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Problems with Godless Morality

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Morality. What is it? Where does it stem from? It is a big thing right now among secularists and atheistic movements to boldly claim, “I don’t need God to be a moral person. I am a moral person because it is  naturally the right thing to do.”

But can anyone really be moral because it is a basic, natural part of being human?

The answer, of course is NO.

Two major arguments arise when discussing Godless Morality. The first is Materialism, or the belief that everything is made of matter and nothing supernatural exists outside the material world. This includes God.

The second is Moral Relativism—or the belief that there is no absolute right or wrong. Moral codes are to be—and often are—freely interpreted by the individual.

MATERIALISM

Is Nature moral? Is there some sense of justice and fairness—right and wrong—to her cycle? No. At most, Nature seeks to achieve balance and will go to any lengths to maintain said balance. The material world doesn’t run on moral or ethical motivations whatsoever. There are no High Courts of Gazelles putting vicious and murderous lions on trial. There are no laws keeping monkeys from stealing each other’s fruits and mating with whomever they please or from flinging shit at people who piss them off. In Nature, it rains on the just and unjust alike. Some might even say there is a dogged absence of moral reasoning in the material world. So then logically, a sense of morality couldn’t arise from natural sources. It’s simply not natural. And after all, we aren’t anything more than apes raised above their station. 😉

So then it’s instinctual for us to be amoral. To seek the preservation of our life and species above all else. And to use whatever tools we have at our disposal to accomplish these goals. When left to our own devices this is exactly what humans do. Case in point: The Old Testament Jews.

Moses (by God’s direction) went to a lot of trouble to set them free from slavery and usher them into the promised land. Whole movies have even been made about it (if a point of reference is needed).  And after all that trouble, what do the newly freed people do the moment Moses leaves to get the rules from God? Did they sit around, patiently waiting and respecting each others’ safe spaces and living in harmony because it was the right thing to do? Hell no they didn’t. They blew all their gold on a graven image and started getting chaotic about things. I mean really down and dirty. Stuff that would’ve made Caligula blush. Moses was so pissed he broke the stone tablets the 10 Commandments were written on and had to go get a whole new set.

There’s a lesson here. The instant people are left unsupervised they tend to go crazy and fuck shit up. We are not naturally moral people. We are rapacious and unapologetic assholes. But that’s cool. Knowing there’s a problem is the first step to fixing it. But we need help. And isn’t it odd that the very help we needed arose at the dawn of time in every part of the world, setting down basic and common rules for living in every group of people that later turned into religions? It’s really not odd at all. It was God who gave us morality and told us to stop acting like rapacious assholes and make something of ourselves.

Thus, the secularist’s sense of natural morality isn’t natural at all. It is a direct result of living within the confines of morality for thousands of years. We have been living with moral codes for so long that they have finally started to become part of us. This was no accident.

 

MORAL RELATIVISM

The next biggest problem with Godless Morality is Moral Relativism.  A popular argument among its proponents is that there is no absolute right and wrong. No God exists in order to dictate morality to us. And as a result, we are each free to develop and follow our own moral codes. A few of the extreme fringe groups such as the Neo-Anarchist and Anti-Statist movements, think that moral relativism should be taken one step further in the abolishing of all laws and governing bodies. People should be free to live their lives based on their own moral codes. Moral accountability is a personal thing and absolute morals don’t exist as they are determined separately by each and every one of us. The flaws in this logic are epic.

First and foremost, if morality isn’t absolute and is open to free interpretation then anything goes. Literally anything. Murder. Rape. Pedophilia. Beastiality. Robbery. Assault. Genocide.  All are welcomed in a morally relativistic society. They would have to be. Otherwise you’d be infringing upon another’s right to live their lives.

If someone thinks murder and rape are perfectly acceptable and even natural, necessary things and seeks to practice them upon you and your family, who are you to stop them?

