Saturday, January 27, 2007

Monotheism is the Height of Human Evolution -

The evolutionary argument is that development occurs from a simple state to a more complex state. Not only that, but the inherent implication in the evolutionary argument is that when and if a species survives, its survival is due to its development of one or another beneficial characteristic. The point of this post is not to talk about whether evolution occurred or not, although the scientific record matches quite well with the Torah's, but rather to show how the peak of evolution is exemplified with monotheism.

A quick summary: G-d creates existence, the universe, Earth, life on Earth, and then Man. With Man He creates the ability to perceive Him. After Adam and Eve eat of the fruit, they no longer understand things to be "true" or "false" but rather "right" and "wrong," -- value judgments, and subjectivity becomes the prime directive of humanity's paradigm. This leads to humanity's creation and invention of all types of ideologies, which first manifested themselves as variant forms of polytheism, i.e., subjective forms of the Man-G-d relationship. Hundreds of years passed after the abatement of the flood before Abraham was successfully able to "re-piece" G-d's Existence together for the world. Abraham's true understanding of G-d, which culminated in a revelation, ended an era of unchallenged polytheism; it marked the end of a repeating cyclical process and the beginning of a generally ascending cycle. Therefore, once Man was really Man, which the Torah defines as a being with a soul (us), he ceased to go through physical evolutions and began to go through mental, intellectual, moral, and spiritual evolutions. Monotheism was the evolutionary peak of mental, intellectual, moral, and spiritual evolution - there was none higher and all were lower. As is, the "class GPA" of the world would rise due to this merited revelation; it would bring up the consciousness of the rest humanity.

Post-monotheism; Atheism

Can we not say that atheism is the logical conclusion of monotheism? If the process of one replacing many was a revelation of truth, can we not say that the process of none replacing one is a further development of truth? No, we cannot. The reason being is that atheism does not afford humanity something more than monotheism. Monotheism rejected the polytheisms of the day in favor of a theistic understanding that a unified reality, with the One G-d, was the only true one; this was synonymous with absolute morality. The polytheists also had somewhat developed systems of values, ethics, and morals, but they waiver in relation to their instable and changing gods. G-d is Stable and the system of values, ethics, and morality instructed by Him is unchanging. Atheism's system of values, ethics, and morals is non-existent, as is their god. The subjective idea of atheism is a world void of implicit and inherent truths and morals; rather, in that world, one must extract truth and morality from the surrounding culture, a compass incapable of such a task. Culture has no interest in truth, and therefore cannot define falsehood, and so convenience and inconvenience replace these items respectively. It is not a violation of any inherent truth of human value to murder people, rather it should not be done because it is invconvenient to live in a society where people are free to end the lives of others. A society so morally irresolute must resort to replacing "falsehood" with the word "incovenient." There are several people in society who are prepared to tolerate the inconvenience of killing people if that's all it really is. As society becomes more silent, the murderers (rapists, cheaters, corrupters, etc...) become more emboldened. As the void becomes larger, the behaviors that potentially fill it become more variant. What we see is, through atheism, a return to a polytheistic-like world. The only difference is that the murderers murder to please themselves, not the gods.

There is an even more striking similarity; in an atheistic world, the obsession with the gods is still current- it seems that the void of morality, ethics, and values has not filled the void of the human need for the spiritual, and so many, if not all, types of spirituality are in demand. For example: wicca, the simplistic and superficial revival of ancient polytheistic religions, mystical trinkets such as tarot cards, shopping aisle astrology, and pseudo-psychological dream books, and of course new age spirituality.

The difference however is that the polytheists actually believed in these things and to a degree developed and organized them; today's "pop polytheism" is entirely external and superficial, not able to touch on the core of the way polytheists actually viewed the world 3,000 years ago and more. As a result, godless ideologies, religions actually, have developed, many of them humanitarian and social in essence. Valiant and noble causes, such as saving the environment, eradicating war, toppling injustice, and bringing and end to sexual oppression, start where religion ends. The people involved in these activities are fully engaged and embracing of the ideology of whatever group they have joined to the point where it ignites the spirituality within them and they become full of motivation and elation; the result is a strange and diluted form of worship. The imprint of religion is apparent even in these in that a few people, usually leaders, are seen as patriarchs or matriarchs of the movement and the rest of the people are disciples. The cause becomes universal in scope and the person is ready to dedicate the whole of his being to it. The cause or the objective goal of grandeur itself becomes the god, the object of devotion. However, no such god really exists, no command other than some loosely-composed internal drive to make something in the world better or perhaps to leave behind a vestige of immorality, completely fueled by self-initiation, and devotion fails as quickly as the whim flails.

