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Monday, March 22, 2010

PanDeism Part Two: On Morality and The Afterlife

ON MORALITY

Theists often claim that those that do not believe in a personal God have no basis for morality.  I would have to completely disagree with this. Theists themselves, with evolving society and an evolving God, have no basis for morality.  For example: The God of the Old Testament was an evil God. Much worse, in my opinion, than Satan.  While Satan was bent on freeing the minds of Humans, the God of the Old Testament was enslaving them.  While Satan stayed to peaceful, scholarly discussion the evil God of the Old Testament killed men, women and Children.  While that, alone, is enough to explain why the three religions that accept the Old Testament of God (Christianity, Judaism and Islam) have no basis for morality, I will continue.  Suddenly, A few hundred years after the last prophet of the Old Testament, A child is born to a virgin in the City of Bethlehem.  This Child, Jesus, would grow to proclaim himself to be God. His name was, as you know, Jesus.  Jesus suddenly turned the Old Testament laws upside down.  From the Old Testament God demanding Adulterers to be stoned to forgiving them.  This kind of evolving God has no basis for morality because he is constantly changing to meet Society’s demands as Society evolves.

So where is the morality of non-theists based?  Time and place.  The difference between the morality of Theists and that of non-theists is that non-theists admit that morality is relative, while theists try to hide that fact so they can claim absolute morality as dictated to them by their God.  We admit that morality changes from one era to the next, from one nation to another.

 I brought up the fact that morality is relative to a Christian one time and his response was “So, you would hit an old lady with a car because there is no absolute morality?” The answer to that is, of course, not.  I would not run an old lady over.  I posed a question to that same Christian. I asked him “Would you stone a disobedient child like your bible commands you to do?”  He said no, as I had expected.  So I continued to ask him “Why is that?”  He said because we are not living in ancient times where that kind of punishment was allowed.  I said, “So you morality has evolved with society. That, friend, is the very definition of morality that is relative to time and place.”  Once he understood the similarities between our views on morality I never heard him utter another idiotic fallacy like that again.

ON THE AFTERLIFE

 Most discussion on the afterlife is, on both sides of the argument, laid out as if it what was being said was fact.  One side claims that an afterlife exists because a god told us about it in an ancient book, while the other side says there is not an afterlife because no one can provide descent proof for its existence.  I remain agnostic on the question of an afterlife, but it is not above me to speculate what an afterlife might be like if one exists.

The most popular concept of the afterlife is split into two: Heaven and Hell.  Heaven is the place where people go if they accept a certain God and a certain set of dogmas, while Hell is for everyone else.  Heaven is seen as a peaceful city in the sky where we would bask in the Glory of a murderous God, while Hell is described as a horrible place of absolute torture that will never cease.  Both concepts are derived from ancient myths that extend long before Judaism and Christianity.  As a Freethinker, I try to rid myself of such ancient myths in order to ponder freely about what an afterlife, with a Pandeist God, might look like.  Here is what I have come up with.

 or an afterlife to exist for humans, consciousness must continue to exist with or without our brains or our bodies.  I do not believe in an everlasting physical afterlife. No, once our bodies are dead they will remain so forever more.  What might happen, if an afterlife exists, is that our consciousness is saved in the memory of “The One” or God who, remember, is connecting everything in the universe together as he/she/it is, for now, the universe.  If God became the universe, it would make sense for him to, once again, separate him/her/itself from the universe.  When this happens, he would most likely take whatever form he had before the universe began (something I cannot even begin to speculate on). And the reason he had become the universe (to seek knowledge) would be fulfilled.  Remember, the reason a God would become one with the universe is to absorb the knowledge that a God apart from the universe could never obtain.  Some of that knowledge would be our thoughts, emotions, etc.  If God had, somehow, absorbed our consciousness as he/she/it would the rest of the knowledge, an afterlife might be a unified consciousness, where all memories, emotions and knowledge was shared from human to human.  We would all be one with each other and one with God. We would all be a unified whole.

6 comments:

  1. I very, very much like the way you think, and the way your thoughts are expressed in writing. Keep it up!!

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  2. what is phiosophy?

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  3. Morality has a different basis, it is partly derived from human self-consciousness. When we mostly talk of morality we talk of Love or altruism.

    Of all feelings Love is the greatest. When we talk of love, we imply a feeling like no other, a moment we want to eternally reside in. And yet it has been very easy for the biologists to explain the basis of this feeling. The chemical excitement of mind is a given when one is looking for a mate, in a system where reproduction plays a very important role. Even altruistic Love has been explained as a collection providing better chances for survival. But there seem to be instances when this Love becomes a weird thing in the biological model.

    A family loves and cares for an 85 year old Alzheimer grandmother, who stays in bed all day, can’t move much, not even respond well to their emotions and more importantly has no money to her name. They happily change her diapers, feed her soup, and try to keep her warm. Seeing this, one is forced to ask a question. What is it that drives them? Material selfishness is out of question and even selfishness of genes since she can’t reproduce. So through what gene do we model such altruism? A psychologist will speculate that this is simply a ticket to Heaven, a form of selfishness. But such acts have even been seen from humanists who don’t believe in any supernatural reward. And the question remains. Indeed it seems this love of which we sometimes say that it makes us human, seems to be anomaly, a by-product of the real process of genes produced somewhere in our abstract minds. Are we then to discard this anomaly and everything based upon it? We certainly don’t. In fact, we have seen atheists and materialists fight for the rights of people like gays, handicaps, retards, and sometimes even a different species called beasts normally by chauvinists. What is it that makes us human? What is it that makes us care for that is food for us, a means of our survival. I think evolution is unsatisfactory to give us an answer. We learn the answer as soon as we note that special gift in us; self-consciousness or being aware of one’s condition. It is from through this higher function that we derive our golden rule. We are capable of putting ourselves in others’ place and feeling their emotions and aspirations. We realize that we are all same inside, just played being around by the game of desires. Wish for your neighbour that which you wish for yourself. Group mentality and gene propagation maybe factors involved but human morality is special because of this golden rule. In determining the processes of nature, we must maintain our own speciality. Love is a beautiful feeling and should be maintained as a universal in the worldview. Mystics have been saying for centuries – rise from the individual, feel in yourself the whole of being. And when we do this, we come to realize the mystical workings of the world, atheist and theist alike, and we feel grateful for this specialty, growing closer to the nature or God and more importantly to each other.

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  4. This form of philosophy is also found within Advaita Vedanta. The concept of Nirguna Brahman.

    "That which cannot be expressed by speech, but by which speech is expressed—That alone know as Brahman and not that which people here worship. That which cannot be apprehended by the mind, but by which, they say, the mind is apprehended—That alone know as Brahman and not that which people here worship. That which cannot be perceived by the eye, but by which the eye is perceived—That alone know as Brahman and not that which people here worship. That which cannot he heard by the ear, but by which the hearing is perceived—That alone know as Brahman and not that which people here worship." Kena Upanishads (1.5-8)

    ReplyDelete
  5. This form of philosophy is also found within Advaita Vedanta. The concept of Nirguna Brahman.

    "That which cannot be expressed by speech, but by which speech is expressed—That alone know as Brahman and not that which people here worship. That which cannot be apprehended by the mind, but by which, they say, the mind is apprehended—That alone know as Brahman and not that which people here worship. That which cannot be perceived by the eye, but by which the eye is perceived—That alone know as Brahman and not that which people here worship. That which cannot he heard by the ear, but by which the hearing is perceived—That alone know as Brahman and not that which people here worship." Kena Upanishads (1.5-8)

    ReplyDelete

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