Introverts, Atheism, and Nihilism

There’s an enemy anyone given to prolonged thought has to face.

Sooner or later the question of purpose and meaning looms like a wall.

If all is wiped away when we die, what is the point?  Is life worth it, or just a cruel joke?

Time and again I’ve heard smart Christians present an unmoved mover, a first cause outside of time, as “proof” of a specifically Christian God.

All this really tells us is this universe had to be started from a cause outside the rules that govern our universe.  If that means God, at best we can assume a Spinozan God that’s more of a force of nature than a human personality directly involved in our lives.  And an afterlife or reincarnation?  I can think of no reason to assume such a thing is true.
It makes the most sense to assume this is our one chance since we do not know otherwise.

It’s easy to fall into the trap that atheism is the “rational” approach while anyone religious is simply deluding themselves.  It seems at first to make sense.

But then you have to live your life by the values you have chosen…

Atheist “humanists” like to point out that lack of religion doesn’t cause them to go out and start randomly being evil.  They often live by a moral code.

The trouble is that strong atheism must reduce to nihilism.  One cannot hold moral values if one explicitly believes in a universe without purpose or meaning.  Nothing can be good or bad in such a universe.  Strangling puppies is no better or worse than winning the lottery.  Life is no better than death.

Here, the supreme irony of moral atheists becomes clear.  Despite professing atheism they mostly continue to stick to Judeo-Christian moral laws.  They don’t practice what they preach…because if they did, it would destroy them.

The interesting thing is one cannot be an atheist…at least not for real.  I was inspired to make this post when a reader named luciferslibrarian asked me this:

So I am curious – you mention that you have used philosophy to arrive at meaning. I am an introvert whose biggest problem has always been that I don’t see meaning in anything. The older I get, the worse it gets. When I was younger, I was far more motivated and creative; driven even. Now I find getting started on the smallest tasks almost insurmountable, because I don’t see the point. Most people I know take solace and find meaning in friends and family, but as an introvert with a less than stellar relationship with my family, the social path is not really for me. I also know that toiling in obscurity for some higher purpose is kind of a pipe dream. Can you shed any light?

I replied:

Yes! The biggest problem we have to face is the challenge presented by the yawning nothing of nihilism.

I approach it something like this:

The adoption of nihilism is pretty much guaranteed to destroy civilizations and hamper the progress of individuals, to trick them into living a directionless cursed half life until they finally die.

Nihilism seems to make sense based on what we know, but if we implement it, it’s unquestionably destructive.
As I see it, living by nihilism is against the observable laws of our universe. It doesn’t work. In this sense it is objectively false.

Also, even nihilists don’t really truly act on nihilism. The logical thing to do if you’re a nihilist is to be unaware of the problem of nihilism. That knowledge only causes pain and dissonance and even if it’s the truth, who cares if it has no meaning anyway. Better to be like an insect in the field playing out its role as a biomachine, never doubting.

You can’t even be a conscious nihilist or atheist and really be consistent!

If nothing has meaning, we might as well kill ourselves, start a party binge to drown out the knowledge of our fundamental irrelevance, or have some of our brain removed to remove the pain inflicted by ennui.
Yet no one does the logical thing…

A self professed strong atheist or nihilist is a liar. They clearly continue to believe in some kind of meaning or higher purpose. They can say what they want, but what they do says it all.

Since meaning is a law of existence for a sentient being, we might as well either completely accept that or self destruct.

Faced with a choice…I chose meaning.

At least I chose to follow meaning.  It’s a battle that never ends for a person of awareness.  That creeping feeling of pointlessness and despair is an adversary that’s always there, waiting for an opening.  It’s the price we must pay to be aware.

It’s a fearful thing to face and those who can avoid it through distractions usually do.

I’ve spent some time just thinking about this post, because I know from experience, there’s few greater threats to an introvert’s life than the triumph of meaninglessness within.

Often isolated, without any sources of fulfillment in the material world, many of us don’t make it.  I am convinced that confronting the problem of nihilism is something that can save lives.  Asking those questions without a doubt played a huge role in saving my life.

Far from a dramatic conversion to orthodox religion, I’ve come to see things in a way that diverges from both atheists and theists.

Consulting both reason and my intuition, I’ve long since come to conceive of “God” as something closer to that Spinozan force of nature.  It doesn’t have a mind or personality exactly nor is it remotely human.

Logically, the best way to understand its nature is to observe nature’s workings.

For the most part, it seems to be an impartial thing, but it does establish certain laws that govern our universe…

For years after having rejected strong atheism I was vexed.

