Tuesday 25 October 2016

Modern Man is metaphysically insane

Indeed, metaphysically insanity is the only true madness - it is the madness of having false assumptions about the basic nature of reality.

Modern man is sure of only one thing: that there is no God. That is why he is insane - because this metaphysical assumption leads to nihilism (unbelief in reality).

Once he is unsure of anything; he loses all possibility of a scale of judgment: so modern Man utterly believes things that not only aren't true, but cannot be true - and what is more he knows they are not true and cannot be true - but he believes them anyway (sort of) because, ultimately, nothing is true.

And he disbelieves common sense and his own experience because, after all - he might be insane, deluded, hallucinating... indeed Modern Man knows, deep down, that he is insane.

And therefore he cannot believe anything - or rather, he can disbelieve anything; no matter how obvious, no matter how much evidence or logic agrees with it.

Modern Man knows he is insane because he knows that he has made himself insane - by choice, by choosing to be sure of only one thing: that there is no God.

Therefore, Modern Man is completely to blame and responsible for his condition and situation - he initiated and perpetuates it; and fights tooth and nail to retain his insanity against the hourly onslaught of counter-evidence, rationality and basic conviction.

He could change at any moment in the twinkling of an eye - but he does not. So this is a moral insanity - insanity based upon evil.

The basic answer (not the complete answer - but the necessary start) is itself very basic - acknowledge the reality of God, of Deity.

Nothing else will suffice. Lacking it, all the rest is not merely a waste of time but ever more deeply insane.


Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

But how does one go about "acknowledging the reality" of something he doesn't believe in? An agnostic can say "I hereby choose to acknowledge the reality of God," but it's just words and has no real effect. He can go through the motions of praying, without really believing that anyone is listening, but it just feels silly. He can strive to obey the moral law, knowing that quite a lot of very intelligent people think that morality somehow has something to do with the existence of God, but it doesn't make God's reality any more apparent. He can try to take theism as an axiom when philosophizing, but it only leads to absurdities.

I've tried all of this, and all is vanity and vexation of spirit. Modern man cannot simply choose to change himself in the twinkling of an eye. Only God can effect such a change, if Gods there be. Man's part is to ask, seek, knock, and wait.

Bruce Charlton said...

@WmJas - For some reason you are missing the core point about metaphysics. You are taking metaphysics as a immutable given - whereas I am saying that metaphysics (fundamental assumptions) is what renders life meaingless, purposeless, unreal, pointless. The metaphysics is what negates everything - except itself.

What is needed is to turn metaphysical skepticism back on itself, so that we come to recognise that utimately we choose our metaphysics (not on the basis of evidence, nor on the basis of logic - but not arbitrarily). Seemingly this is one thing that most people will not do, under any circumstances - even unto suicide.

On what basis? Mostly passively - almost always thus. Wy else would nearly all modern people end up with the despairing nihilism which is mainstream? There has been no discovery, and indeed there is no possible evidence which could lead to it.

The only possible reason for metaphysical nihilism is if that was a person's most fundamental intuition - which would also mean that no other intuition was possible. This would naturally mean self-exclusion from salvation - but not an evil damnation - because it was a purely personal decision to live in passive isolation.

No such person would have any reason to interact with anyone, ever - becausse there would be no-one to interact with.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

I'm not a metaphysical nihilist or skeptic, and I certainly agree that one's metaphysical assumptions are chosen for reasons that are neither evidence-based nor arbitrary. So I guess your core point doesn't apply to me. I took the core point as being about belief in God.

Peter said...

@wms While I respect Bruce's opinion, I personally think he is going about this from the wrong end.

You are right that one cannot change ones metaphysics just like that, as Bruce suggests - they are a natural outgrowth of one's character and way of life.

It is a question of "seeing" and that isn't a matter of choice.

If you have the wrong way of life certain truths will simply not be available to you.

This has been known by religious people - from all traditions - for a very long time.

What gets in the way is too large of an ego and sense of seperate self - if you have a big ego and lack love, you will simply be shut off from spiritual realities, you will be "isolated" in your own head and cut off from larger realities.

This is why so many conversion experiences come after people reach rock bottom and suffer a collapse of ego and sense of separate self.

Since you clearly "want" to believe, you obviously have enough of an intuition to start from - further clarity can only be achieved through character transformation through practice, and not through examining your metaphysical assumptions (with respectful disagreement to Bruce).

William Wildblood's book is an excellent tract on how to reduce ego and sense of separate self (that is its main message), but you can read religious writings from the past millenia as well.

Good luck luck.

Nicholas Fulford said...

This reminds of a line I read once, and I cannot for the life of me remember where, but it is something that Bruce will no doubt appreciate:

Hell is the locked ward for the theologically insane.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Thanks, Peter. I don't think I have a big ego, but then I no one ever does think that about themselves, do they? I certainly do have less love, and less interest in love, than most people, though, so I suppose that's what I should be focusing on.

Dualist said...

Sorry for the late comment, Bruce:

“so that we come to recognise that u[l]timately we choose our metaphysics (not on the basis of evidence, nor on the basis of logic - but not arbitrarily).”

I think you’ve got this quite wrong. We do not choose our metaphysics. Certainly not our Metaphysics. We DO choose certain metaphysical assumptions, however, perhaps only one or two. This is often merely just ‘God exists and humans possess a Spirit’ or maybe ‘The Bible is the authentic Word of God’. And we can even Intuit those on what appears to match best with Reality (which IS similar to what you’re getting at here). But no, Metaphysics is what we do with THOSE assumptions.

Practically all Christians have always chosen those same assumptions, but depending on what metaphysical route is taken from there leads to substantially different Metaphysical Systems. And before one claims that it is actually this choosing of Platonism or Aristotelianism (or whatever) that IS that arbitrary choice you mention, or even just to complain that this all seem like a wholly Rationalistic venture, we should note that Christianity also choose to use both Scripture and/or/with the Traditions of the Good, Great Men who have preceded us to inform these Metaphysics. In this sense, Christianity can be best viewed as an exquisitely subtle blend of the Rationalistic plus contact with Reality in the most general sense.