Is Ethics Subjective or Objective?

Neither and both.

Morality means the individual’s leap to meaning in life, it is an ideology that in theory can be non-violent if the individual decides martyrdom for that meaning is part of the meaning of their life. Ethics is essentially a group’s morality, it is the social construct by which a social group arbitrates morality conflicts among members of its group so that the conflicts do not disrupt and destroy the group’s ability to exist and maintain its social construct meaning and power. By necessity, ethics must involve an element of violence though this is not obvious since usually most members are not involved in the enforcement aspect of the ethics. Even an ethics of non-violence will be enforced by violence. If an ethics has no violence element, it is simply a social construct ideology that makes nice parlor conversation but is meaningless in the struggles of life and eventually will achieve social suicide by disappearing from history. All social groups have a code of ethics including such as the mafia, the Russian mob, and the lowest street gang on the West Side of Chicago. In my experience, these latter are more honest, consistent, and loyal to their ethics than the vast majority of moral busy bodies that enforce “legal” codes of ethics that are in denial of their violence. However, complying with the code of ethics of the mafia for example does not make you a moral person.

Morality and ethics are not the same.

Law is simply an ethics with a monopoly on violence.

Language is “objective” when it describes by means of hypotheses subject to Ockham’s Razor and makes quantifiable predictions that can be tested and falsified in repeatable parameter controlled experiments. Objective truth is pragmatic: its truth is ontologically real as long as the words of its truth work to solve the described problem. “To be is to be the value of a bound variable”. Willard Van Orman Quine. “Subjective” misses one or all of these attributes.

Thus, an ethics that works or is successful in having a social group survive its struggles with the universe and other social groups is objectively good; one that does not work but leads to the group’s destruction or loss of power is objectively bad. However, for any given individual in the group who disagrees with the ethics but is forced either by violence or threat of violence to comply with it, it is subjective and a basis to struggle against it regardless of whether or not the ethics is objectively good in terms of survival for the group. Existentially, social history is the struggle between these two objective and subjective meanings.

 

Why does God hate the Poor: Does the Answer matter?

Does it really matter why God hates the poor? No one else seems to care. The vast majority of people have and always will spend their lives trying to survive and gain as much power as they can during their life — as they should do. So, why does the answer as to why God hates the poor matter to me and to some others?

In deciding whether God or I should do anything about this hatred of the poor by God, the answer to the first part of the question is easy. Because God gave me this life I never asked for, does God owe me any duty to do anything about how messed up this life is? Given our contemplation so far, the answer should be obvious: No. He is God and does whatever He wants to do consisting of acting by necessity. According to Christians, God did do something. He became human through His Son Jesus Christ. I will leave that response between you and Søren Kierkegaard and go on to the question of what my response or duty ought to be regarding God’s hate for the poor.

Why does the answer bother me so much? What, if anything should I do about this ontological truth that there were, are, and always will be the poor in life who will be the object of God’s hate? The answer does not matter to those God loves nor should it. Unfortunately, it does not matter to most of the poor. As worker’s rebellions varying from Spartacus to the French, Haitian, Russian, and many other revolutions have shown and as most of history in general has established, poor people given the chance are just as greedy, homicidal, hateful, power-hungry, and generally what we call evil as any rich and powerful person can be or are.

As Camus said: “The slave begins by demanding justice, and ends by wanting to wear a crown.” The undisputed fact of reality is that the poor, if given the chance, will seek the same power over me as the few powers-that-be already have over me. Christian saints claim to love others as an end in itself but that is bullshit. Take away the promise of the power of the Resurrection and they would be no different than anyone else.

So, why should I care about these poor as I defined them previously physically, materially, or spiritually? “F__k them,” should be my answer. I should just worry about myself and my own search for power so that I become a power-that-be; so that I become among the few beloved by God. This is the reality ignored by even the existentialist writers, from Camus to Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Herman Melville, and so on. They see the reality of what is but ignore the potential for much worse when reaching their conclusions of absurdity and hopelessness. They go to the edge of the abyss, look over, and then step back. That is why, in the end, despite their claims of despair, hopelessness, and absurdity, they always end with hope and avoid nihilism.

They start with phrases such as by Camus, “Everything is permitted. It is not an outburst of relief or of joy, but rather a bitter acknowledgement of a fact.” Or by Dostoevsky, “If there is no God, everything is permissible.” But after saying this, they back off. All of a sudden, they start writing about good and evil as if those terms have meaning outside of whatever random meaning an individual or the powers-that-be arbitrarily give to them. Why do they back off of it? Are they cowards? Is this all part of God’s playing with His hatred of the poor, to create false hope to hide His hatred of many of us?

The dead are dead. There is nothing that I can do to help them. Even if they were alive, they should really not mean much to me. Based on my life experience and reading of history, at any given time, considering both the reality and potential of human nature, 90% to 95% of humanity is divided into four kinds of humans: 1) those who would walk into gas chambers to die when ordered; 2) those who would do the ordering; 3) those who would do the killing; and 4) those who would clean up afterwards. The remaining 5% to 10% of humanity, at any given time might refuse all four.