Many having gone through the same process as I did become religious.

But all my life I had marveled how absolute morality legislated by a deity tends to lead to hypocrisy and ambiguity in interpretation.

What’s more, “absolute” morals often backfire when “good” people restrain themselves and others happily take advantage of them.

If religious moral law isn’t consistent with observable reality, then atheists with their satirical Flying Spaghetti Monster make an excellent point.  If God’s law turns out to be arbitrary in implementation, the 11th commandment might as well be Thou Shalt Not Tie Thy Shoes.
We’re left with an absurd nothing that reduces to Nihilism!  Orthodox religions need an afterlife to “solve” this problem!

So a key requirement of a life-preserving belief system for a thoughtful person is that it must make sense within observable reality…

At this point, Taoism with its ‘Way’ provided some key inspiration.

There are observable laws of the universe that move us along effortlessly when we follow them and crush us when we fight them.

We see this everywhere in the natural world and in our lives as human beings.

From this perspective, lack of meaning simply violates a timeless law.

If we must either hold to purpose or perish, it is clear what we must do…
Meaning becomes effectively self-evident because we cannot exist without it!

Since finding a way to help nullify the threat of nihilism I’ve since used this basic premise to create the values I live by.  It has served as a genuine map telling me what I ought to do next rather than being a burdensome absolute law that spites the nature of reality in hopes of a better hereafter.

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19 responses to “Introverts, Atheism, and Nihilism

    • Great recommendation! I love esoteric musings.

      My favorite insight: Introverts are marginalized in a capitalistic world because they’re harder to sell to and don’t spend as much. They’re just not as profitable and therefore discouraged!

      He differs from me in his focus on philosophical weaknesses in monotheism and seems to favor some sort of weak atheism.

      I’ve long since understood that religions are necessary tools for running competitive societies.

      I could care less whether x religion is internally consistent. I care first about the observable effects on societies that use it. How well does it work within the laws of the universe? By their fruits we know them.

      I understand that people come in breeds. Thoughtful introverts are a small minority with unique needs.

      Most people are content with a simple structure that lays down some basic rules of life and has an engaging narrative.

      It’s pointless for me to criticize their creeds because the way I’ve adopted fulfills the needs of another species.
      It would be like a hawk disparaging a cow for eating grass.

  1. This post is exactly what I needed to hear today. Lately I’ve really been struggling with that sense of meaninglessness, and I too have noticed it gets stronger with age. I’ll be 30 this year and sometimes I wonder how much longer I can convince myself to care about anything. It comes in waves, and usually worsens in fall and winter. I’ll be re-reading this a lot in the coming months, because I know it’s far too soon justify giving up. I should be entering my peak, not glancing at the death clock as it picks up its pace.

  2. This post hits home. For the first thirty years of my life, I was as driven as anyone I knew. My sense of meaning was rooted in the belief that I was a special snowflake in the eyes of the Christian god; like any good Calvinist, I was a narcissistic workaholic.

    A series of events culminated in a loss of faith, and with it a loss of bearings. I’ve spent the last decade discarding the propaganda with which my mind was suffused, and replacing it with a philosophy consonant with both my personality and my ideals. During my time in the wilderness, I embraced atheism; but, the more ardently I did so, the deeper I found myself falling into the nihilistic abyss that you describe. Eventually, I came to the realization that either I would follow my thinking to its logical end by eating a bullet, or I would stop my mad descent and instead focus on restoring meaning to my life. As you can see, I chose Door #2.

    Key to my self-salvation was uncritically accepting myself for who I am, warts and all. In particular, I’m an apatheist who strongly prefers to operate in anarchistic social settings. I do not need a god, anthropomorphically characterized or no, to encourage me to be on my best behavior towards both myself and others. Likewise, I bristle in response to authoritarianism of any sort; I’ve had enough “Sit down, shut up, and do as you’re told because I said so!” to last a lifetime.

    It can be extremely difficult for an egalitarian-minded introvert to find a milieu that he or she can call home, however. It took me several years of bouncing around the globe to finally find something that holds genuine promise.

  3. This is an interesting post. It’s my first time here by the way and found you through Matt Forney’s The Electric Camel.

    I’m an introvert, but I’m actually on the outside looking in on introverts who are atheistic or nihilistic. I don’t recall when I found the transition point from “meaninglessness” to “meaning” or how I became comfortable with the idea with God but I think it had to do with the idea of my understanding of Nietzsche’s “God is dead” as an idea that people are unable to revere God or understand the implications of God rather than a simple rejection of the overall notion of God.

