Friday, February 06, 2009

The Truth

I was brought up as a Christadelphian which is an obscure protestant Christian cult. For the most part they are decent folk with ideas that aren’t too whacky – they don’t believe in actual demons or hell for instance. These words are more labels for concepts that are anti the good. They do believe in God and heaven which is interesting as it appears that they are half way there. Satan has become a term for all that is evil, what could be described as our worst aspirations so why can’t God be a term for our highest aspirations? God exists as a concept. The Christadelphians always referred to their beliefs as “the Truth” as if by saying this it made it so. People were either “in the truth” or they were not. To be “in the truth” you needed to be a baptized member of the cult. Once you were baptized there was no turning back and the consequence of denying “the Truth” were dire indeed. I never got baptized so I get a certain respect as a militant atheist who is quite cold to “the Truth” in contrast to those namby-pamby agnostics.

So what is the Truth? - as Pontius Pilate once said.

Well, I have some answers. I have identified three fundamental truths. If you embrace these three fundamental truths you can’t go too far wrong:

1. God is the label we give to our highest aspirations.
2. The Moment Recurs Eternally
3. The Creator is Mindless

So, I have explained number one above. God only makes sense when you think of him in this way. This is why he never directly answers your prayers or saves people. How can a concept save anyone directly? A concept cannot literally reach out of the sky and pluck someone off a sinking ship for instance. A concept can inspire someone or give them hope but it can never be a sentient being.

I have discussed number two of course and consider this to be my core belief. We are always in the moment yet the moment passes quickly to stay forever unchanged and unchangeable, locked in time and space. Consider carefully what you do for it cannot be undone.

Number three I haven’t touched on yet I clearly remember the day when it struck me like a bright flash of light. It always seemed vaguely absurd that God would be the great architect and builder of the Universe. As if he had a big office where he drew up designs and then made things. Those first ideas must have been the hardest, how do you create a Universe out of nothing? How do you get that first idea? And then why do things follow the same patterns? If you can create anything then why aren’t life-forms more weird and wonderful? Why is there always an easily discernable heritage in all things living? The truth is that to be truly creative and original it is essential to have no mind. Without a mind you have no preconceptions and no inhibitions. Mindlessness is unthinking. This is why nature can be so cruel because mindlessness has no conscience and no remorse. Human intelligence merely observes the world and copies it, sometimes in the imagination and sometimes for real. Nature does this too. Constantly copying, mutating and selecting. Mutation is the true creator but it is a very inefficient one making thousands of bad things before it gets it right. And what is right now may not be right for tomorrow. Selection mechanisms work with replication and mutation to create – there can be no other way but the mindless and accidental way.

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