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A Legal Proof for the Existence of God (Part I)

The most compelling evidence for the existence of a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker is not our places of worship, but the human quest for justice. From the earliest legal codes of Ur-Nammu (2050 BC) and Hammurabi (1754 BC), through the Ten Commandments and the Edicts of Asoka (250 BC), to our modern day charters and declarations of human rights and freedoms, the quest for justice reveals a search for a Supreme law and a Supreme Lawmaker.

The principles underlying these various endeavours to establish justice are consistent throughout history, even though the consequences for transgression reflect the historical times.

This series of articles will adduce the evidence to show that the reason for the remarkable universal consistency in the underlying principles of justice is to be found in the way God chose to reveal Himself to us, and how that enables us to know His Law and His Will. Later articles will also address the questions of good and evil, the origin of human consciousness, and the inevitability of a judgment for our actions.

The aim of this first article is to outline the arguments to provide a general reference point for subsequent articles.

What we are

Human beings are in every respect a manifestation of the fundamental laws that govern the universe. But those laws are also imprinted into our brains in mathematical form, and our brains have mechanisms to convert the mathematical raw data into words, images and concepts.

One of those mechanisms converts the raw mathematical data into moral principles. We will refer to this mechanism as the ‘neurological moral network’.

It is this network that tells us that freedom is the Fundamental Principle of Morality and Justice. And it is this Principle that speaks to us of a Supreme Lawmaker that we call God.

In other words, if there is a God, then He must have chosen to reveal Himself to us through mathematical principles which we have an ability to comprehend. Most of us act on this mathematical data subconsciously. There are some, however, like the Prophets, who could consciously convert this raw data into an accurate account of the origin of the universe and life, and God’s omnipotent hand in that creation.

A good analogy would be a digital TV. The digital code is fed into the TV where it is converted into words and images. Very few of us would be able to make any sense of the digital code itself – we just hear the words and see the pictures.

In order to understand how the Principle of Freedom speaks to us of God, we first need to consider what that Principle is, and what obligations operate to limit it.

 The Principle of Freedom and the limiting obligations

The Principle of Freedom is that no one person, or group of people, has any natural authority over any other person.

But that principle has a reciprocal obligation – ‘if no other human being has any natural authority over me, then I can’t have any natural authority over any other human being either’. That reflects the reciprocity found in a mathematical equation, and it is Newton’s Third Law – for every action there must be an equal and opposite reaction.

That then gives us the negative moral obligation that tells us that we must refrain from interfering with the freedom of others. And if we reflect on that for a second, the world would be a much better place if we all lived by that simple principle.

However, the evidence shows that we also recognize positive obligations – obligations to help others. But we do not recognize these obligations because some other person tells us that we should. We simply know that we have these obligations. And the evidence for these positive obligations comes from the creation of new life.

The only time in life that we freely and voluntarily assume onerous obligations, not out of fear of punishment, or the prospect of some advantage, or because we are told by some ‘authority’ to assume them, but out of unconditional love, is when we create new human life in our own image.

But that is only the case if we are not so totally in bondage to our primitive instincts that we cannot recognize those obligations. We will consider that point more fully when we deal with the principles of morality.

When we recognize the obligations we have towards the life we create, we also recognize that all human life must be deserving of the same obligations, especially the life that is least able to fend for itself.

However, as later articles will show, that does not mean that we can only recognize these positive obligations when we create new life. It simply means that the one time in life when we automatically recognize these obligations is when we create new life. That is because the obligations are imprinted into our brains as raw mathematical data, and are accessible to all of us if we choose to look for them.

How Freedom speaks to us of God and His Law

Freedom cannot recognize as law the commands, doctrines and opinions of other human beings.

Yet we still recognize that we do have certain fundamental obligations, not because someone tells us that we have those obligations, but because they are imprinted into our brains as a moral law.

So the only way freedom and law can coexist is under the authority of a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker. Anything else would render some of us slaves, and the others masters.

We find the same thing in physics.

Fundamental particles, like electrons and quarks, are free to choose from an infinite number of probabilities. Scientists call this property a particle’s wavefunction.

In his book Parallel Worlds, the popular TV physicist, Michio Kaku, describes this property of particles as follows: “In a quantum play, the actors suddenly throw away the script and act on their own. The puppets cut their strings. Free will has been established.”

That puts freedom as the fundamental principle of the laws that govern the universe.

However, if freedom is the foundation of the law, some other aspect of the law cannot compel particles to form the structures that create the world we see all around us. That would violate the symmetry that underlies the whole concept of a law.

Only something above the law can do that.

But can the probabilities of fundamental particles be manipulated or controlled to form the structures required to create the universe and life? According to Michio Kaku, that is almost certainly the case. He notes that physicists realize that if they could manipulate the probabilities of fundamental particles, then anything would be possible. Although that is still beyond the technical capabilities of science, it does suggest that the probabilities can be controlled.

However, if the probabilities can be controlled to ensure that particles form the structures necessary to create the universe and life, how could they be compelled to maintain those structures so that the order in the universe does not disintegrate into chaos?

That is where the second aspect to particle behavior comes into play. Particles can only assume a particular position when they are observed; literally, when they are looked at. That creates what the physicist Andrei Sakharov described as the “irreversible effect” which was crucial in the early stages of the universe.

It is this two-fold aspect of particle behavior that speaks of a Supreme Lawmaker. Only a Supreme Lawmaker can compel free particles to form the structures necessary to create an ordered and stable universe capable of creating and sustaining life, and that ordered state is made permanent with an observation.

That brings us to the first instance of convergence between science and religion.

The very first verses of Genesis exactly mirror this process with the words “And God said …” followed by “And God saw …”

We should imagine for a minute the author or authors of Genesis sitting down to write an account of the origins of the universe several thousand years ago. To come up with the idea that it all happened when God spoke to matter (“the earth”) that was “without form, and void” and told it to become “light”, and then “saw” the light and decided “that it was good”, would be a rather peculiar way to convince people of a God. In fact, that description didn’t even make any sense just a couple of hundred years ago. It has only been since the advent of quantum physics that the Genesis account does not seem that ridiculous any longer. And as we shall see in the next articles that look at the first few chapters of Genesis, not just verse by verse, but word by word, Genesis has pre-empted science in every respect, and continues to do so.

How the author/s of Genesis could have known all this will be the subject of a subsequent article on insight.

But first, we need to consider how science, philosophy and religion all reveal the search for a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker.

Science, philosophy and religion all reveal the search for a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker

In religion the search for a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker is quite obvious.

In science we find exactly the same thing, except scientists don’t express it in that way.

Today we hear much from scientists about what they call “The Theory of Everything”, or “The Final Theory”.  They believe that such a theory could provide a comprehensive explanation of how the universe and life came about by reference to certain, as yet undiscovered, fundamental principles. So the ‘Supreme Law’ in science is the elusive “Final Theory”.

However, the issue of probabilities causes a problem. What scientists find is that if there is only this one universe, the probability that it would have ended up this way is just too remote.

So they get round that problem by simply multiplying the number of universes, and then claim that a universe like ours was bound to emerge somewhere, and it just happens to be here.

This is what scientists today call the multiverse theory. The multiverse is science’s ‘Supreme Lawmaker’. A ‘Supreme Lawmaker’ that really comes down to probabilities.

An analogy would be a Multi-Lottery. Instead of multiplying the number of entries into one lottery, we multiply the number of lotteries, and then argue that our numbers must come up in one of those lotteries.

They won’t, of course, unless a draw is made, and we can check our numbers. That relates to the problem of the observation element of the properties of fundamental particles.

When we get to philosophy, we find that on the whole, especially in ‘modern’ philosophy, the arguments are so impenetrable that they are really quite incomprehensible to ordinary people. Much of this ‘modern’ philosophy is little less than an extravagant academic indulgence. Interesting, perhaps, to fellow philosophers, but quite irrelevant to anyone else in their daily lives.

Yet earlier philosophical theories do impact our lives to a considerable extent. Most governments today operate on a version of the Social Contract theory set out by John Locke and others.

The Social Contract theory finds a ‘Supreme Lawmaker’ in the majority electing the government, and the government then making the ‘Supreme Law’.

The existence of an actual Supreme Law and Supreme Lawmaker is therefore important to the way we govern ourselves.

The Relevance of the Existence of a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker

It was the French philosopher, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, another proponent of the Social Contract theory, who said that anyone can scribble his opinions on stone, or in some book or declaration, then claim that God told him to do it and that we all have an obligation to do as he says.

That is a valid point, although making the majority the ‘Supreme Lawmaker’ has exactly the same effect, unless there are specific and strict limitations to what government can do as a lawmaker. But if there are such limitations, then the government cannot properly be considered a Supreme Lawmaker, and we are back to square one.

The problem is not with the majority electing the government. The problem arises when the government then imposes obligations on the people that violate the fundamental principles of the Universal Law.

