Logic, Faith, and Skepticism

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Introduction: A Paradox

 Honestly, do you love trying to be logical?  What about interesting?  Moral?  Funny?  Cool?  Talented?  Productive?  Attractive?  Caring?  Intelligent?  Heroic?  Can you honestly say that your life experience is a saga that divine beings (if any) would enjoy contemplating, or are you more like an ‘extra’ playing some limited role for ‘statistical purposes’ in the human story?

 Logic is powered by relevance.  And relevance is defined, for example, by attributes like those above (and their corresponding opposites) in reference to the plot of a saga.  Sometimes I like to assume for hypothetical purposes that the human story revolves around thousands of key actors experiencing a continuum from glory to hardship in order to measure mankind’s ‘character’ against the medium of a dramatic comedy filled with billions of extras.  But there is something about our story that is not funny from any angle…

god_of_the_universe_1557653339-1680x0 I consider this the most frightening issue in the known universe from the human perspective: we can rationalize that even the ultimate Authority of the universe (if any) would logically wonder whether it too was a created being, subject to the authority of Something ‘invisible’ still.  Yes, the concept of the Unknown is universally pervasive – to human logic, no divine being is immune from the Concept of the Unknown.  Accordingly, it is logical for mankind to wonder whether the ultimate Authority over us would ever try to satisfy its curiosity toward the Unknown by manufacturing extreme injustices in our worlds (i.e., unspeakable tortures) just to test if there really is a greater Authority out there in the Unknown willing to intervene in order to stop the horrific injustices.  In this hypothetical, the injustices grow exponentially more terrible as the Authority tries exponentially harder to test whether it is truly alone in the universe.  Frightening!!   I rationalize there are only three things that mitigate this fear to the human perspective: (1) our ability to avoid thinking (and our comfort with being irrational), (2) our ability to observe a consistent application of the Universal Law of ‘cause-and-effect’, and (3) our hope for the benevolence (or at least non-evil nature) of an omnipotent Authority.

 For example, the bible emphasizes ‘do unto others because what you measure will be measured back to you’. See, Matthew 7:1-12.  And in the bible, exact measurements are deemed ‘just’, appointed times are ‘essential to life’, etc.  When the biblical Authority gives these laws to us created beings, we rationalize this Authority also respects these laws.  Some of us go farther – we like to assume the highest morality is inextricably bound with an  Inescapable Law of ‘cause-and-effect’.  So when some of us humans observe ‘cause-and-effect’ laws described in our bible, we take comfort in our assumption by analogy: that the biblical Authority also would not engage in exponential injustice, for fear that it too would suffer reciprocity for its own injustices at the hands of a higher Power similarly constituted with a Universal Logic of cause-and-effect retribution.

93f1682d_ga Now for the surprising logic – the concept of an exponential forgiveness requirement is also frightening. Why?  Because logically, a law of forgiveness could theoretically be exploited as an ‘exponential loophole’ in the cosmic justice system to avoid exponential amounts of personal accountability for ‘cause-and-effect’.  Ask: why would a truly Divine being ever need forgiveness; for if they do (or even if they wonder if they do), are they truly divine, and have they not already proven that they are capable of wondering whether they are truly divine? And if they are not truly Divine or are wondering so, then perhaps they indeed have the ‘personality’ in them to engage in torture-testing to explore the Unknown.  So, paradoxically, perhaps the most frightening Authority of all is one who claims to reign alone and creates a universal law of forgiveness.

