Friday, April 22, 2016

Godhood and Freedom Reinterpreted

Leo Strauss and others were wrong to think that Christianity and philosophy are antagonist when both have the same Gnostic and abstract non-material view of truth and God. Both believed that the highest truth and God are fundamentally beyond the natural world, something better or higher than the sinful material world. That is, Plato and the religious philosophers agree that the non-material is superior to the material.

Theological Materialism does not make that tragic mistake. Truth and Godhood are seen as material and supermaterial. Material life evolves in the material world to Godhood. The real “sin,” or evolutionary mistake, is failing to evolve toward Godhood in the material world. The real, living, material object comes before the abstract, non-material, definition of the living object.

We can give credit to religion and philosophy for finding the God or Father Within, or truth, but this ascetic Inward Path was a symbolic experience needing to be reinterpreted and expanded to recognition of the Outward Path of material evolution to real supermaterial Godhood. This offers not only a settlement between religion and philosophy but a synthesis between science, religion and political philosophy.

Without a material biological foundation defining human nature in religion, philosophy and political culture, we have developed radical ideas about how free we actually are, which has led to hedonism and ultimately to nihilism. The highest virtues, values, and truths have been thought largely unconnected to biological life which led to unrealistic accounts of human freedom and goals.

It is biology that rightly defines human nature as universal. Human nature universally includes being kin-centered, gender defined, age-grading, heterosexual marriage-making, hierarchical, ethnocentric, even xenophobic, and religious-making, among other things, with group-selection as the primary unit of selection. We are only as free as human nature allows us to be free. Religion, philosophy and political culture have feared real human nature, and tried, unsuccessfully, to curb it.

Real altruism, concern and sacrifice for others, derives not from the idea that the individual is sovereign but from the success of group-selection. Within groups selfish individuals beat altruistic individuals, but groups of altruists beat groups of selfish individuals. The pull of theses two things is central to the social success of human beings but also to the problems of human nature.

It is more difficult to attain the Christian and Greek ideas of freedom by way of morally curbing human nature than it is to affirm real human nature and real human passions, which naturally leads to group-selection, and altruism, not individual hedonism, mainly because the group has always been more successful than the individual alone. Ethnopluralism this way becomes the way to synthesize universal human nature and human culture.

Freedom not only needs a moral foundation, as the Greeks and Christians believed, freedom needs a biological foundation, which then can lead to a realistic religious and political foundation. This means not coercion into one authoritarian state but separate powers and states designed for distinct ethnic cultures, harmonizing not only with real universal human nature, but with the real evolution of material life to Godhood.

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