That is the critical issue that the Founding Fathers so clearly recognized.

This series of articles will demonstrate that the Founding Fathers were exactly right when they proclaimed that there are certain fundamental and inviolable principles that were handed down to us by our Creator. These articles set out the evidence that proves them right, while also putting meat on the bones of those principles. The evidence and arguments set out in these articles aims to be a guide to the more detailed evidence and arguments set out in my book, A ‘Final Theory’ of God.

However, the evidence for a Supreme Lawmaker as the author of a Supreme Law is not simply a matter of curiosity. It has profound implications for government. It means that if government passes laws that violate the fundamental principles of the Supreme Law, those laws are by definition invalid. They are unjust laws that lead by natural tendency to oppression and tyranny, and we have an obligation, and a duty, as human beings, to oppose and resist those laws, within the bounds of the moral law, in order to preserve our freedom, and uphold the Supreme Law.

That is an obligation imposed on us by the Supreme Law itself. And it is a duty we have to the Supreme Lawmaker in order that His “will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.”

The Next Article

The next article examines the convergence of science and Genesis with an analysis of the “first day”.

This series of articles is based on the book A ‘Final Theory’ of God by Joseph BH McMillan

Read Part II.

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved

 

 

Perhaps there is hope for Humanity’s moral destiny after all!

In my latest book, “A ‘Final Theory’ of God”, I made these comments in the final chapter regarding my purpose for the book:
“The task of A ‘Final Theory’ of God is to awaken the human spirit to its true moral purpose, and its true moral destiny.
“It aspires to awaken in humanity, and especially in those who hold in their hands the power and resources to influence the course of government, science, philosophy, and religion, the moral purpose and destiny that is ‘written’ in our hearts, and in our minds, so that humanity can shake off the shackles of bondage to our primitive instincts and work towards a new vision. A vision true to humanity’s moral purpose and destiny: a model of government and justice that reflects the Universal Moral Law.
“It urges science to re-tool its energies and investigations to the discovery and explanation of the link between the laws of physics, chemistry and biology, and the moral aptitude of the human organism to recognize the laws of morality that are embedded in our minds. Sir Robert Winston has made a start with his recognition of a “morality module” in man, but the task is immense. The focus must be re-orientated to make the connection between the fundamental laws of physics, and the fundamental principles of the “moral law”, and the curious human ability to ‘see’ those laws.
“Instead of tearing apart the very notion of a moral purpose to the human species, science should set itself to explaining why that moral purpose won’t be silenced.
“A ‘Final Theory’ of God provides a ‘brief’ to philosophers, jurists, politicians and political scientists, theologians, and economists, to apply themselves to the task of interpreting and implementing humanity’s moral destiny in cooperation with scientists. Each must inform and learn from the other. Vanity must be overcome, and discipline-centric research set aside. The goal must be clear – reinvigorate the human spirit in its true moral purpose, and set humanity on course to fulfill its cosmic destiny.
“Nothing could be more important.
“Before we venture out into the far reaches of the cosmos, let us prepare a gift for whomever and whatever we may find out there; a gift we set by example right here on Earth. Let us not be a cosmic Columbus, visiting upon the universe death and destruction, oppression and hate, strife and discord, greed and indulgence. We must be a beacon of light, not a harbinger of death.”
But after publishing the book, I feared that science would lead us down the road to a ‘Final Theory’ of Despair.
Then I awoke this morning to an article that gave me hope. Of all places, I found it on my Twitter page. A Follower had posted this link: http://phys.org/news/2015-01-explores-universe-morality.html#jCp
It referenced Dr Kelly Smith of Clemson University, a Philosopher and Evolutionary Biologist, who has suggested that the tendency of the universe to naturally produce complexity has distinctly religious overtones and may even establish a truly universal basis for morality.
Now that is essentially the argument of my book.
However, there are some areas in which Dr Smith and I may disagree at present, especially as to whether a moral dimension to the laws of physics suggests a Supreme Lawmaker, but at least there is a glimmer of light from the scientific community. We may also disagree on the role and significance of ‘reason’ – I consider it to be a highly over-rated commodity. For those who claim it, it is like “banging on the table” (Alf Ross, in respect of Justice).
But what I found very encouraging about Dr Smith’s hypothesis is his understanding of how the moral dimension to the laws of the universe may relate to other life in the universe – if there be such a thing.
According to the article,
“[Dr] Smith feels another similarity to religion is the potential moral implications of this idea. If evolution tends to favor the development of sociality, reason, and culture as a kind of “package deal”, then it’s a good bet that any smart extraterrestrials we encounter will have similar evolved attitudes about their basic moral commitments.
“In particular, they will likely agree with us that there is something morally special about rational, social creatures. And such universal agreement, argues Smith, could be the foundation for a truly universal system of ethics.”
Now, I may disagree with certain elements of what has been ascribed to Dr Smith, but I can agree with the effect a universal moral law would have. This is what I say in the very first chapter of my book regarding extraterrestrial intelligence:
“If the Laws of Physics and the Laws of Morality are the same thing, and as we shall see that is exactly what the evidence suggests, then Stephen Hawking will have nothing to fear from aliens. If the Principles constituting a Final Theory of the universe also turn out to be the Principles of a ‘Final Theory’ of morality, the one thing we could be fairly sure of is that if aliens had mastered the physical Principles so as to be able to traverse the universe, they would also have mastered the moral Principles – because they would be one and the same. So rather than embarking on a Columbus-style subjugation and extermination of the human race, as Hawking fears, the aliens would more likely school us in the error of our ways and divert our ability to reason away from a frantic and fanatical servicing of our primitive carnal instincts and bring it into the service of the Principles of morality.”
Where scientists, philosophers and theologians will go with this is yet to be seen. But I find Dr Smith’s direction of research most encouraging.
Hopefully others will take up the challenge.
Joseph BH McMillan is the author of “A ‘Final Theory’ of God” and “Freedom v A Tyranny of Rights”
Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved

Philosophical Origins of the Modern Liberal Fundamentalist State – Part II

“Hereby it is manifest that during time when men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war as is of every man against every man.”
And then there is this: “The desires, and other passions of man, are in themselves no sin. No more are the actions that proceed from those passions till they know a law that forbids them; which till laws be made they cannot know, nor can any law be made till they have agreed upon the person that shall make it.”
That is Thomas Hobbes (1588 – 1679) in Leviathan, also known as the Matter, Form, and Authority of Government – which really says it all.
This is quite frightening stuff, but remarkably, such sentiments still represent exactly the modern Liberal Fundamentalist state.
What Hobbes is saying is that human beings are too stupid and selfish to act in their own long term interests, or to ‘know’ what is right and wrong. So, he says, we need to elect one or more of our number to tell us how to act in our own best interests, and to tell us what is right and wrong.
He doesn’t explain how a group of stupid, selfish people, electing a stupid, selfish person from their midst, suddenly endows that person with the ‘wisdom’ to know what is right and wrong, and to act in a way that does not reflect his own stupid and selfish character.
Yet that is precisely what modern day politicians claim is the effect of their ascendance to power – that somehow they gain some superior ´wisdom´, ´conscience´, and sense of ´justice´, to the rest of us.

John Locke (1632 – 1704)

