The Atheist and the Theist

The Atheist tells me there is no deity.  The Theist tells me there is a God.  With all due respect to each, I personally maintain that neither knows what they are talking about.

How can I know there is no god?  Unless I can travel the universe and transverse all realms in order to explore and investigate, how can I rule out the possibility that there is a deity?  Even then, how could I explore such depths and know that just because said deity is not “here” at this moment, that such was not “there” at another?  If it be the case that said deity is invisible, then how can I rule out the possibility that such actually does exist?  The Atheist says there is no deity; I maintain that I lack the evidence and the wherewithal to draw such a conclusion.

How can I know there is a god?  Never have I seen such, nor have I ever heard the voice thereof.  Now, some might say that written records from such are both communication from the deity and confirmation of the existence of the same. Yet there is no evidence that any writings written in the name of heavenly authority are actually transcribed from some divine being in the heavens.  Anyone can claim that their writings are of divine origin; were I to make such a claim about this very article, would such prove that there actually is a god?  The Theist says there is a deity; I maintain that I lack the evidence and the wherewithal to draw such a conclusion.

Speculations as to the existence or non-existence of non-evident beings is a waste of time.  In fact, here I sit on a Sunday afternoon when there is football to be watched and laundry to be done, and what do I do?  I offer you my thoughts as to time wasted on speculative theories.   Just so I did not completely waste these past 30 minutes of my life writing this critique of time wasted on speculative theories, allow me to close with a brief statement as to my beliefs:

I believe in the genuine goodness of the original nature of all humanity.

I believe that if there is a god, that the existence of such alters not the fact that the original nature of all humanity is genuine goodness.

I believe that if there is no god, that the genuine goodness of the original nature of all humanity remains self evidently true nonetheless.

Having opened this article with a rather abrupt critique of the Atheist and the Theist, I shall close with this observation of each:

The original nature of the Atheist and the Theist is that of genuine goodness, regardless of the existence of or the non-existence of a supreme being.

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The Seed of Humaneness

The life of the seed is within itself.  This is obvious to any agrarian on any scale.  Plant a seed, water it sufficiently, allow it exposure to natural elements such as air and the sun, and said plant will reveal and develop the life within.  And the life within which is revealed upon germination and development of the seed is the very nature which is within the seed.  The nature within the tomato seed is the tomato, hence the natural life within the tomato seed yields a tomato, encompassed with all qualities natural to and inherent within the tomato.

And so it is with humanity and humaneness.  The seed of humaneness is within humanity.  Allowed to develop and cultivate naturally, and the humaneness of the human race is evident.  For such is the nature within.  Just as a tomato is naturally within a tomato seed, likewise humaneness is within the human. 

We act contrary to our natural humaneness due to weakness in the light of external influences.  When conditioned to think and operate in ways contrary to our original nature, we can be forged into less than humane beings.  Hence, we can be made to become something contradictory to our very nature.

These external influences are not to be taken lightly, for effective they are and unfortunately ever present they are to be found.  Consider our own culture.  Seemingly decent people can be influenced to think and to act contrary to our natural goodness and humaneness, and furthermore can be seduced to justify their very thoughts and actions as normal and acceptable.

How is it that seemingly decent folk who would never hurt or torture another can justify such horrid acts as waterboarding, beatings, and prolonged sleep depravation, all the while claiming to be civilized and justified?  How is it that seemingly decent folk can speak ill of and degrade the homeless and the helpless, all the while claiming to be civilized and justified as they dwell within their spacious and comfortable abodes?   I suggest that it is less than inhumane to see or know of another being in pain, and not be disturbed by the very thought.  I furthermore suggest that it is less than humane to know of another exposed to the elements and hungry, and not feel compassion for such.

The difference is the conditioned perspective.  Our culture has conditioned us  to accept the exploits of the military folk who inflict torture on other living beings as being acts of heroism as opposed to being barbaric atrocities.  We have furthermore been conditioned to assume that the homeless and the hungry are bad people, and therefore undeserving of compassion.  In so doing, our culture is conditioning us to think, act, and be less than humane, thus influencing us to abandon our natural humaneness and adopt unnatural perspectives which are less than humane.

The seed of humaneness is within the human species.  Let us be what we are naturally.  Active moral self cultivation is as natural to humanity as is the natural development of the tomato seed into the tomato.  Be what you naturally are.  Be humane.

Mencius Book 6A:15

“Those who follow the admirable qualities in their nature become admirable” (Mencius Book 6A:15

Although we do not always live up to such, our basic human nature is that of genuine goodness.  No one is born with evil thoughts or greedy concepts; these they are conditioned to assume.  The most basic senses of our nature are those of kindness, compassion, and concern for others.

Our sense of kindness is stimulated in even the most common of all settings.  Whether it be that natural compulsion to open the door for a person carrying a box, or that inner urge to speak to even a complete stranger as you pass on a lonely street, these such feelings are a part of our innate nature.

