Sunday, August 19, 2007

Euronalysis of an Eerieligious Fundamentalist

Let me preface this with my usual deusclaimer, that I have no objection to atheists who are simply indifferent to Spirit, nor to agnosticism, which is a perfectly honorable position. My bobjection is to militant anti-theists, not just because they are intellectually shallow and metaphysically ignorant, but because their program is dysfunctional, cannot sustain civilization, and leads to the extinction of the human being qua his humanness.

Now, Karlsson continues his critique by stating that "truth comes in logical types" and that "the logical function of true statements are not one and the same." (Say, was that a true statement? How does he know, especially given Gödel's theorems?) He says that some statements contain "transient truths" while others convey "fixed truth that will be true or untrue whenever I speak it." Then there are mathematical truths, which may be reduced to statements of equivalence and are therefore tautologous, and finally statements of opinion such as “lobsters are delicious.” He maintains that the latter type of statement is also meaningless, since it has no logical properties and is thus void of content.

I must say, I don't understand his point. For example, with regard to his belief that mathematical equations are tautologous, let us say that I get my taxes done at the end of the year, and my accountant informs me that, after all my deductions, I didn't actually make any money. After all is said and done, my income works out to zero. Does this mean that nothing happened to me economically during the year? Hardly. Like many atheists, Karlsson starts with the real world, converts it to an abstraction, and then concludes that the abstraction is more real than the reality from which it is abstracted. Whitehead referred to this as "the fallacy of misplaced concreteness."

He goes on to say that proofs of God are "aesthetic or emotional types of truth.... But that being said the consequences will be that there are no such things as proofs in the regularly accepted way we use that term. It’s logical meaning will instead be that a proof of god is whatever anyone accepts as a sign of his existence, but god's existence in the elliptical sense 'God exists' will in no way be connoted."

This is so garbled that I'm not sure how to respond. First of all, I would ask Karlsson to define his terms, since he doesn't define what he means by the words "God" and "truth." It is obvious that we are not talking about the same things. With a sufficiently elastic definition, you can prove anything, so Karlsson needs to be more precise about what he imagines he is proving or disproving. As things stand, he has only proven that he attended a European university and obtained a thoroughly absecular soulwash.

Karlsson seems to have read only a couple of my posts, and jumped to various conclusions based upon those. What I believe is that the universe is hierarchically structured from top to bottom (there can be no hierarchy without a "top") and that we employ differents modes to comprehend each level. At the very least, there is the empirical level that we understand with our senses (the "physical mind"); the non-physical rational world (i.e., logic and mathematics) that we understand with our reason; and the spiritual world, which we understand with the nous, with the intellect properly so-called, the "eye of spirit." Each of these levels is knowable in different ways, and has different standards of proof.

Mathematical truth cannot be discovered by examining objects, nor can empirical truth be found in a math book. Likewise, there are appropriate and time-tested means for proving the existence of God, so Karlsson has simply committed a massive category error by trying to employ lower modes to comprehend what transcends them. But if your only tool is a hammer, you can only nail God in your fantasy.

Truth presents itself to us in three broad forms: the truth of matter, the truth of reason, and the truth of revelation. The latter has two forms, an objective one (i.e., authentic scripture) and a subjective one (the nous, or what Sri Aurobindo calls the "psychic being"). Another way of saying it is that revelation is the intellect objectified, while the intellect is revelation subjectivized. This is why the awakened intellect is able to "see" the immutable truths of revelation, since there is a built in correspondence between outer and inner -- no different than the correspondence between our physical eye and the empirical world, or our mathematical minds and the platonic realm of mathematical forms to which they have access.

Ultimately this is rooted in our faith -- a faith that the atheist shares no less than the theist -- that the world is intelligible to intelligence. It is intelligible to intelligence because it was made by intelligence and is suffused with the selfsame logos that accounts for the intelligibilty of the world and the intelligence to which it is intelligible. In other words, "intelligibility" and "intelligence" are reducible to One. (Another way of saying it is that Being is Truth.) In order to avoid confusion, I call this OneTrueBeing "O," while atheists can call it what they want. But they cannot dismiss it on pain of fatal contradiction and ultimately absurdity, for any truth they discover is a truth of Being, or O.

Karlsson includes a paradoxical quote from one of my posts by Meister Eckhart, who wrote that “In my birth all things were born, and I was the cause of myself and of all things.... And if I did not exist, God would also not exist.” What did Eckhart mean by this? He meant that the God that we can know cannot exist without our first “conceiving” and giving birth to him -- God "requires" our assistance, or cooperation, to manifest in the herebelow. He needs an inlet, which is to say a "mirrorcle of the Absolute," which is what a human being essentially is.