So although modern day ´philosophers´ will claim that Hobbes´ was too crude, the fact remains that his formula is precisely the model of modern day Western democratic government.
John Locke ‘refined’ Hobbes’ model. He started his ´philosophy´ of government with what is my Principle 1 – that no person has any natural authority to tell another person what to do.
He agrees that the natural state of man is “a state of perfect freedom to order their actions and dispose of their possessions and persons, as they think fit, within the bounds of the law of nature; without asking leave, or depending upon the will of any other man.”
He also said that men are in “a state also of equality, wherein all the power and jurisdiction is reciprocal, no one having more than another.”
So, at first sight, it seems as though Locke is heading in the right direction.
But Locke carried with him plenty of baggage. He was an academic at Oxford University, then later the personal physician and companion of a certain English nobleman called the Earl of Shaftesbury. Locke was also teacher to Shaftesbury’s children.
I always find it ironic that someone so absolutely beholden for his living to another, especially an English nobleman, should be preaching about freedom.
And this quickly comes out in his writing.
Unlike Hobbes, Locke looks to the law of nature; “for the law of nature would, as all other laws that concern men in this world, be in vain, if there were nobody that in the state of nature had a power to execute that law, and thereby preserve the innocent, and restrain offenders.”
So, within 3 numbered paragraphs of his Second Treatise, Locke is already looking for someone to govern; to enforce the “law of nature.”
Accordingly, after justifying, in his chapter “Of Property”, why the likes of Shaftesbury can legitimately ‘own’ enormous amounts of property, to the exclusion of “common possession,” Locke latches onto the concept of “the majority”, and the “perfect democracy.”
Locke claims that “no one can be put out of [his freedom, equality, and independence], and subjected to the political power of another, without his own consent.”
Phew, so far so good!
And “consent” is exactly what Locke claims men do, “for their comfortable, safe, and peaceable living one amongst another.”
But here is where Locke becomes bankrupt in his ´thinking´. He is unable to identify any principles to which all people would consent in order to conduct relations within their new community, so he simply claims that man “divests himself of his natural liberty, and puts on the bonds of civil society, … by agreeing with other men to join and unite into a community, for their comfortable, safe, and peaceable living one amongst another, in a secure enjoyment of their properties, and a greater security against any that are not of it.”
And where do the ´rules´ to govern come from? Alarmingly, Locke says this: “ … the majority have a right to act and conclude the rest.”
So there it is – a “right” of the “majority” to dictate to the rest of us.
And done, says Locke, because “when any number of men have, by the consent of every individual, made a community, they have thereby made that community one body, with a power to act as one body, which is only the will and determination of the majority; … it is necessary the body should move that way whither the greater force carries it, which is the consent of the majority: … and so every one is bound by that consent to be concluded by the majority.”
What a devious little man! But I’m sure his noble Earl was pleased.
Locke’s ´thinking´ is a perfect example of turning logic on its head. We consent to relinquish our freedom to the majority, so that I have unwittingly ‘consented’ to be ruled by “that way whither the greater force carries it, which is the consent of the majority.”??
How can I consent to relinquish my consent to the consent of the majority, but still retain my freedom?
But this inverted logic is only the start of Locke’s ‘treatise’.
He goes on to claim that men give up their freedom “to be regulated by laws made by society.”
Locke argues that man consents to “give up the equality, liberty, and executive power [he] had in the state of nature, into the hands of the society,” because of “three defects” which make “the state of nature so unsafe and uneasy.”
Those “three defects”, he claims, are: no “established, settled, known” laws of right and wrong to settle controversies; no “known and indifferent” judges, with authority to determine disputes by reference to laws; and lastly, no “power” to execute punishment.
So, Locke argues, man consents to give up his condition of freedom (or as Locke describes it, “the equality, liberty, and executive power [he] had in the state of nature”), only “with an intention [to] better preserve himself, his liberty and property.”
Thus, says Locke, “the power of the society, or legislative constituted by them, can never be supposed to extend farther than the common good; but is obliged to secure every one’s property, by providing against those three defects above-mentioned, that made the state of nature so unsafe and uneasy.”
After briefly outlining the bounds of government, Locke sets out his idea of the “perfect democracy.”
“The majority having, as has been showed, upon men’s first uniting into society, the whole power of the community naturally in them, may employ all that power in making laws for the community from time to time, and executing those laws by officers of their own appointing; and then the form of the government is a perfect democracy.”
Locke then delineates the “bounds” of government: to govern by promulgated established laws; the laws must be “designed for no other end ultimately, but the good of the people;” government “must not raise taxes on the property of people, without the consent of the people;” and the legislator must not “transfer the power of making laws to anybody else.”
The “good of the people”? Tax, by consent of the majority? The “common good”? The majority ‘consenting’ on my behalf? “the greater force carries it, which is the consent of the majority”?
What on earth is left of my freedom?
I have sacrificed freedom to the common good, to the majority, to the “greater force” of the “consent of the majority”? I have agreed that the majority can consent to government appropriating my property under the guise of tax?
Oh Yes, I nearly forgot! If government is naughty and ventures beyond its mandate, say by imposing additional taxes, we can – wait for it – we can be “aggrieved.” And we can take our grievance to ….? Well – to the government. And if government laughs at us, what then? “The appeal lies nowhere but to Heaven.”
I’m not kidding, that’s what Locke says. The nobleman, the Earl of Shaftsbury, must have been pleased with his child-minder!
But it gets worse. “The legislative can never revert to the people whilst the government lasts; because having provided a legislative with power to continue for ever, they have given up their political power to the legislative, and cannot resume it.”
Really? Where, and when, exactly did man consent to get ‘Shafted’ by government.
But can we please perhaps vote a government out which has abused and exceeded its mandate?
Well, “if [the people] have set limits to the duration of their legislative, and made this supreme power in any person, or assembly, only temporary; or, else, when by the miscarriages of those in authority it is forfeited; upon the forfeiture, or at the determination of the time set, it reverts to the society, and the people have a right to act as supreme, and continue the legislative in themselves; or to erect a new form, or under the old form place it in new hands, as they think good.”
So here is the first big problem. If the government has abused its mandate to please the majority who, for example, want the minority to be compelled to hand over large amounts of property to the majority, how do you get rid of the government?
You can only do so if you can get the majority to relinquish its iron grip on your possessions! Remember, it’s all about the “greater force” of the “consent of the majority.” How likely is that?
The other possibility Locke envisages is the people expelling the government. But this he reserves only to the case where government uses force upon the people without authority and in breach of its mandate. Then, says Locke, “the people have the right to remove it by force.”
Fat chance!!
By this time, government has, by majority consent, usually reserved most or all force to itself. So the aggrieved have to overcome two obstacles: the majority; and if they can achieve that, the power the people have vested in government. And, of course, all governments make insurrection a criminal offence, even a treasonable offence, entitling government to suspend all ‘rights’; in the common good, and for the preservation of law and order, of course.
Locke himself describes this state as “a state of war with the people.”
Now, anyone thinking this through should quickly see that placing government in the hands of a majority, and endowing it with absolute authority to use force, makes it impossible to remove government so long as it attracts majority support, no matter how much it tramples over its original mandate. And the easiest way to maintain majority support is to take from the minority and give to the majority. But we are not talking here about some tiny proportion of the people having their freedoms trampled on. Usually it means 50% or more of the people, as any Western democratic election shows.
Even providing that “a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed,” as in Amendment II of the United States Constitution, does not come close to curing this mechanism of oppression.
The well regulated Militia would have to be a rival army equal to, or more powerful than, the government forces, to be effective in such a circumstance. Government can also simply define what this Militia may comprise, as it does, or simply maintain that the military forces of the state are that Militia.
Most governments also simply restrict the “right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
Any half-wit should know that no government is going to allow an effective rival army to exist to act as a regulator of its affairs and power.
If we follow Locke’s ‘reasoning’ through therefore, we discover that man has consented to surrender his freedom in order to attain those basic securities necessary to remedy the defects of man’s state of nature, what I call his condition of freedom, the three rather insignificant “defects” of his freedom, only to find he will be subject to the whim of the majority, backed up by a force that he has no hope of challenging. In man’s condition of freedom, the principal threat came from those of relatively equal strength to himself; under Locke’s formula, the threat is from an immensely more powerful entity, supported by an easily manipulated majority.
Who in their right mind would consent to such an inversion of threat?
‘Nanny Boy’, Shafter’s child-minder and ‘companion’ – companion? Hmm? – reinforced his vision of tyranny in a piece of drivel called A Letter Concerning Toleration.
Nanny Boy poses himself a hypothetical question: “What if the [government] should enjoin any thing by his authority, that appears unlawful to the conscience of a private person?”
Well, Nanny Boy says this is unlikely to happen – because remember, there are such great people in government as Shafter – but if it does, we should follow our consciences and bear the consequences of the unlawful law.
But he goes even further. A private person – note, no longer a free person – should “abstain from the actions that he judges unlawful; and he is to undergo the punishment, which is not unlawful for him to bear; for the private judgment of any person concerning a law enacted in political matters, for the public good, does not take away the obligation of that law, nor deserve a dispensation.”
To compensate for the loss of freedom, Locke offers us religion. As long as we are all free to follow our own religion, we should be grateful. So our freedom has been reduced to freedom of religion. But that itself depends on government ‘tolerating’ our religion.
Nanny Boy thus distinguishes between “political society” and “the care of each man’s soul.” And the care of our souls must be “left entirely to every man’s self.”
And “political society is instituted for no other end, but only to secure every man’s possession of the things of his life.”
It is the duty of government, says Nanny Boy, to safeguard men’s lives and their property. “Therefore the [government] cannot take away these worldly things from this man, or party, and give them to that; nor change propriety amongst fellow subjects (no not even by a law), for a cause that has no relation to the end of civil government.”
Then Nanny Boy poses another hypothetical question. What if government does make laws taking away from one person and giving to another? What if government makes laws “to enrich and advance [it’s] followers .. with the spoils of others. What if the [government] believe[s] that [it] has a right to make such laws, and that they are for the public good; and [it’s] subjects believe the contrary? Who shall be judge between them?”
“I answer,” says Nanny Boy, “God alone.”
So there we are! By ‘consenting’ to relinquish only a tiny fraction of our condition of freedom, so as to have a common mechanism to protect that freedom, Nanny Boy leads us into servitude. Our only remedy is to appeal to Heaven, and to God.
This all brings me to ‘rights’. What a convenient and devious little device.
Nanny Boy refers to ‘rights’ as “civil interests.”
These “civil interests” are the governments business, says Nanny Boy, which must be distinguished from “religion”, which is not the government’s business.
Government “neither can nor ought in any manner to be extended to the salvation of souls.” This is reserved for “religious society”, the end of which “is the public worship of God, and by means thereof the acquisition of eternal life.”
But the government even has a part to play here. This is where Nanny Boy throws us the crumbs left over from our freedom. It is the “law of toleration”. The government’s “duty in the business of toleration” is “certainly very considerable.”
So, together with our “civil interests,” the “law of toleration” in respect of religion constitutes the sum total of our ‘rights’. That’s all that is left of our freedom; which is nothing!
But what exactly are these ‘rights’, this combination of our “civil interests” and “law of toleration.”
Man’s ‘rights’, says Nanny Boy, are “life, liberty, health, and indolence of body; and the possession of outward things, such as money, lands, houses, furniture and the like.”
Anyone violating these ‘rights’ is “checked by the fear of punishment.”
That punishment is deprivation of that person’s civic interests. Taking away from him in proportion to what he has taken from another.
According to Nanny Boy, government should be restricted to remedying these violations. That is the end of civil government.
So when Locke says the government cannot take property from one person and give it to another “for a cause which has no relation to the end of civil government,” this is what he means. Civil government should be restricted to restoring to one person what has been taken from him by another. It does not entitle government to take from one person and give to another because government thinks ‘justice’ requires a different distribution of wealth between people; or because government believes that everyone should be ‘entitled’ to health care; or because government thinks people should be ‘entitled’ to an income in their old age; and so on. Those things are specifically excluded, even by Locke. It is no business of government, says Locke, to take from one person and give to another because one person has provided for his health, old age, and so on, and another hasn’t.
On that I agree with Locke. Freedom includes, and necessarily implies, freedom to screw up. It does not mean freedom to screw up, and then require another to pay to sort out the mess.
But let me return to the other element of Nanny Boy’s ‘rights’. That is tolerance.
In short, Nanny Boy says we have a ‘right’ to expect the government to tolerate whatever religion we wish to pursue in order to save our souls.
But there are certain exceptions: “opinions contrary to human society, or those moral rules which are necessary to the preservation of civil society”; religions which pay allegiance to other governments; and atheists.
So it is this hodgepodge of ‘rights’ that today supposedly constitutes our freedom.
But these ‘rights’ are a dismal failure. They do not enhance our freedom, they undermine and diminish it. They are a charter for oppression and tyranny.
They constitute a tyranny of ‘rights’; the enslavement of man; the enshrinement of ignorance and oppression.
They are the enforcement of pity, sympathy, and compassion. They are charters for abuse, open to what Nietzsche called “interpretation”.
And this is all because Locke, and his imitators, started from the wrong end. They sacrificed man’s freedom for ‘rights’. Whereas they should have preserved man’s condition of freedom absolutely, subject only to those principles men freely and universally agree to adopt. Not by majority consent, but by universal consent.
So Locke took the same ‘social contract’ approach as Hobbes – that man is compelled by the State and society to act in the common good. But he also mobilizes God who, by dispensing rewards and punishments in eternity, knocks some further sense into man.
As Schweitzer says, “the essential point of distinction between them is that with Hobbes society alone plies the whip, while with Locke God and society wield it together.”
Neither could see that before we cede any authority to someone else, including government, we all need to agree on the principles to which they must adhere in exercising that authority.
Now I should give credit where credit is due. Locke did establish rudimentary procedural safeguards against abuse of power by government; he just couldn’t come up with any “ideas” when it came to finding substantive safeguards to protect individual freedom. So he gave us the booby prize – ‘rights’. And now we are showered with ‘rights’.
But we do not build a temple of freedom by stacking one right on top of another like bricks; instead, we build ourselves a prison, a prison governed by a tyranny of rights.
Thanks a bunch, Nanny Boy!
Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2015 All Rights Reserved

