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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: Rumi (The Guest House)

Today’s tidbit is an inspiring and eye-opening poem from Rumi. Enjoy!

 

“This being human is a guest house.

Every morning a new arrival.

 

A joy, a depression, a meanness,

some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.

 

Welcome and entertain them all!

Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,

who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,

still, treat each guest honorably.

He may be clearing you out

for some new delight.

 

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,

meet them at the door laughing,

and invite them in.

 

Be grateful for whoever comes,

because each has been sent

as a guide from beyond.”     The Essential Rumi, p. 109

 

To me, this is a poem about perception. I like the idea that being human is a guest house whose purpose seems to be to entertain all these different experiences. But isn’t that the point? We are here to experience all that life and the world has to offer to us. The good and the bad. I”ll be the first to admit, it’s hard to meet the negative at the door laughing. It’s even harder to invite them in. But in the end, even those experiences add to our character and strengthen our souls.  We can’t live life in fear of or trying to avoid negativity and hardship. It WILL find us eventually. There is no escaping the fact that life isn’t all smiles and rainbows. The greatest weapon we have against them is our perception of them.

Even when they “come into our house and violently sweep out all of our furniture” we still treat them honorably. Even when something happens in our lives that totally screws everything up we have to keep a reasonable perception about it. After all, change is often a violent and unsettling process, but the end result is always likely to be a “new delight.”  Seeing misfortune and hardship any other way is a one way ticket for self-pity and depression. And life’s too short to spend in the dark place of our souls all the time.

So” be grateful for whoever comes because each has been sent as a guide from beyond”.  Each and every experience of our lives is serving to move our souls toward growth and development. So we have to be conscious of falling into the self-pity, woe-is-me mind traps that open so easily every time misfortune knocks on our door. Remember, every time we grow comfortable, we cease to grow.

Daily Wisdomisms: The Tao Te Ching (53)

As always, the Tao is a well spring of truth and inspiration.  Its complex simplicity can speak to your heart no matter what you are going through. After a chaotic day, I was trying to decide what to post. I flipped around in a few books for a while and then came back to the Tao. I immediately opened to this passage and a light went off in my head. Enjoy!

The Great Way is easy,
yet people prefer the side paths.
Beware when things are out of balance.
Stay centered within the Tao.

When rich speculators prosper
while farmers lose their land;
when government officials spend money
on weapons instead of cures;
when the upper class is extravagant and
irresponsible
while the poor have nowhere to turn–
all this is robbery and chaos.
It is not in keeping with the Tao.”  The Tao Te Ching, chapter 53.

 

I often look at my life and wonder why I always seem to choose the side paths. The Great Way is easy. It’s outlined for us, written on our hearts by God. Whispered to us each day by His loving Spirit. Yet we always seem to say, “Yeah, yeah. That’s all good. But what about what’s over here…No I hear you. Just hold on a sec while I check it out…” And then everything gets thrown out of balance. Part of me says it’s the experience of life. But I ask that part, aren’t we supposed to learn from experience? Why do we seem to get caught up and sidetracked more often than we follow the simple advice of our hearts? For me personally, a lot of it has to do with my thinking that I know what’s best for me. I can handle this. I don’t need God or the Tao or any cryptic sayings of old dead men to tell me what to do. Blah. Blah. Blah.

Only, those old dead men knew what they were talking about. Say what you want about human progress, but people really haven’t changed. All that’s changed is fashion and technology. People are much the same today as they were thousands of years ago. All that technology has done for us is added another level of distraction to an already distracted populace. Now, when the government spends money on weapons instead of cures and the upper class is extravagant and irresponsible, the people scroll past it on their social media apps, only stopping long enough to give it a cursory “like” or to comment about “how horrible it is!” But that’s as far as the outrage is likely to go.  And this…all of this…is not in keeping with the Tao. It seems there’s no sense in showing all that robbery and chaos when there’s a cute picture of a kitten covered in toilet paper instead.

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: Hermes Trismegistus

This is a continuation from yesterday’s Wisdomism. Hermes has told us to look with our hearts and be sober in order to see through and overcome the ignorance and deception running rampant in our world. Here, he gets a bit more specific on just how to do that. Enjoy!

First you have to strip off the garment which you are wearing, the web of ignorance, the fabric of evil, the knot of destruction, the girdle of darkness, the living death, the sentient corpse, the portable tomb, the robber in your house, him who hates through what he loves and bears malice through what he hates.

Such is the hateful garment you wear, which binds you in itself lest, when you look up and see the beauty of truth and the Supreme Good which lies within, you should hate the evil of this garment and realize its treachery. This has ensnared you making the seeming senses, insensible; for it has blocked them up with much gross matter and filled them with loathsome pleasure, so you do not hear what you should hear and see what you should see.Corpus Hermeticum Book 7

This “garment” we all wear is our connection to our egos which are entrenched in the physical world and continually seek material pleasures and comforts.  We willingly blind ourselves to the deception around us in order to immerse ourselves in the distractions of the material world. Look around you. Do you see the multiple distractions that surround you even where you sit reading this?  Humanity has not progressed. We have merely added more bells and whistles to distract us from the truth. And there are those who do not have our best interests at heart who continually play on and add to those distractions in order to keep us in a state of willing subservience.

Daily Wisdomisms: Hermes Trismegistus

You know, the more I read of ancient texts, the more I realize everything we “learn” we are only remembering. There is nothing new under the sun. Tough times and advice on how to weather them have been around as long as mankind. And if you haven’t noticed, hard times abound now. But with these hard times comes a boatload of lies, deception and falsity covering them up and leading us further down the path to ruin. Hermes saw this very thing in his day and offered these words of wisdom to help us see through the fog of deception. Enjoy!

 

Whither are you being carried, O men, drunk as you are, having swallowed neat, the words of ignorance, which you cannot keep down, but are already vomiting up? Stop. Be sober. Look up with the eyes of the heart; and if all of you cannot, at least those who can. The evil of ignorance floods the whole earth and completely destroys the soul confined within the body; not allowing it to be brought to safe harbor.” From the Corpus Hermeticum: Book 7

“Look up with the eyes of the heart”. Powerful words. To me that means not taking everything you see at face value. Right now, our minds are being distracted with the horse and pony show orchestrated by those who wish to keep the wool over our eyes. Have you “swallowed neat the words of ignorance?” Do you go along with what is being told to you because you are comfortable in your life? If so, “Stop. Be sober.” Nothing lasts forever, and to truly change the world we have to look though the fog. See with your heart, not your head, as it were.

Tomorrow’s post will continue with this topic, delving deeper into what Hermes believed we need to do in order to bring our souls to safe harbor. See you then!

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