Monthly Archives: June 2017
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’s 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 by trying 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 partly 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 as being 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 administrators 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 ’60s and ’70s 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 are dismissing……
NOTE*: to my knowledge, there is no scientific evidence that would give credence to normative Hindu/Vedic 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.
” How dumb can you fuckin’ be!”
This post is about Canada’s new expenditure on the military. This post goes into the details of the military and its enormous pollution footprint. Once again the Canadian government proves its duplicity and hypocrisy on the climate issue. Nevermind that Canada has become a 100-year-old experiment in corporate plutocracy using Inverted Totalitarianism as a cultural modus operandi; that is to say, humans are nothing more than objects of financial exploitation in this system and have absolutely zero say when it comes to policy–we are dictated to and usually in the most smirking condescending manner.
It’s amazing to me that the refrain from these elites when it comes to anything positive and altruistic towards humans is, ‘where will the money come from?’; but when it’s something they want there seems to be plenty of money. So there is no money for social education, health-care, ending homelessness (an enormous blight which should be a guaranteed human right), a guaranteed right to quality food, etc. To me, these issues all fall within primary needs in which Maslow expounded. Always broke on these issues, or so it seems in Canada……
Please explore www.positivemoney.org for a solution to these issues…Unfortunately, though, the political class is vetted in Canada, and no one who advocates for these new ideas is allowed a voice!
In my last post called, Pre and Postmodern Christianity, I added a video by, Ann Pettifor. Positive money.org takes on Pettifor in this link, but I do think the quibbles are definitely ‘quibbling’ in the proper direction:) Next is an excerpt from the article:
So once again, the suggestion that our proposals would contract the economy imply either a huge misunderstanding on Ann Pettifor’s part or that she hasn’t actually read them. Our proposals are about making sure that money is used for something productive, for the public benefit, rather than inflating property bubbles and flood financial markets. Tackling climate change definitely counts as something for the public benefit. Our proposals would mean that when new money is created, it would be the government rather than the banks that decide how to spend it. Newly created money would get added to the taxes we pay, to be spent on the real economy. Our Sovereign Money paper explains how using this power to create money to build sustainable homes and retrofit existing homes to make them more energy efficient would have been more than 30 times more effective than Quantitative Easing in stimulating the economy.
I’m thrilled that there are other people tackling this issue as it highlights some of my personal grievances ( the earth has been turned into a financial casino) about the present financial system on the earth; which, I believe, is leading us to ruin and needs to change…
This is a complex subject but I’ll try to distil it so it makes sense. Pre-modern Christians are those who take the Bible literally and live within premodern codes of behavior. The Amish would be a good example of this. This group is relatively rare in this day and age. Modern Christian’s still take the bible literally but embrace most of the advances of modernity; such as modern psychological concepts, technology, evolution, and empiricism, etc.–Francis Collins would be a good example of this (this is a very large group of people). Post-modern Christian’s no longer take the Bible literally– they’ve correctly understood modernities deconstruction of the Christian faith and have come to understand, also, The Myth of the Given: that is reality isn’t as obvious as we thought it was in premodernity. They understand most archeological evidence proves the historical narrative of Scripture to be near entirely false, or Jewish mythology. Dr. Jordan Peterson is an example of this type of Christian so I find his assault on the postmodernist full of an annoying rich irony. I suspect he’s also overly fond of NeoLiberalism, but that’s another post.
This concept is applicable to all religion and especially Islam. Islam, in general, has far more people living literal premodern modes of existence. This group is generally not a large threat to modern society although they do have some reach. The most serious demographic are modernist Islamicist’s who have embraced modernity but still take the Koran literally. There can be stresses put on this group which makes them prone to societal pathologies such as terrorism. So this group has access to modern technology and weaponry and when combined with literalism and grievance we see that the results can be quite destructive. This demographic is near impossible to ‘police’ as the numbers involved are staggering; so the Alt-Right does have a point here in that the simplest solution would be ethno-nationalist nation states–that is to say Islam should be kept to Muslim countries only. The problem with that view is this: post-modern Islamist’s understand The Koran to be tribal mythology and no longer take the narrative as fact; this group is no danger at all to civilization. This group and healthy literal modernists should not be the target of persecution!
Now I would add that the postmodern view doesn’t necessarily mean God doesn’t exist; its healthiest enactment would mean that we couldn’t be certain about what God is should it somehow exist. I would caution, though, that this isn’t an excuse to believe any old thing when it comes to the nature of reality; metaphysical postulates within these modes cannot be blatantly offensive to the faculties of reason and logic, although the best postmodernist’s ( post-post modern?) understand that there are limits as to what reason and logic can know.
I might add here another ‘tool’ which works well within these parameters is Fowler’s stages of faith. I might add, also, that I’m not a big fan of the stage model of evolution but rather prefer the ‘mode’ idea as far as these concepts go. We see that the highest’ octaves’ in Fowler’s model coincide nicely with the best of postmodern thought.
Okay, well, that’s all or now……….