Sunday, July 09, 2017

The Fake News of Faith


"Faith, as such, is extremely detrimental to human life." – Ayn Rand

An agnostic is an atheist who shrinks from the intellectual task of proving that God or Allah as deities do not exist and never have existed. God did not “die.” He simply never was. The task is both a simple and a difficult one. The absence of God’s meddling into man’s affairs does not constitute proof of God’s non-existence in human affairs or in temporal matters, such as in science. This was the frequent position taken by our country’s Founders, most notably by Thomas Jefferson. One can’t “prove” the non-existence of something that isn’t there and never was here or anywhere. Deists believed that God the Creator of man and the universe retreated from human affairs, and then left the scene to reside for eternity shielded from human sight on his throne somewhere behind the Crab Nebula.

God’s purported existence is analogous to a child’s believing in the tooth fairy. The child falls asleep after losing a tooth, and is assured by a parent that if she is a good girl and goes to sleep, in the morning when she wakes up she will find a tooth, or a candy, or a silver dollar under her pillow. The parent will not divulge that she will be the “miracle worker.” I was often subjected to this species of duplicitous folderol. I suspected it was duplicity, and resented it, but as a child I did not have enough knowledge to contest it.

However, this has been and continues to be the epistemological and metaphysical state of mind of adults. Most atheists fail to convince believers of the non-existence of a “supreme being.” Although dedicated atheists, agnostics, and other doubters, such as Robert Ingersoll, and for a time Mark Twain, together with a host of contemporary atheists, argued often persuasively against the organized churches of virtually every denomination, highlighting their hypocrisies, persecutions, crimes, and lapses, but they were  invariably confronted and stymied by some form of the “I just feel that God exists and so it is true” argument, and so they ultimately failed to burst the fanciful bubble of a “First Cause” (a.k.a. the “Big Bang” hypothesis) because they neglected to point out the primacy of existence. With the believers, they took existence for granted, except that the reality they perceived was not an extraneous, subjective phenomenon, as it was to the believers. They did not know how to refute or answer an argument from feeling or from the argument from innate knowledge. They could not grasp how much believers were in denial of existence and closed to reason.

For a discussion of the primacy of existence, see Ayn Rand.

The basic metaphysical issue that lies at the root of any system of philosophy [is] the primacy of existence or the primacy of consciousness.

The primacy of existence (of reality) is the axiom that existence exists, i.e., that the universe exists independent of consciousness (of any consciousness), that things are what they are, that they possess a specific nature, an identity. The epistemological corollary is the axiom that consciousness is the faculty of perceiving that which exists—and that man gains knowledge of reality by looking outward. The rejection of these axioms represents a reversal: the primacy of consciousness—the notion that the universe has no independent existence, that it is the product of a consciousness (either human or divine or both). The epistemological corollary is the notion that man gains knowledge of reality by looking inward (either at his own consciousness or at the revelations it receives from another, superior consciousness).

From my observations, believers of all types – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, etc. – do not even bother to “look inward” in search of the “truth.” They simply accept the existence of God as received wisdom not to be questioned. They’ve believed it for most of their adult lives and largely cannot or will not allow their faith to be shaken.

Every argument for God and every attribute ascribed to Him rests on a false metaphysical premise. None can survive for a moment on a correct metaphysics.. .

Existence exists, and only existence exists. Existence is a primary: it is uncreated, indestructible, eternal. So if you are to postulate something beyond existence—some supernatural realm—you must do it by openly denying reason, dispensing with definitions, proofs, arguments, and saying flatly, “To Hell with argument, I have faith.” That, of course, is a willful rejection of reason.

Furthermore:

Existence exists—and the act of grasping that statement implies two corollary axioms: that something exists which one perceives and that one exists possessing consciousness, consciousness being the faculty of perceiving that which exists.

If nothing exists, there can be no consciousness: a consciousness with nothing to be conscious of is a contradiction in terms. A consciousness conscious of nothing but itself is a contradiction in terms: before it could identify itself as consciousness, it had to be conscious of something.

If that which you claim to perceive does not exist, what you possess is not consciousness.

If you claim knowledge of that which does not exist but which nevertheless has a tenacious hold on
Occasionally, a believer will have this thought.
your consciousness in the face of the evidence of your senses and in defiance of reason, we can say that you are claiming “fake news.” It is, as a CNN reporter said of the network’s obsessing over President Trump’s alleged Russian connections, a big “nothing burger,” a multi-millennia old “nothing burger,” responsible over eons for incalculable lives lost or lives lived in misery and in vain and trapped in fathomless troughs of hope and wishes, all vacuums of unrealizable fantasies.

CNN and its allies on the Left in and out of politics (such as Special Counsel Robert Mueller) have faith that Trump committed a crime, so they are in search of one; it doesn’t even have to have anything to do with Russia. Their hatred of Trump is an all-consuming kind of religion, and they will not let it go. Other than Islam, Trumpaphobia is the only other faith I know of that is based on sheer, naked, unadulterated malice for the man and his policies, a hatred of the good for being the good.

CNN, Mueller, and the rest of the whole fake news gang are in pursuit of their own unrealizable fantasies.they adhere to a creed that does not even have a dogma. They all believe in “what ain’t so.”

1 comment:

BruceinFalkirk said...

Ed, it's impossible to prove anything doesn't exist, you know that.