Rethinking Church: From Public to Private Domain

Churches do not impress many these days.  Something has always seemed excessive and ostentatious about their ancient, and sometimes quite ritzy displays.  Justinian’s magnum opus — the famed Hagia Sophia — burnt to the ground (fell over and THEN sank into the swamp).  I wish to make a suggestion here.  The practice of religion should always have remained private.  It should never have gone public.

  1.  Early Christianity started off this way.  They met in houses and intimate “places of prayer.”
  2. The original situation of humanity had no church or clergy (no priesthood or sacrifice) to offer.  The light of nature would necessarily have rendered prayer and service a family, and a private, matter.
  3. Judaism’s chosen public place of temple service was a slaughterhouse of the poor (sacrificed) animals, but not the synagogues, and houses in which they sometimes met.  These were far more private than the places of holiday meeting.
  4. Holiday’s and holiday meetings in most religions involve public gatherings, and they almost always involve the killing of huge numbers of animals.  This makes holidays abominable to God.  Rather, “the righteous man cares for the needs of his animal, ” and again, “Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain.”  This means we must show kindness to animals, not kill them!!
  5. The rise of public religion has in fact given birth to crusades, inquisitions, witch-burnings, extreme animal abuse, and a host of other social ills we would have been much better without. And without the public formation of such religious “teams,” (armies sometimes) we could have obviated these ills and crimes. Private Jihads do not often result from household religious activities.
  6. Ockham’s Razor seems to render churches simply unnecessary.  People can meet in their own houses if they wish. If they want teaching made more generally available, technology makes convenient for this purposes radio and other electronic connectivity devices, or simply books, pamphlets or website publications — or courses audited at universities, online or brick-and-mortar.  Parks make good places of prayer for an intimate setting, as do campfires at the beach (or in a backyard) — the natural settings for praying and/ or singing.

For the Sophic, Ethical Monotheist, the LON rules the form of life that our Beloved Creator expects us to follow.  It had only two people originally, and for many generations could not have had prayer and sharing the goodness of God as anything but a family matter.  It is too intimate a kind of thing to bear one’s heart in public.  This appears quite indiscreet and unseemly (What in Solomon’s tongue we might call “inadvisable and unfitting,” perhaps even dangerous) to expose to others (strangers) what God and one’s family alone should be privy to — sins and problems for which one asks divine aid.

Religious councils have often — by claiming authority they should not bear — challenged the real and regular authority of both national and international governments, threatening the good order of society — when the KJV says — “He is God’s minister” to bear the sword on behalf of justice.  It is fine for people who wish it to hold councils (board meetings are even quite profitable — well, when they guide up); but it does no one any good when they start claiming RELIGIOUS authority that could later provide a competitive alternative against the state, as has often happened in the history of western civilization.

These, and other telling considerations, make the devotional attendance of divine concerns, a private matter, and not one suited for public consumption.  The wise (Sophic Ethical Monotheist) community will want to consider this matter well in forming its opinions on such matters, and in deciding, when and how they conduct any public meetings — perhaps only to pray for wisdom and to study together.  Setting wise limits on such meetings, in accordance with the LON, suits best the purposes of wisdom and profitability.

Qualitative Time: Historians and the Notion of “Periodization.”

Historians are a brilliant lot, but sometimes they do odd things.  One of those oddish behaviors aims at constructing a kind of timekeeping that borrows from the socio-economic “qualities” or attributes of an era.  This “period” of time then receives a name, say, the time of Renewal or “Renaissance,” for those who love French cooking.

One could name periods of time (eras) by any number of different kinds of qualities.  In different fields of history, say “art history,” they refer to the “Romantic Period,” while those less concerned with cultural history might simply dub this “the 19th century,” or “Industrial Revolution.”  Finance people think of this as the era of “the Unstoppable Rise of the Forward Contract” (before they had “futures,” they had “forward contracts”).