 In my opinion, anyone who can resolve this paradox will perform a great service to humanity, for this paradox is a great barrier to loving any Ultimate Authority.  Alternatively, if the paradox cannot be resolved, then it sets a paradigm of universal experience in such a way that Greatness can be viewed as not subservient to Absolute Power, but rather paradoxically that Greatness is a product that is best described as the mutual balance of Power and Humility.  More on the humility aspect below, but in the meantime…

 We appear to have a choice. As created beings, some of us will hope for a benevolent Authority of Absolute Power, reasoning that only an Absolute Power could guarantee that unspeakable tortures are never committed.  And yet as highlighted above, some of us will naturally seek to avoid any self-proclaimed absolute power, and we would even reason that ‘laws of forgiveness’ might be red flags indicating a claimed Authority is actually a potential torturer.  Accordingly, some of us will try to gravitate toward an Authority that humbly invites checks-and-balances into the cosmic judicial system, by sharing with other Authorities the mutual interest of an unflinching Universal Law of cause-and-effect.  In the latter example, with checks-and-balances we would be seeking to decrease the temptation and therefore probability of any Being turning any part of the universe into an exponential torture chamber designed to test the Unknown.

 

A.  Skepticism

Theoretically, human faith, logic, and skepticism can all be manipulated beyond human comprehension. So, why should we trust our minds?  This is a kind of nihilistic question, and it often feels ignorant of experience. By contrast, it feels honest to say that people observe the power to think and tinker, and because humans did not create this world, the Authority that did is showing us something. For an interesting way to verify skepticism objectively/statistically, read There’s Nothing Random About the Universe, by Jeffery Meiliken.

 Our minds are fragile due to limited perspectives.  For example, no human can prove whether or not invisible powers (spirits, aliens, etc) may be fooling us about existence.  Consider hypothetically what spirits or aliens could orchestrate through mind control that relies on hidden physics… as we have limited perspectives, we must admit logically that the extent of the mind control is theoretically unlimited – time and space might be just the tip of some exponential iceberg of deception.  When faced with any classic ‘alien powers’ example, we are required to fix our minds in one kind of thing – uncertainty, doubt, speculation, human incapacity to answer – skepticism.  So in this example, we find yet another proof that we cannot define “capital G God”, nor can we define “everything” or “truth”.

neurons All we have is limited powers of logic, faith, and skepticism.  These tend to reduce themselves to wave functions if we look closely enough at our biological brains and physical environment.  And logically, the more fantastic the world and heavens appear, the more likely our human minds will speculate that our earth-based chemical neurons are the subject of unnatural interference – this is because we earthlings observe every day that our natural world of chemicals is not fantastic, but predictable.  Factoids that tend to disrupt our logic these days come from things like quantum mechanics (which most humans do not study), as previously ‘impossible’ and bizarre observations appear commonplace. See for example the layman’s explanation, QED: The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, by Richard Feynman.  Incidentally, borrowing Feynman’s arrow techniques for tracking photons, I discovered some statistically improbable images that appear encoded in the Book of Revelation.

 All scientific endeavors are meant to refine our analysis of likely probabilities that a particular phenomenon is, or is not, a reality for our minds.  From there, we have logic, faith, and skepticism – the human experience.

 Faced with this imperfect dilemma of probabilities and logic, should we therefore strive to remain logically and emotionally impartial to everything we observe (like laboratory subjects), so that if humans are ever confronted with something perfect, we’ll be more likely to know, and gravitate, and yield to the perfection observed?  No, that’s just another question we can’t answer; or alternatively, it was theoretically answered by the supercomputer in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

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 When a person cannot logically determine an ultimate answer, he must decide whether he will endeavor to apply another tool capable of seeking his desired ‘ultimate answer’.  So, where man’s logic falls short, many emotionally-exhausted humans embark on the life-long process of conditioning their minds around the conclusion that faith/trust can prevail, because faith’s circularity is peacefully complete, whereas the process of logic seeks to rely on either (1) ever-changing evidence in the hope of building reliable conclusions upon unexplainable phenomena (which is an illogical and/or incomplete process), or (2) mathematical and/or intuitive probabilities that help us feel comfortable rationalizing our world views (which is logical toward limited pursuits, but ‘probably illogical’ toward any goal of finding ultimate answers to questions like ‘what is truth’).

 My own conclusion is that there is a logical way to approach faith and nihilism, and an illogical way to approach these concepts as well.  First though I should say something practical and down-to-earth — my common sense advises me to avoid crime on this planet and be fair and humble, and try to practice love appropriately.