Quotes by Joseph B.H. McMillan

“Freedom cannot recognize as law the commands and doctrines of other human beings.”

“Freedom and law can only coexist under the auspices of a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker. Anything else renders some masters, and the others slaves.”

“Life is a manifestation of the fundamental laws of physics, and in its highest form, life manifests itself as a human organism with a capacity for moral judgment.”

“The human quest for justice is an expression of the moral content of the laws of physics which manifests itself in the search for a Supreme Law and a Supreme Lawmaker.”

“The human capacity for moral judgment speaks of God.”

“The only time in life that we freely and voluntarily assume onerous obligations, not out of fear of punishment, nor the prospect of advantage, but out of unconditional love, is the creation of new human life in our own image ”

“Freedom is defined by obligations, not the absence of obligations.”

“Reason in the service of primitive human instinct, enticed by the prospect of pleasure or the fear of pain, can justify any manner of evil.

“The most compelling testament to the existence of a Supreme law and a Supreme Lawmaker is not to be found in our places of worship, but in the human quest for freedom and justice.”

“There is nothing in life worth trading for freedom, not even life itself.”

“Humility is the highest virtue; feigning humility is the greatest vanity.”

“The most bearable thing about life is the certainty of death; a ‘life-sentence’ and ‘death-sentence’ in one.”

* * * * *

“The arrogance of ignorance is the hallmark of cowards who lack the courage to admit they may be wrong. It is most prominent in politicians who ooze it like pus from an infected wound.”

“He who boasts that he does not suffer fools gladly, is the real the fool.”

‘Civilized’ human beings have become a cancer on the face of the Earth. What went wrong? http://josephbhmcmillan.com/a-legal-proof-for-the-existence-of-god-part-ix-science-in-genesis-chapter-3-adam-and-eve/

‘Civilized’ human beings are the only creatures on Earth who build their own cages to enslave themselves, and each other. http://josephbhmcmillan.com/proof-existence-god/

 

Perspectives on the Scriptures: Genesis Chapter 2 – The Garden of Eden: the Manifestation of the Laws of Physics as the Human Brain

The first thing we have to address in Chapter 2 of Genesis is whether, at the end of the sixth day, anything actually existed in a form we would recognize today as ‘reality’.

We should recall what Philo said: “Does [Moses] not here manifestly set before us incorporeal ideas perceptible only by the intellect, which have been appointed to be as seals of the perfected works, perceptible by the outward senses.[1]

Philo was talking about verses 4 and 5 of Genesis 2.

We should just remind ourselves of those verses:

These are the generations of the heaven and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,

And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was no man to till the ground.

The physicist Max Tegmark claims something very similar in his new book Our Mathematical Universe.

Tegmark claims that “reality isn’t just described by mathematics – it is mathematics …”[2] And that includes human beings. In Tegmark’s Mathematical Universe Hypothesis (MUH), “mathematical structure is our external reality, rather than being merely a description of it. This equivalence between physical and mathematical existence means that if a mathematical structure contains a self-aware substructure, it will perceive itself as existing in a physically real universe, just as you and I do.[3] And that, says Tegmark, means that “Through us humans … our universe has gained an awareness of itself, and we humans have created the concept of meaning. So in this sense, our universe doesn’t give life meaning, but life gives our universe meaning.[4]

And finally, on a note not dissimilar to the one made in respect of Day Six regarding morality and physics, Tegmark says this about mathematical structures: “we don’t invent mathematical structures – we discover them, and invent only the notation for describing them.”[5] Which would mean that if there is in fact a “morality module” embedded in the brain, it is likewise a “mathematical structure” for which we have invented words to describe, but one which, according to Tegmark, could be equally well described in mathematical equations. And as we shall see in the next article on Chapter 3, Genesis does suggest how this self-awareness, or consciousness, arises; and morality is central to it.

But there is a crucial difference between Tegmark and Philo. And that relates to how the “mathematical structures”, or “incorporeal ideas”, came about.

Tegmark claims that “there’s no making required” for a mathematical structure, “it simply exists.”[6] He thus gets round the problem of any sort of outside observer by claiming that “mathematical structures” are not made, they just exist, and humans, being “self-aware mathematical substructures”, give the “universe meaning” by virtue of having self-awareness. In short, humans do the observing, thus giving the universe meaning.

So Tegmark doesn’t really get round the problem we encountered in Day One, when we looked at the words “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” As we noted, there are only really three explanations of how the initial ‘material’ from which the universe and life were constructed arose: either we don’t know; or we simply claim that it has always been there; or we accept that someone or something put it there. And there seems to be no reason to suggest that if we describe the initial ‘material’ as a “mathematical structure” the mystery somehow goes away.

The second issue relates to the necessity for an observation. Tegmark cannot get round the issue by claiming that a “mathematical substructure” within the overall “mathematical structure” that is the universe, or multiverse, creates the “self-awareness” that gives the “universe meaning.” It is just another way of saying that humans do the observing.

