Theological Criticism

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Theological Criticism

Post by admin » Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:46 pm

Walter Kaufmann the philosopher, in his essay "Against Theology", sought to differentiate theology from religion in general. "Theology, of course, is not religion; and a great deal of religion is emphatically anti-theological... An attack on theology, therefore, should not be taken as necessarily involving an attack on religion. Religion can be, and often has been, untheological or even anti-theological." However, Kaufmann found that "Christianity is inescapably a theological religion".

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Re: Theological Criticism

Post by Serendipper » Thu Feb 15, 2018 12:50 am

admin wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:46 pm
Kaufmann found that "Christianity is inescapably a theological religion".
First we have to define our terms.

Theology is the study of religion without necessarily the practicing of religion.
Religion is the practice of religious beliefs (ie. doing something religiously).

Paul said to James, "Faith without works is dead."

Religion is the idea that one can do something to improve his situation, but that's contrary to biblical teaching of Christianity because Paul makes it clear to the Ephesians that:

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."

Boasting is key. Anything you can do to improve yourself, you can brag about. "I keep the law better than he does." "I have more faith than they do." "I have done something that entitles me to enter into heaven."

Jesus said "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity."

So what can we do then? Absolutely nothing and the very act of doing anything prevents us from getting ahead because the reason we want to be better will always be the reason we are not.

Therefore ALL religion is counterproductive. All religion is egoic which defeats its own purpose. All one can accomplish with religion is the trading of chains of iron for chains of gold. Formerly you boasted before the guys of how many sins you commit and now you boast of how many virtues you have and it's the same trap.

So what are "works" for? Works are evidence of faith; not the cause. Works are the fruit born of faith. Therefore works are done simply because we like to do them and for no other purpose because as soon as the works become purposeful, we've defeated the purpose.

The only innocent motivation is that of fun and enjoyment. A person studies philosophy because he thinks it's fun; not because he's trying to get something out of it. A bird doesn't sing for the advancement of music.

Jesus said "And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Children innocently want to have fun and for no purpose. Fun is purposeless.

Now if you adopt the philosophical concept of "fun" in order to improve your situation, you still haven't understood. You're still the hamster on the wheel trying to get off. Finally the hamster will get hungry and go to the food bowl then discover it's off the wheel.
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Re: Theological Criticism

Post by Anomaly654 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:01 am

Religion is the idea that one can do something to improve his situation, but that's contrary to biblical teaching of Christianity because Paul makes it clear to the Ephesians that:

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
So what can we do then? Absolutely nothing and the very act of doing anything prevents us from getting ahead because the reason we want to be better will always be the reason we are not.

Therefore ALL religion is counterproductive. All religion is egoic which defeats its own purpose. All one can accomplish with religion is the trading of chains of iron for chains of gold. Formerly you boasted before the guys of how many sins you commit and now you boast of how many virtues you have and it's the same trap.
Self-improvement is not a theological contradiction. Both material and moral aspects of reality have a compatibilist nature. Matter changes but only under the supervision of the natural laws. Mutability is supervised by the absolute. Likewise in moral matters agents have some freedom in the same sense children have some freedom to play games of their choosing at places they choose to play them, within limits set by parents. When children exceed limits, the higher authority takes command and changes the child’s course. This doesn’t mean the child has no freedom of will at all.

The will to do good within a fragmentally falsified mind operating within a fragmentally falsified existence is worthwhile, not for scoring points but to participate in the process of “de-falsification”. That one has no choice in salvation doesn’t mean she has no viable moral choices in life, or that doing good is counterproductive as you suggest.

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Re: Theological Criticism

Post by Serendipper » Tue Feb 27, 2018 8:13 am

Anomaly654 wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:01 am
Religion is the idea that one can do something to improve his situation, but that's contrary to biblical teaching of Christianity because Paul makes it clear to the Ephesians that:

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
So what can we do then? Absolutely nothing and the very act of doing anything prevents us from getting ahead because the reason we want to be better will always be the reason we are not.