But atheism facilitates the emergence of real evil. At any moment that the void is so large that anything can fit inside, with so many unchallenged acts of immorality, that any given act of "super destruction" can occur, and the previously immoral relativists, now suddenly awake to the possibility that evil exists, challenge it. However, one cannot develop an internal and composite perspective on morality overnight, and those who challenge it too are the products of years, if not decades or generations, of loosened moral fiber. Therefore, their judgment has become skewed by years of exposure to the irresoluteness of their culture and they, like most people, even those opposite to them, have lost the right to be the champions or torch-bearers of any ethical or moral mantle. Further, why should any maniac heed the moral urgings of the populace when they previously consumed immorality like voracious wolves? Will they now be hypocritical? If they believe in nothing, then they have not the right, but the ability, to say nothing. In the end, only the monotheists have room to speak and only they have the power to resist anything, for it was they who warned against evil when the stakes were still low. It is better to listen to the war drums before they become soaked in blood.


8 comments:

andrea said...

Very well written and thought provoking...I'm hoping you were maybe telling me that "great" minds think in similar analogies?!!! Peace, Andrea

jjew said...

Hey Andrea, how's it?

Yes, if I had the gumption to call our minds great, but that we both used that same analogy means that we are at least speaking in the same terms. Hehe, I find that that's not usually the case with us!

I am, it's true, a bit critical of the critics, but for reasons that are not exclusive to them. I also don't think that the people opposite to them, i.e., conservatives, necessarily have the answers. What I mean is that wisdom is not inherent to a political ideology, such as liberal or conservative, but rather that there is a more accurate model for truth than those, of which those ideologies are pieces. Therefore, neither a person who has defined his essential ideology as liberal or conservative has the capability to make straight value judgments; this includes almost all of humanity probably, and I'm in there too. We live in a post-truth culture, not world, but it is still available and we just need to put our finger on it. Peace, Yaniv...

Irenesson said...

I also read your piece on January 23rd, and you're at least right in one thing, atheism is monotheism.

But the rest of your insistent elaborations are pure rubbish. But then it's quite understandable, as a monotheist obviously can't even begin to fathom what polytheism really is. Trying to degrade polytheistic faith without having the slightest inkling of what it is, just goes to show your cultural bigotry and intolerance, which of course is an inherent trait with all monotheists.

Monotheism isn't the "peak" of human evolution, is an unnatural obomination, that ought to be rooted out once and for all, for the better of humankind. The atrocities performed in the name of monotheism is legion.

And if this comment doesn't appear, your bigotry has been proved beyond doubt !

jjew said...

Ah, thank you for commenting, I enjoy points of opposite to mine. A couple of things, though. First, I didn't say that atheism is monotheism, because of course atheists don't believe in G-d. I do think though that the allure of atheism is honest, in some way, to the monotheistic tradition of singularization and the filtering of "bad ideas." However, by removing the G-d aspect, atheism has thrown the baby out with the bath water.

I would like to suggest that nobody today really understands what polytheism is; until you witness a congregation of people bowing down and praising a tree with a breasted statue carved on top (Asherah), you don't know what polytheism is either. There is nothing cultural about a dislike for polytheism, it is a rational understanding of what it is, as far as is possible today. You call it bigotry, but I beg to differ; I think it's harmful for those who practice it.

How do you mean that monotheism is an unnatural phenomenon? It can only be as unnatural as is polytheism. I don't really understand by your response if you are a polytheist or an atheist.

Which atrocities in the name of monotheism are you speaking about?

jjew said...

I don't like to just leave comments on my own blog. You said that you read the January 23rd blog, in which I tried to express the atheist opinion, and I even tried to see the good in it and didn't create a polemic on atheists. For example, "Yet the pioneering spirit of monotheism, to atheists, is alive in atheism, for just like the monotheist was fighting against the illusions of polytheistic society, the atheist sees himself as fighting against the illusions of monotheistic society, which are primarily that G-d exists. They do not see atheism as a sin, not just because there is no Higher Authority on morality, but because they see themselves doing humanity a favor by fighting against the belief in a Divine Creator. To them, immorality, and even evil, is hinged upon belief in a Divine Creator." I'd like to hear your comment on that.

Olof said...

