Philosophy - Part 4 - Innocence and Ignorance

Philosophy - the downfall of man - Part 4 - Innocence and Ignorance
by P.K.Odendaal - 3 April 2012.

If there were no Christians, there would be no Atheists. I am very sure of this. The arguments of Atheists are not about whether there is a God or not - it is whether there are Christians to antagonise them. With regard to the existence of God they have already accepted the idea that if God cannot be proven physically or rigorously, then He does not exist.
I grew up in a strictly Christian era and a strictly Christian environment, with the result that when I heard of Atheists in my late teens, I was very shocked that such a thing or person can exist. If someone had told us at school that he was an Atheist, we would have asked him where he hid his fork. And until today I have never really met and talked to an Atheist, as they are very scarce in our community, or they are hiding somewhere in closets?


When I started this article series, I thought that I should study the tenets of Atheisms in order to address their arguments. Being a fool who rushes in where Angels fear to tread, I paged through the internet and found a book on Atheism named : 'Why are you Atheists so angry?' - 99 Things that piss off the Godless, by Greta Christina, which had excellent reviews. Little did I know that those reviews were all by Atheists as I should have expected, and I studied it. You can read my review of this book here :


And little did I know that I would only be the subject of blind Atheistic rants by the Godless. In fact I did not even know that people could comment on my review. I was not interested in comments on my review - I only wrote an honest review which Christians could read and not fall into the same trap as I did. Now that it has happened, I know why Atheists detest Christians and why Christians detest Atheists, and I will be leaving it at that. The 99 things that pisses her off were Christians, Christian leaders, Christian politicians - and it seemed also everybody else that lives or everybody who is not an Atheist - whether they are Christians or not. It is just a rant that goes on and on - or shall I say an Incantation, because it is without reason and intellect.
So I was right when I urged you in a previous part of this article not to talk to Atheists - you are wasting your time. However, my article was in any case more centred on the arguments of philosophy and Agnostics - and the bitter (and forbidden) fruits of philosophy.

The philosophers are not barking up different trees or the wrong tree - they are barking up the same tree and the correct tree of the meaning of life, called the Slippery Slope or in the Bible called the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This is the tree which takes away our Ignorance and Innocence - two very precious commodities. The serpent got Eve to bark up that three as well with fatal consequences.
Yes, even till today it is forbidden. The philosophers have all been barking from different directions up this tree - but only at the lower bark (pun not intended), and have never been able to get to the top - and never will. The problem is that there is a price to be paid for climbing that Slippery Slope, and that price is the loss of Ignorance and Innocence. If you climb one step up this tree, you will slip two steps down, and it will take you a lot of trouble and energy to regain your previous level. I have also eaten from it, and I also had to pay a price, even today.

A person is never unhappy except at the price of some ignorance. This is an adage by someone else, which I wish I had invented, as it is the nearest to the truth that one can get in this respect. The more we know, the more unhappy and unsatisfied we become. We become Cynical and ultimately Nihilistic. We will visit these two impostors and scoundrels later in the series.
It may not look serious, but losing one's ignorance is final and fatal. You can never get that ignorance back, however hard you might try. All you can do is exchange it for Illusion, the last step before you exchange it for Delusion, a malady most scientists suffer from. It is like darkness. If you walk in darkness there is nothing you can do to make it darker. Delusion is the end of Ignorance and Innocence.

I know - I have been there - and I was only saved by the Grace of God through a clear and serious vision some decades ago, whilst I was still an unsuspecting believer in the most delusional of all - Carl Sagan. What an Amazing Grace.
And whilst I am at it, this is exactly the purpose of the satire 'Candide' which Voltaire wrote on philosophy, which I need to address here.

The main character in 'Candide' is Candide himself, who has been taught by his philosopher friend, Pangloss, who taught the metaphysico - theologo - cosmolonigology - a subject we now call Science and Philosophy. He could prove to admiration that that there is no effect without a cause; and, that in this best of all possible worlds, the Baron's castle was the most magnificent of all castles, and My Lady, the best of all possible baronesses. It is demonstrable that things cannot be otherwise that as they are; for as all things have been created for some end, they must necessarily be created for the best end.
 
Candide was subsequently chased out of the castle with some notable kicks on the breech, because he loved the baron's daughter, Miss Cunegand, and he then joined the Bulgarian Army, where all would also be for the good. The Bulgarian Army welcomed him with open arms and the words : 'Bravo!, you are now the support, the defender, the hero of the Bulgarians, your fortune is made, you are on the high road to glory'.