Simply put, you have no right to stop them. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and all that.  Your morals are not their morals and you just have to accept that. Give yourself over to the natural and amoral rhythms of Nature in all her glory.

But there is a problem with that scenario. Things like murder and rape ARE abhorrent to most of us. The very thought of them stirs revulsion and disgust within us. So then in the face of that, knowing that Nature is amoral and believing in no absolute right and wrong, where does that sense of absolution arise from? Where does that simple knowledge that we should act better than our animal selves spring from?

A Source outside of us. God. The same source responsible for giving us consciousness gave us morality.

So in conclusion, Godless Morality can’t exist because morality doesn’t exist without God. Morality is not some response developed through the course of evolution since it is not natural to begin with.  Secular morality is intellectual dishonesty of the highest nature as it seeks to steal the credit for humanity’s moral development from God and place it within the Self. When in reality, civilization and its growth is impossible without God.

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Daily Wisdomisms: Hermes Trismegistus on Atheism

Quite an interesting excerpt today. It appears atheism is nothing new. Despite what its proponents would have us believe, Atheism is not the byproduct of humanity moving into a new enlightened age. It is short sighted skepticism at best. Here is what Hermes had to say on the subject. Enjoy!

No one says that a statue or portrait has come into being without a sculptor or a painter; then has this work (the cosmos, J.) come into being without a creator? What blindness! What sacrilege! What mindless arrogance! My son, never deprive the works of creation of their creator. He is greater than anything the name of God implies, so great is the Father of all; for He is single and his work is just this: to be Father.The Corpus Hermeticum, Book 5.

This falls in line very nicely with my piece Only The Code that I posted a while back. To me, this makes perfect sense. As above, so below. No one says that art spontaneously arises out of chaotic nothingness and falls into perfect order. So why is it so hard to believe that the beautiful and magnificent work of art we call “The Universe” has a hand intelligently directing its design? As above, so below. I think that in this day and age with technology and “progress” being what it is, our collective ego has inflated to epic proportions. And we feel bold and empowered enough to challenge the very existence of God. Much like humanity did with the Tower of Babel and we saw how that turned out…

Daily Wisdomisms: Hermes Trismegistus

Further exploration of the writings of Hermes. This excerpt, on the nature of God, ties in nicely with an earlier tidbit from Philip K. Dick. Coincidence? Enjoy!

Be still, my son, and consider what is God, what is the cosmos, what being is immortal, what is dissolved and consider that the cosmos is made by God, and in God, man is made by the cosmos and in the cosmos, and that God is the source, the boundary and the constitution of everything.The Corpus Hermeticum Book 8. p.42.

Again we find reference to God being a part of His creation and not separate from it. I keep coming across these types of passages in my readings and I think that modern religion may have some things wrong. I grew up being taught that God was this eternal grumpy old man who lorded over us dispensing justice as He saw fit. I thought of Him as a force outside the universe He created. Something apart from it. But I no longer think this to be true. God isn’t some grumpy grandpa declaring jealousy and murder a sin, yet freely inflicting these things upon the peons in the cosmic playground He created. That is a trait of someone that is outside their creation looking in. But as Jesus was so fond of telling us, “God is Love.” And in order to truly love something it has to be a part of you. There can be no distinction or separation.

Daily Wisdomisms: Philip K. Dick (The Empire)

Another excerpt from The Exegesis taken from the appendix to VALIS. This particular excerpt rings true to my soul. Enjoy!

The Empire is the institution, the codification of derangement; it is insane and imposes its insanity on us by violence, since its nature is a violent one.