Our sense of compassion and concern for others are likewise stimulated in similar such common settings.  Whether it be that inner stress at seeing a co-worker weep over the loss of a loved one, or that inner urge to help one who has been involved in an accident; these such feelings are a part of our innate nature.

These natural senses are the real us.  Not the hateful things that we say when angered.  Not the shallow concepts of prejudice against some and preference towards others.  These shallow concepts are conditioned; our admirable senses of kindness and compassion are innate and natural to our very being.

The genuine goodness of our inner nature is the real us.  Active moral cultivation is the process of remembering who we really are.  The process of self cultivation is the most natural and noble of all human experiences.

Be yourself.  Your true self.

Thoughts on Religion

“Innate knowledge is our library which teaches us right from wrong; inspired writings are but the thoughts of others as to the same”

Religion is the effort by people to connect with the unknown.  The unknown is merely the unknown.  As to the concept of a deity, such is beyond our knowledge.  Hence, whether a deity exists or whether there is no deity are questions whose answers are unknown.  Hence, religious discussions are an exercise of speculations.  Speculative efforts may seem interesting, yet in terms of the ever real issue of active moral self cultivation, they are impractical and perhaps may even be detrimental to the experience.

As one who has been extremely active in religious discussions, I discourage such for those who seek to sincerely cultivate the genuine goodness of their original nature.  Though religion may seem to be the way, yet the actual value of cultivating our humaneness in a context of natural harmony  is experienced by way of inner reflection in contrast to a reliance upon external revelations.  Invariably, religion evolves into an “our side and our scriptures versus your side and your scriptures” mentality.  Such is not the way to cultivate our original genuine goodness in a natural state of harmony.

It is not my place to judge whether one should be active in a religous context. I merely appeal to those who would seek to cultivate the genuine goodness of their original nature to assess whether practicing a religion directs them towards such.  Furthermore, and perhaps even more significantly one would be wise to assess whether the atmosphere of practicing religion is a detriment to the natural experience of an active moral self cultivation.

These are my thoughts on religion.

Thoughts on Politics

“Politics is power, and power corrupts”

The practice of collective identity lead to civilization.  Civilization lead to structure.  Structure lead to hierarchy.  Power leads to corruption.  Corruption leads to uncivilized conduct.  Socially, such is demonstrated by a society whose very existence is founded upon and centered upon greed and selfishness (capitalism).  Collectively, such is demonstrated by organized aggression on behalf of the interests of the greedy and the selfish (war).  Individually, such is demonstrated by political discussions.

As one who has been quite active in political discussions, I would discourage such for those who seek to cultivate their original nature and to better themselves in terms of harmony and humaneness.  Politics leads to strife and confusion.  The “our party in contrast to your party” mentality is counter productive to the concept of self cultivation.

Let the greedy argue over possessions.  Let the wise seek to cultivate the genuine goodness of their original nature.  Perhaps one day, the greedy will evolve to wisdom.

These are my thoughts on politics.

The Analects of Confucius 7.29

“Is humaneness far away?  As soon as I want it, there it is, right by me” (The Analects; 7.29)

Humaneness is a natural state of care and concern for others which is common to us all.  We were all born with genuine goodness.

Some have forsaken such in search of the almighty dollar.  Some have forgotten such midst a fast paced life which drains the mind as we slave our lives away for the sake of the system known as Capitalism.

Yet no person is without the natural state of genuine goodness common to us all.

There need be no resurrection of our humaneness, for our genuine goodness never dies.  Merely reflect, merely remember who you are.

Humaneness is a natural state of care and concern for others which is common to us all.  We were all born with genuine goodness.

Analects of Confucius: 4.2

“the man of humanity is naturally at ease with humanity.  The wise man cultivates humanity for its advantage” Analects 4.2

What a pleasant contrast to the general view of humanity from the perspective of a capatilistic society!  Capitalism exploits humanity; it most certainly does not seek to cultivate humanity for ITS advantage.  Capitalism cultivates humanity for the benefit of the cultivator.  A man of humanity cultivates himself for the benefit of others.  Hence, by so doing, humanity benefits from the process of active moral self cultivation.

O, the natural ease of a humanity who are naturally at ease one with another.

Tension and strife are the product of a capitalistic society.  Such is the unnatural experience of a society inclined to produce for self, rather that to cultivate humanity for ITS advantage.

Harmony is the natural state of humanity.  A man of humanity does not have to work on or exert effort in order to be at ease with our fellow beings.  When we regard ourselves as interconnected beings then we are as at ease with a stranger as we are with our own.

For there are no strangers.  For we are all of each other, and thus we are always among our own.

Capitalism is a society which unnaturally exploits  humanity….

A man of humanity is naturally at ease with humanity…

The one is counterproductive to the other…