Are those remaining the ones that are troubling me? Am I in that 5% to 10%? The problem with this percentile division or categorizing of humanity is that those who make up any of these categories at any given time are completely random. It varies from time to time, depending on the circumstances. So, today’s gas chamber victim may be tomorrow’s executioner. Today’s hero may be tomorrow’s coward. The same is true for me. This is all part of God’s hatred for the poor. Any one of us, depending on the circumstances, could fall into any one of these categories.

In some ways, being poor is a great excuse for going through life, once you reach maturity. Many advocates for the materially poor complain about the loss of opportunity. Among the poor, there may be a wasted Albert Einstein, Nelson Mandela, or whoever might exist, and we are wasting their potential. Well, also among the poor might exist a future Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, or whoever. If these two, for example, had stayed poor and in poverty and died young, it might have been the best thing that ever happened to them and to the world. At least if you died as a victim of the gas chambers, you will be remembered with pity and kindness. That might not have been true if you had actually had a chance to live.

One’s status in life as hero or villain is purely random for the vast majority of humans. So, the poor themselves are not a reason to care about them. In his book, The Confessions, the so-called Church Father St. Augustine stated, argued, and essentially realized that even babies are either evil or have the potential for it. He exclaims to God, “No one is free from sin in Your sight, not even an infant, who’s span of early life is but a single day.” As St. Augustine explained, “What, then, was my sin at that age? Was it perhaps that I cried so greedily for those breasts?” That is, of his mother, for milk. “Certainly, if I behave like that now, greedy not for breasts, of course, but for food suitable to my age, I should provoke derision and be very properly rebuked. My behavior then was equally deserving of rebuke.” He complains that once he saw a mother with two babies, who, while trying to feed one, the other cried out of envy and jealousy for his turn at the trough. This is a tough view on life in a tough era in which some theologians, including St. Augustine, even argued and believed in the damnation of unbaptized babies. As a true power of this world and apparently of the next, St. Augustine accepted this condemnation of even babies as the price that he had to pay for eternal happiness for God. What a great human being he was.

It never occurred to him to rebel against such happiness and to rather accept damnation and hell with those babies. So, why should it bother a sinner such a me? And why does that rebellion occur to me as a viable option? In terms of the potential evil of humanity, of even babies, his contemplation was right. Why should he reject his happiness simply because some — maybe as little as 5% of those dead babies — could have been true saints of humanity if given the chance? The differentiation between the lives of those who fit into the 90% – 95% of humanity that I describe as random poor and those in the remaining 5% to 1% that are the powers-that-be are just as random.

The chosen few that have the power to decide for themselves into what percentile they will be, and furthermore, to what percentile the remainder of humanity will be, are chosen randomly. It is a random choice by God. As a random choice, it could have been me placed into any one of the four categories. It could have been me — depending on luck deciding whether I was a gas chamber victim, operator, rebel, or a St. Augustine — deciding into what category the remainder of humanity will be.

So, do I care and have empathy for the poor and hate the powerful as purely a selfish act — as an act of envy — because I am not among the powerful as St. Augustine was; if I had that power, would I not care in the same way that he did not care? Probably. Unlike the existentialists who in the end pretend their concerns are not based on their own self-love but are based on empathy and a concern for humanity, the truth is that their concern and my concern is mostly a selfish act of envy and jealousy as described or as alleged in the Parable of the Workers.

Well, so what if that’s the true motive of my concern? God’s power includes the ability to randomly decide whether He would give me life and what kind of life. He has randomly decided to allow his chosen few to control my life and most of human life. Why should I accept his randomness? He wants me to work all day for the same amount of money as those whom He chose to work in His vineyard for only an hour. Why should I accept that? There is no reason why I should accept it, just as there is no reason why not. By randomly rejecting God and His random choices, I am getting as close to being a god as a human can become. Without that, the only other option for being a god is making a choice to randomly make nothing out of something: killing life. Killing life, the only random act that is even more God-like but for some reason that I cannot choose.

 
I can try to do better than God’s random power. I cannot do better since I am not God but I can at least try to do it. I do not want to accept happiness based on the suffering of babies because by doing such — I say to myself — I would be accepting His arbitrary power over me. I reject His power. Tough talk. But, as we used to say in the Navy, I can talk the talk, but can I walk the walk?