Periodization, the art and science of naming specific periods of time with historically-credible labels, began early on with historians. At the first, they used empires to label periods, while imperial Presidencies helped with this labeling process after WW II — in the era of Postmodern historiography.  I am hoping next for the era of the rise of the imperial historian. Remember, historians always have the last laugh, and they control the power of collective memory.  So be nice.  Or you could end up a robber Baron extreme with multiple psychoses, and a horrific personality.

But let us return to the fascinating idea that one might keep time by labeling specific eras in historical writing — this keeps time by noting the salient features (qualities), rather than by numbering a sequence of time units like years (e.g. this happened in 1492).  Quality versus Quantity. Sometimes an event conveying a quality can even serve to begin a timeline — for example, the event we call the beginning of writing systems. Historians account the beginning of history as the same thing as (coterminous with) the beginning of writing.  The same is true with check-cashing.  You simply cannot bounce a check until you learn to write.  “History” without writing is called “pre-history,” an era when things were run by a bunch of illiterate Neanderthals who couldn’t do a damn thing write.  They invented the DMV.

Different disciplines will necessarily have an outlook that views history differently, each from the others, since each field of inquiry has a distinct value system, placing its work as “central to the development of the human potential.” Logicians could easily labels eras as “Aristotelian, Platonist, Nominalist, Scholastic, Predicate calculus/ Set Theory, Logical Positivism, Computational logic, the rise of Mathematical Logic,” and the like.  Yet this construction of “eras” seems in no way arbitrary, but roots itself in very important features of actual historical, and socio-cultural trends and event-complexes (e.g. “Civil War”).

It does raise some further, interesting questions, however.  If one might label eras variously, what about the ways in which the scholarly past has viewed time (Empires often conscribe the “Assyrian Period” or “Neo-Chaldean” in older textbooks); or some other important or foundational question — how we view “government,” or “math systems,” or religions.  We now live in a post-Christian era (on my view).

Again, on my view, the history of humanity is a history of a very specific kind.  It is a history of progress, the continuous, if bouncy and uneven, growth and development of wisdom and understanding — of many different kinds of cultural activities, from logic and science to art and literature.  What if, instead of using the art of periodization to indicate this progress (which is fine by me), we instead created a math and logic system that shows or accounts for this progress?  Okay — what does that mean?

For example, the growth of humans in a specific population occurs by a kind of doubling process that can be described (back to numbers again) in terms of a geometric progression and a “geometric mean.”  The population bean-counters already know this shorthand.  I have begun a “hobby-like” quest to see if I can combine both relatively simply math and relatively simply logic into a hybrid system that accounts for human history’s innovative and progressive trends.  I am not as pessimistic as are many on this idea.  People often follow in the collective rational kinds of patterns that individuals do not, and some of these patterns might escape our notice for some time.  Population growth, money growth, the growth of the value of real estate, cost of life insurance, number of people involved in charity, the administration of justice, number of patents granted (of specific kinds), and many other markers can be used to study the value and growth of human progress. I believe that the correct approach to this subject, trimmed and managed by the principles of the LON (light of nature), will in fact to some extent, show a rational set of patterns we can identify as rationality describable.  Moore’s Law expemplifies this tendency, and shows a kind of rationality to human (cultural and technological) development, or at least certain aspects of cultural development.

I shall try to keep readers up to date of my adventure in looking to this or that kind of math of logic, and how the LON inflects this or that application of it to describe the history of our progress.  This math-logic system (prob. a hybrid) will attempt a first — show the rational development of “math over time” or logic as it unfolds over time as human progress.  This effort will prove a “dynamic math-logic” that unfolds over time — transchronic math-logic system: that shows the logic of progress — without periodization.  If you think it would take a miracle to get it right, remember this.  On the Sophic, Ethical Monotheist view, three miracles form the necessary preconditions for our being here (and doing anything scholarly).  The LON is thus itself an immediate creation of our beloved, and most excellent King.  The whole enchilada is miraculous to begin with.  I still cannot get over this.  Life is a miracle (transcendent), and wisdom is its crown and glory.

Periodization, move over.

Transcending Time, AGAIN. This Time, It’s Universal and Humanitarian.