Therefore ALL religion is counterproductive. All religion is egoic which defeats its own purpose. All one can accomplish with religion is the trading of chains of iron for chains of gold. Formerly you boasted before the guys of how many sins you commit and now you boast of how many virtues you have and it's the same trap.
Self-improvement is not a theological contradiction.

I very much appreciate the critique, but how do you know?
Both material and moral aspects of reality have a compatibilist nature.

Where does morality exist? Is it not a construct?
Matter changes but only under the supervision of the natural laws.

I posit that natural laws are but observed regularities and there are no laws. The "law" terminology of science was inherited from religion and there is no evidence to support the notion that physical laws are indeed immutable laws.
Mutability is supervised by the absolute.

To have an absolute is to have a container with an inside, but no outside.
Likewise in moral matters agents have some freedom in the same sense children have some freedom to play games of their choosing at places they choose to play them, within limits set by parents. When children exceed limits, the higher authority takes command and changes the child’s course. This doesn’t mean the child has no freedom of will at all.
That seems right.
The will to do good
"To will is present with me, but how to do good I find not. For the good that I would, I do not; and the evil that I would not, that I do!" - Paul to the Romans.
The will to do good within a fragmentally falsified mind operating within a fragmentally falsified existence is worthwhile, not for scoring points but to participate in the process of “de-falsification”.

Why participate in the process of de-falsification? To score points???
That one has no choice in salvation doesn’t mean she has no viable moral choices in life, or that doing good is counterproductive as you suggest.
Sure but that begs the question of what is good? No one can take in all the variables in order to know what good is.

Spare a minute on this and give me your thoughts:

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Re: Theological Criticism

Post by Anomaly654 » Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:03 pm

I very much appreciate the critique, but how do you know?
I was responding specifically to your particular critique that “Religion is the idea that one can do something to improve his situation, but that's contrary to biblical teaching of Christianity”

Point was, a compatibilist structure denies your claim because the claim is essentially deterministic. Compatibilism, if true, negates determinism.
I posit that natural laws are but observed regularities and there are no laws. The "law" terminology of science was inherited from religion and there is no evidence to support the notion that physical laws are indeed immutable laws.
Yes, the observed regularities argument is a push back against the law argument. On the other hand, what are laws but “observed regularities”? Denial of immutability just points up the limits of human understanding. Because we have a finite and mutable existence, we can’t say that we KNOW there are immutable laws, but we can reasonably interpret from the observed regularities of the laws of science that somewhere tucked away in the mix is a component of immutability. We can be pretty sure the next apple isn’t going to float away in defiance of gravity.

Btw, are you JS Saint posting under a different name? You ‘sound’ somewhat like him.
Where does morality exist? Is it not a construct?
Here’s how I approach morality…
http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=193707
"To will is present with me, but how to do good I find not. For the good that I would, I do not; and the evil that I would not, that I do!" - Paul to the Romans.
Why participate in the process of de-falsification? To score points???
I think Paul points up a fundamental truth about the will that’s largely lost on most folks, probably especially Christians. Unfortunately, this is a concept I have a hard time trying to articulate, but here goes...

The proper correction in course from wrong to right in moral matters of the will is from slavery to freedom, just not the slavery of “will denied ability to choose freely” from one’s desires. Rather, Paul was I believe referring to the “will to choose truth”. Truth is the only thing we can say we should seek without hindrance. If (as I believe) goods are derivatives of truth, to choose goods over evils, virtue over vice (e.g., truth over falsity) is a foregone conclusion. Who in their right mind would purposefully pursue the false? Salvation is the eradication of fragmental falsity within the soul such that one can choose freely what one would choose naturally and without question anyway if not hindered: truth.

The common argument within Christianity that God didn’t create automatons to predestine but wants us to make our own decisions reveals a serious defect in our understanding of truth. Christians would never admit this because many consider themselves “born again” and predominantly “spiritually aware”. To see how falsity clouds the mind, imagine one who considers himself enlightened being shown he is not even on the same page with God in regards to a doctrine as basic as the will in moral matters and we can glimpse the effect of falsity enduing cognition and the enmity it creates toward truth.

