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Friday, November 14, 2008

A new Morality: Love, Beauty, Truth/Virtue, Honor, Pride. Part I

I dislike religion. This isn't an unstudied view. I have read the Bible, Book of Mormon, Quran, Hadith, Bhagivad Gita, and the Upanishads. I have read Augustine, Aquinas (though not the entirety of summa theologica, I admit that was just too much), Boethius, C.S. Lewis, Dante's Divine Comedy, Milton's Paradise Lost and lord knows how many other Christian authors and apologists who felt their religion devoutly, and included it as a central pillar of their own works. Naturally I have visited the cathedrals, gazed upon western art full of religious imagery like Mary with Child, Jesus on the cross, and listened to the holy music of Handel, Mozart, and Beethoven. When you look back on western culture, be it Piers Plowman, Canterbury Tales, Everyman or Pilgrim's Progress, even be it the Knights of King Arthur's court, you will be reading about a Christian folk, with devout, Christian views, inspired by Christianity. I could never dislike these great men or their works, they are a treasure trove of thoughts and feelings at their highest height. If I ever had my say on the education of our youth, they would be immersed in this very Christian culture, right alongside the writings of the ancient greeks and romans, and the Enlightenment deists like Rousseau and Paine who came after. (Of whom I've also read almost in entirety. Just consult the Great Books series and I've read it, which is only the beginning of what I've read not the end. In the interest of full disclosure I've read 901 books in my life and tried to canvass all the greatest authors and philosphers among that number.)

Nevertheless, I dislike religion. At the very heart of religion stands a lie, which poisons everything. As Solzhenitsyn says, "Live not by lies," Is the smallest thing we can ask of man, the least resistance to evil we can make. Without it, evil will always prevail, and good can never flower. It is a lie that all those fanciful things happened in the past, it's mythology, not rigorous science, and when put to a scientific test it falls apart in shambles. It is a lie that logical paradoxes like something 'outside the universe' can still 'affect the universe.' That jesus can be 'fertilized by God' but God is "Spirit." Then what did he fertilize Jesus with? Apparently jesus came out of the womb with two sets of chromosomes not one, so whose material components are those? It's a lie that God is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-good, because the duty of all good men is to vanquish evil and support the good, something we know and praise instinctively among ourselves, and yet God does nothing to help us or hurt evil-doers. To put it even more basically, no good person, if he had the power, should just watch a rape occur in front of him and say "I can't interfere with the rapist's free will, it's up to him whether he wishes to rape or not, it's none of my business." And yet God is given this exact pass, for this exact lame excuse. It is a lie that this is the best of all possible worlds, and yet God to be perfect must only be capable of perfect creations, and God supposedly rules this world perfectly, and thus this MUST be the best of all possible worlds to fit in with the lie of God. As for Islam no good God could sanction the filthy, evil actions of Muhammed and his swine, or allow such ignorant nonsense as his faulty plagiarism of the Bible, or his making up verses and taking them back again, or his self-justifying revelations that always ruled in his favor. And for Hindu religions, their denial of evolution, their silly beliefs like the soul goes from out of the top of the head, and a thousand other nonsensical beliefs completely outmoded by science proves a 'divine wisdom' source fatuous. The paradoxes go on and on, the lame band-aid excuses pile higher and higher, religion does not pass any level of intellectual rigour. Perhaps there is some sort of supernatural existence we are not aware of, but it can't be any of the established religions, because none of them are consistent with logic or reason, and none of their holy works are self-consistent even by their own definitions. For those who wish for a hereafter, or those who hope the universe is in better hands than our own, I have no wish to shoot you down, I'm often among them. But every established religion and every holy text has had one unholy commandment, 'Live by Lies,' and thus cannot be allowed to remain.

