Logos Free Zone

A universe with no God can be expected to be random, chaotic, and meaningless. The fact that there even is a universe, is of course a problem for the atheist. Why is there something rather than nothing? Is the slightly odd query. In the Godless universe, Darwin is king. There is even an oratorio for Darwin, a musical form normally reserved for Christ and saints. The religious impulse pops up in another guise. Natural selection and, the later developed concept, of random mutation is supposed to drive organismic life – with the impossible miracle happening; order coming out of chaos, still with no Logos in sight. So, with neo-Darwinism, the random and chaotic, nonetheless has an apparent telos. If organisms exist, the very least they could do in this supposedly chaotic universe, would be to be some monstrous pulsating blob of slime churning between grotesque structures, rather than being frequently rather beautiful and even graceful.

Evolution 2.0 puts its finger squarely on the nonsense of order (something) coming from nothing in the realm of creatures, and explains itself using relatively recent, but settled, science – horizontal gene transfer, transposition, epigenetics, hybrids, and symbiogenesis.

And then the atheist is also committed to determinism, having no conceptual wiggle-room to introduce freedom of any sort into the picture, and determinism is a denial both of consciousness, other than as an epiphenomenon of no import, and agency. By necessity, determinists just contradict themselves left and right if they bother to say anything or commit anything to paper (screen? hard drive? cloud?).

So, random, chaotic, meaningless universe. But, human history is supposed to be telos-driven with the arc of history tending towards justice. If there were any actual justice, people promoting this cant would be its first victims. If all comes from the gaping maw of nothingness, surely it is all heading for the gaping maw of nothingness too. Something coming from nothing being impossible was one of the first thoughts of Western philosophers. Hellish meaninglessness, then, earthly kingdom of heaven. Got it.

Trying to identify a telos to human history is surely a fool’s errand. If it has a telos, it seems to be one dreamed up by the devil. We and the universe come from something; God the Logos and the Ungrund (meonic freedom), and free will means no fixed, predetermined, path for human history. Hopefully, human history has some kind of meaning to God and serves a heavenly purpose, but it sure as heck seems all too random on an earthly plane. Actual justice is a heavenly prerogative, while nonsense and drivel seem to reign supreme down here. From Logos to self-chosen insanity. For the atheist leftist; it is chaos to supreme order and earthly justice that certainly resembles some unerring faith in their nonexistent god; certainly in fate. The fact that fate and random, chaotic, meaninglessness are not remotely consistent? Welcome to further evidence that a faith and belief in Logos is the prerequisite to at least making sense.

23 thoughts on “Logos Free Zone

  1. Loved the article, NT usually talks about how God is only good, without shadow and shines on just and unjust alike. We can also see Christ talking about Holy Spirit has no nature of destruction neither death. Makes me think about the OT laws, chaos being the death itself and destruction itself. I would agree that entire universe is under the old law still.

  2. If the cosmos arose chaotically from sheer chaos, then despite all appearances to the contrary, it is entirely a species of that chaos. It is not orderly. It is not a cosmos, that is coherent and hangs together integrally. There are no causes, for there is no causal order. So there are no systems, no regularities, nor any thing that perdures. So there are no persons or minds. Nor therefore is there any such thing as a proposition or statement or notion entertained by any mind. So there is no proposition that there is no Lógos; for, that would be tantamount to the proposition that there are no propositions, no statements of any sort. The proposition that there are no propositions is its own counterexample. Thus if propositions → Lógos.

  3. The fact that there even is a universe, is of course a problem for the atheist. Why is there something rather than nothing?

    Not sure why this is any greater problem for an atheist than for a theist. Positing god does not eliminate the need for explanation, you still have the question of why god is there and why he should bother creating anything.

    Theism does not answer this ultimate question, it just makes people think they’ve answered it.

    Atheism in this regard at least is more honest, because it leaves the question unanswered. One aspect of atheism (or just basic reason) is recognizing that there are limits to human thought and there are many questions that are easy to ask but impossible to answer.