 When a man sincerely believes that faith is accomplished through love, and that his ‘God’ is love, he will most likely try to give his faith freely to his mind’s appreciation of his ‘God’. In this way, he falls in love with his own mind. And perhaps there’s some great truth there; we just don’t know.  In any case, based on human experience a faithful man is likely to accept his preferred kind of signs in the physical world (e.g., some men like pyramid measurements, some marvel at toast shaped like dead ‘saints’) as well as messengers in the form of other humans making prophecies, and spirits (unexplained energies).

Preacher-Cartoon3 How do men draw the distinction between ‘belief’ and ‘fear of non-belief?’ From one perspective, a man can ‘perfect’ his faith in ignorance, but not logic.  Unfortunately, there is a certain part of religion that asks people to follow a dogmatic path of abandoning logic to find truth, under the auspices that this will help them achieve faith, and therefore love, and therefore life.  For example, have you ever heard a Christian preacher tell you that if you follow your own logic you are not being logical?  He might say that only his God’s logic is worthwhile, because his God is light, and the life is light (or some other combination of these words perhaps)… so in conclusion, you’re living in darkness.  His argument may seem to make sense, as it is dark inside your skull for example, and ‘what company does light have with darkness?’ However, why not ask this – what company does light have with the illogical?  Whoever lets religion become the enemy of logic is probably not practicing religion, but rather dogmatism.

 Religious and dogmatic people alike often condition their minds toward faith that the highest authority over man is the omnipotent God they are capable of imagining is possible.  Another way to analyze religion is whether mankind will find itself called to answer a more specific and narrow question – who can save mankind? And given all the evil in the world, one might logically think the ultimate Authority would indeed come to save us. You might even say that the worse things get here on planet earth, the more likely we are to believe that whoever saves us is someone important – so, ‘the greater the danger, the greater the Savior’.  And an analogous phenomenon – ‘the greater the forgiveness, the greater the love.’

 As highlighted above, I would think that even the ultimate Authority of the universe would question whether it too was a created being. And if so, then this Authority could theoretically manufacture injustice in the universe just to see if there were a greater Authority willing to intercede, which is what I consider the most frightening issue in the known universe. 

 Now for a thought exercise: imagine you had the keys to undo all of creation – not only all that will be, but all that ever was. You second-guess yourself before pulling the trigger. You question whether the injustices in the universe are outweighed by the worth of the moments of joy that can only exist through tenuousness. You doubt your own power to destroy everything, because once you do, you have no way to verify the job is complete. Indeed, you would have to have faith in yourself to do the job. Almost hoping you lack the power to erase everything, you rationalize that if everything over which you had the power to erase were actually only a fiction, there would be no injustice. Indeed, if you did erase all the fiction in the world, all that would be left would be reality, such that you would only succeed in erasing the only escape from injustice. Feeling overwhelmed, perhaps you decide to play some music.  Is this what the universe is currently doing?  How on earth could we ever know?

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B.  Logic

neurons Many readers of the above section may comment, “So what?” Perhaps you’ve experienced many of these same nihilistic thoughts yourself, and you know them to lead nowhere. With that said, allow me to add that even though humans may lack faith, we do seem to have a decent grasp of our intuitive ability to recognize burdens and benefits in both physical and conceptual matters, and so we stand at least a chance to gravitate toward a benevolent provider and feel good about our choice, or at least feel good about the risk we took even if it turns out we later feel we made the wrong choice.

 It’s also thought-provoking that an all-providing heavenly parent would logically be the most likely candidate to receive faith and love from humans. The archetype fills fundamental roles: creator, resource provider, educator, protector, enforcer of justice, and offeror of parental love. As humans, many of us are fortunate enough to know the experience of having caring parents as well as being a caring parent. This experience, along with a sense of the blessing of free will, can help open up our hearts to the possibility of a “parent” coming along, giving us milk and cookies, and telling us that we are their child, and we are loved.  Is holding on to human skepticism worth rejecting the opportunity to have a relationship like that, even if it is ultimately with some kind of mid-level alien or spirit in the universe? To the extent we have free will, we may have to make this choice someday.  Perhaps we are making the choice in every moment.