To fight the Empire is to be infected by its derangement. This is a paradox; whoever defeats a segment of the Empire becomes the Empire; it proliferates like a virus, imposing its form on its enemies. Thereby it becomes its enemies.” PKD VALIS p. 235

What PKD calls “The Empire” I have always dubbed “The Machine”. But my beliefs on it have matched PKD’s even before I read the passages. It’s true though. If we look throughout history at all of the uprisings, revolts and revolutions that started out with such noble and pure intentions, those rebels who came to power afterward soon turned out like the very despots they overthrew. This is part of the Machine. It eats everything around it and turns it into a lifeless extension of itself. This can be very clearly seen in the arts. Every artistic movement that has arisen has been assimilated into the Machine and turned into a mass-produced mockery of itself. The same can be said for social movements. The Beats, the Hippies, the Punks, the Occupy Movement, the Tea Party, etc. The Machine swallowed them all. Infiltrated them, labeled them and neutered their influence. Thus, in order to defeat the Empire we must leave it behind.

 

Daily Wisdomisms: Philip K. Dick

Another excerpt from his Exegesis. In this piece, PKD examines the nature of God and God’s connection with nature. Enjoy!

Space, time and motion are relative…since the universe is infinite, and there cannot be two infinites, the infinite God and the infinite universe must be one…there is no prime mover, there is motion or energy inherent in every part of the whole. “God is not an external intelligence…it is more worthy for him to be the internal principle of motion, which is his own nature, his own soul”. Nature is outside of the divine mine; however, this mind is not in a “heaven above” but in every particle of reality.The Exegesis p. 394.

I like this. PKD is essentially saying that God is not separate from His creation. That God IS His creation.

Daily Wisdomisms: The Book of Thomas the Contender

The Book of Thomas the Contender is a treatise from The Nag Hammadi Library. I came across this passage recently and thought it fit in nicely with the quotes from The Corpus Hermeticum concerning the web of ignorance and the tendency humanity has to bury its head in the sand rather than face difficult truths. Enjoy!

Woe to you captives, for you are bound in caverns! You laugh! In mad laughter you rejoice! You neither realize your perdition, nor do you reflect on your circumstances, nor have you understood that you dwell in darkness and death! On the contrary, you are drunk with the fire and full of bitterness. Your mind is deranged on account of the burning that is in you, and sweet to you are the poisons and the blows of your enemies. And the darkness rose for you like the light, for you surrendered your freedom for servitude! You darkened your hearts and surrendered your hearts to folly.The Nag Hammadi Library in English (p. 205)

Powerful words. I think they do a great job of reflecting the state of thinking for modern mankind. We live in an era of bitterness, skepticism and scorn. As a matter of fact, we revel in it. All you have to do is read a comment thread for anything on the internet to see that. Scorn. Hatred. Bitterness. Mockery. And too many people seem to love it. They are “drunk with fire and full of bitterness.” Not saying that everyone out there is like this. I’m commenting on the trends that I notice. I believe in the basic goodness of mankind, but I think we tend to lose ourselves in the darkness and are often all to willing to surrender our freedom for servitude.

Daily Wisdomisms: The Holy Bible (Ephesians and Gnostic Allusions)

The Pauline Christians tried to obliterate and discredit those they saw as Gnostic pretenders. They really did. But even the canonical books of the bible are full of Gnostic references. The entire Gospel of John, for instance, is seen by some to be a quasi-Gnostic tract that was written to combat Gnostic teachings. A Gnostic-Pauline text, if you will. Despite the battle between factions, the living truth can never be hidden. The Apostle Paul alludes to Gnostic teachings in his letter to the Ephesians. Enjoy!!

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age and against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

 

Now understand that Gnostics talked quite frequently of the “principalities”, “powers”, “rulers of darkness” (i.e. human agents of evil) and “spiritual hosts of wickedness”. The difference was, they talked about them in different ways. Ways that other early Christian sects didn’t like. For instance, Gnostics thought that these principalities created our universe. They believed the real God existed in a realm apart from the gross material world and the principalities were warped reflections of His Glory. Being a reflection of God (warped or no) these entities tried to create. But they could only shape matter, not infuse it with life. It only gets more interesting from there.

