A heathen argument for faith

Amor Fati: A Heathen Argument For Faith…

‘Amor Fati’ is a Latin phrase used in ancient Greece meaning (approximately) ‘love your fate’. Essentially, it is the idea and belief that all things necessarily happen for the good, the nearest modern corollary being: ‘Everything happens for a reason.’

Hi James,

On this we fundamentally disagree.

It seems clear to me that Darwin, Dawkins et al have demonstrated how all this complexity we observe can emerge by the simple expedient of differential survival of variants. If that is true (which seems to me beyond any shadow of reasonable doubt), then it really is counter to the notion of “that all things necessarily happen for the good”.

It seems be far more like – stuff happens- much of it completely random, some of it with some intention and design of some person behind it.

For me, the idea that everything happens for a purpose, just destroys any possibility of free will.

It seems to me that I have free will, at least to the degree that I do.

So no – I do not accept that children dying horrible deaths from invasive parasites is for a purpose. That’s just genes doing their thing. Patterns on patterns on patterns, …. That particular sort of pattern we would do well to eliminate, permanently.

For me, faith is the antithesis of responsibility.
If you really believe that all the nasty things that happen are to some great purpose, it is a convenient let off from any moral responsibility to make the effort now to change it.

It seems clear to me that we can bring purpose into existence with our choices (to the degree that we do choose), and in the absence of active choice, habits, patterns at many different levels just do their stuff.

[followed by]

I think I get how you are using faith as an idea.
I get you believe that things will work out for the better in the end.
The bit that you don’t seem so clear on, is that such a faith actually has an aspect to it that absolves individuals from making the hard choices, as making such choices doesn’t really matter, because it will all work out in the end anyway – why bother putting skin in the game (at some level).

And I get it isn’t always that way for all people of faith, I see some people of faith in my community with a lot of skin in the game at some levels, and at the higher levels, most of them seem to somewhat less than passionate about life and liberty, with the necessary implication from liberty of exploration of unknowns, and seem to be much more attached to conformity to patterns from the past.

So for me, there remains this meta level danger of “faith” in any context.

For me, the exploration of systems and logic indicates that we have sufficient resources to sustain cooperation at the highest levels for a long time, provided we manage our numbers within the limits of the systems available.
It doesn’t take much training in mathematics to see that continued exponential expansion must eventually run into real limits, forcing us from cooperative to competitive strategies.

And there is sufficient energy available to give us time to make that awareness a universal part of the concept of responsibility.
And there is enough to give every person the right to be a part of one child, and we could have some sort of lottery system to allow some people to have more than one child. And some sort of policy like that will be required on this planet fairly soon.

Unconstrained expansion of population must necessarily lead to conflict at some point.
We are not at that point yet, our technology is still allowing us to do more with less faster than our population is growing, and there are hard limits to that strategy – energy limits imposed by the metabolic needs of human bodies and the technology to support them. If we assume that humans have 20% of the energy falling on the earth, and have conversion efficiencies at 20%, and a human being needs about 70KW continuous power (including the energy to manufacture and run artificially lighted hydroponic gardens) that gives a limit of about 10 times our current population.

And it isn’t a stable answer to say, we can take from someone else, because it doesn’t take long for your group to run into the problem, even if they are the only group left on the planet. So we might as well find a stable solution to the problem soon, before WWIII.

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see www.tedhowardnz.com/money
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