Monday, December 6, 2010

Much Ado About Nothing: Chapter 2, Part 2

Much Ado About Nothing: Chapter 2 Part 2

1.) The Regress

The anti-body tradition finds its most ballistic expression in the Atheistic religion of the Jains. The Jain's argue with Aristotle that there is no creator because if there is there must be a regress of creators, ie: who created the creator? With a few mental gymnastics we can resolve this paradox by saying that the creator who created time and space is not subject to its laws. Thus sequence in this fashion is irrelevant.

Gertrude Stein dismisses cause and effect on this basis reinventing the chicken and the egg paradox.

Realizing that the cause is a relationship of one act to another, and the effect becomes a cause via the butterfly effect is the modern notion of how to deal with this. If I knock over a series of dominoes and thus am the first cause, then the effected dominoe itself becomes a cause, knocking over the next one ad-infinitum. To throw away cause and effect is to transcend the temporal world, and we may be interested in discussing this, but we don't want to throw away cause and effect entirely, if only because it works.

Throwing away cause and effect is a rejection of logic and is tantamount to rejecting a tool, which to my mind is not useful. We keep the tool, and use it where it is effective to use. We regard the chicken and egg as being relative to each other, but the egg always comes first, because fish existed before chickens and they lay eggs.

“Some foolish men declare that Creator made the world. The doctrine that the world was created is ill-advised, and should be rejected.” Jinasena: There is No Creator.

Jinasena goes on with his argument to dismiss the possibility that this world was fashioned. However, the Jain's find themselves in what we have identified as one of the leading causes of paradox, namely, that when a distinction is drawn between something and itself it often leads to paradox. And the paradox only points out a deficiency in our understanding. No logic can begin to describe the maker of this world, who does not make the world, but rather articulates it all the way down to the realm of matter, which is slowly vibrating energy.

“If he is formless, actionless, and all-embracing, how could he have created the world? Such a soul, devoid of modality, would have no desire to create anything.” Jinasena

This is an interesting point. All creation is the process of some imbalance, some need that must be filled. What (assuming there is a God) would have been his imbalance for creating this world? Loneliness? At any rate, the Jainian philosophy wants to unask this question. But aren't the Jain's projeting human motivations on a being that is utterly incomprehensible?

The Jains themselves take extremely small steps in order to avoid killing insects beneath their feet, which (cynically speaking) necessitates an atheistic point of view. It takes an atheist to have that much respect for the life of this world, and that is what the Jainian argument is all about; not the impossibility of a creator God, but rather the villainous justification that a Creator being allows for. For if we are God's creations then there is no death, only the loss of the body and so we can murder with impunity because the soul will merely be recycled into a new body. And it is this that Jain's rebel again. There's is a strategy of respect for all life.

“Good men should combat the believer in divine creation, maddened by an evil doctrine.”

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