The God-Shaped Hole!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Clarification of methodology

The Brother Bear post may not have appeared post-modern, but I used the terminology of "sin", "God", "choice", and "consequences" using my internal definitions. They capture the concept, but not the postmodern connotations.

"Sin" is anything that hurts or can hurt another. Murder, lies, and other forms of betrayal are sins. The modern definition is "disobedience of God". While that's the ultimate definition, every sin is disallowed by God BECAUSE it hurts someone or disrupts or ends a relationship.

"God" is that guy with infinite power, infinite smarts, and infinite passion for helping people. Too many people think of Him only in terms of His relationships with people, ie lawgiver, judge, jury, executioner, king, master, savior, etc.

"Consequences" are the intentional and accidental (and sometimes potential) results of an intentional or accidental choice. Given the existence of God, everything that happens in this universe is ultimately a consequence of His choice to make it and all choices He has made since then.

"Choice" is the exercise of the ability to choose; the exercise of will. This is the core of the postmodernism in my thought. To me, choice is that aspect of God that He values most in us. When He said to Himself, "Let us make Man in our image," I thoroughly believe that He meant His ability to choose to do.

I am an obsessive fan of what I call "Will-fiction". The best examples of Will-fiction are Matthew Woodring Stover's science fiction novels, Ayn Rand's atheistic self-determination, Robert Heinlein's libertarian free-marketism, and Phil Geusz's transformation stories. Nietzche's focus on man's abilities was an inspiration to all of these people.

Nietzche was reacting to an aspect of the Church that I also find repugnant: the negation of man.
Man is God's greatest creation. He made us "a little lower than the angels", and then died to be with us forever. While we are nothing compared to His infiniteness, no other ape has gone to the moon in a machine of his own making, and no other ape has created the computers on which we blog.

It is the focus on Will that I find attractive in atheism. Yes, there's a God-shaped hole in my heart too, and its largest section is devoted to God's moralism, on doing for others, on helping and on watching other people do for others.

Superheros and atheism have Choice in common. Choice is what I feel most strongly about. Excercise of Choice in the service of others (not necessarily as they direct, but as will actually help them) is my definition of Love.

Ayn Rand believed in self-sacrifice, though she thought she was fighting it.

More on that next time.


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