If it would have been God’s foremost intention to just save the world, while minimizing human suffering, he would have done it right away after the fall. Instead of waiting 4000 years until sending Jesus down to us. Or, if there is some reason for these 4000 years that is unknown to us, God could have made this time easier for humanity. For example, by introducing some kind of sedative drug and supplying food by miracles, so that people would have been spared from all this self-inflicted suffering.

And likewise, if God’s foremost intention today would be to bring this world to an end after having saved it through Jesus, the Last Day would long have come and / or God would help with all available miraculous power in missionizing the world. Or if there is some reason unknown to us why it did not come so far, the proposal with the sedative drugs applies again.

And likewise, if God would desire to make the life of his children as bearable and simple as possible, he would: (1) talk to us more directly and more often, (2) completely change our character in supernatural ways, (3) tell us what situation we are in at every point of time, and why.

Yet, all the above is not the case. Means God seems to have also some other intention with this world than just “closing it down with the lowest possible damage”, to then proceed in heaven where everything is great. But what could be that intention?

That intention can not be to let people earn rewards. Because according to the doctrine of grace, every reward for human behavior is neglible compared to the undeserved donation of grace.

Might it be that God “is so deistic” because his intention is still what he had in mind when creating this world? Which would be, as far as we understand it, to have human beings as “his image”. As something that is pleasing to look at. So maybe he enjoys just looking at this world (or currently rather, tries to). Which would be indeed an activity that would make God appear to us as largely “deistic”, compared to how he could potentially  behave to us, in all his power.

So perhaps this world is something like a table decoration in God’s living room, so to speak? Note that this comparison is meant to illustrate how unfathomable huge God is, not to call Jesus’ work for us something small. It is huge thing because Jesus did it in the shell and with the limitations of a human being – doing it as an all-powerful God would be no big thing indeed.

Hipster or Hobo?
(Can you tell – Hipster or Hobo? Anyway, it’s not me, and not in Frankfurt. Source: Failblog, see there for more.)

Last Wednesday, I have been to Klassikstadt Frankfurt, in a mobile.de car seller seminar. Well, kind of. It turned out to be more of a sales promotion event for a new type of seller account. But I have been to this Klassikstadt thing anyway – which is a highly stylish blend of an old, red brick manufacturing building, oldtimer cars, oldtimer workshops and companies, catering and event and conference room options for diverse customers.For example, Deutsche Telekom had a little conference or meeting in one of these rooms.

Snacks were served in small white porcelain and glas dishes. Inner walls were unplastered red bricks. Most things looked trendy. Some people looked like nerds in a suit, wearing a stylish edition of hornrims. They had also hired pretty girls to wear the microphones and hand out the name tag. An in-crowd gathering: the whole setting, and many of the people there, contributed to a yuppie atmosphere.

So what is a yuppi, anyway? That’s what I’m talking about, as this event inspired a simple definition in me. A yuppi is a geek with money. Or a nerd with money, does not matter here. These people make their work fun, ideally by choosing what they want to work for (entrepeneurship), and / or by enjoying their work by spending money for a luxury and trendy setting. And, more importantly: while a geek or nerd is laughed at because of his or her strange passions and ideas, yuppies are admired for that. The difference between awkward and trendy is often just the resources available for investing into it. Without money, your individualistic or creative project makes you a nerd, geek, freak or (at best) a poor artist. With money, spent for polishing the project’s outward appearance and outsourcing the actual work, it makes you a trendy person. For example, oldtimers: the poor hobby mechanic who loves his oldtimer but lacks the money to get it into shape is a freak; but the suit-clothed entrepeneur who just buys a car that others worked for, and spends ~180 EUR a month just to store and showcase his car in one of the Klassikstadt glas garages, he is considered trendy. Why?

Now I don’t have something against the yuppies: I like that there are truly individualistic people and passionate people among them. But I dislike our (the society’s) short-sighted judgment over people. Having or not having money is mostly a matter of luck and chance, so should not be allowed to transform a  freak into a yuppie, or vice versa.

Note: Image above was taken with permission from our source. Permission is given by the fact that they offer code for embedding this into an own website.

I arrived at a provocative thesis: those who emphasize “the serious / judging side of God” by actively preaching and promoting it do so because it allows them to live out an innate desire for high-energy social interaction, or for taking strong and even agressive positions. This type of beliefs grant a channel for “energetic behavior” that is legal in their own mindset and the official legal framework of their society. They embrace this opportunity because intensive, highly energetic (at times even aggressive) social interaction is banned by taboo and convention from most other areas in civilized Western societies. There are other people who succeed in completely sublimating this “energy” and directing it towards inner processes, resulting in high motivation to reach objective goals and if necessary forcing themselves forward. But not all people can be that introverted …

A confirmation for this thesis is that “only” people who have strong opinions about things (in other words, who are aggressive and determined in other areas) tend to stress the “serious” side of God. In contrast to people who are careful to take strong positions, fearing they might not be true. However, this is supported only by anecdotal reports, and has to be investigated more thoroughly. There just seems to be such an astonshing correlation between personality style and faith style …

Understanding this, there is not much of a problem: listening to a sermon, I have to just filter the message through a personality filter, to arrive at teh true ojective message, independent of the speaker’s personality traits. There is however an extreme and dangerous variant of this, where people think themselves justified (in their religious framework) to insult other people, to call them names, to judge them, to question the  salvation of nearly all others etc..