    Perhaps introverts turn toward the idea of being individually empowered by not living under another man’s God, but in doing so become gridlocked in their rebellion against it and are fighting against their own God in the process. The fight for atheism is a form of buyers remorse, always and ever self-reinforcing.

    As for value systems, I rely on my gut. Here I think the atheist introverts are correct in their mockery of what they perceive to be arbitrary rules though I think they aren’t unique to religions but are endemic to any power structure where someone wants things done Their Way ™ and if you do it another way, you’re breaking the rules.

    Personally I don’t want to sit and formulate what is right or wrong when I have a conscience (god given?) built into me already. I feel that some of the morality embedded in the Bible is already something embedded in me (thou shalt not kill, etc). Whether this is hardwired or learned, I don’t know. But basically, if I would feel bad from harming someone innocent, on accident or otherwise, I don’t do it. It’s obviously not something to build a society around since we have conscienceless psychopaths running the show, but it works for me and my interactions with my social group.

    • It’s pretty common for people to misunderstand Nietzsche’s meaning if they don’t know the context for what he’s saying.
      He appreciated the flaws of absolute morality but at the same time he understood a simplified set of rules was necessary to keep most people in line.
      Those who could understand values beyond the bare minimum necessary to make people behave were on the path the being a “superman.”

      When Nietzsche says “God is dead” he’s not exactly saying there’s no God.
      To him ‘God’ is the absolute rule-maker up in the sky, the arbiter of the religion of the masses.
      He noticed that with science and technology rapidly advancing, traditional religion was rapidly losing the power to scare the average person into being nice.

      “Buyers remorse” I like that metaphor.
      Yeah, a lot of their anger comes from their feelings of havings been deceived.

      Indeed, most of us have a “conscience” a set of instincts that prevent us from doing things harmful to the species in a tribal-like setting.

      However, in a mass civilization made of strangers, that’s not enough. Left to our own devices we all end up taking care of our friends, family, tribe first and screwing over everyone else.
      Without some additional, universal rules, there’s chaos.
      Threats and appeals to fear help because even the most solid person is going to be tempted by money and sex to do things that hurt the group.

      Traditional religions are guidelines that help us run a society that doesn’t turn into a zero sum free-for-all.
      There’s yet to be a decent replacement. Secularism is a poor and pale attempt at a substitute.
      Voltaire understood this and that’s why he remarked that if there were no God, we’d have to invent him.

      • “However, in a mass civilization made of strangers, that’s not enough. Left to our own devices we all end up taking care of our friends, family, tribe first and screwing over everyone else.
        Without some additional, universal rules, there’s chaos.”

        That’s fine in the abstract, but what is the solution when the top dogs, the richest and most powerful, not only take care of their own to the detriment of everyone else, but also don’t abide by the rules that others have to obey under threat of punishment? How does a society escape that sociological sinkhole? Can it even hope to do so in the context of how things are, and not necessarily how we might like things to be?

        I’ve read your post entitled “The Tao of Dictatorship”, linked at the bottom of this reply, so I know that you put forward the idea of, as you put it, intelligent benevolence in the context of understanding the way the world works. Modern society, however, is becoming increasingly oligarchic and authoritarian, qualities which would seem to limit the possibilities for the intelligently benevolent behavior to which you refer. This assertion includes the American democratic system, as the government and multinational corporations enjoy cozy relationships that minimize opportunities for those who are on the outside looking in to effect meaningful change.

        Under the assumptions that the current environment inadequately allows for widespread beneficial adaptations, and that societal upheaval would likely prove highly counterproductive due to the fact that the most brutal folk thrive under such conditions, what would have to transpire on a societal level in order to maximize the likelihood of seeing logically thought-out, profitable actions such as the one (in reference to your post) the Bangladeshi banker performed, done on a sweeping scale?

        http://hereticsway.gluontheferengi.com/2010/08/15/the-tao-of-dictators/

  4. You certainly are tackling some politically incorrect and very important issues, J. Peregrine. New atheists do indeed think they can just borrow liberal values which, as John Gray argues in Black Mass, derive from ancient monotheism. Mind you, the rejoinder to this is that religions in turn piggybacked on our innate, evolved social instincts.

    The thing with atheism, as you know J.P., is that there are different kinds of atheism, because atheism is only a negative view which has to be coupled with some positive one, and there are numerous value systems that go together with a lack of theistic belief. I try to map out some of these ways in “Clash of the Atheists” (links below). The key distinction, for me, is that between Nietzscheans and their atheistic opponents.

