Saturday 27 April 2019

Evil is complicated because fake - but (real) Christianity is simple

But the trouble is that we have (through our lives, via our culture) been so thoroughly inculcated with the perspective of evil, that the assumptions of evil seem natural and spontaneous, and we cannot comprehend simplicity.

We are so used-to evil and the complicated, abstract discourse of evil; that we assume simplicity must be false, erroneous, insufficient.

When faced with simple truth and virtue; we demand explanation - when we get the explanation it conflicts with our evil assumptions so that Good starts itself to seem complex.

And there are many who advertise or regard themselves as Christians and on the side of Good; who perpetuate the idea of Christian complexity for various reasons. They have an inverted concept of reality such that they make-out Good to be terribly complicated and hard to understand, while evil is seem as perfectly elementary.

Good is simple because it dwells in alignment with God's creation; evil must be complex because it is constructing an alternative and fake reality.

Good is simple because it rests-upon the simple intuitive affirmation and confirmation of reality; evil must be complex because it need to manufacture a false convergence of lies in order to simulate reality.

Evil is, and must be, a pan-conspiracy; evil must monitor, censor and control - because otherwise its true nature would be obvious.

Good, on the other hands, in in the divine heart of every Man, is universally knowable by the Holy Ghost; and is potentially graspable by all Men in all situations (with the assistance of God).

We must be told of evil; taught, persuaded and convinced-of evil - self-blinded to its reality. By contrast; knowing the Good 'just happens' - if allowed: it is choosing the Good that is (usually) difficult. 


Chent said...

Agreed. When you say something that is simple and obvious, when the political correct zombie that repeats the false slogans of our age gets defeated in argumentation, when he can't figure out some ad-hominen attack, fallacy or rhetoric to muddle things...

When all these things happen and PC zombie does not have anywhere to go except accepting the truth...Then, there is always the last stand trick "Things are more complicate than that. You are oversimplifying"

It's maddening. I still haven't found a persuasive way to counter-atact this. (Not for the PC zombie, who cannot be recovered, but for the people watching the conversation)

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

This is so wrong that I hardly know where to begin! It is abstractions that are simple and reality that is rich and complex. In fact, that's almost the definition of "abstraction" -- any abstraction must necessarily be simpler and poorer than the reality from which it is abstracted.

Just look around, at this unimaginably multifarious profusion we call the universe, and which God has pronounced "good." Could there be any less appropriate adjective applied to it than "simple"? And look at evil, with its insistence on universality, on abstraction, on ignoring distinctions, on calling the same what is not the same -- can we seriously suppose that complexity is really the underlying sin here?

God is enormously intelligent. Is that a coincidence? Could a simpleton have done just as good a job as God, because after all any idiot can understand truth and goodness? The Mormon position is that "the glory of God is intelligence" and that "a man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge." Of course simple souls can be saved, but only because they are under the loving protection of a much more intelligent Being (who presumably creates a somewhat artificial simpler and safer environment for them, just as men do for their own children), not because the universe is a simple place to which they are naturally suited.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Chent. Maddening indeed. The cry - But Its More Complicated Than That... It's down to sheer worldly power - the world view (currently) supported by power is enforced as the proper degree of complication; anything less complicated than the official story is labelled 'oversimplified', anything more complicated is regarded as 'evasive' (and not-listened-to).

@William - I'm talking about Christianity, not reality, being simple - simple to explain and understand.

The simplicity of Christianity is a bit like the Christian Life being a matter of walking in the one correct direction; compared with evil being like running/ jumping/ cartwheeling in complicated fashions - in intricate patterns - in every possible direction *except* the correct one.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

"Christianity, not reality"? What can a Christian mean by that? The implication is that Christianity is simple only because it is not an adequate representation of reality.

And there's no "one correct direction." If there were, life would indeed be simple and agency would be useless. Unless there are multiple different, but good, things that we might choose to do, the ability to make free choices would be entirely harmful.

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - Not so. Christianity is what we *do* in Life, if we so choose (i.e. to know/ have faith in/ trust/ believe/ love/ follow Jesus - through death to his promise of eternal resurrected Heavenly life) - Christianity is not an ultimate philosophical system claiming to represent all of reality.

The one correct direction is for the particular individual person at a particular moment in his Life - we can each know this, and our freedom is to choose it (Good), or not (evil).

Adil said...

@ Wm Jas Tychonievich

I see where you come from but I think Bruce has a valid point. Reality is complex, and we are part of reality, thus we should be able to directly know the good from the deeper part of our higher Being, whereas evil clouds judgement. The abstract modern mind is disconnected from both the inner spirit and the outer world, trying to rationally organize and figure out things in an artificial/overcomplicated manner.. Creating highly abstract systems instead of trusting the higher self through God.

You can compare it to an artist who seemingly simply can paint a beautiful picture in 10 minutes, yet behind it lies thousands of hours of work.. So too we are complex creatures and should be able to consult our higher self for readily available knowledge, instead of overcomplicating things (which paradoxically is over-simplifying reality in the context of abstraction).

As they say about football: "Playing football is simple, but playing simple football is the hardest thing there is".

Theories are complicated but once you've mastered something you simply do it. But modern man has neglected her deeper parts thus has become spiritually deadlocked and tries to work out things backwards..

Seijio Arakawa said...

@BC, WmJas -- certainly an interesting disagreement! I'm not sure where I stand exactly.

My instincts up to now have been that Reality and its phenomena are very complicated and varied and admit of increasing complexity and variety as more people create new things. Many different people also means many different ways of acting in Reality so any attempt to explain what all people should do (in general) may be incomplete or hopelessly complex. It is better to settle for 'incomplete'.

But what I (a particular person) should do about Reality is always quite simple and if it seems complicated I am either doing the wrong thing, overthinking it, or dishonestly-avoiding (or avoiding from weakness or cowardice) the most important thing that needs to be done.

Part of the complexity that comes to mind is that people try to plan and calculate the outcome of what they do, and that is impossible and people are clearly not meant to do it. I had someone try to actively proselytize me on 'utilitarianism' and everything was founded on this most basic fallacy.

It's much simpler than that. On the one hand, because you can't guarantee a good outcome, the right thing to do is clearly something that makes sense to do even if it fails. On the other hand, the wrong thing to do remains wrong even if it leads to a 'good outcome', because the ends can't justify the means. Understanding this simplifies things tremendously.

On the other hand, institutions are very attached to things like planning and measuring outcomes, and faking the measurements where necessary, or just as a matter of routine. Because, without an official determination that what they are doing has led to 'good outcomes', they nowadays have zero legitimacy in terms of how/what they are doing.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Ara - That all sounds right to me.

One step I would like to make in my life, is to be more explicit (and honest) about my real reasons for doing/ not doing things - to 'admit' when these reasons are intutive/ spiritual - and leave aside expedience arguments, utilitarianism, predictions etc.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Eric - Yes, that's what I think too.

My meditations on the Fourth Gospel have left me convinced that the 'religion' founded by Jesus was so simple and straightforward as not really to be 'a religion'.