 Humans gravitate toward resources. If a living thing, or even a corporation, gives us valuable resources we tend to respect and honor it. And when those resources are withdrawn, we also withdraw. This archetype is pervasive, for example it easily dates back to the ancient agrarian societies who worshipped fertility ‘gods’. And it continues today, as many choose to give their allegiance to whomever gives them resources, such as the U.S. government, McDonald’s, family, charity, and so on.

 Often times we see destruction as the opposite of resources, even though the earth shows us that sometimes the best way to replenish fertility is with a flood, volcano eruption, wildfire, etc. In the Book of Revelation, it is said that many will curse the one who brings destruction and punishment upon the earth, and these men will not repent. Revelation 16:9-11.  Things are not always what they seem. feynman

 Because we are all so different on earth, it makes sense that some of us want puzzles and codes to decipher, whereas some of us will try to demand immediately clear and unflinching evidence of all truth.  Some of us want adventure challenges on a rugged planet, and some just want to be transported to a heavenly paradise right now.  Our Creator would naturally know our character and would design a system for us to bring out the best of our best, as this would bring the Creator the most honor.  Do you see the mutually-beneficial relationship here?  Trusting in something mutually beneficial for the Creator and the creation is a logical place for one’s hopes. It is the most logical way to make a choice over which you will feel positive, even if it turns out later that you made the wrong choice.  “Trust me.”

 

C.  Faith (and Research)

     Comparing Perspectives on Faith & Bible Research

 By one view, the ancient and literal bible describes a powerful race of advanced beings in the universe who created earth and go by the name Alhym (which in modern hebrew is ‘Elohim’).  In this view, the Elohim kingdom would be what is popularly referred to as the kingdom of heaven. But the bible also describes something called the heavens of the heavens (1 Kings 8:2), so it’s beyond us to slap simple labels on it from this earthly plane of 3-D experience.

 In the more conventional view, YHVH the Father’s power is fundamental to physical creation (even universal creation) by way of an ability to control physical and conceptual phenomena like time and math and quantum mechanics. See e.g, There’s Nothing Random About the Universe, by Jeffery Meiliken.

 I don’t know the answer obviously regarding the full extent of Elohim authority. However, the more I research the mathematics of the Book of Revelation and beyond, the more I rationalize the likelihood that YHVH commands fundamental mathematical principles and keeps our entire world in check like a clock (tick tock).

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 I think it is ambiguous from the literal bible alone whether any individual Elohim is an ‘all-powerful controller of all conceivable universes.’ Again, in one view the bible says the Elohim enjoy a mighty kingdom that includes authority over at least some planets and stars and heavens. I read that El Elyon is translated to mean “the most high El,” which I suppose would make him/her/it/them the ruler of the Elohim. The scriptural evidence is inconclusive to me, and it appears designed to be so according to passages such as Proverbs 25:2:

 “The honor of Elohim is to hide a word; and the honor of sovereigns to probe a word.”

 From my research into bible crossovers with math and physics, it appears the ways and means of the highest Elohim are staggeringly supernatural and conceptual (i.e., making love with celestial stars). I just don’t know, but I imagine that if earth learning and survival is my example, then I should approach the Elohim carefully, respectfully, and with an attitude of compassion. I think it would probably amount to undesirable pandering if I just bowed down to someone I could not identify and didn’t understand. So I suppose I rationalize it wise to watch, listen, and think rationally. The example set by the biblical messiah Yahshua is very compelling to my mind, so I try to follow that example and still retain a degree of logical skepticism. My life is highly imperfect.

 I think the Elohim/Alhym with authority over all of us is YHVH (Yahweh), the Eloha who rescued the Hebrews from Egyptian slavery as part of the great saga unfolding on this planet.  It appears YHVH’s son Yahshua (Jesus) came to earth on a specific mission (narrow path) from his father, rather than a mission to explain everything to everyone. John 16:12; Matthew 15:24.