    Also, besides my article on the esoteric significance of introversion, you might want to check out my critique of Brassier’s nihilism, along with my account of how technology ironically creates meaning and purpose by fulfilling our supposedly abandoned mythopoeic fantasies and ideals. In short, we replace the meaningless wilderness of pristine nature with our artificial environments, precisely to avoid nihilism.

    I see that you have a book on introversion on Amazon. Is that a collection of your blog articles? The idea of a kingdom for introverts is somewhat paradoxical, assuming introverts tend to be loners. Are you saying introverts should or do band together?

    http://rantswithintheundeadgod.blogspot.ca/2013/06/clash-of-atheists.html

    http://rantswithintheundeadgod.blogspot.ca/2013/09/brassiers-nihilism-and-creation-of.html

    http://rantswithintheundeadgod.blogspot.ca/2013/09/mythopoesis-and-consolation-of.html

    • Yes, I specifically say “strong” atheism because I’m addressing problems that become intractable when like a Dawkins, one categorically denies the possibility of a God, creator, meaning, anything not empirically prove-able.
      Of course,it seems their disbelief ought to encompass certain areas of quantum physics if they wanted to be consistent…

      Yes, the book is a collection of my blog articles. I tried to put them all in an order that flows more naturally and there’s a fully hyperlinked table of contents. There’s a “prologue” about my origins and an “epilogue” with some final thoughts. Some of which I’ve begun to develop in my posts since publishing the (first) book.

      By a “Kingdom” I don’t literally mean like a formal political State. I just mean a space ideological, economic, cultural that outsiders can connect with and call their own. In fact, I see the whole idea of territory=land closed in by borders, as being narrow and outmoded—something I address at the end of the book.
      If that naturally lead to more elaborate forms of cooperation, then so be it.

      Even if you’re a loner, it changes everything just knowing there’s others out there like you.
      That the whole world isn’t a wilderness populated by an alien species, that there is a warm and welcoming village one can visit from time to time.

  5. I usually agree with your ideas and rational approach to reach your conclusions. However in this case I simply disagree, so I wonder if I am missing something.

    To get it out of the way I consider myself agnostic (don’t know don’t care if there’s a god) rather than atheist (there’s no god!). I just don’t think there’s any information around us to conclude either way, although I cannot believe on an afterlife or a deity looking over our shoulder and making sure we behave. Believing such things adds more complexity and contradictions to my life, no less, and I see no evidence of them so off they go. I do not know for a fact that there’s no god so I don’t go telling people that, and thus I cannot consider myself atheist. If other people want to believe in it that’s their problem, as long as they leave me alone. The philosopher B. Russell does a much better job of explaining this position, being philosopher and all that :), and I recommend everybody to read his short essay in the subject.

    I don’t see why atheism has to lead to nihilism. Only if you are 100% purely rational, and we are not. Below the purely rational neo-cortex we have a more animal “lizard” or “emotional” brain that ties us to our animal reality and we cannot truly ignore. I could argue that I have no morals, and I can argue that there is no good or bad in my universe, just like you describe, but that doesn’t mean everything is fair game, and the reasons are very simple. There are things I just like or dislike on a deep level that do not require or even have explanations. Strangling puppies sucks! It would feel terrible to do such thing, and to see the little animals suffer, and even if I don’t see it and I just press a button and it happens in the other room, I would hate to know I did it. I may see no problem with stealing in some circumstances, no problem at all, however I am scared of getting caught and all the shame and legal complication that would derive from it. I would not want to do it if I can see myself in the other position and I think I would not like it. Moral has no play in this, just how I feel about it.

    So going back to meaning. I don’t think there is any. Why would there be? We are just animals, here to eat, grow and produce successor little animals that carry our genes. It’s that simple. As I read somewhere “we are just meat vehicles to our genes, and they are not in the least concerned about our happiness”. Or something like that :D . Does this mean I should just stop living right now? Not at all, though it’s tempting sometimes when I am in a lot of mental pain, but I like being alive, and am afraid of dying. There are good days and bad days, and things I like doing and look forward to, and I don’t want that to end. Yeah, it’s pretty meaningless but I can accept that and continue just fine, and I think that’s a pretty rational approach.

    • My argument is that if you believe there’s no meaning, then truth has no meaning.

