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The nature of God, atheism, and Marxism - It is only possible to create an idol, not a god. [Image from Sword Art Online: Lost Song]

The nature of God, atheism, and Marxism

My philosophical ramblings on reality and morality.

You might be thinking, what does this have to do with gaming? Well, a big part of reviewing game stories and figuring out what makes a story good is understanding the philosophical foundations on which they were written. The writers are real people inspired by their own perspectives of how the world works, so delving into philosophy is important for interpreting stories, inoculating yourself from indoctrination, and inspiring future writing. Also, it is useful to discuss and establish conclusions for difficult topics to push the envelope of what is safe to portray in fiction, thus expanding the possibilities and quality of writing.

That, and I also have a personal interest in philosophy since I was a youth playing Deus Ex and Alpha Centauri. However, I am not the kind of student of philosophy who just recites the words of Kant, Hume, or whoever you learn about in an introductory philosophy course. In fact, these old philosophers are so ridiculously abstract to the point I have no idea what they are talking about and how their ideas are relevant to anyone. To me, philosophy is about helping us understand why we think the way we do to understand the purposes and limitations of our beliefs, discover more correct and consistent ways of thinking, and resolve conflict stemming from divergent beliefs by finding out who is arguing from an irrational position not grounded in reality. Good philosophy should be relatable to most people and be useful for making decisions in the real world. It should not be too far removed from normal thinking.

God as reality itself

The problem with the idea of God is that it can mean different things to different people. I initially identified as an atheist because I do not believe in a magical man in the sky with human emotions like love and vindictiveness. However, I do believe in an objective reality that exists independently of the human mind, a reality that humans are subordinate to, but it has allowed humans to exist and build things that benefit themselves, a reality that conveys narratives through its design and history that inform us of what works and what doesn't, and by extension, what is right and wrong. The only thing that we can be sure that matters is continued existence. Killing is wrong because those who believe in killing end up getting killed off, leaving behind those who do not believe in killing.

I believe that God is merely an abstraction of this overarching concept of objective reality rather than a literal person who is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. Defining God as a separate entity from humans is a convenient way to perceive reality such that no matter what humans think and how many humans believe something, reality is a constant that will not change as if there were an omniscient outside observer seeing what humans are doing, and judging whether they are being wise or foolish. There is no debate of whether God exists; reality exists and God is simply a metaphor for reality itself.

Formally, this perspective is called pantheism as it is not quite theist nor atheist due to a disputed definition of God. It does not believe that there exists an intelligent person who exists outside of the universe, but it still recognizes metaphysical forces that are above humans and define reality itself. I shall explain why this is useful in the rest of this article. However, I will not make claims about God that isn't observable or logically derivable like whether God is good or evil. It doesn't matter anyways because no one has a choice. Reality is presented to you as is, and it is up to you to make the most out of it.

The problem with atheism

When you reject the idea of an external, meta observer as a fixed reference point for perceiving reality, the only other option is a relativistic, subjective reality where humans decide truth based on social power. It implies truth does not exist outside of the human mind, so truth is whatever humans decide it to be, and those with the most socially recognized authority have final say on what is truth. If the law says all humans are equal, then all humans are equal. If a man says he is a woman and everyone believes it, then he is a woman. If leftists keep repeating that society is systemically racist, then society is systemically racist. If we are at war with Eurasia, then we were always at war with Eurasia.

In a subjective reality, only popularity or existing authorities decide truth. Once an authority is established, you cannot claim that they are wrong because there is no objective reality to compare their claims against, and no one who is higher than them to keep them in check. If you are not an authoritative source, you can be dismissed with prejudice regardless of whether your words are true. To become an authority with the right to challenge authorities, you have to first agree with the authorities since only they have the power to grant authority. And if the authorities are undeniably corrupt, the only solutions are to appoint more parallel opposition authorities to dilute their authority with majority rule, or forcefully get rid of them through violent revolution.

God as the supreme authority

God is supposed to fulfill the role of an infallible supreme authority representing the objective truth itself that is independent of the limited and fallible perspective of humans. The objective truth is the one authority all humans ought to submit to because it is untainted by human biases and ambitions, and it cannot change on someone's whim.

You might think, "But God is not an actual person you can just ask, and God can mean different things to different people, so who has the authority to decide the official perspective of God?" No one. God is self-evident by simply looking at reality. Does it work or does it not? Did it happen or did it not? In case that is not enough, we maintain a principle of free expression to let anyone throw in their evidence and interpretation, and then every person decides on the interpretation or composition of interpretations that best fits with all observable facts. But in the end, the only authority everyone has to answer to is reality itself.

Even though some people are better at fact-finding and reasoning than others, human authority is only a signal of a person's ability to explain and demonstrate things in a convincing manner, not a right to declare canonical truth. There is always the possibility that the authorities may be ignoring key information and/or paths of logic that would lead to a different, more correct conclusion. Everyone maintains the possibility of being wrong and being open to new information regardless of who presents it because truth remains true even if it is spoken by an idiot. This is what it means to submit to God. However, atheists reject the very idea of God, so they look to the next highest authority to submit to (i.e. human authorities), which inclines them towards epistemic authoritarianism.