Perhaps there was even a time when the Bible was reasonable to believe in, where people could earnestly think it's true and not know it was a lie. Perhaps before physics, chemistry, biology, and so on were learned, we could still believe seriously the ridiculous fancies of the past. That day is done. With it goes the honest devotion, the sincere morality, of its practitioners. Everyone who still believes in one of the established religions today, is doing so in full knowledge of its obvious falsehood. Everyone today knows that no miracles have ever been witnessed and that everything that happens on earth happens according to predictable natural laws. Everyone knows that diseases are not due to God punishing sinners justly, but unjust, unmerited suffering due to invasion of agrresive microbes, viruses, faulty genes, etc. Everyone knows justice is not done, that natural disasters take out innocent people due to natural laws like heat, pressure, stress, etc. they do not strike down only sinners due to God's intervention. Every believer who hasn't been raised in some sort of isolation chamber, has been provided enough proof that only hypocrites, ignoramuses, and pragmatists remain. My experiences with religious people has so underscored these logical assumptions that on the whole I detest them. They show so little basic morality, so little principled behavior, so little adherence to their own beliefs, that on the whole they are tools and creatures of convenience, who care about nothing but themselves and hold nothing sacred or inviolate under the stars. Give me one of those sweet religious creatures of the 1800's, or the 1200's, or the 300's, who felt religion meant living a righteous life, meant obeying one's betters, meant caring for the poor, meant preserving one's land against the heathens, or meant risking one's life to give birth to child after child, most of whom would never live to adulthood, and the religious strength of will to bury each and every one of them while trooping on through a painful, miserable, short life with an unvanquishable faith and hope in the future. Show me one person of that mold, and I, unfortunately, will show you 20 'Christians' who think nothing of lying, swearing, drinking, drugging, divorcing, cheating, whoring, stealing, or whining. I will show you entirely bankrupt souls, with no thought of morality in their head, using church camp as a chance to get away from parental supervision and having orgies between their counselor sermons. The truth is too bitter to speak much about, I'm sure everyone knows said 'believers' in their own lives and the ridiculousness of their faith and belief compared to their actions. I do not think it was always like this, but unfortunately now it always is.

Whatever the motivation of the religious, they have embraced the First Unholy Commandment, Live by Lies, and thus the fruit of all their deeds carries with it this vile poison. Everything they ever do is turned to wickedness, sometimes knowingly, sometimes unknowingly, but the result is always the same. Nature lives by the truth alone, those who don't, inevitably conflict with Nature. And Nature always wins. The golden rule "Do unto others as you would have them do Unto you," is already a pernicious, unnatural lie, which if followed, leads to utter ruin. Just consider the folly of treating others as well as you'd like to be treated. Wouldn't we all like to be treated as the king of the world, or at least, very, very nicely? It's obviously impossible for everyone to be given all the wealth, women, power, prestige, and so on, that we prefer people would 'do unto us.' Instead a healthy community must discriminate between superior and inferior people, just like we don't "do unto horses as we would have horses do unto us." I doubt very much we would like for horses to strap a saddle on our backs, mount us, and whip us to run miles around a track for their viewing pleasure--Even so we do just that to them and we don't feel a single pang of guilt for doing so! Why? Because in our judgment, we are superior and thus deserve to be treated better than horses, not equally. It is this belief that informs all our sensible views, but religion has perniciously sabotaged right at the most critical moment when it comes to humans. True morality discriminates, based on reason, uses judgement, and gives to people only precisely what they deserve, based on superiority and inferiority, irrespective of our own inclinations, and with full cognizance of the limited finite resources we have to attribute. Anything we 'do unto another' is something we cannot give any longer to someone else, perhaps someone more deserving, someone better, someone who has done more. It is perverse to reward everyone equally, in the end, it rewards fecundity as the ultimate good because apparently everyone must be taken care of regardless of merit. Which, in the end, means Nigeria will soon own the earth. Like usual, living by lies leads to absurdities in the real world, but ones we are intellectually hamstrung from stopping, due to our crippled minds weighed down by unalterable--stupid--religious creeds. So long as we follow any of the lies these religions have laid down, ultimately the road always leads to self-destructive, society-wide suicidal self-immolation. Religion cannot be mended, it has to go.