Easy to see why the early Pauline sects didn’t like the Gnostics. They told the same story in a different way. They accused the Paulines of worshiping the false creator gods (or the principalities) and not the true God. This infuriated Paul (who reportedly had an already short fuse) and he and his followers lashed out. So like they did with so much of the world’s spiritual knowledge and practices, the Pauline Christians claimed what bits and pieces of Gnostic teaching they liked and then after demonizing the rest, threw it out.

When Emperor Constantine had his “conversion” on the battlefield and called early Christian leaders together to forge a new state religion, Gnosticism’s fate as heresy was sealed. Nobody said the struggle against the rulers of darkness of this age would be easy…

Daily Wisdom-isms: The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick

“They”. “Them”. “The Establishment”. “The Machine.” Whatever it’s called, it’s the same thing: The ultimate force plotting the sinister downfall of humanity.  PKD called it “The Empire”. This force is always illusive and only seems exposed through “glitches” in the system.  Fighting the system is futile, because even if you win, you lose.

 

“The Empire is the institution, the codification, of derangement; it is insane and imposes its insanity on us by violence, since its nature is a violent one.

To fight the Empire is to be infected by its derangement. This is a paradox. Whoever defeats a segment of the Empire becomes the Empire; it proliferates like a virus, imposing its form on its enemies. Thereby it becomes its enemies.” —-Philip K. Dick, “Valis” p. 235

 

Now think back to every movement that has challenged the system in the past 100 years. What’s happened to them? What happened to the hippie movement? To the Tea Party? To the Occupy movement? Each one was infiltrated and co-opted by the “Empire”.  Each one mutated into what it so desperately fought against. And there you have the paradox.

Daily Wisdomisms: The Way of Hermes (Irreverence)

The writings of Hermes predate most religious texts. As a result, almost every modern religion has taken from the wisdom of his words. In this passage, he speaks of what sins God and his divine servants will forgive. Enjoy!

“Irreverence is mankind’s greatest offence against the gods; for the gods’ work is to do good, men’s to show reverence, and for the spiritual powers to serve. Whatever else men have the audacity to undertake through error, recklessness, compulsion (which they call destiny), or ignorance, the gods will hold them guiltless. Only irreverence comes under judgement.”—The Way of Hermes p. 76

Hmmm…looks like there isn’t much sin that God won’t forgive us. As a matter of fact, the only sin He can’t forgive is turning our backs on him. I like that he compares compulsion with destiny and hints that as humans, we often confuse the two. But even this is forgivable. Awesome. Just…awesome.

Daily Wisdom-isms: That Hideous Strength (The Purpose of War)

Mark finds himself in quite a jam, being falsely accused of a murder. It was all a setup of course. N.I.C.E. is wont to do such things. And it was a setup with purpose. That sinister purpose being inducting Mark into the Inner Circle of N.I.C.E. once and for all. Here, Professor Frost begins Mark’s initiation into the heart of the sinister forces behind N.I.C.E.

“For the moment, I would merely remark that your view of war and your reference to the preservation of the species suggest a profound misconception. They are mere generalizations from affectional feelings,” said Frost.

“Surely,” said Mark, “one requires a pretty large population for the full exploitation of Nature, if for nothing else? And surely war is dysgenic and reduces efficiency? Even if population needs thinning, is not war the worst possible method of thinning it?”

“That idea is a survival from conditions which are rapidly being altered. A few centuries ago, war did not operate in the way you describe. A large agricultural population was essential; and war destroyed types which were then still useful. But every advance in industry and agriculture reduces the number of work-people who are required. A large, unintelligent population is now becoming a deadweight. The real importance of scientific war is that scientists have to be reserved. It was not the great technocrats of Koenigsberg or Moscow who supplied the casualties in the siege of Stalingrad: it was the superstitious Bavarian peasants and low-grade Russian agricultural workers. The effect of modern war is to eliminate retrogressive types, while sparing the technocracy and increasing its hold upon public affairs.”

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