In my series of essays, I have shown that organizations can be based on “shallow logic”, which are little more than “copy me” commands, and “deep logic”, based on redundancy and depth of work that makes the organization more valuable to all.
Christianity follows the pattern of cults and mass movements by “renunciation of self”. That is, we place more faith in the collective ability of the group than we do ourselves, which means that the rule we obey increasingly become statistical in nature, reflecting general trends and assumptions recognized as “greatest good for greatest number”.
In most cases, the statement ‘I am Christian” means that we have become part of some organization, a church as opposed to synagogue, as Jews aren’t Christians, and we tend to justify our position as being part of that group to be guided by the “wisdom” of its leaders. We assume the organization has “deep logic”, because the number of people involved in the decision-making adds depth not available to individuals. This may in fact be true in regard to finite objectives, but not in matters in which there are an infinity of concerns to consider.
If, for example you asked your organization to define “God”, they would have to give a finite definition of an infinite entity, and in such cases, the number of “definitions” may increase to match the number of individuals to offer the definitions given.
This also has a correspondence to Godel’s incompleteness theorem: in any consistent axiomatic formalization suitable for number theory, there exists undecidable propositions.
In other words, we can never be sure that “our” organization is any closer to the idea of “God” than any other organization, no matter how formally we try to link our decisions of “God’ with “truth”. Consequently, there are an estimated 38,000 versions or more of the Christian God.
The result, then, is that no matter how deeply we ‘cross refererence’ our choices, no matter how many “authorities” from which we can select, there will never be a “final authority” to which we can turn, within our own human decision-making power.
As I have also shown in earlier essays, this has greater evolutionary significance for our survival. Diversity is the best “hedge” against total extinction. The more possibilities exist in our human social systems, the less ability of one threat to annihilate all systems. This is also shown in the example of my earlier essay, “The Tower of Babble And The ‘Gray Goo’ “. The less diversity we have in our choices, the more we are subject not only to destruction from external threats, the more we add to the process known as entropy, in which greater organization in one are leads to greater “chaos” in related areas.
Based on these fairly recent discoveries, therefore, logic dictates that we base a search for “God” NOT on a unifying truth, but on the diversity produced by our efforts. That is, all attempts to define God result in increasing diversity because that is precisely what is intended.
Bart Ehrman, the noted scholar and professor of ancient Greek, writes this about Paul in his book, Peter, Paul, And Mary Magdalene:
“(The book of) Romans has long been seen as the most important of Paul’s letters for anyone interested in establishing the content of his understanding of the gospel”.
Further, as we saw last essay, Paul’s ideas actually are important in regard to the “split’ between Judaism and Christianity, because Paul was allegedly a Pharisee, knowledgeable of the laws, rules, and hermeneutics used by rabbis for understanding of the Torah. The chief guideline being the Seven Middot of Hillel, used as the basis for understanding “God’s laws”.
Jesus had already declared the Pharisee rabbis as hypocrites(Matthew 23) and as “children of the devil(John 8)”, so Paul’s standing both as a Pharisee, and from his background as being knowledgeable in Roman law, Greek science and Philosophy, and Jewish monotheism, made him a solid choice as a “definer” of emergent Christianity.
Paul immediately challenged Hillel’s conclusions with Romans 8:7, telling us that the natural mind is enmity against God, and cannot be subject to God’s laws.
“Natural logic”, therefore, will produce exactly the diversity we see in Christianity today, with over 38,000 versions. Any logical reasoning we use to ‘define God” will result in evolutionary advantages to our survival, and will NOT lead to unity. “God’s will” if there is such, would therefore have to be consistent with the evolutionary advantages of survival.
Christianity, if true, would therefore NOT be based on the logic of human organizations.
Paul offers support for this conclusion in Ephesians 2;8-10, and in 1 Corinthians 1:27-29:
“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound(put to shame) the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
“And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are”.
I’m reminded at this point of the remarkable speech which Ayn Rand put in the mouth of Howard Roarke in the novel The Fountainhead:
“Thousands of years ago, the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light. He was considered an evildoer who had dealt with a demon mankind dreaded.”
Ayn Rand the atheist was also born a Jew, and she was deeply affected by her childhood in Russia where wealth gained by honest effort was confiscated by the power of the state. her rejection of “God” as a collectivist authority, was in many ways a reflection of the Jewish mind that had been forced to live as “outsider”, because the Jew did not accept the doctrine of Christianity offered by the Catholic and later the Protestant churches. Rand logically rejected all forms of collectivist authority, because her experience in Russia showed where such things led.
However, her rejection of “God” as collective authority over men and human organizations NEVER took into account the implications of Romans 8:7, that the natural mind cannot be subject to God, assuming there is a God.
While the Jews had followed the destiny of that Torah God, their devotion led them to the adaptive diversity which allowed them to become the intellectual leaders in successive empires. By the time Jesus allegedly walked the earth, Israel had a tremendous diversity of religions, all trying to understand the “true” way of serving God by law. It was, in fact, the adaptive diversity of Jewish minds that allowed them not only to survive, but to rise to the top of each successive empire, and prepare for “God’s kingdom” during the Roman Empire.
The apostle Paul, as the rabbinical intellect of the concept of “Christianity”, rejected not only the rational “laws” developed by Hillel, but declared that ALL minds are ‘enmity” against God, therefore eliminating possibility of ANY human representing God by the process of “natural” logic.
If that was not enough to convince, Paul went further in Romans 8:29-30 to declare that God foreknew, predestined, and called His own children according to His perfect forekowledge. If that was so, then there was no way any human organization could, in fact, declare their authority by our “freewill choice”. If we did not have the capacity to be subject to God’s laws, then we certainly did not have the capacity to decide which human organization truly represented God, and Paul further destroyed such claims with Romans 8:29-30.
For the logical minded, that should be enough, but for those who persisted in the formation of a collectivist, humanly defined God, Paul reiterated the idea of “non-choice” with Romans 9:16-22.
“So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.”
We are faced, inevitably, with the plain consequences of Paul’s statement. No human organization has the ability to represent God by any human process of logic, which not only challenges Hillel’s “Seven Middot”, but it challenges ALL human authority, at any time, to claim that power. Further, in the development of “common law”, it was merc that was emphaisized, not the power to rule.
This leads, inevitably, to Jesus’ statement in Matthew 24:23:
“Then if any man says to you, ‘Lo, here is Christ(or messiah), or there’ believe it not.”
We must conclude that the “true gospel” if there is such, is NOT about collectively ‘renouncing the self” in favor of ANY human organization, but of accepting the responsibility of the self, against all human powers.
I emphasize this point in the development of human history and law, because it is necessary to understand how “common law’ evolved from these precepts.