Author Topic: Progressive Yahwism  (Read 992 times)


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Re: Progressive Yahwism
« on: October 13, 2021, 02:40:36 am »

A great divide splits contemporary society between those who believe in a transcendent God, and those, including myself, who do not.


beyond the new science that glimmers a new world view, we have a new view of God, not as transcendent, not as an agent, but as the very creativity of the universe itself.

This is what we have always understood Yahweh to be.

Darwin taught us about natural selection and evolution. He did not know the basis for self reproduction or heritable variation. But given these, evolution by natural selection follows. Such evolving life forms would be subject to Darwin's law, which arises only for entities capable of self reproduction and heritable variation. This seems clearly to be ontological emergence, not reducible to physics. Like Anderson's computer able to run on transisitors or buckets of water, Darwin's natural selection can run on multiple physical platforms, where the entities under selection have their own causal powers, and natural selection cannot be reduced to any specific physical platform.

Indeed, it is possible that minor changes in the constants of the physicists would still yield universes in which life, heritable variation and natural selection would obtain. Note that while the physicist might deduce that a specific set of molecules was self reproducing, and had heritable variations and instantiated natural selection, one cannot deduce natural selection from the specific physics of any specific case(s), or even this universe, alone. In short, Darwin's natural selection is a new law operating on the level of self reproducing entities with heritable variation, regardless of the physical underpinning. In contrast to Weinberg's claim, here the explanatory arrows point upward from molecules to the evolution of living systems of molecules via natural selection.

Yes, this is why Yahweh can accurately claim divinity. Which is not to say he deserves to be worshipped.

I begin with Darwinian adaptations and preadaptations. Were one to ask Darwin what the function of the heart is, he would have replied, "To pump blood". That is, the causal consequence of the heart for virtue of which it was selected by natural selection is pumping blood. But the heart makes heart sounds. These are not the function of the heart. Thus, the function of the heart is a subset of its causal consequences and must be analyzed in the context of the whole organism in its selective environment. Again this says that biology cannot be reduced to physics, for while the string theorist might (actually could not) deduce all the properties of a given heart, he/she would have no way to pick out as the relevant property that of pumping blood. But it is that property that accounts for the existence of hearts in the biosphere.

What is the Darwinian function of muscle? Movement for escaping predators? Wrong! Did you know that the overwhelming majority of muscle fibres in the world are deliberately prevented from meaningful movement as an explicit condition for their carriers to reproduce?

The actual Darwinian function of muscle in the pictured animals is to supply meat for consumption by mostly Westerners. It is for this reason that these animals are forced to keep reproducing, and hence their species guaranteed perpetuation (the suffering of the indiviudals is not a concern to Yahweh).

It is critical that virtually any extant feature of an organism can become the subject of natural selection in the appropriate environment, and typically, if selected, a novel functionality arises in the biosphere and universe. Now the critical question: Do you think you could say ahead of time, or finitely prestate, all possible Darwinian preadaptations of, say species alive now, or even humans? I have not found anyone who thought the answer was yes. I do not know how to prove my claim that the answer is "No", but part of the problem is that we cannot finitely prestate the relevant features of all possible selective environments for all organisms with respect to all their features.

But the failure to prestate the possible preadaptations is not slowing down the evolution of the biosphere where preadaptations are widely known. Thus, ever novel functionalities come to exist and proliferate in the biosphere. The fact that we cannot prestate them is essential, and an essential limitation to the way Newton taught us to do science: Prestate the relevant variables, forces acting among them, initial and boundary conditions, and calculate the future evolution of the systemůsay projectile. But we cannot prestate the relevant causal features of organisms in the biosphere. We do not know now the relevant variables! Thus we cannot write down a set of equations for the temporal evolution of these variables. We are profoundly precluded from the Newtonian move. In short, the evolution of the biosphere is radically unknowable, not due to quantum throws of the dice, or deterministic chaos, but because we cannot prestate the macroscopic relevant features of organisms and environments that will lead to the emergence of novel functions in the biosphere with their own causal properties that in turn alter the future evolution of the biosphere. Thus, the evolution of the biosphere is radically creative, ceaselessly creative, in way that cannot be foretold.

Tell me about it:

And the next thing you know:

Or even more recently:

I find this wonderful.

Because you are a Yahwist. I, an anti-Yahwist, find this horrific.

However, while I agree that I cannot list all possible Darwinian preadaptations, I can list the one trait that will never be a preadaptation: anti-Yahwism. It doesn't matter which or how many other Darwinian preadaptations someone carries; this one trait is potentially enough to singlehandedly end them all. I find this wonderful.

this means that the technological evolution of the econosphere is also not finitely prestatable, nor presumably algorithmic. It too is ceaselessly creative, expanding from some 1000 goods and services say 50,000 years ago to perhaps 10 billion today.

I find this horrific too.

And human culture, in general, is ceaselessly creative as the biosphere and culture expand into what I call the Adjacent Possible.

I find this horrific too. (But no, it is not "human culture, in general". It is primarily Western civilization which behaves like this.)

In short, in wondrous ways, these our universe, biosphere, econosphere, and culture are ceaselessly creative and emergent.

Only Yahwists could describe ceaseless creativity as "wondrous".

God is the most powerful symbol we have created. The Spaniards in the New World built their churches on the holy sites of those they vanquished. Notre Dame sits on a Druid holy site. Shall we use the God word? It is our choice. Mine is a tentative "yes". I want God to mean the vast ceaseless creativity of the only universe we know of, ours. What do we gain by using the God word? I suspect a great deal, for the word carries with it awe and reverence.

Please call him Yahweh. The true God is the one trying to save us from Yahweh (ie. the Devil).

If we can transfer that awe and reverence, not to the transcendental Abrahamic God of my Israelite tribe long ago, but to the stunning reality that confronts us, we will grant permission for a renewed spirituality, and awe, reverence and responsibility for all that lives, for the planet.

I guessed you were a Jew from the very first paragraph you wrote. In actuality, you are merely putting a Western scientific dressing over the exact same Yahweh-worship practiced by your ancient ancestors, which is based on enjoying and being grateful for material existence.

I believe, I hope correctly, that what I have sketched above is true, points to a new vision of our co-creating reality, that it invites precisely an enhancement of our sense of spirituality, reverence, wonder, and responsibility, and can form the basis of a trans-national mythic structure for an emerging global civilization.

I am here to stop you.

To ever succeed, this new view needs to be soft spoken. You see, we can say, here is reality, is it not worthy of stunned wonder? What more could we want of a God?

No, it is not. God should be that which is outside of reality. That which we (not you!), despite being stuck in reality, can sometimes perceive in our idealistic imagination. And having once glimpsed God, the entire material world thereafter becomes worthy of nothing but contempt.

You of course disagree, because:

Yes, we give up a God who intervenes on our behalf. We give up heaven and hell. But we gain ourselves, responsibility, and maturity of spirit.

I will not give up these. And the last thing I would ever want is to gain is "maturity of spirit"!

« Last Edit: December 19, 2021, 11:26:12 pm by 90sRetroFan »