Democracy is surely not a system that allows government by the people, because in (nearly) all current implementations, government is a very small part of the people and thus separate from it. So what makes democracy “better” than other systems, if anything? The fact that it allows the people to at least choose their government (normally, from a limited amount of options, however).

A regime change in states with dictatorship or similar authoritarian systems is called a revolution (latest example: Tunisia). But not so in democracy. Why not? In my understanding, democracy is a system of permanent revolution1. Just, that these revolutions are formalized, scheduled and intentionally peaceful. Then of course, I would even better like to see democracy as a system of government by the people, concretely, Internet-mediated direct democracy in a network of agile micro-societies that together form one whole nation-state society.

Interesting side note: Karl Popper wrote something about the kind of society in which such “permanent revolution” is possible: in his two-volume book “The Open Society and Its Enemies”, he defines an “open society” as one which ensures that political leaders can be overthrown without the need for bloodshed.” [source]

1 Note: Permanent revolution is a term first coined by Marx, then extended by Leon Trotsky and applied by Mao Zedong. I use this word in a new, democratic sense and claim to have re-conquered it.

First, start with watching the video “2011 حماده هلال أنا مصرى ” below or on YouTube. It is about the 2011 Egyption uprising and is underlaid with a song repeating “Allah Akhbar” (Allah Almighty) over and over.

If you are from a non-Islamic culture, read on. What was your impression from watching this with an analytic mind from a non-Islamic culture (the latter is just to avoid prejudice)? To me, it was astonishingly self-evident that the authors’ faith in Allah is motivated by wishful thinking: they use a notion (idea) of God to promote unity, a hope for protection and victory, motivation etc. among people who have nothing to do with each other in the first case. (Note that this sharp judgement does not relate to the Egyptian revolution itself … I wish freedom to all people in all the world, in every sense of the word … .)

Using this “idea called God” serves as a surrogate for other non-existing bonds (cultural or family), and can be used to create a nation or nation state. And all that without there being any real background behind this particular idea: God as an idea works even if there is no God, simply by people believing there is, and having unity and bonds because of that. This is not the only thing for which “God as an idea” can be used: in other cases, like in Hinduism (read the Vedas!), God is a philosophic idea: thoughts that came out of human philosophical thinking and likewise can exist without being grounded in external reality.

So what. As somebody who immersed myself in natural science for a prolonged time, I am not willing to believe in a God that is an idea only. If there is no substance to my God (Yahweh), I would stop believing. And further, I have the hypothesis that the faith in the one true, existing God (if there is one) can clearly distinguish itself from believing in idea-only Gods, and can justify itself when being compared to them. Ok and that’s the reason I search for what God does today.

So what did God mean when he said: Let us make man, in our image?

Then they made one man (Adam), in their image. So is that all? God compares himself to a single person? Mmmh. Maybe there is more to it. God intended that people multiply, and it would be absurd to assume that society, as a whole, is greater / better / stronger than God is (and God has shown throughout history that this is not the case). So, and here is the new thought, might it be that family (the unit of multiplication) is meant, by God, as just another level of resemblance?

Answer: yes, that is highly probable. In the Bible, the relationship between God the Father and God the Son is often compared to the human father-son relationship, so family is probably meant to resemble God.
And, we can now reiterate that new thought level by level: a human society (like a state) is made of families, and is probably meant to be another level of resemblance. The same for the global society of all the people and other creatures, made up of smaler societies. The same for the universal society, made up of all the interstellar global societies that could potentially emerge from our earth. The same for the multiversal society that could emerge from our universe … .

Could emerge. Could. God probably wanted to see His world growing that way, form bottom up, every level of resemblance filled with love through and through. (We can even find levels of resemblance lower than the individual: how a body is made up of cells that help each other “in love”, and how a cell is made of molecules that help each other “in love”, and molecules made from atoms, each fulfilling its task in the Whole, and atoms from subatomar particles, each one fulfilling its place in the beautiful Whole.)

You can get a glimpse of the power and beauty that this whole system could grow into if you know about some complex system (say, the Linux kernel) managed by humanity. It came into existence because many humans fulfilled their task of contribution, and in essence, the result is something “transhuman”, as it can do things that individual humans cannot do. Or even, we can view it that way: all the current buzz about “transhumanism” is in vain, as it deals only with the potential that God gave us, which also means, that he wants us to utilize.

