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This essay by Paul Kurtz is something I wholeheartedly agree with when it comes to culture; that is secular humanism is the best template for a healthy and productive society. No quarrel whatsoever there but I will add the caveat ( because of the nature of this site) that the foundation of modern secular humanism was and is built on fossil fuels and if they run out it’s by no means a given that things will remain the same. I would also add that secular societies could be overrun by hostile theistic cultures who may have hidden agendas and may wish to undermine secularism; I’m not sure it’s secularism wisest move to dismiss this possibility.

But hey, that’s not really the point of this post which is to examine the framing of his arguments in dismissing theism. My first quibble is that he uses traditional religious narratives as a means of dismissal, which is all well and good as far as it goes but it seems to me, at least, to omit alternative theistic ideas–but again, I agree with his assessment of normative religious narratives. I do this in an attempt to be thorough. I’ve proposed on this site a Gnostic cosmology wherein all religion has been manipulation of humanity by Gnostic Archons. This explains why religion is internally and comparatively contradictory and historically inaccurate; that is to say, that was always the intention of these beings. At the moment I’m not arguing the metaphysics of such beings but rather opining the possibility of this phenomenon. I think this is enough to show weakness in his theorizing. Of course, along with The Archons who can take human form comes the brutality of the universe which they’re partially responsible for bringing into existence (bear with me:). Certainly, Darwinism describes such a hostile and unforgiving existence; at least partially at any rate given specific interpretive parameters.

So briefly, Gnosticism is one alternative possibility and a modern idiosyncratic view of  Gnostic Cosmology is also consistent with modern scientific speculation that this universe is holographic and consciousness is ‘downloadable’. I also consider an alternative Preterist view of The Jesus Story to be possible. This one is much more problematic but deserves a voice, or so I think. In this alternative Christian view, God is Jesus and Satan, or at least; Jesus and Satan are The Right and Left Hand of God. Jesus deals with all truth, beauty and goodness and Satan deals with everything else. Here Jesus and Satan are not enemies but rather administers of human action on this earth. This idea is similar to *The Lords of Karma…..Of course, I don’t know if any of these ideas are true or fallacious but if I hold a theistic view it definitely leans towards AGNOSTIC theism. Now, I’m not saying these ideas are so but I do consider these ideas rational theism but agree there is no empirical test for them….Sheer speculation.

I’ve watched Dr. Strange recently and they espoused a cosmology quite similar to one I proposed on this site. I argued that such ‘features’ would be minimum criteria for any God to be worth its salt. True enough, the movie did make the ideas seem kind of silly but what if the ideas are accurate but not in the ways portrayed in the film? Again, thoroughly speculative but not at all offensive to the faculties of reason, at least not in my opinion, but would understand if others were somewhat more niggardly in their assessment towards such metaphysics. My point here isn’t to assert as fact these speculations but simply to show that not all metaphysics is inherently irrational and illogical.

The last point I would make here is that if ‘the gods’ are agreed not to show themselves in their true form then there would be zero way for humanity to prove their existence. We would only have this ‘nagging’ feeling that something isn’t quite right and truthful on this earth. Ultimately, if any of these ideas were true it would be up to the gods to reveal themselves; until such a time I would wholeheartedly propose that all humans live by the codes laid out in *Kurtz’s paper.

One last note, though, on professional skeptics within secular societies. I find their positive rose-colored glasses worldview more and more problematic. It was quite congruent in the 60’s and 70’s when society really did look to be on a positive arc; society is not in the same condition today….

Pollution, the end of oil with no replacement to scale, the turning over of economy to corrupt casino ethics, the limits to growth, institutionalized amorality, a hostile Islam, a duplicitous and powerful Jewish lobby, Christian Fascism, negative consequences with A.I., these are all enormous and intractable problems which skeptics seem to be dismissing……

NOTE*: to my knowledge, there is no scientific evidence which would give credence to normative Hindu cosmology.

*I also espouse a natural spiritualist cultural view as a solution to the problems civilization faces today. One idea in that direction is naturalist spiritual pantheism.

 

2 Responses to Secular Humanism and Agnostic Theism?

  • Wow, this is such a reasonable essay. Thank you for suspending belief! I’m of the same persuasion, or lack thereof. ha ha.

    I’ve been a Buddhist, secular humanist, Gnostic-curious, Love-is-the-answer-ist, wtf about Archons?!, and then, hmmmm, Archons would explain the constant mess of humanity, etc. and Advaitist (which you don’t give mention to – a non-hindu Indian spiritual path).

    At this point, I have to say: I don’t know. Are all religions and theistic structures human-made mythos? They don’t seem to be serving peace, which is a problem. The selfish, violent side of humanity has me stumped. In keeping with your reference to Dr. Strange, it may be naive to think that God and heaven lies beyond the veil and we are only struggling with hierarchy and separatism on the planet. If evil can exist in the mind, can’t it exist in other dimensions? That would speak for a good and evil universe at other levels that perhaps interacts dualistically and then transcends at some other level of the “multiverse”into a god-state (unity). Or is hostility and war a manifestation of the survival mechansims inherent in being in a world of “so-called” limited resources.

    Is it possible that the world is a learning planet, a test; the goal is to graduate or regress (heaven and hell; ascension; reincarnation; travel the universe!); or is the world a matrix, a trap that we have to decode? Both seem over simplified. Is evolution smart and/or loving; does it have a purpose or is it random (lacking in spiritual direction), but efficient? I feel we have not been given the equipment to know. Mind boggling.

    • Thanks for dropping by this wayward out back on the net, Jeanette! And for offering up such a thoughtful comment…..

      Your queries come down to whether consciousness precedes matter which is the idealist position if one holds that it does. I think it quite well may, but I hold that as personal opinion only as the evidence is pointing more and more in the other direction. Let’s remember that personal opinion on the matter of metaphysics is a logical fallacy, so we need to tread carefully on this issue and appeals to group authority are just as problematic when it comes to mysticism.
      But even materialism still holds the possibility that E.T. could be God and there are multiple dimensions, so it’s not cut and dried.
      So, having said that: I think Archons exist and my money is we are in an entertainment place for consciousness. The Archons rule this plane and God is somewhat redundant as far as humanity goes, or God is impersonal as far as humanity is concerned, but The Archons are indeed dealing with us personally…..

      Does that make any sense?

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