Tuesday, November 02, 2010

In the Beginning...

No-one really knows how it was in the beginning. We have only speculation and theories. The Truth will likely never be known. Whether we find the Truth or not, has very little bearing on the nature of that Truth itself, for it exists unto itself. It exists completely separate from whether we discover it, or whether we even have the capabilities to find it, and so on.

Absolute Truth exists. It does not need us. We serve it, not the other way around. The Absolute Truth is the beginning and the end. It is never changing. It is what it is. It was here before us, and it will be here after us.

Was there evolution? Was there creation? Was the Genesis story of the Bible a mix of evolution and creation? There are obvious relationships between the stories of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible) and the religions, stories, myths and legends found in cultures outside of Judeo-Christianity. Gilgamesh is one such example. There is little doubt that the Epic of Gilgamesh and the story of Noah in Genesis 6 are talking of the exact same event – “the Flood”, and some guy floating around with a boat full of animals. The found transcripts of the Epic of Gilgamesh predate the supposed Pentateuch author, Moses (circa 1300BC), by several centuries and it’s believed that stories of Gilgamesh himself predated the writings of him quite significantly, through the oral tradition and so on. There was a real world wide flood too. 12,000 years ago, the Pleistocene Ice age ended, the glaciers melted and ran into the oceans, causing them to rise significantly (some 400ft, I believe). All of those continental shelves… well; they were not underwater during the Pleistocene. In fact, whatever humans there were probably lived on those shelves, as they were nearest to the ocean, where humans choose to live in the largest numbers even today.

I’ve heard of many interesting theories about those days. One that’s intriguing is that since both Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon existed on earth for a period together, that perhaps Homo-Sapiens are the hybrid result of Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons interbreeding. Some speculate that this may have been the original sin. Or maybe not. We will never know, but there is an answer – an absolute one that is the Truth – and it doesn’t need nor even care whether we figure it out – it exists on a completely separate plane than us.

But, whether Evolution or Creationism; whether Neanderthals bumped uglies with Cro-Magnons; whether merely evolutionary psychology, or alien technology enhancing us with some strands of superior DNA, there is something about the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and the fall of mankind which deals directly with the Absolute Truth and its counterpart, the Relative Truth.

Genesis 3 (New International Version)

The Fall of Man

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ “

4 “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.

15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring [a] and hers; he will crush [b] your head, and you will strike his heel.”

16 To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you.”

17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.

18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field.

19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

20 Adam [c] named his wife Eve, [d] because she would become the mother of all the living.

21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.

22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side [e] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.


a Genesis 3:15 Or seed
b Genesis 3:15 Or strike
c Genesis 3:20 Or The man
d Genesis 3:20 Eve probably means living .
e Genesis 3:24 Or placed in front

The Absolute Truth is God, of course. He is the beginning and the end. He always was and he always will be. He is who He is and does not exist in relation to our plane of existence, but rather, separately from it.

Who then, is the Relative Truth?

Could it be… could it be… Satan?
Is “the original sin” the act of allowing our brains to place the Relative Truth before the Absolute Truth?
Is this not how Eve was tempted by Satan? Did Satan really lie to Eve, or did he take the Absolute Truth and merely manipulate it? Did he not create Relative Truths to convince Eve to do that which went against the Absolute Truth? His first question, was a sneaky trick question (Did God really say you must not eat from any tree in the garden?) And after that, he did not lie, he manipulated the Truth. Did they surely die (no, not right then, and they were offered a chance at eternal life). Did they become like God and know good & evil? Yes… and what did Eve do? She used her mind to justify that certain truths about the fruit were more important in order to enable her to over-ride the Absolute Truth. (It was good for food, pleasing to the eye, and desireable for gaining knowledge).

Is this when man “evolved” out of being a mere animal? Is this when man became man? Our brain is our biggest tool – but, it can also be self-destructive. Our brain is “our tool.” It is to man what the ability to fly is to birds, what fins and gills are to fish. It is “our tool of survival.” Is our superior brain the result of Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons shacking up for the winter in the same cave? Man became “man” when his brain either evolved, or was granted, the ability of reason and the free will to choose. That’s what makes us different than animals. We have a brain which can choose. Animals do not. Animals only do what is in their nature and therefore when animals kill or steal, they are not sinning. They have no free will and are merely following their natures.

A distinct characteristic of Judeo-Christianity is that it is monotheistic.

If Judeo-Christianity is monotheistic, and God is the Absolute Truth, then monotheism is also the belief in one truth.

Well, that is perhaps a little simplistic, isn’t it? Of course sometimes there is more than merely “one truth.” There are both Absolute Truths and there are Relative Truths which exist all around us.

“Thou shall not kill”

That is Absolutely True – we should not kill.

But, should you kill if failing to do so will result in your own death? Should you kill to protect your family from danger? Is it justifiable to kill when fighting evil forces in a war? Ahhh… the Relative Truth! Bugger, there it comes!

And this is the power of our brains, isn’t it? It’s the power to ask these questions. That really is the essence of our “tool” called the human brain.

But the brain also has some defects.

One defect is the ability to take the truth, and manipulate it into what we wish to be true for our own purposes.