So saying, they handcuffed him, and carried him away to the regiment. There he was made to wheel about to the right, to the left, to draw his rammer, to present, to fire, to march, and they gave him thirty blows with a cane; the next day he performed this exercise a little better, and they gave him but twenty; the following day he came off with ten, and was looked upon as a young fellow of surprising genius by all his comrades. And all this because he believed that this is the best of all possible worlds.
 
One fine spring morning, he took it into his head to take a walk, and he marched  straight forward, conceiving it to be a privilege of the human species, as well as of the brute creation, to make use of his legs how and when they pleased. He had not gone above two leagues when he was overtaken by four other heroes, six feet high, who bound him neck and heels, and carried him to a dungeon. A court martial was sat upon him, and he was asked which he liked better, to run the gauntlet six and thirty times through the whole regiment, or to have his brains blown out with a dozen musket-balls.

In vain did he remonstrate to them that the human will is free, and that he chose neither ...
These satirical paragraphs so ably demonstrates how we lose our free will once we submit to the false philosophies of this world.

Ultimately he declares : 'Sir, I conceive there can be no effect without cause; everything is necessarily concatenated and arranged for the best. It was necessary that I should be banished from the presence of Miss Cunegand (the Baron's daughter); that I should afterwards run the gauntlet; and it is necessary I should beg my bread, till I am able to get it. All this should not have been otherwise'.  
 
At one stage Candide sees his old mentor Pangloss again and says : O, sage Pangloss, what a strange genealogy is this! Is not the devil the root of it? To which Pangloss replies : Not at all, it was a thing unavoidable, a necessary ingredient in the best of worlds to which Candide replied : 'If this is the best of all possible worlds, what are the others?'

Or another of the same argument : A Dutch Skipper was punished for his iniquity and he met with the fate he deserved, the sinking of his ship. Very true said Martin, but why should the passengers be doomed also to destruction? God has punished the knave, and the devil has drowned the rest.
 
At one stage his friend Procurante tells him about Tully, a philosopher : I had once some liking for his philosophical works, but when I found he doubted everything, I thought I knew as much as himself, and had no need of a guide to learn ignorance. And Pangloss avowed that he had undergone dreadful sufferings; but having once maintained that everything went on as well as possible, he still maintained it, and at the same time believed nothing of it.

What is more, Candide went from bad to worse suffering countless pain, grief and suffering as he travelled the world in search of happiness, which he found nowhere, until he returned after many attacks on his person, body and life to a place where he started and found some folks there living in peace and quiet who had never had any of his misfortune.
 
On asking why they escaped being mauled by life the old man sad :
I cannot tell. I never knew the name of any mufti, or vizier breathing. I am entirely ignorant of the events you speak of; I presume that in general such as are concerned in public affairs sometimes come to a miserable end; and that they deserve it: but I never inquire what is doing at Constantinople; I am content with sending thither the produce of my gardens, which I cultivate with my own hands. I have no more than twenty acres of ground, the whole of which I cultivate myself with the help of my children; and our labour keeps off from us three great evils - idleness, vice and want.

We must take care of our garden, for when man was put into Eden, it was with the intent to dress it; and this proves that man was not born to be idle. Work then without disputing, it is the only way to render life supportable.
And this will guide us when we revisit White in his argument with Black in TSL.

I conclude this part with an extract from a keynote address of a divorce lawyer gave at their yearly convention - after having been wizened by life :
From the film 'Intolerable Cruelty' :

Love. It's a word we matrimonial lawyers avoid. Funny, isn't it? We're frightened of this emotion, which is, in a sense, the seed of our livelihood.
Well, today Miles Massey is here to tell you...  that love need cause us no fear. Love need cause us no shame. Love is... good.

I am, of course, aware that these remarks will be received here with cynicism. Cynicism, that cloak .. that advertises our indifference... and hides all human feeling. Well, I'm here to tell you that that cynicism which we think protects us... in fact destroys. Destroys love, destroys our clients, and, ultimately, destroys ourselves.
Colleagues, when our clients come to us confused and angry and hurting... because their flame of love is guttering and threatens to die, do we seek to extinguish that flame so that we can sift... through the smouldering wreckage for our paltry reward, or do we fan this precious flame, this most precious flame, back into loving, roaring life?

Do we counsel fear or trust? Do we seek to destroy or build? Do we meet our clients' problems with cynicism... or with love? The choice is, of course, each of ours. For my part, I've made the leap of love, and there's no going back.