Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Darwinian Gene Gnome Project to Ban the Most Liberary Books

The Absolute bears witness to itself in the form of Christ. I notice that this is a formulation Balthasar refers to number of times throughout The Glory of the Lord. He contrasts this with Eastern religions, "the essence of which is to give practical training in how to transcend one's own consciousness, how to make the finite spirit a vessel of the infinite Spirit -- a flute through which the inspiration wafts --, how to educate the spirit to renounce its own designs in order that the infinite designs may be realized through it."

I don't know how to reproduce the appropriate pneumaticʘʘns, but this difference would correspond to the symbol O with the upward ↑ or downward ↓ arrow inside, the former denoting the saint or mystic, the latter the Christ -- or, if you want to be a bit more general about it, the messiah, avatar, or God-man.

But to his disciples, the saint will become a kind of (small g) god-man, or flesh-made-word, and there is nothing intrinsically wrong with this so long as we maintain our perspective and do not absolutize the relative.

For just as the Absolute bears witness to itself in the form of Christ, the saint or mystic bears witness to the Absolute. Like a written text, we must "see through" and beyond him to that which he points. His sanctity or holiness or nobility are like windows through which the light of the Absolute radiates into the herebelow.

Since Balthasar is dealing with a theological aesthetics, the discernment of spirits is an irreducibly qualitative matter, analogous to discerning great beauty in a poem or painting. While he obviously regards dogma as indispensable, in another sense, merely being told, say, that Jesus was "the Word made flesh," can be as cold a proposition as being told that Bach was the greatest composer, but never actually hearing the music; and not just hearing it, but hearing it deeply, on an interior level -- on a level adequate to its composer's interior state.

So how does one "judge" the Gospels beyond mere circular arguments from authority? For Balthasar, it is "by the quality of this Word as one which bears witness to itself... by the fact that here it is not a case of a man 'transparent to God' who proclaims the wisdom he has learned [the circle with the upward arrow], but that from this man's mouth divine authority speaks from the I-form [the circle with the downward arrow]." You could say that only discernment of extrinsic qualities can lift us out of the intrinsically closed circle of mere quantities.

In short, Christ is "God speaking man," while the mystic is "man speaking God." Thus, "at the point of closest similarity we find the sharpest distinction" -- which is why, for example, Jesus is totally acceptable to Muslims so long as he is regarded as just another prophet -- like Mohammed, only with a less perfect message. The perfect message is the Koran, which is really a form of bibliolatry, of Word made paper instead of flesh.

But it is one thing for the Word to become paper, another thing entirely for it to become flesh. For we are told by biologists that the simplest human cell contains more information than all the books in the New York City library.

No. Actually, a quick google search establishes the fact that this is far too modest a claim. For example,

“The information content of a simple cell has been established as around [ten to the twelfth power] bits, comparable to about a hundred million pages of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. Evolutionist Richard Dawkins acknowledged that the cell’s nucleus 'contains a digitally coded database larger, in information content, than all 30 volumes of the Encyclopaedia Britannica put together. And this figure is for each cell, not all the cells of a body put together.' Dr. Sagan estimated that if a person were to count every letter in every word in every book of the world’s largest library (approximately 10 million volumes), the total number of letters would be [ten to the twelfth power], which suggests that the 'simple cell' contains the information equivalent of the world’s largest library!"

So truly, compared to the most complex book, the human being is infinitely more complex. And what would it mean for each and every one of these cells to be infused with the divine light? Hard to say. For starters, probably something like this: "Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light." Who knows. Might even explain the nuclear scorch marks on the Shroud of Turin as well.

Now, the divine-human book is far too deep for human beings to fully fathom, which is a kind of seal of its authenticity, is it not? "But here 'incomprehensibility' does not mean a negative determination of what one does not know, but rather a positive and almost 'seen' and understood property of him whom one knows" (Balthasar).

In other words, "the more a great work of art is known and grasped, the more concretely are we dazzled by its 'ungraspable' genius. We never outgrow something which we acknowledge to stand above us by its very nature" (emphasis mine).

Compare this formulation to that of the metaphysical Darwinists, the liztardian queeglings who regard man is nothing more than matter made flesh. For them, this is all a human being is and can ever be: a series of transient adaptations to an arbitrary exterior environment. But for the Raccoon, man is an interior adequation to the Absolute, by any memes necessary.