This is merely a poetic way of coonveying the idea that the intelligible God is known only to the awakened intellect, but that the intelligible God is not identical to God as he is in himself -- or else we would be God. As I further explain in that same post, "we can know God in his energies and activities on this side of manifestation. That is, in Eckhart’s understanding of the incarnation, God is eternally taking on human nature, not just once, but for all time, in the ground of our being. Furthermore, Eckhart maintains that God became man so that man may become God -- not literally, but in Grotstein’s sense of transforming the ineffable, nonlocal God-beyond-being into a local manifestation of his presence. The reason we may know God is because he is perpetually being born in the depths of our soul, but only if we cooperate and act as 'midwife' to the process. God gives birth by speaking the word, but we are only born (from above) by hearing it."

"This is why Eckhart said that the eye with which we see God is the same eye by which he sees us. We are each of us an opportunity for God to exist. Or perhaps more accurately, without us, God is orphaned in the cosmos, with no one to bearth and (p)raise him....

"In transcending ourselves and becoming who we are, we take part in God’s creation of us, which paradoxically gives birth to both God and ourselves. In surrendering to, and cooperating with, our own mysterious ground of being, our self-knowing and God’s self-knowing become a single act of essential knowledge. We give birth to the living God," which is what I call O->(n) in my book.

I hope that sheds sufficient bobscurity on the subject, for I don't know how to be more perfectly unclear. Those who know will know what I am talking about, while Karlsson can only reduce it so something he thinks he knows. In other words, he claims absolute knowledge of something he doesn't know, which is to exalt stupidity, precisely.

Karlsson then argues that "as a matter of fact" -- fact, mind you -- "most of what he [Godwin] is saying is more or less direct plagiarism of Tillich. There is one important difference though and that is that Mr. Godwin defends the most outrageous form of social conservatism, objective aesthetics and denounces the lack of faith as a neurosis. All this in an post called Never Make a God of Your Irreligion."

First, I have never read Tillich, so I cannot be plagiarizing him. To the extent that our thinking converges, it is because we are looking at the same objective reality. This does not surprise me, given the "structure" of Spirit, i.e., the objective metaphysics through which it may be known. It only happens all the time.

Secondly, I would like to know what Karlsson means by "outrageous social conservatism." On what objective basis can he object to my values, since there is no objective ground for any values at all? What an outrageously inconsistent statement for a nihilist to make.

Thirdly, where do I "denounce lack of faith as neurosis?" As I said at the the outset of this post (and on many past occasions), I have no objection to agnostics or spiritually indifferent atheists, only to the militant kind, who do indeed make a god of their irreligion. For example, it is this god that causes Karlsson to have the emotional reaction he does to my "outrageous" heresy against his leftist religion.

In the post cited by Karlsson, I wrote that "There is no getting around the fact that the 'culture war' is at bottom a theological dispute between secular and traditionally religious forces. But it would be a great error to conclude that the war therefore involves atheistic vs. theistic camps, much less logic vs. faith. Rather, it is a war of competing theisms, each rooted in faith and steeped in metaphysics. Radical secularists are rarely neutral about God -- in fact, they are quite often burning with a passion about spiritual matters...." Karlsson's hysterical outrage that I do not share his politico-religious faith merely proves my point. For secular European socialists, socialism is their religion.

I encourage you to read the entire post, which I stand by.

Karlsson suggests that "It simply boils down to that Mr. Godwin feels that the Christian religion is true in the same way as he feels that a painting is beautiful or a lobster tastes good, and this feeling of being right is all that he needs to authenticate the truth of it all, in the same way as the feeling that the lobster tastes good is its own verification."

Obviously, Karlsson is committing the category error of confusing the levels of reality, as outlined above. No further comment is necessary. God is not a tasty lobster (although God and the lobster are "not two" either, especially with a light butter sauce).

He then states that "Reading is namely not about looking through and beyond the ink; it is all about looking at the ink in search for previously learnt patterns. The reading process does in no way supply you with new information, it simply uses old skills." Wrong. In reading, we are specifically looking beyond and through the known pattern in order to arrive at something we do not know. It's called "learning."

"Just as the Nazis made in Germany Mr. Godwin wish to do in the American political discourse. But he is not very god at it."