Philo, on the other hand, sees the ‘mind’ of God behind the numbers: “And he [Moses] says that the world was made in six days, not because the Creator stood in need of a length of time…; but because the things created required arrangement; and number is akin to arrangement.”[7]

And this arrangement of numbers must have been the “incorporeal model” which formed the basis of what we see around us: “when [God] had determined to create this visible world, [He] previously formed that one which is perceptible only by the intellect, in order that so using an incorporeal model formed as far as possible on the image of God, he might then make this corporeal world, a younger likeness of the elder creation, which should embrace as many different genera perceptible to the external senses, as the other world contains of those which are visible only to the intellect.”[8]

The problem with Philo’s interpretation of Genesis is that it only works if we discount the possibility that the words “And God saw …” refer to the quantum phenomenon of an observation. But that would mean that the words “And God said …” and the words “And God saw …” are simply a duplication, or repetition, of the same phenomenon. But Genesis seems to have been written far too carefully for such a careless or superfluous duplication. The inclusion of the words “And God saw …” must have been deliberate, and significant.

So the most likely explanation is that Genesis is telling us that at the end of the six days, the ‘macro-world’ of galaxies, solar systems, stars and planets had all been “fully settled” as a consequence of the “irreversible effect” of an observation; an observation from a conscious outside observer – God.

That created the deterministic universe that is predictable, calculable, and explainable by the Classical laws of physics. As Rees says about his six numbers, “if any one of them were to be ‘untuned’, there would be no stars and no life.[9] So it is clear that the universe and life is dependent on the quantum phenomena of the micro-world transforming into the deterministic workings of the macro-world. Each step in the process was dependent on the previous step being “fully settled” – otherwise everything could be undone at some point in the future, just as happens in the delayed-choice experiments when an eraser device is inserted in front of the detector which should carry out the measurement, or observation.

And only Genesis provides such a model.

At this stage, the basic DNA structures, ‘modified’ or ‘programmed’ to transform into their intended life-forms, had also been created, but were still ‘dormant’. They needed the right kind of environment in order to be activated, and that included the need for water.

And that is what Genesis tells us they got: “there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.”[10] That is what science asserts is the only way that primitive life could have ‘evolved’ into the higher life-forms we see today – liquid water appearing on earth.

However, before we move on to consider the rest of Chapters 2, we should also recall that  Genesis explains why it is that animals have a limited ability to ‘reason’ and communicate’, whereas humans have an advanced ability. And most important of all, we should recall that Genesis also explains how human beings acquired their moral capacity. History records humanity’s relentless quest to give expression to its moral purpose in the search for that thing which we call justice.

Chapters 2 and 3 of Genesis go back to the time of the ‘awakening’ of the ‘morality module’ in the first human beings who experienced it, and the dilemma that ‘awakening’ created for reason when it was confronted with the competing demands of the faculties of instinct and morality. The stories of The Garden of Eden, and Adam and Eve, are the story of that ‘awakening’.

But again, we should take each of the verses in turn in order to fully comprehend their significance, and symbolism.

First we see that God is said to form man from the ground: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”[11]

Starting with an account of human beings, Genesis is clearly telling us that the account which follows concerns the highest of the species, and how it came to be what it became. But as we shall see, this does not mean that other life did not exist.

Furthermore, this verse does not suggest that the human it is referring to was a human in its final form, in the “image of God”. It clearly refers to the physical form of the first human being, or human beings – a form that has life, but not much different at this stage to animal life that would have existed simultaneously.

In other words, this verse is telling us that the DNA which was to form the human species as we know it had not yet been fully activated. This early species would certainly have had the primitive DNA with which “every living creature that moveth[12] had been ‘programmed’, and it would most certainly have had the primitive physical characteristics that would have made it recognizable as an early form of the species. But only a very select few of this early species had the latent DNA which had been ‘programmed’ with the additional elements referred to in Chapter 1 – that is, morality, reason, an ability to communicate, and the innate ‘knowledge and understanding’ of how the universe and life functions.

The next seven verses then focus in on the first of the species that had the latent DNA that was to become human beings as we know them.

Now before we look at the account of the Garden of Eden, let me first say this. In addressing the symbolic account, I do not discount the possibility that a literal place existed which formed the basis for the story. In fact, there must have been such a literal place where literal members of the early human species lived who would eventually become the ‘ancestors’ of the modern species. The Bible as a whole often takes literal events to convey deeper symbolic messages. Proverbs tells us that.[13] Not only can a historical event be used to convey a moral message, often the event is a result of the workings of the human brain which reveal which aspects of the human character have been the motivation for the event. Actual events can reveal whether those events were motivated by reason in the service of instinct, or reason in the service of morality.

However, we shall leave the search for such literal places and events to the archeologists and historians – but with the caveat that just because ‘evidence’ of such literal places and events have not yet been discovered does not mean that they don’t exist. Discoveries are constantly being made of things previously regarded as myth, fable or speculation, like our examples of life coming from space, and life existing without sunlight.

But before we move on, we should clarify one further aspect of the events recorded in Genesis 2. We should remember that at the end of the six days all the laws which would determine how the universe and life would unfold had been put in place. And according to Genesis, the unfolding, or implementation, of those laws reveals God’s will, because the laws are God’s laws. So when Genesis 2 refers to God doing something, or saying something, we should read that not as God Himself doing again what He had already done in the first six days, but as His law being implemented, thus revealing His will. In that sense, references to God saying or doing something in these Chapters are in fact God doing those things, but through the agency of the law He created which reveals His will. This is an important point to note in order to understand the verses which follow.

So let’s return to the symbolic message conveyed by the Garden of Eden.

First we have these two verses: “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed.  And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.[14]

Philo says this about these verses: “And these statements appear to me to be dictated by a philosophy which is symbolical rather than strictly accurate. For no trees of life or of knowledge have ever at any previous time appeared upon the earth, nor is it likely that any will appear hereafter. But I rather conceive that Moses was speaking in an allegorical spirit, intending by his paradise to intimate the dominant character of the soul, which is full of innumerable opinions as this figurative paradise was of trees.[15]

However, when Philo refers to the “soul” having “innumerable opinions,” he would have better referred to the Garden of Eden as being the human brain, or at least the DNA which had been ‘programmed’ to produce a brain with the ability to conjure up such “opinions”.

The reference to God having “planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed”, far better symbolizes that DNA which had been ‘programmed’ with those elements described in Genesis Chapter 1, which would have been latent in some of the early species. And those of the early species with this latent human DNA must have been physically present in some place on the Earth. So God putting man into the garden must symbolize the first of the primitive human species in which the latent elements of the more advanced DNA which was to form the species “in the image of God” began to be activated. And that activation, which would have been gradual, is symbolized by the words “And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.”

The important words in this verse which point to the Garden being the human brain are “out of the ground made the Lord God to grow …” Those words reflect the words used relating to the forming of man – “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground ….” So when the trees are made to “grow” out of “the ground”, it clearly implies the “the ground” that had been made “man”.

That wording wonderfully conjures up the image of those latent elements of human DNA developing the brains of the first human beings in whom it was found. And the “trees” perfectly correspond to those elements of that DNA which we discussed in Day Six – “pleasant to the sight” refers to instincts; “good for food” refers to the innate ‘knowledge’ of how the universe and life functions; “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” refers to the “morality module”; and the “tree of life” refers to the ability of the human spirit to survive physical death. It should also be noted that the word “pleasant” is associated with the “trees”, symbolizing instinct: because, as we have seen, it is the allure of pleasure, or fear of pain, that fires our instincts into action.

However, all these elements of the human brain need some way to interact with the world of the external senses for them to have any significance. The human instinct for reproduction, for example, can only be activated when it perceives something that it recognizes as another of the species which causes an arousal of that instinct. The instinct needs to be ‘fed’ by sight. Likewise, the instinct for survival can only kick-in when the senses perceive some danger to survival – an unfamiliar sound, an unusual sight, another of the species perceived as a threat. The physical senses are what ‘feed’ the brain – only Genesis calls it ‘watering’ the brain: “And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.”[16]

This verse very obviously refers to the nervous system of the human body which supplies the brain with the information it needs in order to act. And the reason it is so obvious is that the river didn’t go INTO the garden to water the trees, it “WENT OUT of Eden to water the garden.” It would be rather pointless for the water which should be ‘watering’ the trees in the garden to flow in the wrong direction. And as we have seen, the author/s of Genesis did not make careless errors.

So when we conceive of the Garden of Eden as referring to the human brain, and the river which flows fromEden to water the garden” as the human nervous system which ‘waters’ the brain by supplying it with the necessary information it requires in order to function, then the verse makes sense.

So what we have in these verses is an explanation of the first human beings in which the DNA developing the brain, which was ‘programmed’ with latent human characteristics, would give expression to those characteristics, and a description of the human nervous system which would feed the brain with the necessary information to allow it to develop those characteristics. And the information would be provided through the senses on the extremities of the body – the “four heads” of the river.

Verses 11 to 14 describe where these four heads of the river end up, and the references to what may have been physical places at the time would have been understood by the people at that time to make the connection between the places and the senses referred to. But for our purposes, the physical places are not important once we recognize that they refer to the senses and the nervous system which ‘waters’ the brain.

