Tuesday, May 15, 2007


by Jack Buno
If one wanted to consider a God whose past existence proved itself by endowing our present day society with great accomplishment, we would consider Apollo, the god of the Greeks. The words spoken by the oracle at his temple in Delphi, were completely responsible, in a very direct way, for almost all [if not all] of our western philosophy.
One could ask why we do not choose to worship the name of a God whose followers propagated no Dogma, instead of the capricious Gods we presently use to justify our religious wars. We use these same gods to justify with blatant prejudice, our Greed, Pride, Avarice, and Jealousy. Wouldn’t we do better by dispelling the false teachings of our dim_faced gods whose worshipers hate each other, and replace them with this simplest of Gods, whose simple words defined the truth, without doctrine [two phrases below]. It was thru a simple revealing to one humble man, calling him, with his self_admitted ignorance, ‘the wisest man in Athens’ , that set this devout seeker of truth on a path of discovery that eventually led to his death; and because of his principled death the ability to reason by questioning, was passed down to us.
Not before, nor after, has there been any more simple defining of the truths necessary for ‘enlightenment’ than was inscribed on his temple walls; ‘KNOW THYSELF’ and ‘NOTHING IN EXCESS’. Millions of books since, have not added one mote of clarity to this simplicity of truth attributed to this stone god.
The story goes; it was reported to Socrates, that the Oracle had told one of the citizens ‘There is none wiser in Athens than Socrates’. This created a questioning by him, whose results echo down thru history, and today has its influence in most of us; we call it Western philosophy.
Socrates saw, as he thought of it, this ‘Holy Proclamation,’ as an instrument that could be used to prove or disprove the existence of the Gods. If he could prove the God's proclamation wrong, and find someone wiser than himself, he would have the evidence he sought which would prove the Gods fallibility. It would be an easy quest, he thought, to prove a God wrong that said he was the wisest man in Athens. All he had to do was prove to himself, that the inadequacy he felt concerning his own lack of understanding, was well founded, and ‘the God’ would be proven wrong; hence, a wrong God, means no god! Socrates died as a direct result of his subsequent questioning, a punishment for seeking someone that could answer the questions he could not answer himself. He was possibly the first man to find death for asking questions. He willingly drank the poison as demanded by those that chose not to question even their own beliefs. While it is true that we no longer tell those that dissent to drink poison, we kill them instead in the name of our God, by losing the horrors of war on innocent people, and we justify it by calling them ‘infidels’; a name that boasts our God as better than theirs.
This forgotten stone god from the distant past, holds no laureates with the modern Holies, in spite of the profound effect of his words [thru the Oracle] on our society. Today he remains only as a god of stone, relegated to the fading memories of history that record our stumbling and dismal path towards Enlightenment; a state of existence in which we have failed miserably as a race. After these thousands of years of knowing better, we still cling to the shallow satisfactions we derive from our ignorance. Money and War in the name of God!
Apollo is not the name of my God, I really don’t know his name; but what I did learn from him, is still perfected, using only the two directives; Nothing in Excess; and Know Thyself.


by Jack buno
An allowance of a 50 percent probability of there being a God, must be counter balanced by the preponderance of evidence that weighs on the Nothingness view. The 50 percent for afterlife, stands alone on mankind’s demand that subjective experience be recognized and valued; or it is possible that it does in fact stand by the interaction and influence from some Higher Power. Thus does man’s reason demand that an equal value be imparted to the equation under the name of Hope. No basis of faith could be founded without the other possibility being at least equal in probability considering the lack of evidence on either side.
I see a 50 percent probability of there being a God as the only logical conclusion that reason can draw to. For any view that deviates from that balance [attributing to one side more probability] must draw on assumption, either on the assumption that subjective evidence has a true weight of its own that outweighs the other; or, you have accepted a premise in which you believe, the collective assumptions of many, count in some way as evidence; evidence that was not acquired by the single person, you.
The ‘balanced view’, if accepted, would create a religion where each person when choosing his God, knows that he does no more than choose the name by which, and to which, his devotion is to be directed. Devotion to your God is not quelled in the least by the fact that others have chosen differently.
Our choices are clear. We can either believe in a Power or, not! If we choose to believe, then we should acknowledge that we are only electing a name which we choose to represent our ‘God’. This way, each person is truthfully acknowledging, that his choice amounts to no more than an acceptance of the limitations facing all of us.
Since anyone starting a Spiritual quest, feels a lack of ‘worthiness’ in the presumed presence of a Higher Power, it is necessary that he chose some person as a model; a model regarded by history as expressing the best qualities of a God fearing man. Thus he selects a person through whom he can enhance his own self-image through emulation, and with this image, he imbues himself with the confidence that such discipline adds to his Hope. A man’s faith is, in this way, bulwarked by both hope, and works, and with these strengthening attributes, themselves founded on nebulas concepts, he develops for himself a Spiritual passion. A passion’s expression is not dependant on whether or not God does in fact exist.


