Scientific Materialism vs. Natural Law

Whether we recognize it or not — we all live our lives according to a certain “code” or set of rules.  Very quickly in our development these rules become engrained and the motivational driving forces that shape “who we are.”

Specifically as Americans — for the last 150 years or so we follow a Darwinian code.  This could otherwise be labeled as SCIENTIFIC MATERIALISM.  The subject itself is pretty complex but briefly stated — S.M. has four basic “rules.”

1.)  Only Matter Matters — the physical world we see is all there is.

2.)  Survival of the Fittest — Nature favors the strongest individuals, and the Law of the Jungle.  According to Darwinism — this is the Natural Law.

3.)  It’s in Your Genes — we are victims of our biologically inherited genes and the best we can even hope for is that science finds a way to compensate for our flaws and deficiencies.

4.)  Evolution is Random — life is random, un-controllable, and purposeless.  We got here by chance, and what we do with our “potential” is completely a condition of our genes, environment, and random chance.

Scientific materialism promotes several guiding reactions, subconsciously in my opinion — but they drive our conscious actions without us ever recognizing the motivating factors.  First is FEAR — fear of the unknown and what or who is different, fear of falling behind, failing, getting sick or being attacked by external forces.  Second is OBJECTIFICATION — this is a strong form of materialism, where we not only think we need money, material possessions to survive, but we literally treat people in the very same manner.  We look at them for what “value” they have to us — as if they’re stocks, we’re constantly grading, analyzing and objectifying them.  When we don’t get what we want from them or see no value to us in their presence we either discard our relationship to them or at its worst — we attack them.  This is survival of the fittest in living action.  Third is COMPETITION — now competition can be very healthy, as can conflict, it can make our circumstances better because it challenges us greatly and forces us to grow.  But competition in the modern world, driven by fear and objectification means that we don’t find other like-minded individuals to work in coordination with to realize our goals and dreams, but instead find the ways in which we can keep others down as we succeed — we go into an attack mode. The Fourth reaction is APATHY — the first three  make us erratic, suspicious, fervent, and in the end to get what we think we want in this manner — we are left utterly alone and incapable of changing our circumstances, environment, or relationships.  We’re only here by chance and we have no control over the cards we’ve been dealt, so why bother?  This is hopelessness and despair. And in my opinion, this is the only place that Scientific Materialism can lead us to.

Use these four precepts, and the four guiding reactions as an explanation for modern bullying.  It’s not enough to fear what or who is different, but it is the practice of the modern bully to outwardly attack and drive away that perceived threat.  What a bully craves is status, acceptance, popularity.  That is their currency.  To achieve this in a materialistic world, one must show social dominance to get to the top of the hierarchical food chain.  So they will keep hurting others to get to the top, their natural empathy eroding more and more as they go there.  But then at the top, when they’ve achieved their goals — ironically enough what are they?  ALONE.  And they’re now paranoid, hateful, distrustful.  Why?  Studies show that bullies are actually more insecure than those they bully — because subconsciously they recognize “if I had to do this to get here, that means it can be done to me.”  They understand how it works, and also know that others will be looking for revenge.  Those they have managed to collect as “friends” as their status climbed are constantly looking for their weaknesses – a point or position where they can be attacked.

A bully’s greatest fear is being bullied.

So here’s my counterpoint — an opposition to Scientific Materialism.  The best way to come into it is to use Age of Enlightenment philosopher Thomas Hobbes nine precepts of NATURAL LAW:

1.)  Seek peace first, use war only as a last resort.

2.)  Be willing to offer the same freedom to others as you wish for oneself.

3.)  Keep your agreements.

4.)  Practice gratitude – of others, the Earth, and your own spirit (I added these for clarity)

5.)  Accomodate your own needs to the laws of the community.

6.)  As appropriate, forgive those who repent.

7.)  In the case of revenge, focus not on the great evil of the past, but the greater good to follow.

8.)  Never declare hatred of another.

9.)  Acknowledge the equality of others.

Clearly Hobbes’ definition of Natural Law is very different from Darwin’s.  These 9 precepts lead the individual to live in harmony with nature and others, instead of opposition.  It is a re-establishment of some kind of personal control over the psyche, spirit, and the surrounding environment and whatever circumstances it may create or place in one’s way.  It is an offering of internal peace by means of external understanding, compassion, and patience.

Living life by these precepts turn the four guiding reactions of above upside down.  Fear is removed from every situation, because you realize that the manufacturer of that fear is yourself.  If you can create it, you can also remove it.  Objectification is now eradicated for instead of seeing others as THINGS you see them as mirrors of yourself.  You naturally find the ways that you are like them instead of how you are different.  You find it easy to talk, connect with, empathize and share with others because they are like you and you are like them.  Competition is now healthy and natural.  You find others that have similar goals and you band together selflessly for a mission that is greater than the wants or perceived needs of any of you as individuals.  Instead of you vs. someone else, it’s now you and many others working together for a cause – the betterment of the world at large.  And last but not least – apathy.  It no longer exists.  There is never despair or hopelessness because you know you’re never alone, you’ve created your own resource of unending inner strength always to be fed and harnessed when needed.  You realize that YOU can change your circumstances or environment anytime you want to, all you have to do is have the courage to do it — it’s all yours, whoever you want to be and whatever you want to do — service to others is the greatest service to oneself.

So now equipped with this information — which do you choose?  How do you want to live your life?  Despite what you may have been told, or may have told yourself — that question CAN BE answered by you, it’s in your control.  We can’t control everything that happens to us, but we can control how we react to it.

Again, what do you choose…?

~ by Dan Fabrizio on December 16, 2011.

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