194x1p65nj2nyjpg And really, who is this accuser Satan and what was his role in creation if any?  As far as I can tell, I don’t know Satan (and so I have no desire to judge Satan), but I’ve read that he has chosen an unrepentant, murderous and vice-indulgent lifestyle, and has been experiencing punishment by YHVH. In the book of Job (describing events thousands of years ago presumably), Satan was still in good enough standing to enjoy council with YHVH in heaven, but it is said in the Book of Revelation that he will be expelled from heaven after warring with the arch-angel Michael, and some research suggests this has already occurred.

 The gospel gives this analogy – Satan plants seeds of sin, and the Father plants seeds of virtue. I like the idea that Yahshua (whose name means Yah’s rock (Aramaic) or Yah’s fortune (Hebrew)) is the messiah through whom YHVH provides for the forgiveness of many sins (but not all sin), and that YHVH will do justice on earth.

 In a nutshell, I consider it likely that the kingdom of heaven is powerful and that YHVH is worthy of our trust — that’s the faith side of the equation, but I don’t think it’s a call for blind faith, because we are provided resources and light on earth to see and test evidence, and also to engage in risk analysis. I consider it likely (and a well-calculated risk to deduct) that one of the goals of earthlings is to learn from the Elohim, and if you like, strive to gain entrance into their unique culture/kingdom. So this planet is analogous to a classroom or playing field with useful knowledge, resources, protection, and lots of freedom (which evidences our creator loves us?). And your behavior is measurable, such that whatever you measure will be measured back to you. This is popularly referred to as karma, or the golden rule.  Here is a bible code I found regarding the golden rule.

 And on that note, I personally reject much of the bible as erroneous commandments written by wayward priests, and I view the majority of the “new testament” as biblical commentaries (i.e. the letters of Shaul) rather than eye witness accounts.  The parts of the bible I gravitate toward are the gospels of Matthew and John, the Book of Revelation, the Book of Daniel, and many of the old testament prophets.

scribes and the Pharisees Church history reveals many book burnings and edits by wayward religious authorities.  So I do pick and choose verses by using logic and experience, just as I do when walking the earth and choosing what food to eat. We have been given a whole earth (filled with both life-giving and life-destroying substances, and measurements of each), just as the bible appears filled/mixed with both life-giving and life-destroying words/commandments, and measurements of each. I think we are destined to have a saga of good and evil.

 A key point – the so-called doctrine of everlasting hell is a man-made fallacy, and is not part of the literal bible. Nor is it logical or just. Click here to read more. Indeed, many excerpts from modern bible translations can be exposed as originating from religious evil doers trying to corrupt spirituality and gain power. So it’s essential to be logical, and to recognize your common sense when it comes to virtues here. The messiah Yahshua did not follow all the bible interpretations of his day, nor did he distribute torah manuscripts and say ‘these are perfect’. And as far as I can tell, he didn’t teach much about hierarchies among the Elohim. Rather he helped the needy, exposed hypocritical religious teaching by torah-thumping priests (Pharisees), and forgave people. ‘Fundamentals first,’ you might say. Be a student of that example and see where it leads you – probably a narrower path than carnal freedom, but ultimately more rewarding if you have some faith/trust you can bring to the covenant.

102011_attri_just What else might we say the bible provides? Well, although our heavenly father YHVH is patient and instructive like a parent or teacher, if you continually and unrepentantly violate any standards he gives you personally (break his key covenants), he’ll kill you or punish you as your covenant requires, because he loves justice more than he loves limitless clemency for his children or creation.  As highlighted above, theoretically this is a good thing because it evidences consistent adherence to cause and effect (or if you prefer, His righteousness and credibility).

 The literal bible and earth history serve as evidence that no other being has trumped YHVH’s will on earth, and that he consistently fulfills his obligations under the covenants he makes with mankind. I’m not sure what to make of the destruction of Canaan for example, but I suppose that if YHVH ever failed to fulfill one of his own covenants, there might be a higher power or being above him who would intercede, but based on historical experiences and records of mankind, it seems to be deadly unwise to bet that he won’t live up to a covenant with mankind. Thus, YHVH may be the highest power you will ever interact with for this particular sojourn of yours in the universe.