We are going to need a more universal clock than I have before suspected.  My previous blog-post, I have realized, did not go far enough in reconstructing time, as it did, by eliminating all the “temporal epicycles” that I could.  What we will need amounts to something like a way of averaging events that occur at the quantum (or at least atomic) level, that is, averaging them out over a specific period of time to create a basic unit like “one second.”  From this basic unit, we can reconstruct all of time in a progressive-linear (non-cyclical or epicyclical) fashion, one that has no need of days (Sunday, Monday, Tues, etc — which are “Christian time-units”), or weeks or months, or years (which are also the stuff of “Christian Civilization.”

The one I propose would run much, much simpler, consisting of only one unit of time, moving forward from a point of origin (say, the first writing system?), with the expected (and plotted out across history) development of human progress.  The principle of progress forms a legitimate principle of the LON (light of nature), and follows from the fact that the LON consists of the ideal = wisdom.  The closer we move toward the ideal, the more progress we display.  This is in fact what we have been doing all throughout history — progressing.

Example of legal codes and material — law code of Hammurabi, then of Draco and Solon, the Roman legal codes, the Salic Law, that of Theodoric, the Magna Carta (1215), modern Constitutions, the Geneva Convention Protocols, legal innovations in civil rights and in animal rights, etc

The Christian conceptions of time are tribal (Old Testament), primitive, superstitious (named after “gods,” like “Saturn day” — more obviously in Latin languages that from Anglo-saxon), tangled, and completely unnecessary.  Mine is neither Julian nor Gregorian.  It is scientific and universal.  Consider that one day, we will move away from our little revolving hut (planet Earth) to other planets to begin living there.  Technology and time favor this view, just as does “Moore’s Law.”

When we move even beyond our own “Milky Way” galaxy, one day, we are going to have a good laugh at the primitive thinking that suggested what my previous blogpost did —  assumed that all solar systems would use the Earth’s concept of a day, season or year.  These same concepts would amount to something quite different in a different solar system, and then commerce between them would require more “time zone” changes than the one’s we already have.  Eventually this would become unmanageable and convoluted as the number of solar systems involved multiplies.  What to do?  Defeat the problem in advance with a universal time-keeping system — one that employs events commonplace in all galaxies — perhaps subatomic ones, averaged out, to create a universal calendar.

This is what we should start using when convenience allows, since our sciences are easily advanced enough to manage the project, AND it is counterproductive to continue favoring a time-system developed in the Middle Ages (Julian and Gregorian) that has nothing to commend it, and much to rebuff it (Ockham’s Razor, etc).  You will recall that this was the same “authorizing bunch” who came up with this time scheme who also argued about how many angels could dance on the head of a pin, and burned witches at the stake — in under 10 minutes.

My suggestion?  Never ask THESE people what time it is (It could be five minutes til the next stoning).  Ask Stephen Hawking instead.

During the first Copernican revolution, we were increasing our knowledge at both the level of the large scale (the telescope) and the lesser (the microscope).  We having been moving by way of improvements in both directions ever since, PROGRESS-ively.  Strangely, the one that I believe will rule the day among the stars is NOT the large-scale, but the small-scale (quantum), by providing the best basis for a unit of time as foundational as the atom was thought to be by the Greeks, or as in our day, the Higgs-Boson.

What is the optimal time-unit?  It may well need construction from an averaging process (stochastic time).  It should be managed, if I am correct, in units of ten, and as the simplest among apparently “optimal” choices.  These principles of the LON will lead the way.  I believe that it may be the result of several inferences using such principles, but there is an optimal, most basic time unit (temporal Higgs-Boson).  This will replace the entire Christian system, centered on crucifixion, or “crucified time.”  Crucifixion? Nah, he said I could have freedom.  (Monty Python knows).