However, with the collapse of religion, the world has been left in a moral vacuum, an 'anything goes' mentality, and a sickening 'sentimentalism' which has replaced feelings with ideals. The ultimate sin of the new age is 'hate,' 'compassion' is the ultimate good. No one need do anything in the moral vacuum world, it is enough so long as they feel the right things. Feel non-judgmental, Feel tolerant, Feel sympathetic, Feel. It's enough to drive one mad. And all the while these people who insist we feel only happy thoughts, fill our media and movies with callous, hideous horror movies, gruesome hack and slash murder 'crime mysteries', amoral scheming mafia thugs, sluts, or who knows what. All 'negative' emotions we can enjoy vicariously, in the most mind-numbing and amoral way, while 'happy thoughts' should rule the world through magically thinking the world better. With a positive attitude, everything will work out on its own. "can't we all just get along?" Is their cry. Completely neglecting the finite resources of the planet, the vicious human nature inside of us, and the innate competition life has with all life. Basically, no rigourous thinkers, no geniuses, no men of high character, has created a corpus of atheist literature, atheist music, atheist plays, atheist cathedrals, atheist paintings, atheist spirit to replace the rotton religions of today. There isn't even an atheist bible! No thought out rule of life, no thought out right and wrong, no beliefs at all! A complete negative, on which feeds maggots on the festering corpse like emotions, silly sophmoric slogans, falsities, and self-convenient rationalizations--without reason men are ruled only by passion, and passion, blind instincts, are pernicious in and of themselves, and perhaps worse, easily yoked and controlled by any nearby willing tyrant who wishes to turn them to his own ends. The entire creative thought, all the men of good character and genius, for the past thousands of years, has been bent on creating a healthy culture subservient to religious ideology. All of that is gone now, all the culture dead, its replacement? Hollywood! Cable TV! Internet Porn! And 5 minute commercial interrupted 'news' that consists only of sound bites and never any history or geography or facts, ever, at all. Pop Culture cannot enspirit our people. They are, by and large, living soulless, degraded, hopelessly immoral lives--they are so mired in it they don't even think it wrong, or perverted, or strange, while they endlessly crusade against the last bastions of morality still in existence, endlessly leveling our every attempt to judge, discriminate, and reward justly, to create heirarchies, and to value things according to their inherent worth. Every year pop culture only accelerates the damage of the moral vacuum, instead of repairing it. Every year we are presented with the opportunity to progress beyond religion, but instead dig ever deeper into the most pathetically non-serious, non-thought-out, non-justified theories and beliefs and ideals of all. I suspect the reason for this has something to do with the empowerment of the masses, and thus the rule of stupidity over the world. I suspect that there are right now atheist prophets promoting atheist culture which could revive our senses, could renew our morality, could answer our questions, and meet our needs. But the force of technological and political changes so drowns them out, that nothing can be done. Perhaps the atheist spirit must first wait for such ruination of the world that the masses lose their grip on power through their own self-destruction, leaving only strong willed, well organized elites behind who can finally impose their corpus of culture that was only waiting to emerge into the light of day. That's neither here nor there. Pop culture, at least, is no solution.

While science is good at offering us hard facts, it is not capable of creating a culture, a spirit, a community, or a morality. It is one thing to use science to prove that evolutionarily, one has an advantage if he follows tit-for-tat behavior, or an ingroup cohesion and outgroup hostility, and so on. It is something else to make someone feel, deeply in his soul, that he must do something whatever the cost because it is the right thing to do, that the good is its own reward, and that betraying his principles is worse than death. This is not a field for science, it is a field for art, for culture, for poetry. For truth to sing siren songs that inspire love, devotion, and sanctity. Science cannot create the inviolate or the divine, because it is absolutely material, relative, conditional. By its nature, it cannot lead the hearts of men. An entire textbook on sociobiology is less convincing, less heart-rending, than a single song asking men to do the exact same thing. Science is out.

