Monday, May 02, 2011

God Hates Equality

I thought that might grab your attention. Yes, it is hyperbole. But it's not just hyperbole, for if God were partial to equality, he could have created a static and unevolving cosmos with no distinctions or levels whatsoever, just a big relativistic blob of multicultural goo -- instead of a liberating universe, a liberal university.

But our cosmos is nothing like this, thank God! That we are created equal, we know; but "equal" hardly means "equivalent."

For not only is it a full employment cosmos, each with his proper role to play, but it is characterized by an inward mobility through which we may ceaselessly develop and improve -- or fully actualize -- the gifts conferred by the Creator.

This latter characteristic is especially queer, for there is no other realm in the world that is subject to unlimited growth. Only the soul may continue assimilating reality and expanding forever.

Or at least no one has yet come close to reaching its limits. Even the cosmos -- paradoxically -- is closed and finite. And yet, it "contains" something that not only contains it, but is ultimately contained by nothing with the exception of O, which is extra-cosmic and beyond being.

One of the reasons Christianity is here is to annunciate and memorialize this metaphysic, and to render it operational.

Conversely, to the extent that man forgets this primordial truth, he is lost. He can be lost in a primitive way, as in the Islamic world, or in a pseudo-sophisticated way, as are the tenured, but he is nonetheless Ørphaned and adrift in a meaningless world, condemned to shout his inanities into the void.

Critically, this escape into the inscape occurred in only one place in history, in the Christian West (for our Jewish friends, we are naturally assuming the Judeo- component, since we are talking about a single "arc of salvation"). Fukuyama -- who is again clearly not coming at this from a religious perspective, but a disinterested sociological one -- documents how differently western Europe developed in comparison to China, India, and the Ottoman empire, each of the latter being rooted in very different metaphysics.

Now clearly, we cannot speak of "multiple" metaphysics. Of all the sciences known to man, only metaphysics can be truly "one," truly objective, and truly true (or "relatively absolute"). It is nothing like science, which has competing or tentative hypotheses for every phenomenon.

Science is a paradigm we superimpose upon phenomena, but it knows nothing of the noumenon beneath, behind, or above it all, for the phenomena are its shadow, so to speak. Plus, science can never be truly unified unless it sacrifices either completeness or consistency, a la Gödel.

But metaphysics is the "science of the whole," so to speak, so there can be no entity or event or theory or even religion (if the religion is to transmit Truth) that exists or takes place outside its purview.

In the past, we have spoken of Christianity not as a religion, but as the cure for religion.

This is only half-ironic, for in very important ways Christianity either contradicts what called itself "religion" prior to its emergence, or else it assimilates and sanctifies partial or garbled religious understandings in a higher Light (and again we are not speaking of Judaism, which is a special case).

One very obvious way that Christianity corrects and "cures" pre-Christian religion is in its emphasis on the sanctity and supreme worth of the individual. It cannot be overemphasized the extent to which the emergence of the individual marks an unprecedented and shocking Cosmic Fact -- the most important "fact" in all of creation.

This is a fact that cannot and will not be denied, for to deny it is to affirm it. In other words, the Knower of fact is obviously superior to the fact; either the Knower knows and therefore contains the fact, or vice versa.

"European society was," writes Fukuyama, "individualistic at a very early point, in the sense that individuals and not their families or kin groups could make important decisions about marriage, property, and other personal issues."

Cosmic evolution is very much rooted in the family, which is entirely conversant with what I know to be true of human psychological development: "Individualism in the family is the foundation of all other individualisms. Individuals did not wait for the emergence of a state declaring the legal rights of individuals and using the weight of its coercive power to enforce those rights."

"Rather," -- and this is a key point -- "states were formed on top of societies in which individuals already enjoyed substantial freedom from social obligations to kindreds. In Europe, social development preceded political development" (Fukuyama).

And what was true in Europe was and is even more so in the New and Improved World, which codified this metaphysical principle in its founding document. Men did not first figure out that they were created in liberty; rather, they first lived and embodied the freedom, and only then reasoned about its source, its foundation, and its ultimate purpose. Only posterior to this embodiment does it become cosmically "self-evident."

Prior to this, we must take it on faith that the Bible is telling us the truth when it affirms that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (2 Cor 3:17).