Now, that is an interesting statement, even though it makes no literal sense. It is interesting because I can "look beyond" its literal (non)meaning and get at what Mr. Karlsson is driving at -- which also makes no sense, by the way. Nazism was a homegrown European phenomenon that was specifically hostile to Christianity and all it represents. Metaphysically it is the opposite of the Americanism embodied in the classically liberal conservative intellectual movement with which I identify.

To put it another way, there are only two kinds of Europeans: those whose asses we saved, and those whose asses we kicked. And unless we do it again, Karlsson -- or more likely, his children -- will someday be speaking Arabic, as the European world is actually threatened by real religious fascists whom they cannot resist because of their silly, flaccid religion that that does not correspond to spiritual reality -- and therefore, the human being in his transpersonal essence.

In this regard, I agree with Karlsson that "After you have sold out objectivity for the perverse narcissism of wishful thinking there is no end to the possibilities. You can substantiate whatever claim you like in art and politics simply by referring to your inner liking and call it 'vertical truth.'"

For there is no intellectual narcissism more perverse and fraught with wishful thinking than radical secular leftism. The question is whether this experiment against human nature will die before being murdered by the true vertical barbarians.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Van said...

"...The reason we may know God is because he is perpetually being born in the depths of our soul, but only if we cooperate and act as 'midwife' to the process. God gives birth by speaking the word, but we are only born (from above) by hearing it."

I really like that one, the words dive deep in the reading of it.

"There is one important difference though and that is that Mr. Godwin defends the most outrageous form of social conservatism, objective aesthetics... "

Meaning you have the nerve to see that there is Right and Wrong, Good and Evil, which also means that you will come to the unavoidable conclusion that a crucifix submerged in urine is not just bad art, but that it is not even Art at all. Since the euratheist would surely have been happy to contribute the use of his urethea to that 'sculpture', he can't stand such a conclusion. In more ways than one. Probably also has something to do with whatever he's sucking on in his picture.

"Like many atheists, Karlsson starts with the real world, converts it to an abstraction, and then concludes that the abstraction is more real than the reality from which it is abstracted. Whitehead referred to this as "the fallacy of misplaced concreteness."

Which was where my comment yesterday, that he "... made a Left turn at the Descartes-Rousseau-Kant-Hegel outhouse, you needed to continue on straight in order to keep in touch with reality. The rest of what you have to say pretty much follows from that wrong turn, but if you are careful of your step, you should be able to retrace your steps to get on track. Good luck to you.", was came from. The euratheist is a mass of floating abstractions and stolen concepts, an example of not even rising to being wrong.

"God is not a tasty lobster."

ISS. True, but I did once eat in a restaurant in Seattle where I could understand the mistake being made.

8/19/2007 10:08:00 AM  
Anonymous karlsson's mom said...

Son, get the thumb out of the mouth and go outside and get some sun.
Before I smack some sense into you!

Sorry about this folks, he's been a bit demonic since birth. Used to practice that Svenghali pose for hours as a 3 year old..

8/19/2007 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

You hit this one out of the park, Bob. :) Yep, he's lost in a false religion. Hence, his objection, as Van pointed out, to your differentiating between right & wrong, art & trash, etc.

Oh, the foolishness that spews from the mind that actively rejects God.

8/19/2007 11:28:00 AM  
Blogger Smoov said...

What is it with the Swedes, anyhow? They're worse than Canadians (which I say as a half-breed Canadian).

How did they go from Vikings to thumb-sucking pseudo-intellecual panty-wetting shemales almost overnight?

wv: bsmcfuqt - Craig's List acronymn only intelligible in the seedier areas of San Francico's Mission district...

8/19/2007 12:27:00 PM  
Anonymous Biker Lady said...

And then on the other hand..
there are the Psychologist...
American Psychological Association weighing two measures...
Bob... you could be kicked out of this association. I know you will be worried./S
http://sweetness-light.com/archive/psychologists-to-vote-on-gitmo-interrogation-ban

8/19/2007 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Voltron said...

smoov,

I think the Vikings were norsemen.
The swedes were probably their equivalent of "prison bitch"...

Speaking of Vikings...,

8/19/2007 05:02:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Biker Lady:

They can't kick me out of the APA, because I quit a long time ago. They're truly mentally -- and spiritually -- ill.

8/19/2007 05:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Biker Lady said...

Bob... I was just being funny/sarcastic.
I know you weren't worried.

About the Swede.. he probally just wants to write a book. So he will put all your stuff in the book in quotes and then refute it all!