    • Once you have acknowledged that God created the universe, then you can consider why he did it. Atheism just says, “no reason.” There is nothing honest or modest about it. It’s nihilistic omniscience.

    • I don’t take it as a given that the questions “why God is there and why he should bother creating anything” are in need of explanation. I could ask the same of myself, every morning. I could ask the same of you, you could ask the same of me, right? Why am I here, why should I bother doing anything?

      When I ask that of myself, it doesn’t change anything about my circumstances. If you asked me, when I woke up this morning, why I am here, it would be low on my priorities of answering because “why” is less important than “what next”.

      This gets at what Richard says when he says “once you have acknowledged that God created the universe, then you can consider why he did it”. The reasoning comes later, accepting reality as reality is the first question.

      Putting “why is reality” ahead of “what is reality” misses out on all the interesting answers we have for “what”. If, this morning, I refused to acknowledge that I was awake until I had answered why i was awake, I would still be in bed.

      What kind of answer do you expect for the questions “why God is there” and “why should he bother creating anything?” And if you feel Atheism is more honest for leaving the question unanswered, why are you holding theism to a higher standard than atheism?

    • A.morphous: to ask why God exists, or what caused him, is to proceed on the basis of a category error. It is to treat God as if he were contingent, like all other things. But, being ultimate, God is *defined* as necessary. If you are not talking about a necessary being, you are not talking about God (therein lies the category error). Thus on the one hand he stands in need of no explanation – and requires no reasons or causes for his existence – and on the other he is strictly inexplicable. He’s the First Axiom of everything: as necessary, he is the ground of explanation of all other things.

      Thus if God – properly so called – is in fact actual, he is actual necessarily. Is he then actual? Anselm’s great discovery is that a God that might not actually exist is *also* not God, properly speaking; for, he would not be ultimate: an ultimate being must exist in fact – must be, not just a form, but the real actualization thereof. To think then that a necessary being might not exist is again to proceed on the basis of a category error. Necessary beings *must* exist actually, or they would not be necessary in fact, so that it would be incoherent to define them formally as necessary.

      As for why God creates, the answer is a question that answers itself: which is ultimate, an otherwise ultimate being who could create but does not, or an otherwise ultimate being who can create and does? Only the latter could be properly denoted by “God.”

      That argument can be used to demonstrate all the other divine perfections.

      • @Kristor, seems like we’ve been around this point before. If you say

        But, being ultimate, God is *defined* as necessary

        Then atheism is just stupid, an absurd contradiction – how can you disbelieve in what is necessary? That’s not what atheists are against; they are against the personified sky-daddy who is alleged to have formed the cosmos out of dust and his will and hands out favors and punishments like a father or king. And the pretensions of this mythological figure to ultimacy, and particularly its political deployment.

        This type of argument seems kind of pointless, especially when we already had it. It’s not a real disagreement, it’s just Humptydumpyism, a matter of definitional tricks. Atheists do not have doubts about the existence of order or necessity, they just have different models for those things than you do.

        Your response is a good example of what I meant when I said

        Theism does not answer this ultimate question, it just makes people think they’ve answered it.

        Equating god and necessity does not actually answer the question, it just short-circuits the search for explanation, probably a good thing as it avoids infinite regress. But as I suggested, intellectual humility works better.

      • I agree that atheism is stupid and an absurd contradiction given that here we are, in an organized cosmos with consciousness, freedom, and reason, but saying God is defined as necessary just means that if God exists, He exists necessarily, not contingently.

      • I wonder if negative beliefs are necessarily more definite than positive beliefs. I could believe in Sasquatch, for instance, on the basis of scrappy evidence–a footprint, a howl, a shadow. I might “flesh out” this data with interpolated additions, but I could also believe in Sasquatch simply by believing the scraps. My theism is based on this sort of scrappy evidence–data really. I can flesh this out into a theology of I want to, but fleshed-out theology is not necessary for my belief. I could believe in Sasquatch by simply believing that a footprint and a howl were not made by any known beast. Belief would not require me to formulae speculative theories about the diet and family structure of Sasquatch.