      If so, you ought to be willing to torture a puppy to death for some spending cash if there’s no consequences and you get mindwiped of the experience afterwards. All you’d know is you’re inexplicably a bit richer than before.
      If you were consistent, you would accept this offer since the only reason you wouldn’t do it is that it would cause you pain.
      After all, suffering let alone the suffering of another creature can have no meaning. It’s just a chemical reaction.

      If you’re Cypher in the Matrix, you’re doing the rational thing by betraying your friends in exchange for a pleasureful life of juicy steaks where you won’t remember your wrongdoings anyway.

      If you were Cypher and chose to keep eating gruel in crap conditions, get hunted down by robots, be aware most of your life was a sham…because you value the truth and loyalty—then by your actions you’ve already acknowledged a higher purpose and meaning.

      My point is that actually taking meaninglessness to its logical conclusion as a life doctrine is pretty much suicide.

      If you examine the values you actually act on in life, you’ll discover that you do indeed believe in a higher meaning and you can learn about your higher purpose just by examining what you’ve already been doing.

      Your beliefs are not so different from mine.
      Like Spinoza, I see creation itself as ‘God’ or at least the handiwork of God and therefore a faithful representation of its nature. I get gut feelings about its underlying nature or “personality” though I’d never personify it.
      At best you could call me a very weak theist.
      Really, I’m pretty much an agnostic.
      Like you, I don’t like to make confident pronouncements about stuff no one knows.
      And I believe we have to operate on the assumption this is the only life we get since there’s no concrete reason to believe otherwise.

      • Hey, thanks for responding! I thought I would receive an email notification but maybe I didn’t click the option.

        I am still not convinced, but I appreciate you responded very rationally. Going back to the puppy example, I may or may not be willing. It is a painful thing that I would have a huge aversion to do. That is my point. Sure it’s my only reason but it’s a pretty strong one for me. So I don’t see how it follows that I ought to be willing to do it. Same as with Cypher, yes, his position is a rational one from my point of view. Then again, I may feel terrible about betraying my friends, hence prefer not to do it. It doesn’t matter that in both examples my mind will be wiped out afterwards. What about the pain while I am going through it? If it’s high enough I may want to avoid it. This is not purely rational, it’s an underlying animal reality. And I think the same of the last point, I do not think that taking meaninglessness to its logical conclusion is suicide. That is what I do, and it doesn’t follow. I plainly just want to live and keep trying, regardless of whether it makes sense.

        So you can see my theme. From a _purely rational_ point of view, I don’t think there is any meaning in human life, or morality, and yes it may logically lead to suicide, but that would be ignoring irrational things that I like and dislike (like mental pain, or dying) that are real and the fundamental motivators.

  6. Worthless tripe. The idea that “meaning” cannot exist without the supernatural is an arbitrary assumption made by religious supremacists without a shred of logic in it. Your problem is that you assume a “meaning” of life must resemble YOUR preferred “meaning” of life, or else it’s not a real “meaning” at all. So when atheists say that life has meaning only to the living, you dismiss that because it’s a real kind of “meaning” to you. You insist that if “meaning” is real, then it must transcend reality. It’s circular logic: you insist that there must be something beyond reality, because you assume that there is a meaning which transcends reality, thus proving that there is an existence which transcends reality.

    • Hmm, not entirely sure if this reply is meant for me.

      Nowhere do I insist that meaning must “transcend” reality or be explained by the “supernatural.”

      I simply point out meaning is built into reality itself like the laws of physics.

      It is reality.

    • Or it is the inbuilt homing device for God who is perhaps does exist. Like hunger it would be a strange world for a man to be hungry in a world where food does not exist. Or be thirsty when no water exists.

  7. “What’s more, “absolute” morals often backfire when “good” people restrain themselves and others happily take advantage of them.”

    That’s why those who break the moral code got their ass kicked or else the moral people will be overrun.

  8. Existentialism..the thing you’re describing – self-created meaning in an uncaring universe of meaningless existence – is basically existentialism, aka Jean-Paul Sartre’s post-WWII answer to Nietzsche.

    Check it – http://www.xkcd.com/167/

    I’m a rather introverted INTJ, and I’ve been reading your blog for a few years now – I usually don’t comment, but I was very surprised when I glanced through the comments and saw that Existentialism hasn’t been mentioned. It’s what really helped me solidify my personal philosophy and deal with the question of applied nihilism.

    Basically human nature isn’t very good with dealing with nihilism – most people, like you said, simply continue with their judeo-christian morals, the rest commit suicide, enjoy the self-destructive spiral of the libertine and either convert back to the religion they were raised on, realize that the libertine life style is just another meaningless and shallow way to spend your meaningless existence and and kill themselves, or live long enough to become tired of the life style and become the stereotypically bitter intellectual.