Take Al Capone. A mass murderer, who felt he was unjustly imprisoned because he was such a humanitarian during the Great Depression by creating soup kitchens and using his accumulated wealth in various ways to give aid to the impoverished people around him. He really did help the poor. Al Capone used the Relative Truth to justify why he repeatedly broke one of the basic laws of humanity – murder. His evil actions were justified because of the good which resulted. Well, justified to himself anyway. Jail is full of innocent people.

Our brains need to be tempered by something bigger than ourselves, in order to maximize the brain’s ability while minimizing its own destructiveness.

The Absolute Truth must precede the Relative Truth. It must be that the Absolute Truth is of more importance than the Relative Truth.

Exodus 20 (New International Version – UK)

The Ten Commandments

1 And God spoke all these words:

2 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

3 You shall have no other gods before me.

4 You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me,

6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

That serves as the “temper” for our brains. Of course the Relative Truth exists, but when our brains become destructive to ourselves and to society, is when we convince ourselves of that a Relative Truth has become higher in importance than the Absolute Truth.

Our “relative truths” must work within the laws of “absolute truth.”

Our brains might allow the manipulation of the truth to eventually figure out how to fly… but, in order to fly, we must stay within the bounds of certain absolute laws, like gravity.

Another factor which comes from the monotheism of the Bible is that in order for a society to be cohesive, the people must all subscribe to one version of the truth.

Have you ever been on an internet discussion forum? Particularly, one advocating for a social cause? If you have, you’ll know what I mean about how they operate. It’s a jumbled mess. People argue and argue, because everyone subscribes to different truths. There is no “one truth” to subscribe to which unifies all of the commenters to one underlying belief. It results in confusion. Most often the conversation either devolves into nothingness for the sake of getting along, or it blows into bits as the various “truths” compete against eachother. The direction of “the cause” rarely moves forward, but rather neuters itself through disagreement or outright kills itself.

The same goes with societies and cultures. Before Judeo-Christianity, you will find that many of the cultures worshipped many gods. There were fertility gods, war gods, or whatever. And often, the people of those cultures became followers of one god more than another, resulting in the various factions competing against eachother – often to the point of violence.

It matters not to me all those who attempt to discredit the Bible by illustrating relations to paganism or similarities to other religions. I know of much it, and I am truly, deeply fascinated by it. However, possibly the most defining feature of Judeo-Christianity is that it subscribes to the belief in monotheism. One God. One Truth. The Absolute Truth. Is this what has propelled Judeo-Christianity into becoming the most successful of them all? I believe that it is.

The Bible is a blue-print for society. It shows us how a society ought to be formed. It takes away certain Relative Truth arguments which would be destructive, and instead promotes productiveness. The Bible is the Book of Life because it promotes those ideals which cause a civilization to grow, prosper and flourish. Religions/cultures which cannot/do not promote this are ways of death.

The US Founding Fathers subscribed to these ideas as well, based upon the ideals of John Locke. They placed their laws on three levels:

1 – God’s Law
2 – Natural Law
3 – Civil Law

They believed that the lower levels of law must correspond within the rules of the higher ones. The lower laws must work within the bounds of the higher ones. At the top is the Absolute Truth.

The US Founding Fathers used both Deductive Reason (search for Absolutes) and Inductive Reason (Relatives). But they placed them properly upon the ladder of importance.

This notion was challenged when Hegel, in the 19th Century, came up with the Hegelian Dialectic.

What is the Hegelian Dialectic?

The inductive reasoning of the Hegelian Dialectic “dethroned” the authority of God as Absolute Truth.

The Hegelian Dialectic allows for the argument of 1 + 1 = 3, or 5, or 105… the truth is relative.

Since “the truth is relative,” who is to say that your idea of truth is any more true than my idea of truth?

It takes away the monotheism of our Judeo-Christian civilization because it places the Relative Truth at the highest level. (In fact, at all levels).

There was a time when our oldest institutions, such as Harvard University, were mandated to be “keepers of the Truth.” They have now evolved, through the Hegelian Dialect, into becoming “changers of the Truth.”

This thought-disease that caused Adam and Eve to be ejected from Paradise is now the ruling thought process in all our educational institutions, our governments & laws, our families, and even our churches. Destruction is beginning to happen. We are separating as a people. The US Founding Fathers based their new system upon the authority of the Bible, and said that “liberty” is based upon the individual willingness to place personal morality on oneself – morality based upon the Bible. In that way, we all follow the same general path and still work together as a unit, and the more we place it upon ourselves to follow the morality illustrated in the Bible, the less need will there be for the government to pass laws against the people to maintain/control unity.

We have rejected Absolute Truth in favour of the Relative Truth.

We are becoming divided as both a civilization and as a people. The foundational building block of our society, the nuclear family, is destructing. Crime is increasing as are psychological problems and suicide. We are not reproducing enough to maintain ourselves as a population – through both unwillingness to do so, and by contracting swaths of sexually transmitted diseases which are directly and alarmingly affecting our infertility rates. Soddom and Gomorrah are truly making a comeback as our civilization is self-destructing, and in but a few more generations, we will become so insignificant that we too will be “wiped from the face of the earth.”
But, no matter what they say, the Absolute Truth still does exist. Whether we can prove it or not, there actually is an answer to questions like “how did the universe get created?” or “where do we come from?”

And, I suspect, we’ll soon be recieving a smack up the back of the head for disobeying a fundamental law, which is: The Absolute Truth must precede the Relative Truth.
To fail to heed such a timeless principle means to walk the Road of Death.
Further Reading: