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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Defeat of the Will part 2

And now to completely demolish the "submission of the will" premise - "God's will" cannot be a moral guide, or a guide to anything else for that matter. You might think "Well, this is not true - if a person believes that the Bible is the word of God, then why can't he use that as a moral guide?" (excluding the little fact that anyone who follows the Bible faithfully is an insane criminal). Well, the problem is that there are no moral principles that can come from anyone's will.

Suppose I tell you "I think abortion is a horrible thing" (which I don't). Firstly, why should you care? That's just personal opinion. It is a product of my will, not of reality. Secondly, I might change my mind tomorrow - perhaps, if I had a girlfriend who got pregnant. But moral principles are universal. While my will may change in orientation from day to day, human needs and the laws of reality do not.

We find the same two problems with the notion that God can provide moral principles. Any morality provided by Christianity is the result of a will- God's will. Therefore it is merely personal opinion. Who cares? Also, the morality shown in the Bible, as well as by Christian sects, differs from place to place and from time to time. So how can there be moral principles?

It is the inherent subjectivity of God's will, which has by definition no objective standard to discover and reason from, which makes reliance on God's will impossible. If there is no objective fact, then there is no reason to follow anything. The world of the Christian is a nihilistic world, where everything is maintained by sheer force of faith and always threatens to crumble at the merest doubt. All there is, is human will.

"God's will" is, of course, part of the trash heap of inter-subjective Christian terms, like "salvation", "creation" and "original sin". It is really a malleable concept which means "whatever we tell you God wants". The idea of "interpreting the will of an abstraction" is is a mechanism used by collectivist systems- most religious cults, religions and political ideologies.

Just like the Christian cannot deny materialism, only vainly attempt to transcend it, the Christian cannot deny the rational conclusion about the exclusivity of human will, only vainly attempt to transcend it by trying to point to some standard which he (mistakenly) believes is objective. While the Christian qua Christian may believe that he is following the objective standard of his sect or particular set of beliefs, he is in fact following some inter-subjective standard.

This is not necessarily a problem, as long as he is aware of it. But in most cases Christians are not aware of it. There are bizarre exceptions of people who know that they are deluded and yet do not mind at all. This is the kind of people that an atheist talks to for five minutes and just leaves shaking his head, because the idea of a person who does not care for the truth is the complete antithesis of what atheism represents for most people.

So if we look at the nature of Christian belief, we find that it is entirely constructed of human will and human judgments, and by Occam's Razor we can eliminate the idea of "God's will" entirely. When a Christian is "inspired by God's will by reading the Bible", we should rather say that he is inspired by what his judgment tells him the Bible means. This puts the burden of interpretation in the proper hands, that is to say, in the believer's hands.

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1 Comments:

At 7/01/2006 11:53 AM, Blogger breakerslion declaimed...

Well argued. I especially liked the part about the ones who know they are deluded and still cling to the fantasy world.

There is no god. What then is "god's will", but whatever Simon the Shaman says it is. "God says so" is just a stamp of authority that is alleged to be unarguable by way of infallibility. A bullshit method of control, designed to get people to obey..."OBEY! EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE!" Sorry. I'm a big Dr. Who fan from way back, and I see lots of parallels between the Dahleks and the clergy.

 

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