The next verse is curious, because we see God putting man into the garden for a second time: “And the Lord God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.[17] The crucial difference, of course, is that this time the man is put in the garden “to dress it and to keep it.” On the previous occasion, he was just put in it.

This suggests that the human brain had now fully developed with all the necessary characteristics with which it had been ‘programmed’. The latent ‘genes’ had been activated, or as the Encode Project would say, had been ‘switched on’. But, as we shall see, not all were fully functioning. It was now the task of those human beings to develop those characteristics within the brain – “to dress it and keep it.

The next verse is also crucial to understand why the “man” is put into the garden a second time: “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:  But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”[18]

Now, before we get into the meaning of these verses, we should note that the original Hebrew did not say “thou shalt surely die”, but “in dying thou shalt die”. This distinction is crucial, as we shall soon see.

So here we see the next difference with the second time God puts “man” into the garden. God is said to speak to him, or more properly, “commanded” him. And the word used to express the commanding of the “man” is that which was previously used in Genesis 1: 22 – “SAYING”. “God commanded the man, SAYING”. That is almost identical to the words in Genesis 1: 22, except that there God “blessed” the animals. And we should remember that the word “saying” symbolizes a lack of comprehension on the part of those ‘hearing’ the words, or at least a limited comprehension of the significance of the words being spoken.

The symbolism of God commanding the “man”, in conjunction with the word “saying”, tells us that the “morality module,” which the “the tree of knowledge of good and evil” represents, was still dormant, or latent. Although it was physically present in the brain, it had not yet been activated. However, the words indicate that when the first humans would be ‘tempted’ to take some action that would offend against the moral precepts (principles) of the “morality module”, they would ‘know’ that what they were doing was wrong, and that there would be a consequence. So this first human, or these first humans, would have simply recognized certain things as wrong, without ‘rationalizing’ their actions as right or wrong. They would have intuitively found certain behavior of the species from whom they had emerged ‘wrong’, but as yet not be able to identify why. That is how they would have known themselves to be different. So whereas the species from whom they had emerged may have regarded killing, raping and pillaging of members of other tribes as something to admire and celebrate, these first humans would have felt not just unease at such actions, but revulsion. The same would apply to casual sexual practices and violence between members of even the same tribe or community.

The remarkable thing about the innocence that clearly defined these human beings before they succumbed to the temptations of their primitive instincts is that there are just such people alive today. They are the San people of Southern Africa, also known as the Bushmen. Anthropologists and geneticists identify some of these tribes as the ancestors of all human beings.

The next verses in Genesis explain the further development of these the first of the human species.

So we see God speaking again, but not to “man” directly: “And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.”

Before we look at the meaning of these words, we should deal with another little bit of ‘housekeeping’ on translation. The original Hebrew for the word translated as “meet” was actually “as before him”. So the first verse in which the word is used should read “I will make him an help as before him.”

Now the first thing we should note is that God is said to have seen that the “man” was alone, and that it was “not good” that he should be alone. This suggests that of those of the species that had the fully ‘programmed’ human DNA, only a very few, or even just one, appeared to have survived. The rest must have died out.

And because of what follows, it is certain that Genesis is here focusing in on the first male, or males, of the species in whom the fully ‘programmed’ human DNA was present. But when Genesis refers to this first “man” being “alone”, it does not necessarily mean that he was physically alone. He must have been the offspring of a mother and father. And no doubt he would have been part of a group or tribe of people. But, as we have seen, the reason he would have been “alone” is that he would have recognized that he was in some fundamental respects very different to those around him. He was the first of the species with fully ‘programmed’ human DNA. Philo noted this when he said, in relation to the creation of man in the image of God, that “all the individuals of the race had not yet assumed their distinctive form; since the extreme species are contained in the genus.”[19] This first “man” was thus the first to assume the “distinctive [human] form.”

The reason that it was “not good that the man should be alone” is that his instinct was to reproduce, but there was no female of the species who would have shared the fully ‘matured’ human DNA. To this first “man”, reproducing with what ostensibly would have been another ‘species’, would have seemed like bestiality.

This would have caused a great dilemma for him; and that dilemma would have caused frustration. But in doing so, it appears to have activated additional elements of the human characteristics with which his brain had been imprinted by the fully human DNA. Accordingly, the fact that the words follow the words “And the LORD God said …” must symbolize the law of God responding to the unnatural condition the first of the human species encountered – being “alone”, without another of the species with whom he could reproduce. Since that was contrary to the will of God as expressed in His law, those elements of the human organism were activated which would seek to rectify this unnatural condition. The symbolism of God speaking is the expression of God’s will through the law responding to the situation.

So the words “I will make him an help as before him” can only symbolize the activation of the ability to reason to a higher level, compelling this first human to examine the life around him in the hope of finding another living thing like him. The words “as before him” then make sense. He was seeking another like him so that together they could be as the species before him – that is, joining together with the opposite gender to create new life, and so perpetuate the new species.

However, by looking differently at all the life about him, this first human appeared to activate another latent characteristic of the brain ‘programmed’ with human DNA – the language module. These verses clearly refer to the activation of the innate human ability to communicate – Adam started naming the animals. And that would also have led to a limited activation of the innate ‘knowledge and understanding’ programmed into the human brain by human DNA. That is symbolized by Genesis saying that God formed out of the ground the animals that were brought to Adam. This all suggests that as Adam realized he was different, he began a search for a companion so that this new species could be as the species was before – a community. And in his search he began to ascribe sounds to represent the different species he encountered. But it also suggests that in doing so he began to question where they all came from, and indeed where he came from. And all of this is the result of God’s law reacting to the situation through the vehicle of the human brain in order to give expression to God’s will. It is this expression of God’s will that is symbolized by God ‘speaking’ – He is speaking through His law in order to express His will: the creation of an organism in His “image”.

But Adams’s search proved futile: “but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.” Or, with the correct translation, “there was not found an help as before him.” This first of the species found that he was alone, the first of a kind, different to everything around him. It is also these closing words that give confirmation to the fact that these verses in which the animals are ‘made’ and brought to Adam to be named, symbolize the activation of certain elements ‘programmed’ into the human brain by human DNA – the words show that what preceded was a quest for something which did not come to fruition, at least not fully – a help for Adam as was before him.

So it seems that this first of the human species must have settled for one of those around him, even though they would have been a different ‘species’ in some major respects. And so this fully ‘programmed’ human DNA must have again become dormant: “And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof.”[20]

There then follow these verses:

“ And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”[21]

The symbolism of “Adam” going into a deep sleep means that the fully formed human DNA he was carrying around would have been passed through several generations while remaining dormant. So a number of the pre-human species may well have had this dormant DNA, or at least dormant genes within that DNA, as part of their genetic make-up, but it did not manifest itself as a human species for some time. Then, by a coincidence of probabilities, the dormant DNA was activated in both a male and female of the species at the same time, and those two would have been in close physical proximity, perhaps even within the same tribe or community.

And immediately they recognized each other as being different from the species around them, and virtual mirror-images of each other, except one was male and the other female. As Philo said, “although all the individuals of the race had not yet assumed their distinctive form; since the extreme species are contained in the genus, and are beheld, as in a mirror, by those who are able to discern acutely.”[22]

The human species was finally to begin propagating. And the effect of this mutual recognition was that some element of the “morality module” was activated: Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”[23]

These two of the emerging new species, human beings, were aware that the new life they would create by joining together in a physical relationship would be unique, exclusive and special; in their image and likeness. And that, they understood, imposed on them fundamental obligations towards each other, and the life they would create. That is symbolized by the words “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.” They recognized that this new relationship between members of the new species was different to what went before. They recognized the importance of monogamy. The joining together of a male and a female to create new life makes them “one flesh” in the new life they create. And the obligations which attach to that, both before and after they “cleave unto” each other to become one flesh, require that they forsake any and all other relationships. Like the new life they create, their relationship should also be unique, exclusive and special – for the benefit of the new life they create.

But clearly, there is also another meaning to the words “therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother.” These first two of the early human species would have been aware that they were different even to their own parents, and that required that they leave the community from which they came, including their own ancestors.

However, at this stage, there would still have been an innocence about them. Only a small element of the “morality module” had been activated – that element which compelled them to recognize the fundamental nature of their relationship to the exclusion of others, and the obligations which would attach to them by virtue of creating new life – becoming “one flesh.”

That is the message in the next verse: “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.” The reason that “they were not ashamed” was that they did not look upon the physical body, and the act of procreation as something to be exploited for the primary purpose of generating physical pleasure.

And the San people mentioned above have precisely the kind of innocence we are talking about here. For the most part, the San people resisted the impulse to activate the “morality module”. They were content to listen to the “voice” of the “moral law”, whereas another branch of the species chose to challenge that “voice”.

It is this branch of the species that Genesis addresses in Chapter 3, represented by Adam and Eve.