by Jack Buno
It may be questioned whether a choice of philosophies needs to present a defense for its acceptance; I believe it does! Primarily because the mere taking on of a quest for knowledge requires in its accomplishment, a purposeful differentiating from the ‘norm’. There is a quote, I believe by Cleanthes ? that says, ‘Though a philosophy may run counter to the opinion of the world; yet has it reason on its side.’ Because a philosophy serves only the person practicing it, the philosopher is always ‘weighing’ his own choices of actions against all others. It is necessary that he contains an understanding of his choices, and a yet clearer understanding of the resistance presented to him in his own struggle, meaning that of freeing himself from the rationales that the masses follow, as the philosopher believes, to their own undoing; and as a result, when he knows both sides, he can accept his philosophy with confidence, knowing it is a product of reason. While of necessity, he is devaluing the opinions of others, he holds his own ‘opinion’ as the best reasoning could produce, even if only for himself.
The only sound argument, is an argument that can produce on it’s behalf, solid witness. No one can discuss his philosophy without having control enough of his tongue, to speak or express the ‘counterpoint’ with equal weight of 'evidence'. Dialogue is the accepted form of communication demanded by reason. Without Dialogue, reason will not participate in what would amount to mere ‘argument’; knowing beforehand that nothing would be noteworthy.
I conclude, that if there is no defense for a point, it would have been a point or choice made without the application of reason. The process of reasoning produces in the form of it’s expression, the counterpoint! The resultant duality assures the balance needed for both stability and confidence. You gain within yourself a clear delineation between what you hold as opinion, and what you hold as fact. This is not to imply that the facts held as true by me, need be regarded by others as any more than my opinions; because opinion is the best that can be derived by any method of reasoning.
Since life exposes its features equally to us, meaning all of us, the man who does not have a clear understanding of himself, meanders thru both the ‘rights’ and ‘wrongs’ of the world, mixing his opinions with what is true, and what is not, and at best, accomplishes thru his fault, a state of lukewarmness.


by Jack Buno
It may well be that God, if he exists, when making his plan for man, decided all that could be known of him, was an understanding that God-ness has a fifty-fifty chance of being.
If there is a God who is using planning above our understanding, he allowed in his plan, the freedom to develop logical conclusions based on our ability to reason. Reason makes demand that both sides of any argument be considered and argued equally, especially when it concerns the Godhead; to learn the difference between good and evil; right and wrong; God or no God!
Common sense allows that both sides can be argued equally well. Influences caused by the limiting factors of individual subjectivity, make us try to present arguments for or against God, as though one side held more than 50 percent of the evidence, when in fact, it is impossible to gain evidence that would outweigh either side. It is only when subjectivity replaces reason that we fall short of understanding. Lacking any evidence to the contrary, it becomes just as unreasonable to conclude that there is no God, as to conclude there is. Argument either way, can amount to no more then an exercise between egos! Our Ego, unfortunately, represents the part of us that does not require evidence when presenting what it calls ‘sound doctrine’. Reason alone, creates no unbalance with the status quo [50/50]. It is when our inherent ignorance is bolstered by our ego’s insistence that we can mistakenly accept mere opinion as evidence.
My premise implies that no one person or group knows any more about God than another. When a man teaches another what he knows about God, he tries only too more deeply convince himself. There can be no superiority among men when it comes to knowing about God’s existence, except that which the ignorance in others allows. Any claim to Godly understanding that is based on ‘blind faith’ amounts to no more than embellishments added to hopes imaginings.
This means that the least you can learn about God is equal to the sum of what all others have learned, the highest product of reasoning that can exist without evidence. Acceptance of this gives us the ability to set aside our subjectivity and weigh our conclusions tempered with sound consideration, acknowledging wisdom does truly begin and end with admitted ignorance.
It remains then; if a man reaches the highest state of learning, me assuming that to be man’s purpose, it will be to the crux that comes into view when a man knows both the lack of evidence concerning God, and Hope, on which all faiths are based. The definition of Hope outlines the full human containment of God’s potential. We can ascend to no higher a conclusion than the middle line that separates that which is known and, that which may be God-ness. Having weighed that which is known, and that which is not known, a man’s faith will have the purity of being based solely on Hope, a faith that is founded on the humility that shines before all that we don’t know. This allows man to express his faith, in a life that shows benefit from what he does not know! His faith exists in a life that contains both humility and confidence!
Lest someone should say that fifty-fifty is being lukewarm in one’s faith, the ‘fifty-fifty view’ is no less devout to the existence of God, than those who allow the excesses of Ego that cause them to preen in their faith. An avowed Atheist will also find himself in the same position, if, ignoring the equal lack of evidence concerning ‘no God’, he bounds in his belief to excess, likewise making claim to knowledge that exists beyond his sphere of learning. He [the Atheist] negates the human spirit of hope in exchange for nothing.
Hope adds to life its own germination. Allowed to grow in a world that has no God-ness [evidenced] of its own, it forms in a man the expression of Good, made manifest and seen, thereby creating a witness as from a Godlike influence!
The strength of ones hope/faith determines whether a person accepts death carrying a boldness formed in the transcendental fires of hope; or, there is nothing! In which case, the boldness so prepared, neither helps nor hinders; unless, you count it of value that a person lives as though worthy of having a God, with them being representative of the only Godliness to exist, human goodness!