From this perspective, the “scoring of points” you mention misses the mark too. The removal of falsity removes our hindrance to freely approach and embrace the truth. The notion of doing good to score points is a corruption caused by a fragmentally falsified mind. [This is of course a common malady we Christians share. Hard to break free from the subtle self-assignment of pride in our "goodness".] Once removed, we wonder how we could have been so blind as to not see that movement toward God—toward Truth—is the only possible direction we would ever want or need to go. Paul had to see truth from this perspective in order to see the futility of the fragmentally falsified mind which naturally resists truth: "And this is the judgment, that the light [truth] is come into the world, and men loved the darkness [falsity] rather than the light [truth]; for their deeds were evil [born of a falsified mind]. For everyone who does evil [unites with falsehood in mind and act] hates the light [truth], and does not come to the light[truth], lest his deeds should be exposed.” (Jn 3:19-20)
Sure but that begs the question of what is good? No one can take in all the variables in order to know what good is.
Good derives from truth. To the extent a thing has truth content, it’s good. To the extent a thing is falsified, it’s evil. We have trouble dealing with truth because truth is an absolute quality and we live a fragmentally falsified existence, surrounded by other fragmentally falsified humans whose desires and propensities often clash with our own. The way I understand degrees of good and evil is through the reduction of essence into “iotas” of information. I think of moral existence sort of like the way newspapers used to use black and white dots to create shades of gray; black (falsity) iotas in the soul composed of principally white (truth) elements create gray areas. The more elements falsified, the darker the soul and causally, the mind it produces. This I think is what Paul saw that caused him to realize that the light of truth was painful to the falsified soul such that after a certain point there was nothing one could do to save oneself.

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Re: Theological Criticism

Post by Satyr » Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:28 pm

Morality is the social cooperative evolution of behaviours that promote or demote efficiency and effectiveness.
In nature it is present in all social organism that reproduce heterosexually, and that then evolve a cooperative survival strategy.

Man codifies these dispositions and attempts to add a few more so as to produce a desirable effect in a world of shrinking spaces and growing populations.
It creates a code of ethics, which enforces desirable social behaviours...and these can become contrary to evolved dispositions.
Like monogamy, for example and the rules against adultery and polygamy.

Of course the human organism works on a simple binary code - 1/0.
This code is based on a simple neurological function = on/off
On = neural pulse triggering cell
Off = no neural pulse triggering cell

This simple mechanism is what evolves into binary thinking and dualism.
Good/Bad in relation to survival, becomes good/evil in relation to motives contrary to survival.
The human mind becomes trapped in this mechanism.
It becomes trapped in absolutes - absolute one, absolute nil...absolute order, absolute chaos....

This is a simplification of fluid space/time.
The brain must reduce data to these distinctions relative to itself, in the beginning, and then relative to an external abstract standard, like god.
At this point morality becomes divine...or detached from experienced reality. It becomes a pure idea(l), a noumenon with no references to phenomena.
As idea it can be defined in whatever way the mind desires to promote particular behaviours - often contrary to evolved dispositions.
Threat/Reward ensure that the organism abides by rules that contradict its nature.
Morality is nonsensical if it is not in reference to an objective.
In its primal, original form the motive is survival. In its later abstracted forms it can be an idea(l).

Morality evolves like any other behaviour....trial and error - consequences = costs/benefits.
When benefits outweigh the costs it is reinforced as a pattern of interacting we call behaviour when discussing organisms, or life.
Whereas non-living matter/energy follows the path-of-least-resistance, not requiring a will, nor consciousness, the organism can will itself towards paths-of-more-resistance where it attempt to outperforms other organisms by accepting a higher risk and cost so as to attain, a higher benefit - judgment is essential in this evaluation of costs/benefits.