And that will be the focus of the next and final abridged extract of A ‘Final Theory’ of God.

By Joseph BH McMillan

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2014 All Rights Reserved

 

[1] Philo, On the Creation, XLIV (129).

[2] Tegmark, Max. Our Mathematical Universe, page 254 – Tegmark’s emphasis.

[3] Tegmark, page 323.

[4] Tegmatk, page 391 – Tegmark’s emphasis.

[5] Tegmark, page 259.

[6] Tegmark, page 323.

[7] Philo, On the Creation, III (13).

[8] Philo, On the Creation, IV (16).

[9] Rees, Martin. Just Six Numbers, page 4.

[10] Genesis 2: 6.

[11] Genesis 2: 7.

[12] Genesis 1: 21.

[13] Proverbs 1: 1 – 7.

[14] Genesis 2: 8 – 9.

[15] Philo, On the Creation, LVI (154).

[16] Genesis 2: 10.

[17] Genesis 2: 15.

[18] Genesis 2: 16 – 17.

[19] Philo, On the Creation, XXIV (76).

[20] Genesis 2: 21.

[21] Genesis 2: 22 – 24.

[22] Philo, On the Creation, XXIV (76).

[23] Genesis 2: 24.

Philosophical Origins of the Modern Liberal Fundamentalist State – Part I

Like everything else in life, all philosophy can be reduced to simple analogy.

I shall demonstrate this by reference to those philosophers who have had the most dramatic impact on the way we think and behave today.

Jeremy Bentham (1784 – 1832)

Few people outside of academia will have heard of Bentham, never mind understand how much influence his ‘thinking’ has had on their lives.

Bentham traveled back in time to the Garden of Eden, there to dig up the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and plant in its place the tree of pleasure and pain. And it is of this tree that Adam and Eve ate, claims Bentham.

“Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure.” Pain and pleasure, claims Bentham, determine what we ought to do, what is right and wrong, what we say, and how we behave. He acknowledges that he cannot prove this, but claims that is because “that which is used to prove everything else, cannot itself be proved.” Convenient!

So Bentham claimed that he had discovered the philosophical calculator, or what he called “felicific calculus” – happy arithmetic. Punch in the data, and out pops the answer. This is Bentham’s “principle of utility” – every action is determined by “the tendency it appears to have to augment or diminish the happiness of the party whose interest is in question,” and that is done by adding to “the sum total of his pleasure,” and diminishing the “sum total of his pains.”

Now if Bentham were true to his thesis, even pain should be capable of producing pleasure. Some people sacrifice and endure pain because it relieves their consciences; others because they derive a kind of pleasure from starving themselves of pleasure for what they consider some higher calling, or for the benefit others may derive from their sacrifice; others will even sacrifice their own lives for the benefit of others, or simply because they cannot face another day of their high pleasure diet. In short, Bentham could simply have said that all actions are selfish.

But he couldn’t do that. If he did, his “felicific” calculator would not work: punch in 2 and up pops 4; punch in 4 and up pops 3. Suddenly we have a hall of mirrors. So Bentham simply declares that any principle which differs from his “principle of utility” must “necessarily be a wrong one.”

He identifies two wrong ones: “asceticism” and “sympathy and antipathy.” The former are religious people who court pain as a matter of “merit and duty” because of the “narrowness of their intellect,” and those who want to cleanse themselves from “the sordes of their impure original.” The latter are those who approve or disapprove of actions because of their own prejudices.

Bentham didn’t seem to recognize the irony in identifying these ‘exceptions’ to his principle. If there are people who do not always seek to maximize pleasure, and some who even court pain, then mankind cannot be under the “governance” of pleasure and pain as Bentham defines it.

But that does not deter Bentham. Instead of re-evaluating his “principle of utility,” he simply says that those who do not respect it “must always be regulated” to prevent them “doing mischief.” And they must be regulated by his “principle of utility.”

And this ‘regulation’ must be done by government: “the business of government is to promote the happiness of society, by punishing and rewarding.”

So Bentham hands government two electrodes: one to infuse pleasure; the other to inflict pain. Thus government compels everyone to be happy. Use of the electrodes is determined by the “effect” actions have on others pursuing their pleasure. Sometimes it is necessary to modify behavior by applying the pleasure electrode to infuse a “disposition” for the kind of pleasure that has a “tendency” to be less harmful to the pleasure of other, while the pain electrode should be applied to those who seriously malfunction – those who simply cannot get enough pleasure, irrespective of the “consequences” to others.

If Bentham’s analysis were purely academic, it could be almost entertaining. Unfortunately, it is the model of the modern democratic state. The right to “the pursuit of happiness” is even enshrined in the United States Declaration of Independence. And Western government and society are slaves to the pursuit of pleasure – as long as it does not harm others, of course.

The ‘harm principle’ which has emerged from the “principle of utility” dictates virtually every aspect of modern life, and has defined modern ‘morality’. ‘Morality’ is a function of pleasure; everything and anything which enhances pleasure is good, as long as it does not “harm” others; and everything and anything which inhibits the indulgence of pleasure is bad. Bentham’s contempt for ‘morality’ is the staple of today’s society: “we see the emptiness of all those rhapsodies of commonplace morality, which consist in the taking of such names as lust, cruelty, and avarice, and branding them with marks of reprobation.”

Thus, for decades, we have been showered with “studies” and “research” which ‘prove’ that this or that action, or this or that indulgence, does not cause “harm”. Or “studies” which show that inhibiting certain indulgences does cause “harm” to those who want to engage in them. To put it crudely, ‘morality’ today means doing whatever gives you a kick, as long as it does not ‘hurt’ someone else.

Now on the face of it, who could object to that? The problem is that we know little, if anything, of the consequences of defining human beings as nothing more than creatures in search of pleasure. What we do know is that modern Western society is plagued by a myriad of ailments. Divorce is soaring; juvenile delinquency is out of control; crime is commonplace; drug and alcohol abuse is rampant; teenage single mothers are a dime a dozen; venereal disease is as common as the common cold; and so we could go on. Yet, we do not question whether the ‘philosophy’ of modern society may be the problem; a ‘philosophy’ which has it origins in Bentham’s “principle of utility.” Instead, we call on government to wield the electrodes more, especially the pain electrode, in the hope that government can “regulate” us out of the mess. So humans are being reduced to a species lower than Pavlov’s dogs, except government does not wield a bell to make us salivate, it wields Bentham’s electrodes.

Bentham’s claim that man is governed by pleasure and pain, and must therefore always seek to maximize pleasure, is the same thing as saying that because a car consumes fuel, its sole purpose and use is to consume as much fuel as possible. He cannot conceive that a car may have a purpose other than the consumption of fuel.

Neither can he conceive that this relentless consumption of fuel may release harmful emissions into the atmosphere which may, in the end, see the demise of the car entirely, and the destruction of the environment as we know it.

But at least in respect of carbon emissions we have started questioning the true effects; we haven’t even started questioning the true effects of the relentless pursuit of pleasure.

John Stuart Mill (1806 – 1873)

Bentham’s “principle of utility” has been ‘refined’ by others. Mill, for example, argued that intellectual and aesthetic pleasures should be accorded more weight than purely sensual pleasures. That’s like arguing that a car consuming high-octane fuel is preferable to a car consuming regular fuel.

Philo (20B.C. – 40A.D.)

Bentham was not original in claiming that man is governed by pleasure and pain. Philo had the pleasure advocates in his day, and predicted others, such as Bentham.

Now when I talk about Philo, I don’t mean the character played by Clint Eastwood in the film Every Which Way But Loose. I mean Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Egypt, who lived at about the same time as Christ, although there is no evidence that they ever met each other.

It is appropriate here to bring in Philo because he specifically talks about the Garden of Eden, which is where I started with Bentham.

In explaining the significance of Adam and Eve eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, Philo says this about the serpent that tempted Eve. “And the serpent is said to have spoken in a human voice, because pleasure employs innumerable champions and defenders who take care to advocate its interests, and who dare to assert that the power over everything, both small and great, does of right belong to it without any exception whatever.”

Now what I find particularly interesting about Philo is his explanation about the origins of pleasure. He says that animals “pursue pleasure only in taste and in the acts of generation,” that is, for reproduction. So it was with man, he says, until he succumbed to the serpent.

Philo explains it this way. “Now, the first approaches of the male to the female have a pleasure in them which brings on other pleasures also, and it is through this pleasure that the formation and generation of children is carried on. And what is generated by [pleasure] appears to be attached to nothing rather than to it[self], since they rejoice in pleasure, and are impatient at pain, which is its contrary.”