We must have a moral rennaisance. Morality is not achieved by people wishing it so. Nor is it achieved by asking people to be moral. Morality emerges organically, an interaction between our hearts, our deepest souls, and our culture and civilization. For a fruitful, positive morality to appear, it requires a complete culture, something that addresses ones heart and soul, which answers one's questions, which fulfills ones purpose, which provides ones goals, which defines the sacred and inviolate. Books, music, plays, architecture, gardens, everything is part of this paradigm, this beautiful culture, which is built for us like beavers build their dams. Humans cannot live without it, it is a part of our very bodies, it is like our breath and circulating blood--we create it just as fervently as shelter from the cold. Right next to some basic structure like a house, the very second building built is the church, the schoolhouse, the shrine, the something which feeds us culture alongside our mother's milk. Being born without culture is like being born without a kidney, or lungs, or a brain. It's a stillbirth. The child is destined to die a horrible torturuous life. It's a tragedy. And yet no available culture fulfills any of the basic functions culture must serve! Does anyone even realize this? Does anyone look at our youth today--no worse and probably better than any other generation before them in terms of IQ, health, happy living, education, wealth, etc, ie the greatest raw materials of all time--and wonder why the result is so tragic? That things you never heard of in the past, things unthinkable in the past, now occur so often, in so many people's lives, that it has become the norm? That we have embraced such poisonous beliefs that we're all going to die in less than a single century, one human lifespan? This is insane, and there's a reason for it, it isn't some giant coincidence--we gave birth to entire generations of babies without kidneys, lungs, and brains--we've given birth to a cultureless world.

Right alongside that is our lack of civilization. Civilization, in short, is the willingness to impose by force a moral culture on your people. Civilization is the enactment of good, wheras culture is the definition. Civilization has collapsed into anarcho-tyranny, as Sam Francis so well described, because it lost the will to enforce the good. It hid behind 'tolerance,' 'freedom,' 'privacy,' 'compassion,' and who knows what. In the end, Civilization deserted its post when it lost any belief in itself, any culture that could give it a sacred, give it a purpose, give it the willpower to exist. America has lost its religion, then its culture, then its civilization. It exists only by momentum and each generation is worse off than the last. Our only saving grace is the material advancement of our sciences, however there is, inevitably, some distant point where moral collapse overtakes material gains, and then our country will collapse, dragging science down with it, and burying all the advances we've currently made. There are numerous historical civilizations who fell prey to the same trend. In China, they once could sail all around the world but when the empire fell, the technology fell with them. In Rome, glass was cheap and plentiful but when the culture and civilization fell, the technology fell with them. Factories that once served mass-manufactured goods to the entire empire shut down and trade ended with the rising insecurity, whole arms of the economy ceased to exist. Science cannot outlast morality. Science flourishes in a moral society, but it cannot save an immoral one. It should be indicative to everyone that our moral society was capable in even the 1960's to put men on the moon, but now 50 years later we're retiring the shuttles and making no pretense to engaging with space at all. Maybe it's a coincidence, maybe that 'crossing point' hasn't arrived yet, I don't know. I do know it exists and we will inevitably hit it without a moral renaissance.

Given we need a new morality, given no current solutions exist, given nothing will save us from ourselves and we must create these solutions, this art, philosophy, holy texts, architecture, and so on ourselves, given culture and civilization must exist and must also be true and positive for humanity to survive any length of time, what must be done?

I've previously discussed the sort of serious, hard-hearted, Serious civilization that would enforce morality from above. That would not let freedom or tolerance get in the way of excising moral rot or supporting moral good in its society. That would not allow Plato's greatest sin of calling the good evil or the evil good to go unanswered or unpunished. In my next part, I hope to show the culture of morality that could make people want to be good, love to be good, happily sing while living in this civilization, who would embrace such a world with grace, devotion, a sense of the sacred, and happiness. Civilization requires power, culture does not. We can start on our culture immediately, and it needn't be for all the lemmings that won't listen to us. For our own souls, and those of our children, is reason enough. Having a child without a healthy culture to impart to it, is child abuse. It's a parent's duty to raise a child with a healthy body, mind, and spirit. And so our task begins.

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