Wednesday, June 15, 2005

[Religious] Question

[cut and pasted work in progress] If there even is a main religious question, I don't think its whether or not “God” exists, but whether or not we ACKNOWLEDGE a category of the Divine AS SUCH. I think many of us would admit that, allowing for Matrix analogies, we "Blue Pill" our way through much of our lives and just "accept" our worldviews as “just so” (provided we're even aware we have them), or accept them as a working models/hypothesis to be amended along the edges as we live, but essentially, I mean we ESSENTIALLY can’t conceive (without lots of work), of our DEEPEST presuppositions as -presuppositions.

[Before anyone says "when I was in highschool I was 'religious' and then my second semester sophmore year ten years ago I had a class with Dr. Berris and I'm still an atheist", I think you should know you have deeper suppositions than mere doctrines about dieties; think sensory perception, the nature of matter, memory, reality of other minds, etc; remember that in The Matrix were Zen coffeeshop intellectuals, atheists, houswives, freethinkers, devout Evangelicals, professors, schizophrenics, etc...and all were IN the Matrix, defined within the Matrix, except the occasional Neo/Trinity/Orpheus.]

At certain points, certain […] things are considered CERTAIN – “patently obvious" in accord with our given worldview, otherwise our worldview can’t be “given” for us. Hopefully I will be able to present the possibility that any given worldview abides by a set of rules common to ALL Uber-perspectives; that a worldview must posit a category of "non-contingent", the radically independent, by which EVERYTHING else must be substantiated/measured (however it may be posited to do so), for it to be a worldview.

I'll try it this way; not every ‘religion’ has a godhead figure, hierarchical structure or holarchical structure (radiating outward from a point), pantheons, deities, etc. I wouldn’t claim those things as being common to all ‘religions’. What IS claimed to be common is that ALL of them posit a category of non-dependency, to which all other dimensions of reality (not merely the physical world, but the worlds of ideas, beliefs, higher/lower states of being, etc), are appended. This sort of positing is the only real common denominator of what "religions" do. In most forms of buddhism, everything boils down to nothing - nothingness as a state of. that is the source and origin of everything. Or in ancient greek paganism, everything is understood to exist out from Kaos/Okeanos, even the Gods and Titans who are born and die. They are simply higher on the rungs of being than we are. Always ask "what precedes/gives rise to this-or-that?"; once you reach the end, BEYOND is what is considered Divine, "radically non-contingent", the font of all being; it is what you presupposed to begin asking at all. It is considered "being religious" when one is most in accord with this Divine.

The problem [or solution] is that this definition would take in perspectives/
worldviews that - within Matrix-sanctioned views - aren’t [to be] considered religions. By this it would seem “having” perspective entails a fundamental “principle-working” that is best defined as "religious". It's threatening because then we have to ask ourselves some very fundamental things; are my most fundamental presuppositions regarding matter, energy, truth/falsehood, minds, thoughts, origins, "is/ought", etc - true? Am I in accord with the most "right" perspectives, the most in-accord-with-reality perspective (provided that “being in accord with reality” is a virtue - in your worldview!). Once you acknowledge the role of religious control, once you take this “Red Pill” - THEN the question of whether "God exists" or not may in a sense re-present itself, but as "does God fulfill the role of The Divine?"

We spend much of our lives precisely NOT addressing that nature of what we (from within our worldviews), hold to be "self evident". We don't like the threat of there being a set of Uber-rules regarding Ultimates that we previously held to be beyond question. welcome to humanity; or at least the 999.99 percent of it before....The Matrix. You're in good company, you just needed a red pill to get catch up to the past. 'Historical' (explicitly-religious) religions had less issue with this - since it was common knowledge to them all THAT all agreed that some 'thing' or some 'one' fit the category of Divine - they just disagreed (rather passionately), as to what or whom, how or how “big”. [Before anyone for some strange reason wants to bring up 'religious warfare' or something - 80,000,000 people were murdered in 80 years by the 'secular' ideology of communism (the deeply religious Dialectical Materialist cosmology), far beyond crusades, inquisitions or tribal conflicts spaning the globe in the millenia before].

The Matrix benefits from us not making the leap of logic regarding Religious Control in theory-forming, in worldviews, in doxastic (belief-forming) practices; we are prepped for accepting the illusion of a religiously NEUTRAL perspective in modernism (‘being rational’ or “being scientific’ or ‘skeptical’), and continuing in postmodernism (radical skepticism, historicism, etc). Presupposing helps make pretentions of “radical skepticism” or “freethought” entertaining and benign to the System; even radical skepticisms "critical" thinking has to ASSUME realities that are supposedly
"questioned" - often ones that radical skepticism must stand on to critique; one who uses RS presupposes realities, processes and events that are referred to in conversations (“communication” itself being presumed to be possible) – realities that are counted on to exist for the “skeptic” to speak, breath, eat, walk while talking, write bad poetry, drink coffee and smoke, etc. As a human, radical skeptics stand on paradigms (that share “religiousness”), to deny the necessity of [OTHER humans] paradigms as such. Oops I lost my train of thought.


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