The stochastic-temporal model instead would be based on the “freedom,” or rather, the contingency of quantum events.  The Wikipedia entry for “quantum clocks” indicates that we already have progress in this direction:

“In March 2008, physicists at NIST described a quantum logic clock based on individual ions of beryllium and aluminium. This clock was compared to NIST’s mercury ion clock. These were the most accurate clocks that had been constructed, with neither clock gaining nor losing time at a rate that would exceed a second in over a billion years.[42] In February 2010, NIST physicists described a second, enhanced version of the quantum logic clock based on individual ions of magnesium and aluminium. Considered the world’s most precise clock in 2010 with a fractional frequency inaccuracy of 8.6 × 10−18, it offers more than twice the precision of the original.[43] [44]     The accuracy of experimental quantum clocks has since been superseded by experimental optical lattice clocks based on strontium-87 and ytterbium-171.”

Although this kind of accuracy transcends the needs we have in regard to establishing a universal timekeeping unit, it remains quite impressive. And the most accurate might form the basis for the time unit we are looking for.   Quantum clock technology will certainly aid in the quest.  I have no doubt.  What would Lucretius do?   Good science versus bad religion.  The choice is clear enough.  Universal time needs good science. Perhaps light itself (the photon) might provide the answer, since it seems basic to all life.  Since our beloved Creator placed us here on Earth, we might consider it an objective point of reference that the Sun is about 93 million miles from Earth (the Anthropic Principle, as they call it, does something quite humanitarian — it places life at a premium: plant life, animal life and human life).  This kind of point of reference for constructing time goes precisely in the opposite direction of “Crucified time” of the Christian system.

The speed of light across this distance could form the basic unit of time (as “the speed of life”).  This (93 million miles divided by 186, 000 miles per second) would yield a basic unit of time that compares to the one we now use as something like 7.5 minutes (roughly) as a basic unit — the basic unit of life, as the basic unit of time. Then we could impale and replace the Christian system (Vlad time no more).

Once we decide on the basic unit of universal time, we could easily create wrist-watches that keep time “as universal time,” and that could display it translated into the time-frame anyone else might be using — all on the same digital face, and at a glance.

Contra “Ekklesia:” A New View

This blog post offers something that might be regarded as a startling insight.  I regard the Roman emperors who outlawed Christianity, or more particularly, the Christian Church (before Constantine). to actually have been correct in this particular prohibition.  By doing so. they were actually protecting the best interests of the state.

Ethical Monotheists believe in only ONE transcendent Source, and in one authority chain following from it, for all real authority — wherever its jurisdiction may situate.  This would (and does) preclude any church from having authority, in addition to that of the state.  Indeed, the “paper pope” of the Protestants, and the real one of the Catholics, both pretend authority beyond that of the state, implying a clear and distinct challenge to the former, if and when they disagree — or are interpreted by church leaders so to do.   Even their own “Bible” makes clear the “incommensurability of paradigms” here — one with Jesus as a living emperor (a false emperor and a fiction on the SEM view represented here), having authority over churchgoers in every land, as well as that paradigm of the real state authority, which has no such emperor ruling within its boundaries — the USA does not allow either kings or emperors to act within their office, exercising authority from it, within its borders.

This precludes Jesus (assuming hypothetical the Christian view) from exercising any authority as emperor on US soil.  This implies a ban on Christianity, since such exercise of authority is implied by their (illegal) baptism, which comes with the confession that “Jesus is Lord” — where “Lord” means “Son of God, and highest human authority.”  The prohibtion of the USA against domestic kingship and the like aims at forbidding the conflict of material interest involved necessarily in having two separate chains of authority in any one land.

The separation of Church and State was a good start in the USA (Brown v. Board of Education, etc), but it does not go nearly far enough to protect the actual authorities from the usurpation of such forbidding incursions against real authority.

Fathers should shepherd the family, not churches.  And the state should have its authority protected.

More on this topic later.

Quitting Theology Like a Man

Another of my late-night insights bids me suggest that doing theology tempts one to take the wrong cognitive course of action.  We should instead be studying economics, philosophy, history, the literary arts and sciences.  Theology, it will turn out, pinions on the study of “religion as rooted in holy (divinely-authored, that is, forged and pseudonymous) books” — just what we do not want.