Heterosexual reproduction demands the cooperation of another.
The fight/flight mechanism is numbed by lust - a sexual frenzy produced by excess energies, and hormones.
Bonding between parent/offspring is essential for larger brained organisms to emerge....as these require an out of the uterus period of maturation.
The reasons why nature did not evolve the size of womb to produce a fully matured big-brained individual is due to the proportions that would inhibit survival, in the long run.
Love is the chemical mechanism of bonding, producing the mother/child bond.
This evolves into the bonding of social cooperative unities.
Individual imprint on one another, mostly due to genetic similarities. Their identity is tied into a group or with other.
Morality is the code of conduct necessitated by such group dynamics.
Not only the fight/flight mechanism but the ego, to whatever degree it had evolved, had to be sublimated.
Ego = self/self-awareness - lucid part of self, where self refers to the sum of all previous experiences that manifested in the presence of an organism - this would include events prior to fertilization, as DNA carries the memories of the parents past.

Lust = excess libidinal energies that need to be expunged, creating a frenzied irrationality sometimes contrary to the organism's survival.
At this point I have to unpack my theory on need/desire.
Need = lack. The experience, sensation of existing.
A life-form is in constant agon, interaction, self-correcting etc.
Interaction depletes its resources, and it feels this as need - hunger, thirst...
if it successfully satisfies its needs it can store excess energies as fat, or as nervous energy, tension to make fight/flight possible, or as libidinal energies, to grow, and then to procreate.
Desire = these excess energies create a pressure (stress), a need to be expunged.
So we have two types of needs, one due to lack and from this the second due to excess.
Need wants to assimilate, to appropriate, to consume.....desire wants to expunge, grow, release, spill forth...

So, lust leads to love as a survival necessity, and a reproductive one as well.
The chemicals are created by the organism itself, to deal with preexisting innate dispositions.
We can now crate the chemicals artificially.

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Re: Theological Criticism

Post by Anomaly654 » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:27 pm

Thanks for your contribution Satyr but I'm not sure of its connection to the discussion. Moral discussion has always been populated by (roughly) the supernatural vs. the natural, or at least the abstract vs. the concrete. I'm aware of the trend in the last couple decades to inject an evolutionary framework into morality, but curious to know what's the connection between evolutionary theory of morals/ethics and the theological criticism in the op?

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Re: Theological Criticism

Post by Satyr » Thu Mar 01, 2018 6:30 pm

The criticism is discussing morality void of any pragmatic reference....converting morality to an abstraction, a ideology.
It sanctification.
I'm sure you've never fallen victim to such a ruse.
Like with the word 'love' or some other positive word.
If take morality, detach it from its evolution function we can make it a concept we can debate over....like god.
Any word will do.

'Humanity', let's say.
Detach the meaning associated with species, reproduction and you've created an idea that has to be redefined.

Morality is a behaviour necessitated first by the requirement of the cooperative reproductive strategy we call heterosexuality and then the requirement o weening an offspring, and then it evolves into a social necessity dictating rules of behaviour.
What kind of individual you want to cultivate within a given social group will shape the kinds of ethics you promote as ideal.

Effete minds want to sanctify concept so they can masturbate and pseudo-intellectualize until the bovines come home.

The tactic of detaching words from their references is a process of population control and manipulation, using psychology.
You may be far too clever to fall for such tricks, but others are not on the upper 1% of the intelligence scale.
for their sake you, as a smart man should guide them to recognize charlatans and word-based nonsense.

Begin by defining 'god' not in Abrahamic nonsensical ways, but in ancient Indo-European traditional ways.
What did those ancient refer to when they used the symbol, the word 'god'?
At first they referred to their own dead ancestors, who they called upon to aid them.
then they referred to natural forces. They saw their deities at work.
Abrahamism stole from Zoroastrianisms its binary good/evil, devil/god dichotomy, made it into an infectious idea slaves from all tribes could find comfort in.

The way it was defined was a contradiction of the experienced.
Omnipotent
Omniscient
Omnipresent
In other words everything and nothing.
Everywhere and nowhere.
Abstractions based on a simple on/off neurological function.
The multiplicity was imploded into a singularity. The gods that could be experienced became the one-god that was inside, in the mind - idea.
The abstraction of a singularity that could be felt but not proven.
This overturning is what we have inherited.