This reminds me of the man who claimed to be a an important Christian scholar (can't remember his name) who recently decided God didn't exist or he had lost his faith or something so he wrote a book about it.
I imagine a second book will be forthcoming when he get his faith back? Easy way to write books.
I doubt if he had any real faith at all or maybe just faith in his importance. He must have been important for his name to make the news. But I can't remember it!

8/19/2007 06:02:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

I saw a movie last night about savage, brutal, animalistic Vikings vs. the noble indigenous tribes of N. America. I'm sure it was 100% historically accurate. ;)

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0446013/

8/19/2007 06:18:00 PM  
Anonymous mandingo said...

Well, now, the Swede has a point. Bob asserts the existence of Petey, but we can't see Petey or feel Petey or talk to Petey. He exist entirely by heresay. And Bob won't talk much about Petey. Why all the secrecy? Why not just tell us what's going on?'

Bob never gives his readers enough to go on. He leaves the whole God thing in doubt. He never just comes right out and says, "I see God and here's what He looks like to me."

This is why we doubt. We can't satisfy our own questions about God's existence ourselves. Always a small doubt remains--"What if I'm wrong?"

This is why Bob really hates militant atheists. Bob has just one nerve, his small shred of doubt, and these guys stomp on it. Of course Bob reacts. He reacts because despite Petey, despite everything, despite scripture, he cannot arrive at 100% certainty and that drives him nuts.'

We must help Bob. If we can all say, with clarity, what we experience, then all doubts could be erased. It would be nice if Petey would come to someone else so that we can corroborate him. I'm open to hosting Petey for that purpose.

Let's help Bob. Let's help ourselves.

8/19/2007 08:37:00 PM  
Anonymous out of the closet said...

Mandingo,
Could you elaborate a little more on "hosting" Petey? I'm all ears!

8/19/2007 08:46:00 PM  
Anonymous Van said...

mandingo said "If we can all say, with clarity, what we experience, then all doubts could be erased."

I'm a little unclear on how your being able to clearly say what you experience, is going to erase all doubts ("Thomas, I'm fricking COLD!", "Hallelujah, I'm doubt free!"), but I'm reasonably certain enough to say that when you find you've had all doubt erased, you will either be wearing a nice pair of wrap around sleeves in a matching padded room, or find yourself laid out in a nice suit in a nicely quilted box with the faint sound of dirt being shoveled atop the lid.

"It would be nice if Petey would come to someone else so that we can corroborate him. I'm open to hosting Petey for that purpose."

Perhaps the aclu could help you sue for visitation rights.

8/19/2007 08:57:00 PM  
Blogger juliec said...

Mandingo,
what Bob has to say about "what God is like" really, frankly, is irrelevant. You may as well ask Bob what getting burned feels like. If you've never been burned, no amount of explanation will ever accurately describe how it feels, and you may even doubt whether it's possible to be burned.

Looked at another way, there are some people whose bodies do not feel pain. Something is wrong with their nervous systems so that pain signals never get through, though they generally feel other touch sensations just fine. Such people rarely live until adulthood, because they don't know when they're hurting themselves. If they manage to live to an age where they can discuss pain (or why they shouldn't lean on a hot stove) with any abstract comprehension, how do you think it works? How do you tell someone who has never hurt what hurting is, exactly?

If you've never experienced God for yourself, then nothing anyone can say will make it real for you. The reason so many of us enjoy this blog is that Bob is great at writing about things many of us already know in some way, but were never able to express.

Ah, hell - I don't know why I bother, since this is most likely the same twit who asked these same questions before. Some people never learn (when to quit being nice to trolls...).

8/19/2007 09:27:00 PM  
Anonymous mandingo said...

To answer Out of the Closet about hosting Petey:

Petey is a dead person who communicates with Bob. Petey was a Pennsylvania farmer who died in an accident involving a diesel harvesting combine in 1930. This is all that Bob has said about Petey.

Petey can visit anyone, presumably. He just zeroes in and hacks into whichever living mind he wants to speak with. While in the mind, he takes control the eyes and hands and so he can write things through the living person. This is called channeling. The person who is supplying the living body is the host. Petey would be the guest. I'd be honored to have him visit.

To answer Van about doubts--sure, I feel God but I'd be extra happy if someone else would corroborate my experience. I can't be totally sure if I'm sane or not. It's like being the only witness to see the Loch Ness monster. Sure, you know what you saw, but you'd damn happy if someone else saw it too. There's still that smidgeion of doubt that just MAYBE you're a little 'off'.

Corroboration--that's the name of the game. In numbers there is certainty and a freedom from doubt.

