Note: Kdot routinely posted notes to a module as a “scrapbook” under the theme of the module. This is merely the first such I’m transferring here.
2004 07 02
Belief is a loaded word. Watch out when anyone asks you if you “believe in” something.
Do you believe in Santa Claus? Huh? Sure. I had lunch with him last Wednesday. In fact he told me that his daughter wanted to ask me to be godfather to his grandson.
See? That’s not an acceptable answer. The question is really asking if you suspend your critical faculties in a certain general area. Will you stand still while you’re fleeced?
Let me tie in the concept of defaults. What time is it? Ten o’clock. All your life that’s been a good enough answer: until you’re in the navy. Now they want you to say ten hundred or twenty-two hundred or some such, using a twenty-four hour clock. Knock you off balance, keep you off balance: always in the wrong: to some arbitrary, unaccustomed standard. In a pinch people can be relied on to revert to their childhood defaults.
So: no matter how carefully I define what I mean by god, two seconds later, people will revert to hearing, understanding what they mean by God. It’s not a deliberate palming and card-switch; it’s automatic, unconscious.
Do you believe in God? the kleptocrat asks you. Only childhood defaults, not real answers, are acceptable. As soon as you answer, the kleptocrat can classify (misclassify) you. No more questions necessary. Suddenly your “yes” (or “no”) is buried under a mountain of claptrap assumptions you were asked nothing about.
“Do you believe in God?”
Get you for one, get you for all.
In the early days of Knatz.com I allied myself with Michio Kaku’s published statement distinguishing the god of order from the god of magic. If it’s done any good, I can’t tell. All I see is everyone still confusing them: Dan Brown’s Angels & Demons being a clear contemporary example: you see order in the universe … therefore you accept the authority of the Pope.
Let me clarify: accepting “god” as a synonym for “order” does not automatically equate with believing in any human church!
Do you believe in God?
I believe in god (though the word “believe” is misleading).
Do you believe in the Church?
No. Absolutely not: not in any church.
Notes: I should tie in any number of questions: like: even if god is a synonym for order, even if some aspects of existence were designed, not evolved, how does it follow that human sentience is competent to understand it? Even if order includes design, “a creator,” how does it follow that man is “made” in “that image”? What makes it an “image”?
Even if this design somehow had a “son,” even if this design somehow sent this son to offer viability to humans, once the humans ganged up on the son, lied, tortured, killed him, how does it follow that the martyred son is still hell-bent on saving us?
If we pass up every offer of viability, cheating and lying every time, are the chances endless? infinite? irrevocable?
And of course, I repeat: I see my offer of a free, uncertified information institution as on a par with if not superior to any preceeding offer of viability.
Any of our utopias might have worked had anyone given any of them an honest try. Turning the other cheek? Sure. But it will only work for the group if everyone transforms. Some quorum anyway. Some threshold must be crossed. Free information is no more realistic than turning the other cheek if only some modicum of information was freed. See anyone certified? They’re the ones who spoiled it. See those institutions that buried the appeals? They murdered the unborn utopia. If we’re not free, and we’re not, it’s directly because of Time, Times … IBM, Ma Bell … on the one hand and the public