Philosophy, on the other hand, looks to the transcendentals (categorical and propositional), to rational, empirical and profitable modes of thinking — not Peter Pan mythologies and bogus, crucified-superman traditions.  We should “be doing philosophy” and not theology.  I have decided to quit theology like a man, and to embrace philosophy — the true love of wisdom — instead.

Its time for theologians to man up and drop out.

Transcending Good and Evil by the Light of Nature: How to Rise Above Traditional Morality

  • You might find this one difficult to believe, until you read it, but there is something to the old Nietzschean canard that we need to “rise above” the slave (traditional) morality of the Christian religion.  He was — after a fashion — correct.  The concepts of “good” versus “evil” as a dichotomy (paired polarity set) set in relation to other popular ideas (justice versus injustice, etc) in a specific cognitive and collective arrangement (paradigm) arises from an abuse native to our ordinary use of the English language.

In other words, our crappy “christianized” (botched) English screws up our heads by “mis-orienting” our thinking in ways not consistent with the real world, and the light of nature (the divine design).  The personification of this botched pair — good versus evil — takes on personsified counterparts (God versus the devil, Batman versus the Joker, Ahuri-Mazda versus Ahriman (Zoroastrianism’s “Odin versus Loki”), etc.

This botched pair has important, and quite material, social consequences that we do not want. In English-speaking society, this dual concept takes shape in our lives when its is externalized from our thinking and stamped into the social order’s concrete forms and institutions (cities, colleges, businesses, etc), CAUSING its social counterpart — “good behavior” and evil behavior (crimes, perceived “moral failures” and transgressions).

Well-known ill behavior patterns, and questionable choices, common to some in society (not to mention tax evasion) have dotted the landscape of human history as far as we can remember.  This has given rise historically to legal lists of do’s and don’ts, like the law code of Hammurabi and the Ten Commandments.  Some have been taken as mere human constructions, and others as divine mandates.

These legal codes aim at the restraining of “evil” people and their wayward options.  But there are problems with these.  First, each legal code both presupposes (some people will commit crimes) and forbids (no one may commit crimes) exactly the same behaviors.  So the project dooms itself from the outset.  These legal codes in effect “formalize” and give judicial force to the dual concept of good and evil by providing the standard that both creates (what it means to do good or evil) and then separates, and specifies punishments or awards for them.

Here is a second problem: justice, represented by legal codes, is not ideal.  This must be true since the existence and practice of the administration of justice requires: Criminals and lawsuits (conflicts at law).  The light of nature is ideal, while the administration of justice is not.   This insight hit me like the proverbial “brick ton” recently when studying the topic of nature’s light and aretology.

I am still working on just what this implies (and does not imply but might seem to) for other related subjects.  Wisdom is eternal, but justice requires criminals and conflicts, so it is not eternal, and in a certain way, stands OPPOSED TO WISDOM!  This is NOT what I learned from studying the Proverbs of Solomon !!  And this is where those proverbs err.

The third problem is that we have sought to define morality in terms of attribution, badly following Aristotle, when our moral conceptions should have fallen out from sophic and functional definitions.  In other words, from the light of nature, we should wish to know, whether some proposed moral action works against, or else flows from, our divine design.  Did our beloved Creator make us so that if we practice X it will conduce to our well-being since we were designed to act this way?  Not “is it evil,” but “Is it wise, strategic, resourceful, and profitable for others?”   What is the criteriology here, but the principles of the light of nature?

I will here try to set forth as plainly as I might the differences in the ways of thinking involved. All humans being were created to be “the good guys,” so there is no objective “good people versus evil people,” except what we have brought into the world ourselves by our bad social and linguistic constructions.  “Good and evil” are real enough, but ONLY because WE (not God) have made them real.  And we can unmake them, and must unmake them, by carefully following the light of nature.   It is very doable, and practically so, contrary to everything you have ever heard about the “problem of evil” in the world today (yada, yada).