Philo is saying that man was once exactly like an animal, reproducing to ensure the survival of the species. Generally, animals instinctively reproduce at predetermined times and even places. Man, on the other hand, can and does reproduce at any time. But most importantly, man has the ability to reflect on the reasons for reproducing, the consequences, and the obligations that attach to, and arise from, the act of reproduction. Man has the ability to weigh in the balance the instinctive drive to reproduce, and the pleasure to be derived from it, against the consequences of the act. Humans can ask themselves whether they should engage in the act with this person, or at this time of their lives. They can ask themselves whether they should engage in the act of reproduction with only one person, or should they simply satisfy their desire for the pleasure derived from the act, irrespective of the number of people involved. And it is the ability to reflect on these questions which gives rise to what we call ‘obligations’, and what we call ‘morality’.

That is the fundamental distinction between Bentham and Philo. For Bentham, mankind is simply driven on by the pursuit of pleasure like a paper bag in a hurricane.

Philo sees this enhanced perception as an opportunity for man to rise above pleasure which, he says, if pursued for no purpose other than itself, is “more miserable than death.”

Philo warns that “those who have previously become the slaves of pleasure immediately receive the wages of this miserable and incurable passion.”

It is this ability to harness pleasure, and the ability it brings to designate acts as good or bad, that defines man, and differentiates him from beasts.

So Philo would have seen that a car does have a purpose other than the consumption of fuel. He would even have noticed that the consumption of fuel for no other purpose than the consumption of fuel would cause harm to the environment. Philo had the benefit of witnessing the unrestrained pursuit of pleasure by the Romans of his day; a passion for pleasure which ultimately led to their downfall.

Immanuel Kant (1724 – 1804)

Kant can be summed up like this: he would have noticed that cars do not simply consume fuel for the sake of consuming fuel; sometimes they slow down, and even stop, consuming less fuel; he would have noticed that there are signs which seem to have this effect on cars, and that these signs are mostly obeyed because of fear of the police.

What Kant claimed to have discovered is a moral faculty in man. He claimed that man is conscious of a “moral law” through reason, and that the ‘impulse’ to conform to this “moral law” is not through some “intervening feeling of pleasure and pain,” or even “intuition,” but through “the concept of freedom.”

This is how Kant sums it up: “these laws are only possible in relation to freedom of the will; but freedom being supposed, they are necessary; or conversely freedom is necessary because those laws are necessary, being practical postulates. It cannot be further explained how this consciousness of the moral law, or, what is the same thing, of freedom, is possible.” Perhaps Kant should have called his book on the subject A Critique of Pure Impractical Reason.

Kant’s “moral law” can be explained like this: the “law” part = freedom = freedom to choose; the “moral” part = good and evil. So the “moral law” means we are free to choose between good and evil. Using the motor car analogy, Kant is saying that there are signs (laws) which, if obeyed, make a good driver, but that we are free to obey them or not, and face the consequences. This is what he says: “There is something so singular in the unbounded esteem for the pure moral law [the road signs], apart from all advantage, as it is presented for our obedience by practical reason [freedom], the voice of which makes even the boldest sinner tremble [the police], and compels him to hide himself from it ..”

Obeying the signs defines a “person himself as a good or evil man.”

Now Kant does not advocate renouncing pleasure altogether, but only that when “duty [to obey the moral law] is in question we should take no account of happiness.” Using the car analogy again, all Kant is saying is that consuming as much fuel as possible is good, except when we come across a sign; then we should obey the sign, even if that means we don’t consume any fuel.

And that, thought Kant, is the purpose of a car – consume as much fuel as possible, except when obeying a sign means we should slow down, or stop: a kind of Utilitarian Buddhism.

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900)

Nietzsche believed that only one kind of car mattered: the powerful, fast and glitzy sports car. All other cars are “common” – “similar, ordinary, average, herdlike.” They are all “mediocre.” Or at least that is the general consensus.

That is Nietzsche’s “will to power.” He despaired at the trend toward universal similarity; the creation of a dull world – “this degeneration and diminution of man into the perfect herd animal … into the dwarf animal of equal rights and claims.” Nietzsche did not want a world where everyone drives around in a Trabant, scrupulously obeying the signs, terrified that they may have an accident. He hated the “imperative of herd timidity: [that] we want that some day there should be nothing more to be afraid of!”

At least Nietzsche acknowledges that he has no idea of a car’s purpose. But since we have them, he says, we might as well have the most powerful, the fastest, and the most aesthetically pleasing, not one of those ordinary cars without style, with plastic seats, chugging along on a puny diesel engine.

And Nietzsche doesn’t care about carbon emissions.

Yet Nietzsche would be the first to acknowledge that his “will to power” is only his “interpretation.” The genius of Nietzsche is his observation that everything is “interpretation, not text,” especially when it comes to philosophy. In that he agrees with the Preacher in Ecclesiastes: “[God] hath set the world in [man’s] heart, so that no man can find the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end” [Eccl 3:11], and “though a wise man think to know it, yet shall he not be able to find it” [Eccl 8:17].

Because we cannot, or have not yet, identified a discernible purpose for mankind being on this earth, says Nietzsche, we simply make up the rules as we go along. But sooner or later someone will come along to throw all these rules out the window, and impose his own tyrannical rules. Nietzsche says this: “It is interpretation, not text; and somebody might come along who, with opposite intentions and modes of interpretation, could read out of the same ‘nature’, and with regard to the same phenomena, rather the tyrannical inconsiderate and relentless enforcement of claims of power – an interpreter who would picture the unexceptional and unconditional aspects of ‘will to power’ so vividly that almost every word, even the word ‘tyranny’ itself, would eventually seem unsuitable, or a weakening and attenuating metaphor – being too human – but he might, nevertheless, end by asserting the same about this world as you do, namely, that it has a ‘necessary’ and ‘calculable’ course, not because laws obtain in it, but because they are lacking, and every power draws its ultimate consequences at every moment. Supposing that this also is only interpretation – and you will be eager enough to make this objection? – well, so much the better.”

Nietzsche was right, of course! We’ve had Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, and now the likes of Al Qaeda. And there will be more. Ironically, though, the greatest danger stems from our so-called democratic institutions. The prospect of such a tyrannical “interpreter” gives government license to wield Bentham’s electrodes with ever greater enthusiasm and urgency. So we see a proliferation of laws to “regulate” us into discarding our ‘prejudices’ so that some day we shall have “nothing more to be afraid of!” – except, perhaps, our own ‘tyrannical’ governments?

But government has to protect us, we are told, not just from the tyrannical “interpreter”, but also from our own predilection for causing ourselves harm; especially through carbon emissions. And that brings me to Albert Schweitzer.

Albert Schweitzer (1875 – 1965)

Before I have every ‘philosopher’ screaming at me that Schweitzer is not a philosopher, let me acknowledge that. His existential tendencies, it seems, banished him from that exclusive club.

He said this: “In this world we can discover nothing of any purposive evolution in which our actions can acquire meaning.” So he agrees with Nietzsche and the Preacher on that.

But he claims that our “will to live” comes to the rescue. “As in my own will-to-live there is a longing for wider life and for the mysterious exaltation of the will-to-live which we call pleasure, with dread of annihilation and of the mysterious depreciation of the will-to-live which we call pain; so is it also in the will-to-live all around me, whether it can express itself before me, or remains dumb.

“Ethics consists, therefore, in my experiencing the compulsion to show all will-to-live the same reverence as I do to my own. There we have given us that basic principle of the moral which is a necessity of thought. It is good to maintain and encourage life; it is bad to destroy life or obstruct it.”

This is how Schweitzer describes “reverence for life” man: “Life as such is sacred to him. He tears no leaf from a tree, plucks no flower, and takes care to crush no insect.”

So Schweitzer wants us to fill our cars with unleaded fuel, take care not to splatter insects on the windscreen, and not drive over grass.

That, for Schweitzer, is the purpose of a car because, he says, we can never discover any other purpose.

So Schweitzer, even if he isn’t a ‘philosopher’, rounds off the ‘thinking’ that influences us today – consciously or unconsciously. An inspiration for the environmentalists, the greens, and even the animal rights brigade.

Conclusion

These ‘philosophers’, together with those who have ‘refined’ and expanded on their ‘thinking’, have thus defined modern Western ‘morality’. A ‘morality’ that is an amalgam of the pursuit of pleasure tempered by the ‘harm principle’, environmentalism, banishment of prejudice (for which read – those who do not subscribe to the accepted norms of political ideology), and the quest for safety, all held together by Bentham’s electrodes.

Yet this amalgam doesn’t identify the purpose of a car – it describes dodgem cars at a fair ground. And it has created the modern Liberal Fundamentalist state!

Furthermore, it has also created modern Logo Man – Nietzsche’s herd man with a brand. Life only has meaning in proportion to the accumulation of Logo’s: more Logos, more happiness.

And since we labor under the fiction that we agree to be governed by the majority, the majority is easily manipulated, by appealing to their ‘will-to-vanity’, into believing that the pursuit of Logos is the pinnacle of civilization – and ‘studies’ prove that!

That we ‘consent’ to be governed by the majority is again, not surprisingly, another philosophical ‘waste product’.

Copyright © Joseph BH McMillan 2007 All Rights Reserved