Evolutionary psychologists and sociobiologists assure us that any human capacity, no matter how interior, sacred, beautiful, or intimate, is just an illusion -- a trick of the genes. Yes, goofy as it may sound, it takes more information than the world’s largest library just to spur you to enjoy coonjugal relations with your mate. Talk about overkill!

In the end, metaphysical Darwinism is the worst kind of crude anti-humanism, for it destroys the intrinsically human and drags everything down to the level of a meaningless competition for genetic survival. One can absolutely prove that metaphysical Darwinism is false simply by apprehending a single instance of absolute meaning.

For example, to know the simple but absolute truth that thou shalt not murder is to overturn that whole bloated Darwinian library. And if we can so easily invert that voluminous library, doesn't that imply something unique about the human station and its true liberary source?

Real human love is a greatway drug to the Divine plenitude, is it not? As Balthasar describes it, "Even the figure of a person whom we love and know well permanently remains for us too wonderful to exhaust by description, and, if we were truly lovers, we would be incensed if someone offered an account of the loved person which resolved all the mysteries about him."

I have to disagree. I never become incensed by the bonehead Darwinians and their insane reductionism. I just laugh at them. At least for now. But if they should ever prevail in their truly genocidal mission to obliterate the human station, that would probably be enough to tick me off.

33 Comments:

Blogger julie said...

But if they should ever prevail in their truly genocidal mission to obliterate the human station, that would probably be enough to tick me off.

Goodness knows, they haven't failed for lack of trying. Just in the last couple of days, I've seen articles trumpeting the discovery of various emotions as they light up parts of the brain, as though the brain is the sole cause of everything we experience, instead of an organ of synthesis between several states of being (or perhaps an organ of translation is a more accurate description?).

2/17/2009 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger James said...

I always thought of the brain as a radio transceiver tuned into a transmission from the absolute.

2/17/2009 08:57:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

All the news is bad today! But then, we can still tune in...

2/17/2009 09:45:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you poor deluded fools.

2/17/2009 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Petey said...

I know. Condemned to the Absolute. The horror!

2/17/2009 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

River, thanks for that link. The eeriest thing about it is how familiar that sound is.

2/17/2009 10:42:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welll, what you write is true, but...

You could greatly economize if you established the following with your flock:

1. Atheists and their ilk are whack. Period. Doesn't need to be discussed anymore.

2. Atheists and their ilk are whack but can be salvaged, and are worth salvaging, because they are of God too.

3. Raccoons with their coon vision and other powers should be activily engaged in the project of mitigating damages caused by the atheists and thier ilk and of getting them exposed to healthy influences.

4. Devoted more time to discussing how #3 is to be accomplished.

Or, you can continue to endlessly rebut the atheists far beyond the point where there is any use to it.

Which sounds like a better choice?

2/17/2009 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger walt said...

As a genuine P-D-F, I noticed:

...just as the Absolute bears witness to itself in the form of Christ, the saint or mystic bears witness to the Absolute.

Bob, this is a distinction I have wondered about for a long time. In all the books I've read, I've never seen it brought forward so clearly.

Ancient Mysteries, revealed!

Thanks!

2/17/2009 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger jwm said...

Yeeeeks!
Thanks for that link, River. Somehow that sound activates the awe reflex. You know- a purely mechanical response to certain frequencies and resonances. Easily explainable...
;)

JWM

2/17/2009 11:15:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

The action cult returns - what can I do today to make the world a better place?

Absolutely nothing!

And so much the better for it.

Or wv: angersky

2/17/2009 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Now, the divine-human book is far too deep for human beings to fully fathom, which is a kind of seal of its authenticity, is it not?"

See this is a creationist approach of taking a subjective opinion(so complex it must be designed) and making it an objective proof of design. Since when does complexity, and what humans are incapable of understanding, relate to being made by a God?

Once long ago people made up gods to explain things they didn't know or understand, and this is no different, except now we think that the more complex things(because they're harder to understand) can be attributed to a god. Conceptually it is no different, however we're still attributing something beyond current comprehension to god. Progress eventually made those old Pagan beliefs outdated, only for the concept to rear up again, and somehow this is different?