  1.  By the study of the light of nature, we must determine what are the REAL virtues our Great King intends us to display, and then work to inculcate those into our lives, shunning the false virtues and botched, social and linguistic constructions of traditional morality.
  2. I believe that the entire project of “fixing humanity” centers upon the  reconstruction our thought-world and language use, to conform much better to the light of nature, and to eliminate botched conceptions from our thinking, replacing them with their more accurate counterparts.
  3. Language is the key.  The philosophers of language are correct in this assumption.  But here, they are in fact “doing metaphysics” even if they insist otherwise — and they will. The McCaw bears this out.  Its singular emphasis upon activity is speaking — learning from the wise (modeling) and saying only what it has rehearsed.  And so — for its wise speech alone — it wears the rainbow and flies among the heavens (in the wild anyway).

Win at wise speech, and you win all.  Our thinking (see George Orwell and Noam Chomsky) follows our speaking, and so do our deeds and value systems.  What does this mean for the Sophic Ethical Monotheist community?  It means whatever we have for a legal code will probably have these innovative features:

It begins with a blessing upon the All-Wise Creator, upon the Sophic Ethical Monotheist community, and upon the animal kingdom, and indeed upon all humanity and all creation.  It bears encouragements to perform and encouragements to avoid rather than prohibitionist mandates.  Be wise my son, and fill your heart and mind with wisdom’s light (i.e. the written wisdom-tradition).  We tried prohibitionism (with alcohol) in the USA in the 1920’s, and it turned out to be one of the greatest disasters in our history — another fine democratic social program paid for by everyone (a thousand times over).

Question: what if tradition legal codes ALL turn out to be just another form of prohibitionism, each of which creates the “forbidden fruit” syndrome — by the very nature of their many forbiddings and commandings, which actually stir up opposition to what they are supposed to procure?  This is what the LON seems to suggest for a wise nation:

  • Encouragements to right behavior in writing (memorized as rehearsed speech by all = wisdom tradition, but not so much legal codes, not so much commandments and forbiddings)
  • Principles of the LON — studied and built into our language, and thus into all aspects of our society.  Not COMMANDMENTS lists.
  • Morality focuses on what is necessary, successful, valuable and profitable, and what is according to the wisdom of divine design — not (over-) simply what is “GOOD” as opposed to what is “EVIL”  (i.e. Crap morality).
  • Invoking Blessing upon all (others), built into our lives — as a way of life, not merely as occasional (Think reflexively).

We must rethink what legal codes should contain and what they should omit, and how we must carefully hug the principles of the LON in building these.  We must carefully build out as a community, and as individuals, the wisdom-tradition (one 3 x 5 index card at a time) that forms the rehearsed speech language we will use as a people — even if it takes 50, 000 such card-speech units.

When one community/ nation inculcates the form of life found in the principles of the LON, and stamped into the cards, an entire society will emerge as wiser than any other we have seen before, and will act as self-governing agents of wisdom, who almost never break the law, especially if (when) there are fewer laws to break. Wisdom in the heart both motivates one to do good works, and to shun unprofitable behaviors (worthless wastes of time (crimes)) need never occupy the mind of a wise person long enough to interest them.

Finally, Short Greek as I have called it, will enable us to perform innovative and critical-thinking feats never before imagined (as with transcending the good-evil dichotomy in practical ways, securing to the world far greater profitability than we have yet seen.  My solutions then are six-fold:

  1.  The right nation and people, a people that loves wisdom above all else, convened to build the greatest nation in the world.
  2. The World Peace Conference, and council of Sophic Ethical Monotheists, which works to enable the proposals found at this site, and others implied or taught by the LON we have yet to learn.
  3. The creation and perfection (best we are able) of the Short Greek language, sculpted into existence exclusively by the principles of the LON.
  4. The study of those principles and LON-based aretology.
  5. The Wisdom tradition of the “official” (council approved) LON rehearsed-speech units for the wise nation.
  6. (Two Official Books)   The Book of Prayers and Blessings;  The Book of Success and Success Sayings.

All of this bears a good deal of “thinking the matter over.”   I regard this blog-post as the result of a series of extraordinary insights (a paradigm shift) by which I am still astonished, and as a gift from my beloved Creator, whose blessing I continue to study.  You are invited to do likewise.