Maybe the goal is to convince all people that they are things.
(Once that's done, the work of damnation has been achieved - and the rest is just Satan having fun.)
To do this by making the world one that treats all-of-reality as things - only things are really-real.
And to make all things inter-convertible (e.g. by money and bureaucracy).
Then to make all the inter-convertible things into 'equal' units.
Then to do whatever-is-fun with the things - including exploiting, tormenting or eliminating them...
Because - Hey! - it doesn't really matter, does it?
Because they admit they are just things; and things don't mind.
(How could they mind? They are just things, after all!).
And there's always plenty more (equal) things, where those came from.
This is Guenon's position in The Reign of Quantity. The entire book is about what you discuss Dr Charlton.
I believe this is in reality a denial of Being. That's the end of the Process.
Yes, and convince is the key work. Satan is cunning, but he does not have the power to turn people into things. People can never actually be things, but if they believe they are things, they can act accordingly and can be treated accordingly. People are open to this because it is easier to be a thing than it is to be a person.
Yet an individual must be a person in order to relate to God, who is also a person and not a thing . . .
@Frank - When you look back at intellectual history, it was a very early 'move' in the demonic plan to convince people that they are things. First it was just philosophers, then it spread through science, social policy etc. There was a transitional period in the 19th century, before this was built-into one after another - then all - societal institutions.
Leftism was the mechanism, in many instances, with the idea that treating people as things was the best way to eliminate 'injustice'. Only by regarding people as things could everything be monitored to measure (and diminish/ eliminate) inequalities, and ensure fairness of processes and outcomes.
Human judgment needed to be eliminated (so as to prevent its abuse) - and this entailed that decisions to be analyzed down to thingness, and be conducted as if made by things, not people.
In my lines of work, this was not (all-but) completed until about the millennium when (for example) academic staff had to treat students anonymously in most decision making (eg examinations) - which has 'necessary' to eliminate sexism and racism and personal prejudice. IN medicine, clinical decisions had to be made by flow charts so as to ensure uniformity of treatment and 'best practice' (and best practice was defined in terms of all participants reduced to things).
Of course, the rationalizations were dishonest; prejudice and injustice is declared to be worse than ever and a public emergency - but now we have a System that has excluded souls, spirit, God and everything else which would potentially sustain Christianity. Morality has been captured by procedures for measuring and manipulating things.
What these actually achieve is the imposition of thinghood - by making it illegitimate to assume or assert anything else.
I think the only effective resistance to thingification would be to regard each person as ultimately an unique immortal soul, and this was never really an assumption of traditional religion, which saw individuals ultimately as elements of groups (e.g. the primacy of the church).
So, from here, we could not revert to any earlier stage or state (such as traditional religion). If we want Not to be things, we can only go forward into uncharted Christian territory.
@Frank - I should add that the trend towards regarding people as things ultimately began with (at least) the ancient Greeks, and their metaphysics of abstractions.
But for many centuries, right through the middle ages, abstract philosophy did not make people feel like things because they naturally (spontaneously) experienced a high degree of 'participation' - they did not feel themselves to be cut-off from God, the spirit, or indeed other people.
But modern Man does feel cut-off, a thing among things - and instead of seeking a healing for this (false, mistaken, erroneous, incoherent) experience/ inference of alienation; everything about the modern world and our social order conspires to make it worse.
@ Bruce - Great points. I think it was Dostoevsky who noted that man's whole business is to prove to himself that he is indeed a man and not a cogwheel -- a being with a free, spiritual essence rather than merely thing controlled by externally determined authoritarianism.
If the birdemic has revealed anything it is that people seemed fixated on proving themselves to be nothing more than cogwheels rather than men. The comfort of having everything externally determined plainly supersedes the 'agony' of freedom.
You're right. Man is indeed cut off and alienated from God, the spirit, and other people (as people), but he appears more than willing to accept this as long as he is not alienated or cut off from the modern world and social order of the System (which is itself the chief source of the alienation). Put another way, man is not merely embracing 'thingness' - he is clinging to it as if it were all he has left. To be a cogwheel apart from the machine is simply inconceivable.
As I see it, the uncharted Christian territory you mention extends in the exact opposite direction - the cosmos as a community of spiritual beings freely aiming to achieve those qualities and values that are within the scope of God-aligned volition and creativity.
Genesis 1:26 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.....
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
Satan is out to distort this Imago Dei. Hence the blurring of male and female, in behavior and now in transgenderism. Hence quite possibly DNA altering via mRNA technology. Hence everything and what you have in history and current events to separate/divorce the image from the Original, and then to corner and maim the creature. Damnation being the ultimate goal as the soul/spirit is as indestructible as God Himself. As after all, we are His image.
Once you understand that your whole being or soul is a tiny bit of God inside your human body, you can never view yourself or other humans as “things”. To do so is an abomination.
This is a profound exchange, and Kathleen sums it up.
Thank you all.
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