But, also, since we seem to not be aware of history, we can point to the problem with claiming complexity equates to a sign of a higher being. If you've ever seen the inside of a termite mound, you'd quickly realize that there is complexity equivalent to cities, and some mounds even have regulated ventilation systems. And yet, they're just termites. So, it's hard to believe somebody who claims there's proof of god through the complexities beyond the human mind, but mind you, some termites had air-conditioning well before humans... Should we bow before our insect overlords?

2/17/2009 11:52:00 AM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

Can you not read? Bob specifically said "deep," not complex.

2/17/2009 12:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ooops, my bad. Nevermind. I have no idea what I'm talking about.

2/17/2009 12:20:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Wow.

Anonymous 10:46, for your answer as to why we don't bother proselytizing, Anonymous 11:52 has stepped right on up to demonstrate the invincibility of the materialist mind. He's so far of the mark that it could be said he's facing the catcher, swinging wildly at (and missing) the ball as it's lobbed back toward the pitcher. he's not even wrong, since his comment has nothing to do with anything that's been stated here today. But obviously, he doesn't know that.

As far as your third point goes a) how do you know we aren't already "activily engaged in the project of mitigating damages caused by the atheists and thier ilk and of getting them exposed to healthy influences" and b) what's to discuss that we don't already?

If you want to go and seek out oppositional thinkers and engage them in dialogue to try to sway them to your point of view, knock yourself out - nobody's stopping you. If you want to serve as an example, do so by picking a set of Absolute rules (the Decalogue is always a great place to start) and try to live by them. People will respond accordingly.

If you want to tell Bob how he should post, again, nobody's stopping you, but don't be surprised if he takes his writing orders from sʘmeone else. If you think his endless rebuttals are useless, nobody's forcing you to stick around. And if that's all that you got out of today's post, I'd say you're already missing out on the majority of it anyway. Because even when he's talking about them, that's not all he's talking about.

2/17/2009 12:21:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's just that I desperately do not want there to be a god. Especially not one who loves me and only has my eternal best in mind. Nope, definitely not for me.

DGGP

2/17/2009 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Also, God is radically simple, in a way we cannot fathom. Thus one reason why you can't 'build' God, since our act of creating - constructing - makes things out of other things. God is 'No Thing' at all. (and also - coincidentally - makes things out of No Thing...)

2/17/2009 12:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Napolean Dynamite said...

Anonymous, just listen to your heart...that's what I do.

2/17/2009 12:52:00 PM  
Anonymous bob f. said...

"...Jesus is totally acceptable to Muslims so long as he is regarded as just another prophet -- like Mohammed, only with a less perfect message. The perfect message is the Koran, which is really a form of bibliolatry, of Word made paper instead of flesh."

Keep talking like that and you're likely to end up in the Jehovah's Witness Protection Program.

2/17/2009 01:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Kip said...

Don't worry Napoleon, I'm sure there's a babe out there for you too. Peace out.

2/17/2009 01:42:00 PM  
Anonymous bob f. said...

"Real human love is a greatway drug to the Divine plenitude, is it not?"

A few posts back you mentioned Solovyov, and I got a little book by him called, "The Meaning of Love", which may have been an inspiration for the Monotones' Book of Love (or maybe not). Anyway, Solovyov makes the identical point as you in the above quote, more or less to the effect that love for another is the recognition of the presence of the Divine in the other person.

Solovyov, according to another book blurb, was most noted for his sense of humor and a laugh that would drown out any other conversation in the immediate vicinity.

The guy sounds like he is right up your alley, B'ob.

2/17/2009 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

But to his disciples, the saint will become a kind of (small g) god-man, or flesh-made-word, and there is nothing intrinsically wrong with this so long as we maintain our perspective and do not absolutize the relative.

I don't know why I just thought of this, but I'm reminded of when I took a beginning Karate class in college, and we were being taught how to break the boards. The key is to aim your strike beyond the board, to a spot you can't see. The board marks the target, but it isn't the target, and if you stop your strike there not only will you not break the board, you might break your hand as well.

So, too, if we aim our sophs only at the saint, we will not only lose our impetus to go beyond him (as we must attempt to do), we risk doing great injury to ourselves in the process. The saint leads the way, but the saint isn't the way.