        An atheist has no data, and so requires a more definite atheology. If I moved to a community in the Pacific Northwest that was divided between Sasquatch believers and disbelievers, and did not myself see a strange footprint or hear a strange howl, I think I would form a definite image of the Sasquatch in which my crazy neighbors believed and I did not.

        When I was very young I had an imaginary friend I called Jerry Saggypants. To this day I can picture Jerry Saggypants much more clearly than I can picture my actual friends from that time. I had no data to sustain my belief in Jerry Saggypants, and so compensated with a very definite image of Jerry (he lived in South America and drove a car with square wheels). My belief in my real friends was sustained by data and required no definite image. The god of atheism is wholly imaginary, and so more definite than the data-driven God of theism.

        People who develop paranoia can develop definite theories to explain their sense of dread, but paranoia can be sustained by the data of dread alone. If the paranoiac were my friend, I would likely imagine a definite conspiracy theory and try to talk him out of that imaginary theory. But data of dread will remain for if I succeed in taking the theory of the “men in a black van” away. If you take the “men in a black van” away from me, I have nothing in which to disbelieve.

      • a.morphous, whoosh as usual. Somewhere on this blog, someone described the stereotype you fall into rather consistently – you make up some concept that you name God and then believe that others using the word are referring to the same thing. It’s pretty clear even to me that no one here believes in a “sky-daddy”, what have you been reading? What pretension to ultimacy? What favors? From there it necessarily goes into arrogance, in this case a claim for “intellectual humility”, whatever that means. You are trying too hard in some futile purely intellectual quest. Try to understand what is being said, you will be richer for it. And don’t worry, understanding it won’t make you a believer, I can guarantee you as much.

      • The term “sky-daddy” seems to really piss people off, but it’s just a somewhat disrespectful way of expressing a very standard view of the Judeochristian god. If I said “Our father who dwelleth in His heavenly abode” that would mean the same thing but maybe not trigger you folks?

        The real question is the relationship of such imagery with the idea of God as something abstract like Necessity or Ultimacy or Order. I am saying that atheists do not disbelieve in Necessity; they disbelieve in equating it with a person, a character, an agent. That just doesn’t make much sense, although certainly Christians have put millenia of effort into squaring this particular circle.

      • A.morphous, this is quite simple. It is also easy. All it requires is a replication along other dimensions of value of the argument I set forth in the penultimate paragraph of my last comment.

        … which is ultimate, an otherwise ultimate being who could create but does not, or an otherwise ultimate being who can create and does? Only the latter could be properly denoted by “God.”

        That argument can be used to demonstrate all the other divine perfections.

        Let’s go ahead and demonstrate a few perfections that must characterize ultimacy.

        Taking “greater” to mean nobler, better, more, and so forth, which sort of necessary item is greater along the following dimensions of greatness, and is therefore closer to ultimate?

        1. One that is actual and concrete, or one that is not.
        2. One that can and does act, or one that cannot or does not.
        3. One that is a mind and aware, or one that is not.
        4. One that is a person – i.e., a subject – or one that is not.
        5. One that intends and wills, or one that cannot or does not.
        6. One that can and does create, or one that cannot or does not.
        7. One that that can and does act within in the worlds he creates, or one that cannot or does not.
        8. One that can and does act upon the creatures of the worlds he creates, or one that cannot or does not.
        9. One that can incorporate or incarnate within the worlds he creates, or one that cannot or does not.

        I could go on. You get the drift, I’m sure. Of each of the alternatives, the former is greater than the latter, and must therefore characterize the ultimate. A necessity that is actual, concrete, mental, active, creative, and so forth has capacities, powers and characteristics that make him greater – more ultimate – than another necessity that does not have them.