To this day the proposition is being debated when it is nonsense...psychology.
its proponents declare an absolute, a singularity, and instead of being ignored they must be dealt with.
Why?
Because, unfortunately, mediocrity drowns quality....and the popularity of the absurd makes it a force to be reckoned with.
Philosophy has become a psychological debate over words defined in absurd ways. Conversations over ideas with no external references.

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Re: Theological Criticism

Post by Anomaly654 » Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:31 pm

So my interpretation is that you wanted an opportunity to post your own religious views (evolutionary morality) and forced it into the theological discussion above. Got it.

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Re: Theological Criticism

Post by Serendipper » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:25 pm

Anomaly654 wrote:
Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:03 pm
I very much appreciate the critique, but how do you know?
I was responding specifically to your particular critique that “Religion is the idea that one can do something to improve his situation, but that's contrary to biblical teaching of Christianity”
Sorry for the delay, but I wasn't aware of your reply until now. If you're sure my name is preserved in the quote, then the forum software will give me a notification.

Anyway, this is good stuff and I appreciate the opportunity to explore this topic further.
Point was, a compatibilist structure denies your claim because the claim is essentially deterministic. Compatibilism, if true, negates determinism.
Compatibilism is the belief that free will and determinism are compatible ideas, and that it is possible to believe in both without being logically inconsistent.

Ok, the point I'm not clear on is what difference would it make to the claim that“Religion is the idea that one can do something to improve his situation, but that's contrary to biblical teaching of Christianity”?

It seems beside the point whether freewill exists or is compatible with determinism. What is the relevance that I'm not seeing?

If there is freewill, then anything freely done to improve one's situation is egoic.
If there is no freewill, then nothing can be freely done.
I posit that natural laws are but observed regularities and there are no laws. The "law" terminology of science was inherited from religion and there is no evidence to support the notion that physical laws are indeed immutable laws.
Yes, the observed regularities argument is a push back against the law argument. On the other hand, what are laws but “observed regularities”?
Well, a speed limit is not an observed regularity, but a commandment issued by authority... a law. In nature, commandments do not exist, rather, we observe regular happenings and assume or presume there must be an authority. There is no evidence of an authority other than the regularities themselves.
Denial of immutability just points up the limits of human understanding. Because we have a finite and mutable existence, we can’t say that we KNOW there are immutable laws, but we can reasonably interpret from the observed regularities of the laws of science that somewhere tucked away in the mix is a component of immutability.

It seems sensible, but I actually think that it's an error to jump to a conclusion on the basis of reasonable assumption. I mean, the stakes are high and we must be sure.
We can be pretty sure the next apple isn’t going to float away in defiance of gravity.
Yeah I know. I have thought a lot about that, but it just seems an error to assume gravity was always so. Or perhaps gravity was once much stronger. Physicists claim gravity is "oddly" weak. Some have theorized that perhaps gravity is leaking into other universes as an explanation for its weakness.

I wouldn't say gravity is a commandment, but more of a necessity for the universe to exist as we know it... and it has to be tuned to a specific value, but by "tuned" I don't mean it was set from the beginning, but "tuned" as in "honed", "refined" and found to be optimal.
Btw, are you JS Saint posting under a different name? You ‘sound’ somewhat like him.
I'll take that as a compliment :) No, I barely knew him actually and was really looking forward to talking with him. He made me mad before, so I left, then came back and began reading his old posts before feeling determined to talk to him, but he wasn't here :( Then I felt like crap.
Where does morality exist? Is it not a construct?
Here’s how I approach morality…
http://www.ilovephilosophy.com/viewtopi ... 5&t=193707
Here's me approaching that big post :shock: :D

I'd prefer to believe in morality because it would give me justification to think I'm better than someone else because I'm more moral. And it would give me justification to say this is how things ought to be so that I could solve all problems and receive flattery, admiration from others and myself. But, I'm unable to conceptualize morality as anything but a construct of imagination.... a deal between gentlemen for competition to see whose integrity has the most resolve... a game that perpetuates and validates the existence of my persona.

I realize this may seem off in left field to you, but I believe there is only one entity and one entity cannot be immoral to itself.

Well, let's consider our options:

1) There are lots of entities and lots of injustices and a benevolent god dispensing judgment that cannot right the wrong that happened (it doesn't accomplish anything).