2/17/2009 02:16:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And now for something COMPLETELY different...

2/17/2009 02:23:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julie:

Thank you for your comment; this is really pertintent and useful. One could expand on it to meet almost any situation/challenge.

For instance, weight loss. Suppose you need to lose 10 lbs. Set the goal for 20 lbs, and then even if you 'fail' you have met the secret goal, which was masked by the other goal.

Same goes for anything you might strive for...

The net gain is to produce the 'swing through' effect, which means that you are trucking so fast you don't slow down as you near a goal, and thereby minimize teh chances of slacking off too much.

I will put this method into effect immediately.

2/17/2009 02:49:00 PM  
OpenID ropata said...

Anonymous, that's nothing! This wizard claims that cosmology is inside out.

2/17/2009 03:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Iowahawk's latest said...

43 I liketh bigge buttes and I cannot lye,

44 You othere faelows can’t denye,

45 But the council closed my wenching pub,

46 To please the Imams, aye thaere’s the rub.”

Now hie thee thither and reyde the raest!

2/17/2009 04:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Natasha said...

You should really check out www.rustedruminations.com I think you two would get along well and appreciate each other's writing.

2/17/2009 07:36:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Spiritual Kyudo, might be a term. Of art.

All saints are 'martyrs' - witnesses, but also in the other sense too - they die.

Another arrow - or karate chop through them isn't going to bother them much.

2/17/2009 07:48:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"One can absolutely prove that metaphysical Darwinism is false simply by apprehending a single instance of absolute meaning."

They are sooo laughable. Such a 'creature' as the reductionistic darweeniestas conceive, something which is nothing more than an assemblage of intricate gene-algorithims, would be nothing other than... an assemblage of intricate genetic algorithims, a bunch of switches, nothing more.

A computer bio any other name, would be but a computer all the same... and that means nothing more than switches. You don't get anything more out of an intricate assemblage of switches, than a bunch of switches... aka artificial intelligence aka stupid switches, just like your Mac... or even PC.

All it does is flip switches. There is no intelligence in a computer, just electricity following the laws of physics, there are not even any errors, let alone truth(!)... no computer has EVER made a mistake... NEVER!

What we programmers like to pass off as computer errors, are only our failures to properly plan into the program what switches to flip in response to the users input. There's no 'artificial intelligence' in there, only our best intelligent guesses as to how to respond, written out and stored in memory, waiting to dazzle you when you make the input we anticipated you would.

All the really cool A.I. programs are nothing but lots and lots of switches flipped really really fast, according to pre written directions and responses to input. Nothing more than an elaborate player piano, and electricity and silicon wafer switches bring nothing more than speed and compactness to computer design; in fundamentals, there's nothing more in your mac or pc than Charles Babagges original wooden computer designs. It's all 1's & 0's, on and off, or open and closed. Theoretically, everything a computer does today, could be done by a large enough set of lincoln logs and tinker toys.

And if you could build it, and you had the time to wait it out, you could program those lincoln logs to mimic human conversation... would you think those logs either intelligent or alive?

"For example, to know the simple but absolute truth that thou shalt not murder is to overturn that whole bloated Darwinian library."

The one thing you won't find in a machine, silicon or bio, is meaning... that's only found in you and I.

2/17/2009 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

anoni said "...and their ilk are whack but can be salvaged, and are worth salvaging, because ..."

You are obviously never going to drop the proselytizing schtick… tell you what… you go door to door announcing that you’re there to spread the word of the Raccoons… maybe wear a mask while doing it.

I’ll look for your story to appear on Greta.

Naturally wv gets it:nosubi
Nope, no substitute for I. Stop trying to avoid yourself by fixing others.

2/17/2009 09:01:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Julie said "The key is to aim your strike beyond the board, to a spot you can't see. The board marks the target, but it isn't the target..."

Ai-Yaw!

(ʘuch)

2/17/2009 09:09:00 PM  
Anonymous A I said...

Van - Want to play a game?

2/17/2009 09:16:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

How about a nice game of chess? Flip you for seconds....

2/17/2009 09:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is tragic that Obama should be president at all. If we had a position called "national well-wisher," "national greeter," or "national symbol of accomplishment," he would be perfect for the job.

2/17/2009 09:43:00 PM  

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