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"In the sphere of thought,
absurdity and perversity remain the masters of the world, and their dominion is
suspended only for brief periods." - Arthur
8 Major Issues
Issue 1 - The Major or Ultimate
Do I get what I want and need or don't I? Is the Universe (the cosmos or system of all of reality) set up
or structured for me to win and succeed by MY definition of succeeding, that is, is it
set up for me to get what I really—naturally, intrinsically, legitimately—want and need, or do I have to change
my deepest desires and needs to try to match what is offered?
Commentary - If it is
not set up for us to win by the above definition, then are we not stuck ultimately trying to
swallow its reality or circumvent it one way or another? Or, since we are
defined as humans by our potential, our needs and desires, and a humane purpose
and culturally transcendent set of values, are we not stuck changing
ourselves fundamentally to being something that we are otherwise not? As the
philosopher Schopenhauer said, "A human may very well do what he wants, but
cannot will what he wants."
Issue 2 - Ground of Being. Does
the physical universe have its ground of being in intelligence and will, or
do intelligence and will have
their ground of being in the material universe?
Which is the ordinate, greater or primary realm of reality? Spiritual
reality, which includes the non-material: intelligence, will, attitude, the humane qualities of love,
compassion, romance, kindness, mercy and grace, anger, frustration,
knowledge, etc.? Or physical reality
consisting of the material universe, matter, dimension and motion—that which we
can measure with physical equipment?
Commentary - Since every belief system must start with something,
for this issue there are ONLY these 3 options: 1) Physical material is primary, existed
first and the spiritual realities arose through a series of "happy
accidents" as adjuncts and/or emergent properties of material structure, or
2) Physical material and the spiritual realities (intelligence, will,
attitude, etc.) are somehow
inseparable and both coexisted as ordinate, or 3) Intelligence, will
and spirit existed first and
designed and created (projected?) the physical material universe.
Issue 3 - Does the Creator
Care? Given options 2 or 3 above, does the creative
agency care enough about us (its/his creation) and our
unhappy condition to at least communicate with us in a special way
(theism in contrast to deism) that can be meaningful and effective for an
imminent resolution of the human condition?
Commentary - Is a creator that doesn't care about communicating
clearly with us much less imminently helping us out, and doesn't offer us a
way of resolving the human condition worthy of the term "God"? Theism posits
that the Creator cares enough to give us a
"special" objective, public revelation other than or beyond what nature,
including human nature and self
revelation, can imply. Atheism means "without theism", and deism posits a creator
that is not involved enough to give us a demonstration or special apocalypse or
revealing.. By original definitions deists and agnostics are technically atheists.
Issue 4 - Where Does
Ultimate value Lie? Does ultimate worth and value lie in the individual, or does it
lie in something else, such as in organizations, institutions, sets of
codes, physical and ethical laws, etc.?
Should individuals primarily serve the cosmos, the organization or the
agencies, OR should these entities primarily
serve individuals? Do organizations derive their value from serving
individuals or do individuals derive their value from serving organizations?
Commentary - If the ultimate value does not lie in
the individual, then is there a foundation for value in anything else?
How can an organization or any other structure—physical or spiritual—have any value outside of serving
to sustain and enhance the lives of individuals?
Issue 5 - Equality and Peership. CAN the creator offer to us equality and peership, or is the
creator trapped in the box of being "other", superior, and relating to us as inferiors? DOES the
creator offer to us equality and peership, or is the creator too
egocentric, too afraid, or too alien to completely share with us those
aspects and qualities that would enable us to choose to be equal and
accept and receive equality?
Commentary - To impute dimensions, qualities and values that are
alien or beyond human upon the Creator is to introduce incompatibility
and separation, which make a mockery of meaningful equality. Equality and peership mean that our
worth and value, our needs and desires, our potential and abilities, our
rights and privileges would be the equal to any life in the universe, including
that of the creator. It would mean equality through
supremacy, not through inferiority or superiority.
Issue 6 - Love and Sacrifice. Is the nature of reality such that love is always a win/win
situation, or does love sometimes demand sacrifice?
Commentary - If we see love as not giving, sacrificing, taking or
trading, but based around sharing, should it not always be a win-win for
Issue 7 - Morality and Ethics. Are morality and ethics the same thing? Are
ethics and morality related to a "code" or set of laws, or is morality
determined by that which ultimately increases morale without violating ethics?
Commentary - Are not morality and ethics different aspects, but related? Ethics
deals with what is loving, right or proper behavior, and morality relates to that
which will ultimately increase our morale. What if Man was not made to be a
"clockwork orange"[*] but made to live by inspiration
from purpose and values, instead of trying to behave according to a set of rules or law?
Issue 8 - Is Evil Necessary? Is evil a necessary part of reality, i.e,
was it created by the
Originator? If so, what is its role, and do we have to live with it forever?
Or was evil introduced into experiential reality by some
other way? By Mankind or some other agency? A breakdown of unity? Doing
something wrong, or a FAILURE to do something?
Commentary - If actual "evil" is required to make or contrast with
"good", then "evil" would seem to be valid and eternal. What if it was ever
and only just the CONCEPT of evil or unfulfillment, and now also the
memory, that makes the contrast effective?
Actual evil must not have been designed or intended, but somehow introduced into an otherwise perfect
universe! What is the rather obvious answer to the "mystery of
iniquity", of how actual evil came to be? See:
The Fall of Man
[*] A term that reflects the incompatibility of the
organic and living versus the mechanical and artificial.