We've got to pin this God thing down once and for all. God is a sensory phenomenon with thousands of witnesses, and we must find matches and confirm repeating patterns. I'm working on a system of reporting that is organized and can be analyzed.

And to answer JulieC: yes, the nerveless must be left behind. They won't feel the burn. But so many of us do that it won't matter. And again, if you seen the Loch Ness monster, then you know it exists. I agree with your assertion but I want to go further.

8/19/2007 10:20:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

"Petey can visit anyone, presumably. He just zeroes in and hacks into whichever living mind he wants to speak with. While in the mind, he takes control the eyes and hands and so he can write things through the living person. This is called channeling. The person who is supplying the living body is the host. Petey would be the guest. I'd be honored to have him visit."

It seems we have a black Ramtha cultist in our midst.

8/19/2007 11:06:00 PM  
Anonymous out of the closet said...

Oh Mandingo, )the name just sends shivers) I had such plans....

8/19/2007 11:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Van said...

mandingo said "This is called channeling. The person who is supplying the living body is the host. Petey would be the guest. I'd be honored to have him visit."

Yes, but what if...
[shudder]
...what if you open a line for Petey, but in comes...Dupree!
[gasp]
and the Twins!

8/20/2007 04:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Biker Lady said...

It's the "in-thing to have an experience". Writers use religion because it sells books! And if you are a writer it usually works.
It is a sure way to get attention because it stirs up all kinds of opinions.
The thing to remember, as someone else said here is you will know them by their fruits/works. Give them some time and then you can judge for yourself about their "experience".

Here's another example:

Anne Rice, Vampire author, declares self Pro-Life, Pro HIllary.
Now that is really creepy!
Ms. Rice has recently discovered Jesus and is featuring Him in her books.

8/20/2007 06:57:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Mandingo said:
"despite everything, despite scripture, he cannot arrive at 100% certainty and that drives him nuts" & "I can't be totally sure if I'm sane or not. It's like being the only witness to see the Loch Ness monster"

Think you already answered your own question.

8/20/2007 10:24:00 AM  
Blogger Johan (cosmic swede) said...

Despite all the swede-bashing going on here, I guess I'll be lining up on your side anyway. Can I get status as a "metaphysic refugee" if I mange to reach the U.S. border? I'll start climbing the walls of the U.S. ambassy here in Stockholm asap.

But first I might have to write a post, listing all of the fantastic Swedes who has lived, or still is alive. And secondly, I must warn you. Dont't EVER make fun of the swedish chef again! He's to funny to mock.

Mr Karlsson first wrote a piece about something I'd written, which lead him here, and stird up all this. Sorry for your inconvenience.

As Mandingo said:
"We must help Bob. If we can all say, with clarity, what we experience, then all doubts could be erased. "

But this communicating might, as we know, be a huge problem. And that was exactly what I tried to explain to mr Karlsson some time ago, but of course, Bob does it better:

"I hope that sheds sufficient bobscurity on the subject, for I don't know how to be more perfectly unclear. Those who know will know what I am talking about, while Karlsson can only reduce it so something he thinks he knows. In other words, he claims absolute knowledge of something he doesn't know, which is to exalt stupidity, precisely."

But best of all, by bringing up the nazi-allegory, mr Karlsson made the error of Godwin's Law. Now, that's what I call irony.

8/20/2007 11:59:00 AM  
Blogger Susannah said...

"Corroboration--that's the name of the game. In numbers there is certainty and a freedom from doubt."

I refer you to the NT and approx. 2,000 years of church history. But don't stop there.

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." That's what He said.

There's just one little requirement:

"And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."

Don't worry; He provides everything you need to seek Him, including faith.

8/20/2007 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Allotetraploid said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8/20/2007 02:52:00 PM  
Blogger Allotetraploid said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8/20/2007 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger Allotetraploid said...

My last part in this sad play is now at an end. I’ve posted my concluding remarks on Mr. Godwin’s so called reasons to follow the volcanic god of Canaan, and you can find it here

8/20/2007 02:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Van said...

"Poppa de kork ov de boobly boobly!"

Johan, as the questions mounted, I was hunting all over for a poem to post by my Great Grandpa Edler (From Sweeden, ja) this weekend, but to my distress, I couldn't find it, or his book - looks like my Mom borrowed it back.

Ah well, the Sweedish chef lends bullet proof cover to the whole land.

;-)

8/20/2007 04:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

secular swedes built america and now its run by spiritual nutheads omg we gave you liberty freedom and enlightenment you spit on our values. cant remember any important american ever just a bunch of indians.

8/21/2007 04:39:00 AM  

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