        Thus if you are talking about a necessary order that is not actual, you are not talking about God, properly so called. If you are talking about a necessary order that is not personal, you are not talking about God. If you are talking about a necessary order that is not able to incarnate within his worlds at will, to work miracles, to rise from the dead, and so on, then you are not talking about God. And so forth.

        Since the ultimate must necessarily exist actually, and must be perfect along all dimensions of value, so that he must be personal, mental, active, capable of incarnation, and so forth, we can be sure that God, properly so called, must certainly exist, and that he is capable of appearing to us as the God of the Bible does.

        You can say that this is all nothing more than a series of definitional tricks. You can say the same thing for mathematics. That p is true by definition does not entail that p is not true in fact. On the contrary, it entails that p *must* be true in fact, in every state of affairs whatever: whatever: in every possible world, and before all worlds.

      • You are right that the God of the Bible is not identical to the God of the Philosophers, although the two descriptions can be reconciled. You are also right that there are Christians who imagine God as a sort of “sky-daddy.” This is not the God of the Bible, but the Christians who entertain this image are for the most part poor, lonely and suffering people. I am disinclined to mock these poor people. If religion is “the opiate of the masses,” we now know that the Marxist methadone doesn’t really work.

        If abstractions cannot be related to God, can they be related to anything? If you meant to write identified with God, the question becomes can they be identified with anything?

      • a.morphous, the “term” “sky-daddy” is annoying only insofar as it is intellectually dishonest, considering what has been written on the topic and notwithstanding childish beliefs of theists and atheists alike. Not everybody here is Christian and not everybody gets “pissed off” because of a comment on the internet. Use any term you like with me, but then what kind of discussion will we have? The one we have, I suppose.

        What is described is a concept of God and it is based on logic and various metaphysical arguments. Arguments and logic are not proof in and of themselves, which is what you want them to be, it seems. You are searching for some intellectual certainty that you won’t find. Your disbelief is such a certainty, because it is not a simple lack of belief, but actual belief that something is not. Of course, you can’t be actually certain of it, so it’s just a belief that you prefer.

    • a.morphous, you are missing the point. Without the God of the Bible, reality cannot be what it is. Since reality *is* what we see that it is, God exists.

  4. Telos may not be exactly the same thing as destiny, but a naturalist has to suppose that the arc of history tends towards fossils. The test has been run millions of times, and every species so far has ended up as bones and stones. Not that these traces endure forever, of course. I don’t think it is possible to improve on Tennyson’s poetic précis of the doctrine.

    In Memoriam A.H.H.

    From scarped cliff and quarried stone
    She cries, “A thousand types are gone:
    I care for nothing, all shall go.”

    “Thou makest thine appeal to me:
    I bring to life, I bring to death:
    The spirit does but mean the breath:
    I know no more.” And he, shall he,

    Man, her last work, who seem’d so fair,
    Such splendid purpose in his eyes,
    Who roll’d the psalm to wintry skies,
    Who built him fanes of fruitless prayer,

    Who trusted God was love indeed
    And love Creation’s final law —
    Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw
    With ravine, shriek’d against his creed —

    Who loved, who suffer’d countless ills,
    Who battled for the True, the Just,
    Be blown about the desert dust,
    Or seal’d within the iron hills?

    No more? A monster then, a dream,
    A discord. Dragons of the prime,
    That tare each other in their slime,
    Were mellow music match’d with him.

  5. It’s no good asking why God is there. He is there. That is just the root fact and if it weren’t you wouldn’t even be able to ask the question. As for creation, you could say God created because he is creative and wants to express and reveal himself. He is a dynamic God not a static one.

    But really it’s because of love which can only be fully known when one becomes many. Then the whole world process is to bring the many, or as many of the many as wish to since they have freedom, into conscious recognition of their identity with the one. Spirit or oneness is perfect but spirit and matter together, joined together, integrated and consciously made one, is better than perfection.

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