It is the side-effect of this “otherworldliness” that fuels many of the common notions of freedom. Every worldly religion tends toward a closed system. Part of the power of the Declaration, I think, stems from the idea that the world is even in principle never completely definable by a human agency. It leaves the door open to new information from outside the system, represented by the notation “the Creator”.Belmont Club » The lighting of the beacons
Winston Smith attempts to rebut O’brien’s assertion of the Party’s omnipotence by pointing out that O’brien himself was aging; that Party members died; that it could not control the natural laws. O’brien responded with the torture machine. He made the five fingers he held up seem as many as he claimed. O’brien argued that the Party did not seek dominion over nature. It sought dominion over man. The quotes supplied by Storm Rider and cited below are true, but not in the way they are commonly supposed. From a purely secular point of view, what they signify is that for a Kingdom of This World to be complete, it is first necessary that God should not exist. The Universe must be closed. The Party’s word must be final. It is imperative that the Last Prophet should have come. The book is ended and the ultimate words are written, not as an earnest of more to come, but as a grant of absolute power to those who rule on the earth.“It is not true, as is sometimes said, that man cannot organize the world without God. What is true is that, without God, he can only organize it against man.” Henri de LubacWhat Dostoevsky might have said is that for everything to be permitted to the State, then God must not exist. If God does not exist, then the State is free to organize against man. The ideological imperative of global warmingism is this: even nature must be brought into the political system. There is no “out there” there. Not God, not Nature. Not anything you might want to call the Creator. Everything is subject to the political process. Man must control the climate. If the climate goes bad, it is because our politics is bad. Sacerdotal dictatorships have not advanced much beyond the shamans of millenia past. We still sacrifice for rain. Only we sacrifice jobs, abort children, extinguish our dreams. Nothing is beyond their purview. We should never be allowed to think something the state cannot give or approve of. Hence “hate speech”. More than that, we ought never to be able to even dream of what it cannot bestow. Unless the far green country under a swift sunrise is manufactured by the state, it should never be allowed to enter into our visions. “It’s for the children” refers to us.
“If God does not exist, then everything is permitted” Fyodor Dostoyevsky
All real totalitarianisms are ultimately intellectually sterile, not simply spiritually barren. That is why global warming is in many respects anti-science. Real science has never heard of truth by consensus. Science leaves the door of knowledge open. We continuously learn from what is “not of this world” — in the sense that which is not within our purview yet. We learn from what is over the next hill, across the wide ocean, beyond the gulfs of space; we learn from events that occured before we were born and perhaps of events after we die. The first thing that faith must preserve is wonder; and the second is a childlike curiosity. Freedom stems from the sense of the possible. It believes there’s always a door leading out of the building. A far green country under a swift sunrise.
Oct 23, 2009 - 10:18 am
I would only add that given that this faith in open-endedness, in a further truth beyond our present and conceivable human systems, is indeed a real necessity for human freedom; and given that many people today just are not going to be capable of faith in some supernatural "God" as explanation for this reality of an inexhaustible truth (the inexhaustibilty of the ways in which the human might come to know itself in future), this is just the reason, as I was suggesting to Dag the other day, that we need to allow ourselves to explore the anthropology of the human concept of "God", not to diminish the basis for real faith by attempting to reduce what cannot be reduced to systematic knowledge, but to create a greater faith in the human ability and necessity ever to expand the degrees of freedom in our shared systems and forms of sacrality.