Atheist morality

Atheists claim that atheism says nothing about their moral character, but you can look at the logical possibilities that branch off from atheism to predict where they would end up if they stayed consistent to the premise of atheism. It is like giving free will to a robot that was programmed to be good. They think they can be good without God, but then they gravitate towards leftism as their way of showing they care about people while distancing themselves from the religious right.

But without God, their morality is built on fiat, on imitation, on whatever subjectively feels right in the moment without regard to an overarching narrative that explains how their beliefs and actions fit together into the reality they live in. Without a limiting foundation, they can believe in the most fantastical ideals and strategically shift their beliefs, even truth itself in a vain attempt to appease everyone. You can see this in action when the American Humanist Association cancelled Richard Dawkins for daring to compare transgenderism with transracialism, which violates their own "Ten Commitments" regarding critical thinking, empathy, and humility.

Apparently, they did not realize that being empathetic and humble towards transgenders requires them to be dismissive and arrogant against the opposition because they are dealing with mutually exclusive positions of truth. They cannot both be right because that is how reality is designed, so resolving this conflict boils down to submit or die, quite literally since transgender suicide is the motivation behind their position. It is one thing to come up with rosy moral principles intended to create world peace, it is another thing to apply and enforce them in the real world without becoming the very thing they sought to distance themselves from. Always they discover in the end that God was quite a bit more clever than they thought.

The slippery slope to Marxism

When atheists try to come up with an overarching narrative, they are inclined towards a materialistic world view because it is consistent with their rejection of the supernatural. Because only the material conditions matter, they see all people as units of equal intrinsic value, so they prioritize people based on material need rather than abstract rights like property, freedom, and merit. Such rights imply a transcendent morality higher than the material world that would justify sacrificing the many for the few, which is a big no-no since it is not possible for the many to be wrong in a subjective, material reality, unless it harms minority groups because including as many people as possible would add to the material quantity of society, unless they are rich people because inequality can only be the result of exploitation when everyone is supposed to be of equal worth, unless you are a leftist authority deciding who takes priority over who because only leftists have the pure moral judgment to maximize the collective good by sacrificing the few for the many, since the many can never be wrong. Since those with need can only be satisfied by those with ability to produce what is needed, and rich people are just material units without rights, materialists are inclined to believe, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."

The Marxist subjective reality

Marxism descends from atheism because rejecting capitalism requires seeing it as nothing more than a subjective construct not connected to an objective reality that justifies it. The basic logic of Marxism is that people have been harmed under capitalism, an ideal system is one where no one suffers, therefore capitalism is a sub-optimal system that ought to be discarded in favour of the moral, efficient, and scalable communism. After all, why only help some when you can help all? In the mind of the Marxist, the only reason communism can fail is because not enough people believe in it, not because there exists an objective reality with properties like scarcity, opportunity cost, limits of the human mind and body, a Pareto distribution of human ability and attention span, multiplying of the population, environmental damage, and separate individual wills and ambitions that would make communism unsustainable and exploitative of the productive.

It also requires rejecting religious morality because capitalism is enshrined in the Ten Commandments through the simple phrase, "Thou shalt not steal." Stealing implies that things can be exclusively owned, contradicting the Marxist ideal of collective ownership. Eliminating inequality also violates the tenth commandment. You only covet because you are not equal, which means inequality is God's intent. Appealing to authority is taking God's name in vain when reality will show you who is actually right, and believing in a subjective, malleable reality violates the first commandment.

Communism requires atheism because Marxists need to be the highest authority of reality to convince everyone to go along with it. There is a need to control what everyone thinks to collectively establish a subjective reality, and you do that through the selective feeding and suppressing of information to create a desired narrative. The idea of an external observer of reality beyond their control would break the subjective reality they seek to create, which means those who see a reality that is different from theirs are a threat that will cause their house of cards to collapse. This is why they have to abolish religion, censor opposing ideas, and make dissenters disappear. In the end, they only seek to play God.

Returning to God

Rejecting Marxism requires believing in a higher, objective reality with an emergent transcendent morality. However, theism is not ideal either because people are still vulnerable to subjective interpretations of God. Since God is considered a separate entity who exists beyond our observation, claims about God cannot be proven wrong, enabling its own form of moral authoritarianism that atheism was created in response to. But because atheism suffers from its own spiralling into lunacy, pantheism makes sense for recognizing an authority greater than humans while making God falsifiable.

Theism also has the connotation of being associated with a particular religion, which I am not. While I am most familiar with Christianity, I do not practice any of its traditions. Reality won't change just because you kneel, clasp your hands together, and talk to an invisible person. However, quietly reflecting on yourself and the world around you is effective for improving your thinking and understanding what you need to do to make your life better. Sometimes, it is just a matter of changing how you see things.

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