Hebrew history or, arguably, some good ethical advise. But otherwise they are just nonsense and those who defend them are blatant liars. And those who have faith are mere idolaters who worship words, not God.

The only valid "scripture" of God is in the facts of life and existence. Of course lies like those uttered in the Bible, the Talmud or the Quran are also facts of life (no more than, say, The Satanic Verses or Les Fleurs du Mal), what tells me that God also enjoys some deceit. Nothing that Spinoza would argue against, obviously, because for him God has infintite attributes, including deceit and manipulation. A perfect and absolute God cannot lack anything, as the Manicheistic preachers want us to believe.

So what's the truth about God? Just look around you in the facts of life, like the biological dance and the cosmological one as well. That is what we know about God.

For some God would be not really present but alien to all this reality, yet its conscious creator. But to these I can't but argue that the artist is always in the artwork, that the two cannot be detached. Who is Van Gogh? Some "crazy" redhair with a troubled life or his marvelous paitings that shatter every soul? Or both? At least we know something about Van Goghs real life. But what about Homer? Like with God, we can only judge him for his works.

So, lacking any evidence of the existence of an alien creator God, I argue that it is pointless and fundamentally not different from an ominpresent holistic God: the Pan Theos. Pantheism is, of course, not essentially different from atheism, just that we pantheists don't let the idolaters of words and doctrines to monopolize such a fundamental concept. Also we are less concerned about death than both atheists and alientheists because we are quite consicous that our individuality is mostly a short temporal illusion and what really matters, if anything, is the whole: the cosmic dance, God, of which we are just manifestations.

Actually I need this understanding in order to relax from the incredible dramatic self-destruction we are engaged in. After all, if we cannot stop it, if humankind and life-as-we-know-it is going to vanish in the next decades or so, I can be confident that the Universe as such will keep going. We can only cause so much destruction after all. It would be a terrible pity that we'd misuse such fantastic cognitive and creative capabilities as we have as species and the lusty thriving beauty of Earth and I hope we can still reverse the process. But if these hopes happen to be wrong, I know that the essence behind all that will still be there. It could be worse, I guess.

Enough for today. Enjoy.
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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

We are all characters in a God's dream. Maybe i'm the main character, maybe you. We will know the truth someday though. ;)


Kadu

Manjunat said...

WHAT????????? Tired of rationalism. Tired of truth. Want something exotic.

Also we are less concerned about death than both atheists and alientheists

I never knew being concerned about death is part of atheist identity. That's a despicable propaganda.

Actually I need this understanding in order to relax from the incredible dramatic self-destruction we are engaged in.

Okay, you are concerned with mankind's death. I suppose atheists too.

the lusty thriving beauty of Earth

Frankly, you haven't seen the ugly face of Earth. Even without human interference earth can have beautiful and ugly spots based on rainfall, volcanoes, temperature, humidity etc...

Maju said...

WHAT????????? Tired of rationalism. Tired of truth. Want something exotic.

Nah. Just need a broader understanding than mere materialism, without sacrificing it.

But it's not something new in me: I have been into that for some time. Mere atheism just became too narrow at some moment of my life.

And also I need to be able to discuss God, not just whether God "exists" or "not" as alientheists and atheists do. For me its more a matter of "what the fuck is God?" And then you come to analyze the dogmas of the various religions and you can only find them guilty of blindness and arrogance.

I want to be able to smite with Holy Anger on alientheists, to denounce them as idolaters, as having a false "faith".

You can't have that fun being a mere atheist and restricting yourself to mere science. You have to go beyond that.

In the memorable words of Prof. Zoidberg after eating the earthling banner... "I wonder how does the Turin Shroud taste". :D

I never knew being concerned about death is part of atheist identity. That's a despicable propaganda.

Well, Dawkins discussed death a lot in the last part of his documentary and the kind of consolation they got is not really different from that we Pantheists get.

Okay, you are concerned with mankind's death. I suppose atheists too.

Any conscious human being should be, unless he/she is only focused in his/her life span.

Frankly, you haven't seen the ugly face of Earth. Even without human interference earth can have beautiful and ugly spots based on rainfall, volcanoes, temperature, humidity etc...

Nobody said that lust cannot cause gonorrhoea. Chaos is a totendanz, that's probably why it's so difficult to embrace. Most people prefer to see things in a manichaean way: with forces of "good" and "evil" clashing at all levels, what allows them to try to get the supposed high moral ground.

I can only apply some of that to the level of Humankind, out of it (excepting maybe some intelligent species like elephants, bonobos and dolphins) there are no ethics whatsoever. It's like there would be a minor god (or rather a bunch of them) for the Human level but certainly that is not the same for the Total level, it's not the same as for the absolute God, whose rules are only those of Nature: Creative Chaos.

Maju said...

We are all characters in a God's dream. Maybe i'm the main character, maybe you. We will know the truth someday though. ;)

One idea I have caressed more than once is that this existence is some sort of "videogame". That we "really" belong to some other plane and we "dream" ourselves.

Sadly I have no greater confirmation for that than the apparent certainty of astrology. Hard to prove indeed but today I go a message from a list I'm subscribed too that read:

Anyway yesterday I was at a metal concert and as I searched the 45,000 people's faces i had the strange urge to see how many people resembled a virgo for me...it was strange but I kept spotting virgos and had an urge to ask people...i kept asking and was right everytime...i looked like a strange person...but i cant explain how much of a revelation it was for me...

Manjunat said...

I want to be able to smite with Holy Anger on alientheists, to denounce them as idolaters, as having a false "faith".

You can't have that fun being a mere atheist and restricting yourself to mere science. You have to go beyond that.


Interesting thought. But I'm not sure of usefulness. First of all, you don't have the muscle power to denounce other single truth based faiths as false. Second, in a confused and escapist religion like Hinduism, you will be another "truth seeker" even if you reject their multiple paths to single truth which again has multiple expositions.

The bland, banal and boring Atheism is the only valid antithesis.

By the way, I haven't read Richard Dawkins.

Maju said...

First of all, you don't have the muscle power to denounce other single truth based faiths as false.

LOL, I do, believe me. I have always got a powerful voice.

Second, in a confused and escapist religion like Hinduism, you will be another "truth seeker" even if you reject their multiple paths to single truth which again has multiple expositions.

Aha. Polytheisms are different. I find them more inclusive and, generally speaking, more tolerant. Not having a single doctrine or dogma helps but that also puts them apart from alientheistic religions (Zoroastrism, Judaism, etc.) But I live in the Western World, so my main concern are Judaic sects like Catholics and Sunnis.

And that's also Dawkins's concern. He would surely find himself and his philosophical discourse in a totally different situation in India or Japan for instance. But philosophy and science had less problems in the ancient Polytheistic West too. It was only when the Christian Coup succeeded that the Dark Ages arrived.

Maju said...

By the way, I haven't read Richard Dawkins.

Me neither I don't think I need anyone to teach me about Darwinism and atheism). I just saw him on TV for an hour or so. Some of my Anglosaxon readers are very enthusiastic of him though. Consider that fanatic Christian religious feelings are way too important in the USA and, by extension, in the other WASP countries to some extent too. One of the issues of Protestantism is that it considers the Bible the only "word of God" and most understand that to mean: take it literally, word by word. Obviously that clashes with science.