Hi,

Interesting text, but arent you to some extent confusing Atheists with Agnostics of the kind that hardly even think about it? As far as I undertand true Atheists they are people who are standing in a constant, and often painful, relation to G-d, albeit negative. As atheism as we know it it is a relatively new phonomenon, I don't think it wrong to call it sort of a reverse-image Monotheism. Serious Atheists must make a hard effort to grasp what they are denying. Among such atheists I would count Albert Camus (Especially The Plague and The myth of Sisyphos). He accepts Nietzhes idea that "G-d is dead", but rejects the conclusion that "All is permissable", and fortwith dedicates his lives to prove that there still are motives to act morally, and this with an almost desperate air to it. When I studied Ethich at University, I noticed that most of the Die-Hard Atheist Utilitarian Philosphers still demanded a metaphysics that contained some sort of objective "Value Enitities" that somehow would stand in correlation to the Utilitarian prescibed or forbidden actions. The would ensure that morality actually was something objectively true, irrespective of human thinking...But what could possibly that be? Only one thing could ever make that equation work: HaShem. Same thing with my best friend since childhood: Die-Hard atheist and the most morally stringen person I have ever met, constantly evaluating his own actions so that they be in accord with the strictest Monotheistic standards (mush more so than me). When I ask him why he doesn't have an answer. Active Ahtheists are a weard bunch. Sometimes I think, at least when it comes to G-d, that belief in Absolute Truth, and belief in it's negation aren't nevessarily that very different.

Makes me think of the Rabbi who met a very furious woman who had lost her son at a young age and had become an Atheist. She declared to the Rabbi that ever since, every year on Yom Kippor she would get drunk and feast on copious amounts of Bacon.
- Well, sai the Rabbi, at least you are celebrating it.

Meaning, once again, I'm a lot more scared of people who doesn't care than of Atheists.

Sholem Aleichem,

Olof

jjew said...

Good comment, thanks.

You said, "As far as I understand true Atheists they are people who are standing in a constant, and often painful, relation to G-d, albeit negative." An uncle of mine, who says he's an atheist, told me years ago that an atheist is someone who doesn't even bother to think if G-d exists. Now who am I to judge what "atheist" means when I am not one, but it seems to me that his definition is actually the definition for an agnostic. If an atheist truly doesn't believe in G-d, then he has no relationship with G-d, neither positive nor negative. What I mean is, his relationship with G-d cannot be defined by the negation of G-d, because he believes that He doesn't exist. Negation still implies existence, and therefore an atheist has to produce an argument more sophisticated than that to demonstrate G-d's in-existence. This is most likely the reason why die-hard atheists seem almost desperate to show that a universal and absolute morality exists within the framework of atheism; they are trying to create a philosophical system that is able to neutrally avoid matters of G-d's existence but still want that system to have built within it an inherent moral/ethical barometer. You said it well, it can only be based on Hashem. Logically, atheists will have to lean towards naturalism in order to explain existence, etc... However, they are under a lot of pressure because there is no way to show that morality has any inherent function or even exists in a world (or universe) that is entirely governed by naturalism. Everything we know about biology shows that the more adept or powerful beings survive; if we apply that to ourselves we have doomed ourselves to a very morbid existence. Yet intellectual atheists seem insistent on finding a way to derive absolute morality from atheism, and I'm not exactly sure why. There isn't a real philosophical reason to ditch monotheism and transfer to atheism, the reason being because both systems suggest an idealistic struggle to attain world peace. Atheism wants to re-create that idealistic value system and then to apply it; I don't see the reason in that because one already exists. Atheists have to be absolutely sure that their new system will guarantee their aims, as ours guaratnees. Since they both guarantee that, I have no reason to move from where I stand; what's the nafka minah, ya know? The reconciliation between a perfect concept and its achieved goal is a struggle, and nothingness can only dream of replacing what Oneness can achieve, even if it hasn't yet. Perhaps not enough people are trying. At the end of the day, I think the real reason that the people who lean towards atheism do so is because of the variation that exists within the human race. There is no way to determine who will believe in G-d and who will not, who will strive to a higher truth and who will not, who will be interested in religion and who will not. Take a look at a person who has accepted some sort of religious lifestyle; what it is it that makes one person take such a step and another not? Also, what it is is that makes one person leave religion and another not? Surely it is experience, but it is also response to experience. It seems that people are born with innate desires and attributes; if we can make that argument about homosexuality, a behavior, then we can also make it about other behaviors, ya know? Right now, American culture is trying to paint homosexuality as a paradigm to be accepted, an outlook on life, but religion isn't?

You asked, "...aren't you to some extent confusing Atheists with Agnostics of the kind that hardly even think about it?" Well, I hear the question, but I'm referring to a particular ideology affiliated with atheism, and if we can agree that agnosticism is a form of confusion, then I wouldn't expect it to produce any type of ideology. Rather, it is atheism, which has (unfounded) confidence in its assurance, that has constructed an ideological/philosophical system.

Anonymous said...

jjew,

I just read all the above and I think you have made some great points.

I'm with you on the issues you brought up and hope that the rest of the world pays attention.

B'H and thanks for your work.

Shalom,
The Peaceful Warrior