2) There are lots of entities and lots of injustices, but everyone dies and that's that. There is no punishment nor undoing of the injustices. Just a flash of consciousness between two eternal darknesses (doesn't make sense to me, but some folks believe it.).

3) There are lots of entities and no injustice because morality doesn't exist, for whatever reason (seems hard to buy because lots of entities implies potential injustice between them).

4) There is one entity playing the parts of all entities and therefore no immorality can happen even if morality exists since one entity cannot be immoral to itself (seems sensible to me).

Idk, pick one or add to the list. ;)

"To will is present with me, but how to do good I find not. For the good that I would, I do not; and the evil that I would not, that I do!" - Paul to the Romans.
Why participate in the process of de-falsification? To score points???
I think Paul points up a fundamental truth about the will that’s largely lost on most folks, probably especially Christians. Unfortunately, this is a concept I have a hard time trying to articulate, but here goes...

The proper correction in course from wrong to right in moral matters of the will is from slavery to freedom, just not the slavery of “will denied ability to choose freely” from one’s desires. Rather, Paul was I believe referring to the “will to choose truth”. Truth is the only thing we can say we should seek without hindrance. If (as I believe) goods are derivatives of truth, to choose goods over evils, virtue over vice (e.g., truth over falsity) is a foregone conclusion. Who in their right mind would purposefully pursue the false? Salvation is the eradication of fragmental falsity within the soul such that one can choose freely what one would choose naturally and without question anyway if not hindered: truth.
Ok, but what defines truth? Rather, WHO defines truth? This feels like the "law conversation" above.

Truth and logic are just artifacts, offshoots, consequences of a dualistic universe wherein existence/nonexistence appear to define everything. Everything is described in the terms of what it is and what it is not. Truth is what is true and what is not false. Light is light and not darkness, so we have on (not off) and off (not on).

We've simply noticed the dual aspect of the universe and built reality around that assumption, which seem a very sound assumption, though it IS an assumption because there is no authority to state authoritatively that it is not an assumption.

Beyond the plus and minus, what is reality? It makes no sense because in order to have a reality you need subject and object where subject is not-object and object is not-subject. We cannot make sense of any singularity, nondual, absolute anything. Therefore, if we can't make sense of it, then what evidence do we have for it? Is it because we'd prefer to have an absolute??? Our desire is our evidence???

We can go one further and claim the desire stems from a desire to think we're special, ego, distinct from the universe so we can feel justified in kicking it around or embarking of righteous crusades to convert others to our thinking.

The suspicious motive and lack of evidence makes for a weak case.
The common argument within Christianity that God didn’t create automatons to predestine but wants us to make our own decisions reveals a serious defect in our understanding of truth. Christians would never admit this because many consider themselves “born again” and predominantly “spiritually aware”. To see how falsity clouds the mind, imagine one who considers himself enlightened being shown he is not even on the same page with God in regards to a doctrine as basic as the will in moral matters and we can glimpse the effect of falsity enduing cognition and the enmity it creates toward truth.
The bible is full of references to predestination and I used to have a notebook full of them. The christian explanation is that god simply knew the future, but that begs the question of how. And if he knew the future, then why create all those people for hell? Unless, of course, we need the damned in order to have the saved (more duality).

Romans 9

10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;
11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.
18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.
19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?
20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?
22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:
23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,


That's a clear statement that god created Pharaoh to split hell wide open to show his power and glory.
From this perspective, the “scoring of points” you mention misses the mark too. The removal of falsity removes our hindrance to freely approach and embrace the truth. The notion of doing good to score points is a corruption caused by a fragmentally falsified mind. [This is of course a common malady we Christians share. Hard to break free from the subtle self-assignment of pride in our "goodness".] Once removed, we wonder how we could have been so blind as to not see that movement toward God—toward Truth—is the only possible direction we would ever want or need to go. Paul had to see truth from this perspective in order to see the futility of the fragmentally falsified mind which naturally resists truth: "And this is the judgment, that the light [truth] is come into the world, and men loved the darkness [falsity] rather than the light [truth]; for their deeds were evil [born of a falsified mind]. For everyone who does evil [unites with falsehood in mind and act] hates the light [truth], and does not come to the light[truth], lest his deeds should be exposed.” (Jn 3:19-20)
Truth exists as a property of the subject/object experience.