    The answer to the problem of nihilism, to me, is to create your own meaning and to live your life being as true to yourself as possible – basically existentialism. There is only one limit in existentialism – you must realize that every other human being in the world has the ability and the right as a sentient being to create their own meaning and to live their life as they believe they should and it is your responsibility to, at the very least, accept that fact, and keep yourself from infringing on another’s freedom to choose. So, you want to choose to be a religious fundamentalist? cool. You want to be a hardcore atheist? awesome. You want to use violence and oppression to spread or maintain these ideas while disregarding the right of choice every human being on the planet has? nope, that is morally and ethically, according to existentialism, very wrong. So peacefully protesting is alright but honor killings and the fundamentalist indoctrination of children is wrong, basically.

    I’m just mentioning the limit (which isn’t even really discussed all that much in existential literature; due to the nature of the philosophy, there is absolutely no obligation to step in and keep someone from crossing that limit – you just have to recognize that limit in your own life. I would consider the crossing the limit to constitute a slide into nihilism, but I’m not sure if that’s technically correct.) because the discussed nihilism has no limits and the logic of existentialism is simplistic enough to describe in a few sentences without resorting to the creation of a paradisaical afterlife or discussing the idea of a god anthropomorphic or otherwise.

    This comment somehow became really long, really fast – my bad.

    Peace,

    Christina

    • These are interesting thoughts, thank you.

      I don’t think I count as an existentialist, though, because I don’t see any value in “authenticity”, the idea we can just define existence as we want.
      I see this as just choosing to delude yourself.

      If I had to make a guess, I’d say I have more in common with the Pragmatism of Henry James.
      I simplify things by observing the laws of our universe.
      If there’s a creator, creation ought to reflect its nature.
      From this assumption, we can formulate principles worth acting on.
      If we assume creation is a sham or an illusion meant to “test” us, then we can make whatever claims we want about reality and they’re all equally valid.

      It boils down to two words, really:
      “What works?”

  9. An interesting article. I happen to agree with your argument. Strong atheism, especially when it is married to Empiricism, can only have one logical conclusion: Nihilism. Some say Existentialism is the key, the answer to Nihilism. Existentialism is pretty, but it ultimately fails in answering Nihilism. If one is an atheist, Existentialism is merely the deluding of oneself, not with religion or the belief in a God but with one’s own un-based worth. How is it that one can “create meaning” for oneself when meaning doesn’t really exist in the first place? And if, in fact, meaning does not exist in the first place (which atheism must ultimately lead to, it seems), “creating meaning” for oneself is basically pretending that there’s meaning even though there actually isn’t any.

    I appreciate the efforts attempted by Existentialists such as Sartre and Camus, but I see them ultimately as futile.

    I do have one critique.

    “What’s more, ‘absolute’ morals often backfire when ‘good’ people restrain themselves and others happily take advantage of them.”

    You say backfire, and it seems as though you’re implying that it will not do to have your kindness taken advantage of. It might even be wrong to allow your kindness to be taken advantage of, though I dare not say that you were necessarily saying that, because it is entirely possible that you very well weren’t.

    In the Christian worldview, which I happen to hold to, it doesn’t matter if people take advantage of you. That is not the point. God will take care of that however He sees fit. The morals that Christians aspire to (Love God, Love others–even enemies) are rooted in the eternal truth of a loving God who stood silent before His accusers to die for His enemies so that they might have eternal life. Being kind to others, even when they take advantage of us, is what we are called to do by the God who loved us, even when we were His enemies. Though He could have called for legions of angels to come and protect Him or avenge Him during His trials and His whippings, He simply did not. There was something more important that He needed to do, something that required Him to be humble, to take the whippings from others and to stand silent before His accusers. Dare I say, even He was taken advantage of in His ministry. For example, when He healed the ten lepers and only one returned to thank Him. All of this He suffered, because there was something greater–eternal life and fellowship with human beings, whom He loves. And He would not have attained it for us unless He did as He did.

    He is the prime example for us, and we follow this example because we seek to be like Him, for His actions and His very person are the supreme pinnacle of goodness–love, including its ultimate manifestation: self-sacrifice.

    I know that you do not hold to the Christian worldview, but I hope that this, perhaps, might illustrate my critique, which, in short, is that you merely “missed the point”, as it were–at least from a Christian standpoint on morality.

    Thank you for this post, my friend.

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