Liberty and equality are inverse variables, and in critical ways define the distinction between contemporary conservative liberals and illiberal leftists.

Ever since the French Revolution, the cosmically reactionary left has vaunted égalité over liberté, while the conservative revolution of America was fought for our freedom.

Our founders were freedom fighters, not feudal fighters struggling to make everyone equally beholden to the state master. And they were passionate about the relationship between hierarchy and liberty, for nothing destroys liberty like egalitarianism (not even the system against which they were rebelling; to the contrary, 18th century England was the freest place on earth).

Like all primitive peoples, the pre-Christian west was originally organized on the basis of tribes. In the past we have discussed how, in order for economic development to occur, human beings must crash through the "envy barrier."

But in many ways, the envy barrier is simply a function of the tribal barrier, for envy is one of the psychic mechanisms through which the tribe imposes unity and survives through time.

The question is, how did we accomplish this? And why the counter-revolution of the reactionary left?

Gotta take the boy to school. To be continued...

Yeah, baby, gotta be me, even or especially if I'm the only swingin' black Jewish Nixon-hugging dwarf in existence:

20 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is very excellent stuff. I wonder if you realize just the power and import of it (though I do not wonder this very much). I can affirm the truth of it. Let me tell you my story:

I was raised an RC. I had left the church in my early teens (the reasons were not really the usual adolescent nonsense, and quite valid, but this is another tale).
I am quite well educated--several degrees from first rate schools.

I was for many years an "Evangelical Atheist" of the worst sort--almost rabid. Much worse than worst of the trolls who show up here. I had every argument aganst Christianity that could stand muster, and not the usual ignorant and irrational cant either; quite measured, learned and (truly) sophisticated arguments, and the closely argued logic and silvery rhetoric where my trademarks. I would have given even you a run for your money, believe you me.

Around 40, I had a radical conversion back to the faith. It was wholly unbidden (and undeserved, I might add)and seem to come out of nowhere. The conversion took 2 weeks, much to the surprise and consternation of family, friends and colleagues. It was li ke beng hit by a truck. It was perforce not an "intellectual conversion" at all; it was almost completely at another level. Wags might say "beneath" the "traditional" intellect, others might say it was "above" it. In fact, it was wholly outside such things--in fact, it was outside of even language; only later would language follow.

Then still later the "traditional intellect" followed and it spoke much as you speak here, albeit less floridly. (note here by "traditional intellect" I mean something other than what you sometimes term "true intellect").

Believe me, this all came as a complete shock to me, not to mention my ego. It is true that I was spared "public education" and come from a time where the young were taught real things. It is true was given a good grasp of history, including religious history, and had some training in, and exposure to theology and philosophy, but I cannot say that I, myself, "reached these conclusions". There they were nonetheless.

Extremely mysterious and powerful stuff.
More than 20 years later I have not wavered in faith for one day.

I think that these are conclusions that are impossible to reach on one's own. It to me is the closest one can come to "grace" in the intellectual realm.

It would be impossible without both the spiritual and historical reality of the Judeo-Christian heritage.

Pity we seem bet on castng it aside.

5/02/2011 09:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pity we seem bet on castng it aside.

= Pity we seem bent on casting it aside.

5/02/2011 09:48:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

True, Anonymous. And yet it was ever thus.

O gives so freely and completely to anyone who will hear; but we humans, we can't wait to set all that aside. Much easier to make our own truth, envision or own reality, of necessity as small as ourselves, than to conform ourselves to the Real, which is infinite.

5/02/2011 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"


Like all primitive peoples, the pre-Christian west was originally organized on the basis of tribes. In the past we have discussed how, in order for economic development to occur, human beings must crash through the "envy barrier." "

And not just primitive societies, fans of Greece & Rome, like me, have to realize pretty quickly, that both of them were explicitly formed on, and furthered their ever present tribes.

What enabled us to move past them, didn't originate with them, but from outside of them, and theres nothing else to choose from for that cause, than Christianity.

5/02/2011 11:24:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Anon says:

"Pity we seem bet on castng it aside."

It's the Vegas motif.

I would blame Van for your typographical slip up if I were you.

