Thursday, April 28, 2016

The Religious Restoration of Materialism

Past human history often found meaning without facts, and modern history finds facts without meaning. But what is civilized and what is barbaric? Are inequality, competition, human differences, or biology barbaric? Traditional religion more or less said they are.

Is materialism barbaric in general? If the material world evolves, potentially, to Godhood, defined as the zenith of beauty, truth, goodness, and order, then the material world lends itself to attaining the zenith of civilization, which certainly is not barbaric.

Does materialism bring the loss in quality and the gain in quantity, as suggested by Aaron Urbanczyk in his review of Arthur Pontynen's book on cultural renewal (Modern Age, Winter, 2026). Not if “wisdom” is defined as finding meaning in the broadest range of facts, which includes religion, science, and the arts. The modern “mysterium of expertise” of scientists and technocrats arranging knowledge that few understand usually lacks meaning, syntheses, idealism or transcendence.

Is art and aesthetics only a matter of taste? Not if human perceptions, sensations and feelings regarding beauty are directed toward gaining the highest beauty by evolving toward Godhood in the material world of sensations and perceptions.

More controversial, is the science of genetics or even positive eugenics “pathological” thinking? If life is evolving toward Godhood then it is our responsibility, and even our sacred duty, to try to help it along the way.

Is “inner necessity” a barbaric tyranny? Not if the deepest activation of life is to evolve to Godhood.

The secular does not need to destroy religion. The West can regenerate itself with the philosophy of theological materialism, which retains the past experience of the inward ascetic God, but transforms it in the outward path of material evolution to real Godhood.

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