 I don’t know, so I suppose either I’m a man of little faith (Matthew 16:8), and/or like a child trying to discover truths without being deceived. I think a key message of the gospel is that because we are like children we need to trust our heavenly father to lead us to truth, and the messiah Yahshua is inviting us to follow his example on the narrow path.

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     Analyzing Abraham’s Faith

 Mainstream Jews, Muslims, and Christians tend to assume that Abraham was morally righteous for his faith, and also that Abraham actually believed it was proper to offer his son Isaac as a blood sacrifice based on the advice of a messenger.

 First, the literal bible does not specify who this messenger was other than to say the messenger was from ‘Elohim’. My understanding is that many angelic beings (upright and fallen) are described in the bible as being Elohim (part of the heavenly kingdom with many angels participating in the administration).  If I am not mistaken, even Satan whom YHVH created, has been described as Elohim. See e.g., Job 1, and then also references in Ezek. 28:14-16, Isaiah 45:7, and Genesis 6.

 Personally, I do not think it likely that YHVH was the Elohim who spoke with Abraham in this encounter and told him to sacrifice his son. Indeed, I’m reminded of passages like Deut. 12:30-31 and Jer. 19:4-6 where YHVH is said to abhor certain sacrifices.  So I would consider it more likely that Abraham was tempted by one of the darker angels in the kingdom of Elohim.  My understanding is that YHVH is not best described as ‘Elohim’ but rather as ‘Eloha’, meaning the most high El.

 Second, I think that Abraham’s choice was morally wrong, but it may be that the two-way idea of right and wrong are not as fundamental here as the three-way idea of choice combined with action and consequence. I mean to say that from a theological standpoint, it seems more likely to me that Abraham’s actions were not about right and wrong in that one instant of time, but rather about how much Abraham and his descendants could learn about the results of his choice. In this view, we can assume or not assume that Abraham had free will. Assume he made the choice to pursue a human experience that involved sacrificing another human. If so, then naturally he had other choices, and those choices at least theoretically could have unfolded an entirely different human history.

 In any case (regardless of free will or fate), Abraham’s choice/action of attempted sacrifice then received the consequence/reaction of a human history where Abraham’s descendants constantly grappled with sacrifices (human & animal) and found both tribulation and meaning in their wake. To me it is quite obvious that Abraham’s choice was not righteous, let alone inherently good. It was, again, only a choice he made, and his decision had consequences in his lifetime and beyond to the present day. Yahshua the Messiah was a descendant of Abraham in one sense, and his activities (most notably submitting to sacrifice on the cross) would bear witness to Abraham’s choice.

child-molech Third, the religious institution of the Pharisees that Yahshua criticized was very invested in sacrifices. That institution grew on its own traditions, and even spawned businesses revolving around breeding, caging and harvesting animals for sacrifices. That institution of sacrifice welcomed the consequence of the decision made by Abraham. In this manner, can we say that ‘bad fruit’ came from Abraham’s decision? I think so, yes. And I shudder to think of the sacrifices that go forth from underground Satanist institutions today that borrow heavily from biblical and occult lore.

 Fourth, I don’t think the bible is perfect, nor do I think that all fruit from the bible is bad. I think dark hearts do evil deeds, and darkness has infiltrated bible history. In my own imperfect quest to seek out accurate historical accounts, I tend to think it more likely that YHVH saved Abraham’s heinous act by first stopping it (Genesis 22:11), and then using it as a lesson (opportunity for reform = ‘good fruit’). Abraham’s faith might also be seen in a typological sense of ordaining additional meaning/symbolism in the biblical messiah’s existence and crucifixion. I think these are mysterious matters, and any man who claims to offer hard conclusions or rituals in this area is likely deluding himself, not to mention that he may very well be dangerous if he continues to shed blood sacrifices for the god of his mind. In Matthew 9:13, the messiah Yahshua specifically says he does not want sacrifice, and to go learn what that meant. Matthew 9:13.  He also led by example by setting free the animals in the temple that were in cages awaiting sacrifice by priests. John 2:14-16.