The fucking problem is that since the Fall, the Whole stopped working. The human mind, which was meant as the source of love (getting that from the relationship to God, probably), had no more love and stopped loving. As a result, all higher levels are no longer filled with (enough) love and stopped working. And the lower levels suffer, too, as people often even do not care for their own bodies, out of a lack of love. On all levels, we now have tyranny instead of love. For example on the state level, there are many dictators.

What is depressing beyond measure about this problem is that you (as an individual) cannot fix it. If you would be perfect, you would fulfill your role and place in humanity, but all your contributions might become useless and get destroyed by the acts of others, and by them NOT taking their place and fulfilling their role. As an example, take a contribution to an existing complex system like the Linux kernel: say you would contribute Ubuntu 10.10 packages for an RTAI patched kernel (which are currently missed desperately!!), but people behind other projects do not accept or forget your bugfixes etc., and finally nobody wants to take over that maintenance task from you. All contributions are virtually lost, then, even though you worked a lot.

Hopefully, the next world is better than this, again filled with love through and through. I start believing that we will be totally free from sin in that world. It will be like waking up from a bad bad dream; we have the memories of the old world, but they fade away quickly, like something totally unreal that never could have happened because it is “so bad”. It is indeed necessary that we lose all sinful qualities in the next world, as these qualities are (mainly) what we have learned in this world, and it is impossible except by supernatural means to unlearn all this (except maybe by 1000 years of training, which is a pain unworthy of the next world as it would rather be found in purgatorial fire).

The best partial solution that we can arrive at while in this world is probably only: being oneself “love filled” at 85%, and having a “85% love filled” family and “85% love filled” small society, like a church or power community. In larger scale, we will never be able to reach (or if we reach, to maintain) a “love level” of 20% or more. Also, do not be hasty: if you cannot manage yourself in love, why would you try to found a family, as that would never ne able to be love-filled either.

But what I wanted to express in the first instance: imagine that a love-filled multiverse of billions of interrelated love-filled societies on love-filled (and highly technicized) planets is just an image of God. God is even more than that all, and more beautiful than it.

This is about the feeling of “falling in love” and other thrills. Let’s start with an ingenious quotation from Mr. C. S. Lewis:

“People get from books the idea that if you have married the right person you may expect to go on ‘being in love’ for ever. As a result, when they find they are not, they think this proves they have made a mistake and are entitled to change – not realizing that, when they have changed, the glamor will presently go out of the new love just as it went out of the old one. In this department of life, as in every other, thrills come at the beginning and do not last. The sort of thrill a boy has at the first idea of flying will not go on when he has joined the R.A.F. and is really learning to fly. The thrill you feel on first seeing some delightful place dies away when you really go to live there. Does this mean it would be better not to learn to fly and not to live in a beautiful place? By no means. In both cases, if you go through with it, the dying away of the first thrill will be compensated for a quieter and more lasting kind of interest. What is more (and I can hardly find words to tell you how important I think this is), it is just the people who are ready to submit to the loss of the thrill and settle down to the sober interest, who are then most likely to meet new thrills in some quite different direction. The man who has learned to fly and become a good pilot will suddenly discover music; the man who has settled down to live in a beauty spot will discover gardening.

This is, I think, one little part of what Christ meant by saying that a thing will not really live until it first dies. It is simply no good trying to keep any thrill: that is the very worst thing you can do. Let the thrill go – let it die away – go on through a period of death into the quieter interest and happiness that follow – and you will find you are living in a world of new thrills all the time. But if you decide to make thrills your regular diet and try to prolong them artificially, they will all get weaker and weaker, and fewer and fewer, and you will be a bored, disillusioned old man for the rest of your life. It is because so few people understand this that you find many middle-aged men and women maundering about their lost youth, at the very age when new horizons ought to be appearing and new doors open all around them. It is much better fun to learn to swim than to go on endlessly (and hopelessly) trying to get back the feeling you had when you first went paddling as a small boy.”

C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, pp. 110-111

What does that mean? It’s like in a video game: after you mastered one level, you are thrown into a new, a bit similar but harder level, to master that one too. For example, once the thrill of having falling in love went out, still there is the thrill of deep mutual understanding to be discovered.

What is a total failure, however, is if people always seek for the thrill on the same level, as they will get more and more desperate during that search. For example, people who experienced the thrill of seeing a special landscape may go on and on in that, travelling the whole world to seek the craziest landscapes, and still will not find the thrill again that they had with the first few landscapes. And all the while, they miss the thrills of the next level in travelling, which is, for example, to bond with the locals, to learn their language, to learn to understand how they think, to develop relationships with them.