5/02/2011 11:49:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Van says:

"What enabled us to move past them, didn't originate with them, but from outside of them, and theres nothing else to choose from for that cause, than Christianity."

I would say above them rather than outside of them.

Outside sounds so horizontal.

5/02/2011 11:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Moose and Squirrel said...

I for one would like to forage and live with a small group.

I don't like the way things are set up now.

Anybody else with me?

5/02/2011 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger JP said...

Troll says:

"I for one would like to forage and live with a small group.

I don't like the way things are set up now.

Anybody else with me?"

You can do this in Vegas. Simply wander around picking up the loose change. It's like foraging in the wild, except in Vegas you can exchange the change for steak.

If you create a team, you can live in the storm drains beneath the city.

5/02/2011 12:30:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

JP said "I would say above them rather than outside of them. Outside sounds so horizontal."

Lol... the same thought occured to me just after posting the comment. Ah well, amongst us here, I think we almost self correct what eachother meant to say.

5/02/2011 12:42:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

'That we are created equal, we know...'?
well i'd opt for
'That we are created, we know...'
or better yet:
'Here I are, M-F's!'

5/02/2011 12:43:00 PM  
Anonymous nuke em back to the stone age said...

Those dumpster diver people have the right idea; forage amidst the rich pickings left behind by the populace.

No worries, no schedules, and abundant slack time.

Drawbacks: smell, dirt, disease.

Someone should try it out and then write an essay.

5/02/2011 03:01:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Moose and sqrl: I do that now: I vote GOP.

5/02/2011 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger mushroom said...

One of the reasons Christianity is here is to annunciate and memorialize this metaphysic, and to render it operational.

That is an elegant positive to Paul's "negative" in Romans chapter 6 that the old man is rendered 'inoperable' by the Cross.

5/02/2011 04:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Cousin Dupree said...

It's a shame that Osama was denied a full Islamic funeral. But it was impossible on such short notice to assemble a mob to dismember his corpse and drag it through the street.

5/02/2011 05:35:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Yeah, I'm guessing there also weren't any bridges or lamp posts available from which to hang him as an example, either. Bummer.

5/02/2011 05:45:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Cuz, I was ROFLMAO at that. Hope you don't mind, but I spread the good word in a few places here and there.

Wouldn't be surprised if it ends up everywhere.

5/02/2011 06:12:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Anonymous said “It is true was given a good grasp of history, including religious history, and had some training in, and exposure to theology and philosophy, but I cannot say that I, myself, "reached these conclusions". There they were nonetheless.”

And without that, instead of a beautiful setting of diamonds, the mind is left with bland arrangements of hollow eggshells, taking up space but having no substance.

That’s the difference between Education and Indoctrination.

Facts drilled into your head, having no more understanding or integration than had you memorized a deck’s worth of facts in trivial pursuit... deluding ourselves that this pap we’re giving our kids has any relation to Education, is... dangerous.

And it’s not confined to the left, by any means. I’m batting away comment after comment of conspiracy theories about obl having been dead for years, this was just the best time to pull out the joker card... or he’s not really dead, they’re just trying to divert attention, or... on and on and on.

A mind filled with unintegrated, or misintegrated facts, has, at best, a reduced habit of Understanding, and begins all new conspiracies in just the same way Descartes set up his Cogito and ‘Method of Doubt’:

”...I concluded that I might take, as a general rule, the principle, that all the things which we very clearly and distinctly conceive are true, only observing, however, that there is some difficulty in rightly determining the objects which we distinctly conceive”

He smuggled in the arbitrary into the means of cognition and understanding, which his followers, wittingly and unwittingly, have been exercising ever since, and it has been our undoing, the sleight of hand that’s replaced the glittering jewels of Western Civilization, with the eggheads of wackademia.

5/02/2011 06:32:00 PM  
Blogger ge said...

on topic!

http://www.slate.com/id/2292546/

5/03/2011 04:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OUr city parks are swarming with tasty squirrels and fat pigeons. Sometimes there are deer.

But, just try hunting there. People freak out.

There should be some kind of tolerance for people who like the hunter gatherer lifestyle.

5/03/2011 03:38:00 PM  
Blogger philmon said...

God Hates Equality ...

As you pointed out in your next post... Rev 3:16 :-)

5/04/2011 09:58:00 AM  

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