droppedImage_3 If the above four paragraphs do not appear logical to you, or you consider them overly ambiguous, consider this example: Your 4-year old son named Abraham is a prodigy and he draws for you a picture he drew of a beautiful woman and a deformed man. Putting aside the question of whether you asked him to draw it, you did know he would draw something. The picture has some meaning too – some relative meaning in the universe, unknown from the perspective of the 4-year old.  When you receive his picture, it sets in motion a series of events – you show interest in his picture, frame the picture, and engage him in the process of analyzing the picture. This encourages him to draw more. Twenty years later he has created a portfolio of art. Two thousand years later, his descendants (also your descendants) have created libraries across the globe filled with diverse art and derivative works of culture. Some of the art and works are terrible, some interesting, some raunchy, some wholesome. It is not easy to say what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’, and perhaps much of the lesson to be learned by you and your descendants is not as simplistic as defining your culture-making and culture-appreciation processes along a two-way continuum of ‘good’ and ‘bad’.

 It might make more sense to first consider the art & culture in the 3-way continuum of choice, action, and consequence. In that continuum, somebody important chose to make art, and then he acted to make art, and the consequence was a saga of others following similar choices of art making and art/culture appreciation – perhaps over these hypothetical two thousand years many people were killed in the process of societal misunderstandings from culture discord. The original artist never came to any conclusion or immovable perspective of how this whole process made him feel. At most he only found a defensible perspective of his own risk-appreciating logic at the time of his action. What about you? Do you have conclusive answers when it comes to art, saga, culture building, death? Do you know this four year-old? Can you really claim to know Abraham?

 Personally, I would like to feel comforted (physically and spiritually) on this planet filled with creatures vying for resources, and I would like to know that there is meaning and justice built into our very existence and rhythms. It’s just a hope I have, personally. Ritually slitting the throat of another creature does not appeal to me, but not because the action itself and the consequences of such an action have very extreme physical and psychological consequences. I don’t feel that death or life cycles are inherently evil or that extreme behavior by itself is inherently evil. Rather, I simply think these things have large consequences and therefore invite heightened scrutiny by watchful eyes and logic, ready to do the best justice we can. And in the case of ritualistic sacrifice, I feel it does indeed invite scrutiny regarding the meaning of justice, and application for justice. So that is what I have attempted to do here with my words – scrutinize Abraham’s actions for the purpose of both self-reflection and analysis of societal judgments and conscience.

 Seeing the world today, I wonder if Abraham would make the same choice again with young Isaac. In any case, it may be that his choice remains his own separate experience until I take it upon myself to decide upon its value or morality, as I have done here for better or worse. I do not condemn Abraham given the circumstances of angels(?) interfacing with him. All the same, sacrificing another human sure looks like a sin to my logic, and if I were a police officer observing Abraham I like to think I would have arrested him. I see it is written that we should forgive sins if we wish to have our own sins forgiven. Indeed, even as anger in the heart is its own kind of slaughter, I certainly know that I will need forgiveness…

 And yes, this topic of choice, action, and consequence are also supernatural as we consider the origin of the universe and the ability of any life form of consciousness to create an inherent purpose and enforce justice. As empowering as words can be, they are also naturally limiting in our endeavors to discover origin and meaning at universal levels of extreme physics and conceptual logic. Scientifically, we see we can reach out with our tools and describe perceptible materials and concepts for ourselves – almost capture them for ourselves to deem ourselves successful in our thinking. Outside of that, there is the logical possibility that some things may be wholly or partially outside the time and space dimensions that form/limit our very logic, and which are not accessible to scientific brains trying to capture them. This experiential observer problem is that the very act of using a tool to observe a phenomenon may prevent its observation, or may delude oneself out of the opportunity to receive something that simply is – a realm that only faith or total submission can touch. If it was in this realm that Abraham was ‘righteous’ or seeking righteousness, perhaps a sacrifice with a knife (tool) would do no good whatsoever. In such a hypothetical, would it be relevant then that Abraham was ultimately asked to put down the knife? In that hypothetical, the logical answer is yes.