Is it hot?

Jane = yes
Jack = no

The truth depends who you ask and is a property of the experience between the person and the environment.

Is there a rainbow?

Jane = yes
Jack = yes

Even though everyone may agree that it's true there is a rainbow, it doesn't mean the rainbow is actually there.

If a tree falls in the woods, it doesn't make a sound unless there is an ear and brain to create the sound from the pressure waves.

So what's true is relative to how subject/object interacts.

The only reason you know the sun exists is because you can detect electromagnetic radiation and that's simply an artifact of your having charged particles to receive the EMR. If you were made of dark matter, for instance, you could not feel the heat nor see the light from the sun; you could only detect the gravity.
Sure but that begs the question of what is good? No one can take in all the variables in order to know what good is.
Good derives from truth. To the extent a thing has truth content, it’s good. To the extent a thing is falsified, it’s evil.
Do you have an example of a good and evil?

Lying. You tell the truth if you're interested in seeing how it would play-out if you told the truth and lie when you don't want to play that game. I mean, you and I have an unspoken deal, right? I'll tell the truth if you do. I won't be the first to slip-up because of my pride, because I want to play the game that tests my pride against yours to see who wins. What other incentive is there? Paul said it doesn't matter because I'm a lawbreaker anyway, so what can be incentive other than pride? But if I lie, then I concede defeat because the game is of no interest to me or of less interest to me than some other game. That's about it. Otherwise we'll say what is to our advantage.

Murder. Again it's just a deal among folks in an effort to "do better". Being part of a community we have incentive to perpetuate the community by conjuring moral codes that benefit the community and that's a game most-all of us want to play. But, someone can opt-in and still murder someone, for instance when it's perceived to benefit the community (justification for wars and such). Or they can opt-out and go on a spree. There is nothing saying they can't, or else they couldn't, because the past can't be undone and the error can never be undone. How can we say "This event cannot exist in our universe" and yet it cannot be undone once done, so it exists eternally as foundation for everything that came after.

To say that morality is a law that cannot be broken (no "law" of the universe can be broken or it wouldn't be a law) begs the question of how to exterminate immorality it once it's happened. If it were a law, immorality could not happen.
We have trouble dealing with truth because truth is an absolute quality and we live a fragmentally falsified existence, surrounded by other fragmentally falsified humans whose desires and propensities often clash with our own. The way I understand degrees of good and evil is through the reduction of essence into “iotas” of information. I think of moral existence sort of like the way newspapers used to use black and white dots to create shades of gray; black (falsity) iotas in the soul composed of principally white (truth) elements create gray areas. The more elements falsified, the darker the soul and causally, the mind it produces. This I think is what Paul saw that caused him to realize that the light of truth was painful to the falsified soul such that after a certain point there was nothing one could do to save oneself.
Romans 3

23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.


Even in Christianity the law is useless since we're all lawbreakers. How to do good, I find not.

Christianity is a religion of no religion; unfortunately christians don't know that. Well, I shouldn't say "unfortunately" because that implies it's better if christians believed the "truth" and that itself is something I cannot substantiate, so it doesn't matter what christians or anyone else believes because the point of life is to be a genuine fake ;)

Alan Watts said the hindu would applaud the christian saying "Bravo! For here the All is totally taken-in by his own role, but not only that, he has presented himself with the most suspenseful problem of heaven on one hand and eternal damnation on the other and it all has to be decided in just this one life, and not only that, but how to get to heaven depends on voluntarily doing the involuntary in deciding to "believe" on a sacrifice as atonement for the sin he cannot help committing. Nothing can beat that. Nothing! Bravo!"

Who is going to be surprised when they wake up?

Good conversation! I appreciate it and look forward to your reply :)
Serendipity - the occurrence of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way; life; learning.

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