Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Face Of God -- The Gifford Lectures, by Roger Scruton

I finished the EXCELLENT subject book  and had one of my "vast oversimplification aha moments". Let's call the book FoG (Face Of God).

The "Aha" is that Science is psychopathic! It has been staring me in the face for years, but this book finally brought it to the surface.

The psychopath and those high on the autism scale fail to see the conscious entity behind the face in other humans. They are to varying degrees "consciousness blind". Because they are such, they tend to varying degrees to lack any sense of morality -- remorse, shame, etc. They tend to lack a CONSCIENCE ... which is very much linked with human consciousness.

The whole FoG book focuses on subjects vs objects and the "I -You" relation which recognizes that we are all "subjects" (conscious BEings) Objects are not conscious in the human sense. Subjects are US ... or God. We have BEING ... we are little "i am's" ... God is **I AM**! (consider us the eternal dog food version). I suspect that God really enjoyed the joke of dog being God backward!

The book is based on the idea of "the face", and how it is a portal for the consciousness behind it.

"My face is a boundary, a threshold, a place where I appear as the monarch appears on the balcony of the palace" ... or the Pope appears to the faithful in St Peter's square. It isn't "I", but if you are not a psychopath or autistic, you can "see"(detect)  the "I" from my face.
"It [the face] shows the incarnate in the object, embraced by it's own mortality, and present like death on the unknowable edge of things".
"... the individual is revealed not only in the life that shines from the face, but in the death growing in the folds and wrinkles ...:".

Scruton prefers "I-You" as the standard human relation, but I would call it "I to I" with the obvious play on words. The whole essence of human life is RELATIONSHIPS between sentient BEings that have human consciousness. Everything else is just mechanism.

He ends the book with this ...

"Our disenchanted life is, to use the Socratic idiom, "not a life for a human being". By remaking human beings and their habitat as objects to consume rather than subjects to revere, we invite the degradation of both. Postmodern people will deny that their disquiet at these things has a religious meaning, but I hope that my argument has gone some way to showing that they are wrong."

For me, his argument is a pearl of great price in a mechanical world.

Science is in the business of "disenchantment", but like some sorcerer's apprentice, it takes pride in the fact that it has NO MORAL SENSE, nor "sense" at all. It doesn't "engender the Terminator" (SkyNet from the Terminator movies), it **IS** the "Terminator" ... of humanity, of morality, of meaning, of life, of love, of "god" ... only GOD is very much it's master, it is just that due to Free Will, our choice of science over God has crushed our sacred *I* (subjectness).

By definition, science totally lacks any recognition of ALL **I ams** ... to science, there are no subjects, only objects. Objects that can be reduced to component parts, classified, ordered and disposed of with "efficiency". "Morality" and "meaning" simply do not compute -- they can't be measured, therefore they are not.

We have released science from the slave status which a TOOL that refuses to recognize the most basic element of humanity needs to be confined to. The fact that we are SUBJECTS, not objects ought to always be conceded by any sentient human who understands the nature of at least man, if not having the beginnings of understanding the nature of God and the universe (the beginning of wisdom).

I can't recommend this book too highly. My review COMPLETELY fails to do it justice. It is quite reachable, yet it is a profound statement on the human condition, and our profound peril in a modern world that has lost the  understanding of what it means to be human.

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