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     Some Additional Issues With Christianity

 Matthew 5:11, ‘blessed are you when people persecute you’ and Proverbs 25:21-22, ‘If your enemy hungers, feed him and if he thirsts, give him drink. And when you do these to him, coals of fire welcome you upon his head and the lord rewards you.”  Together, these verses seem perverse to me, so that you’re actually helping someone by victimizing them (because then they have reward in heaven per Matthew 5:11). The messiah said to seek your rewards in heaven.  So I would logically ask, if you really love someone, then wouldn’t you harm them? And if you do that, then I suppose you hate yourself? I just don’t get it; or if I do get it, then it sounds perverse. Where is the virtue in creating a future kingdom filled with victims of crimes?  That sounds sad, not beautiful and glorious.  Was mankind created with emotional rage and put on a survival-of-the-fittest planet so we could all be gladiators in some bizarre two-level death match where people try to serve one another (sounds okay so far) but also empower their enemies (possibly supports injustice) on level one just to see who can accumulate the most treasure in the afterlife on level two? 

 What is the relative likelihood that the Authority who created earth is lonely and attempting to trick mankind into sharing his burden of ‘eternal life’ by inviting ‘chosen ones’ to consent to their inheritance (in law, consent is naturally a requirement for the transfer of any gift)?  The English translation of 2 Enoch 24:4-5 reads, “For before all things were visible, I alone used to go about in the invisible things, like the sun from east to west, and from west to east.  But even the sun has peace in itself, while I found no peace, because I was creating all things, and I conceived the thought of placing foundations, and of creating visible creation.”

 Isn’t it a common tactic of oppressive regimes (such as modern day America using mass propaganda) to convince their citizens of some greater ‘enemy’ (i.e. the Muslim terrorists), so the nation can justify building-up a ‘lesser evil’ in the form of a military dictatorship?  Indeed, selling ‘fear’ appears to be a tactic used by warlike regimes throughout history to build support for their militaries.  How did this tactic find its way into the bible; is it from a divine source, or from the minds of human warrior societies?

 I think we’re being tested here on earth, and the most satisfactory answer is found on the narrow path described by the biblical messiah Yahshua.  I think the previous patriarchs/sovereigns of the bible (e.g., David, Moses, Abraham) each experienced their own unique, incomplete, and unsatisfactory answers to life’s mysteries. 

 

D. Concluding Thoughts

 Faith and skepticism are like legs that walk with balance on the path of physical phenomena.

 Or…

 Logic is like your mind and body walking a path, because logic is grounded in your five senses perceiving the world for your brain. Faith is like the physical reality of the universe creating all paths, because faith is only limited by possibility. And skepticism is like your focus (eyes narrowing) on the reality of your individual path, as skepticism is limited by impossibility (and conversely empowered by perception). You might say faith and skepticism are different degrees of perspective, and logic is a concept that treads all perspectives. Logic and faith in harmony can be a beautiful thing if it focuses your experience on good things. And logic and skepticism can also be beautiful, because without it, your experience will be unfocused, and therefore vulnerable (outside of your control). If one of the primary goals of life is to promote good and avoid nurturing evil things, we must take care to focus properly.

4 Comment

  1. I love this article! I agree and would add that I think that without ever experiencing skepticism people are not able (at least I wasn’t) to be fully vested in Faith, the cornerstone. Thanks for the great mind expanding read!

  2. I really like the line, ” Can you honestly say that your life experience is a saga that divine beings (if any) would enjoy contemplating, or are you more like an ‘extra’ playing some limited role for ‘statistical purposes’ in the human story? I wonder if you believe in the capacity of humans to attain knowledge that is not mitigated through the senses or the power of the intellect to rationalize. I am pointing at some experiences I have had through meditation where it is as if something makes itself immediately known to me that I “know” is true based on a felt experience of truth. This can be something very simple as “what I should eat” or something more profound about my life path and direction. I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

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