Why does God hate the Poor: Who are the hated Poor? Part I

I need to step back a moment from the progression of this contemplation to clarify or define in some clear way who are the poor to whom I am referring so in case anyone reads these contemplations we are contemplating the same people. The only way I can make sure we have the same meaning of “the poor” is by exemplifying how I use that word and its usefulness to me. As I tried to clarify in other essays, though it is a good start to define the poor workers simply in terms of material poverty or as wage slaves, this is a very narrow view of reality. Many of the poor in the United States would be considered well-off materially in many other places in the world. Somewhere in the world, on average, every 15 seconds a child dies of preventable diseases including many resulting from malnutrition or contaminated food or water. Furthermore, qualitatively, as every historical study of the issue confirms, measuring relative to the material quantity or economies of their respective times or era, there is little material difference between the lives of workers stuck as wage slaves their whole lives in modern Technological Society and the lives of chattel slaves in past societies. It is still true as it has been true for much of the past millennia that 1% of the world still control approximately 80% of the world’s material wealth; we are all materially better off because the 100% is so much larger. There is still a lot of material and physical poverty in life but this concept of the poor is incomplete.

 

It is easy to start with a material definition of the poor, but it is a mistake to define or connote the poor solely in terms of material or physical poverty.  This type of definition relying completely on material poverty is not my definition nor is it the definition of Western theology when it says that we will always have the poor among us by which they mean both the materially poor and what they consider to be the spiritually poor. It is usually not even the definition used by atheists or other non-religious, at least not for those who have the empathy to go beyond their own delusional will-to-power to declare God dead so that they can replace Him with whatever new god they want to worship — because they lack the courage to rebel and reject God honestly. Good existential writers such as Kierkegaard, Camus, Dostoevsky, Herman Melville, and many other writers include among the poor those destined to have lives of powerless absurdity. Good existential writers are able to empathize with such a state of affairs. However, my concept of the poor is better brought out by considering how bad existential writers describe the lives of those who live in absurdity — bad existential writers such a Frederick Nietzsche and Jean-Paul Sartre and his girlfriend Simone de Beauvoir.

 
Consider the story of Nietzsche and the Turin horse. Supposedly toward the end of his life, Nietzsche was in Turin, Italy when he happened to see the driver of a horse drawn wagon whipping a horse to get it going. Nietzsche was so moved by this scene that he ran to the horse, hugged it around the neck, and started crying. His friends and family members had to physically force him from the horse; he had an emotional breakdown; and he then spent the remainder of his life in his mother’s apartment being cared after by his mother and his sister. The moral of this story according to the loving readers of Nietzsche is to establish what a sensitive person Nietzsche was and thus by implication show the subtlety and sensitivity of his writings and thus the subtlety and sensitivity of his loving readers. Yeah, right; why did not Nietzsche or his loving readers ever ask what happened to the horse and driver? Like Nietzsche, did they go on to spend the rest of their lives cared for by their mother? The movie Turin Horse by the Hungarian director Bela Tarr asks this question and his answer is they went to work and continued to work the rest of their lives. The driver and the workers are the poor of my question. Nietzsche and his loving ethically superior Dorian Gray worshipers are the rich.

 
Technological Society has replaced the horse by mechanical devices and thus has saved millions of horses from living a life of struggle serving humanity by denying them life since we no longer need horses. However, Technological Society did not do the same for the wagon driver; they are now Uber drivers and the struggle of life and class struggle continues as it must for history to continue.

 
Sartre in his Being and Nothingness describes inauthentic and authentic living as a dialectic of freedom. As an example of inauthentic or bad faith living, he describes a waiter who is “play acting” at being a waiter. He is not complaining the waiter is being too patronizing, phony, or fake such as being overly polite and flattering to get tips but is actually complaining that the waiter is being too good at being a waiter. According to Sartre, being a waiter is just a social construct. It is not really what anyone really is and one should not see their self-identity or identify as being a waiter. According to Sartre, identifying oneself as being a good waiter is an means to deny one’s freedom; it is a means to replace authentic self-identity with a social construct because one is afraid of the freedom to be whatever they want to be. Thus, finding meaning in life as a really good waiter is an inauthentic life.

 
For Sartre and for many of his existential followers, the waiter is denying his freedom by trying to become a social construct. What Sartre is actually exemplifying — as did his girlfriend Beauvoir — is “play acting” at being a philosopher. If the waiter had the luxury to do so, the waiter most likely would live authentically writing pretend philosophy books while sitting in cafes drinking wine with his other writer friends and his girlfriend ridiculing those who are trying to do their job of serving them as best they can. Problem is the waiter does not have that option, he must work for a living and see meaning in that work. The waiter is the poor; Sartre, his girlfriend, and their worshipers are God’s beloved.

 
As I contemplated in other essays, as Wittgenstein’s Private Language Argument brings out, there really is no such thing as self-identity defined by a private language of an individual person. Language is a social construct and thus once we leave areas of pragmatical truth such as science, all descriptions are social descriptions not private ones. The poor and the workers who are the poor in my question do not have a choice of “self-identity”; they are what society says they are. They can fight against their social identity and try to change it but it is a fight they will lose and must lose because they do not control the strategy, tactics, armament, or the field of battle. Society and those who rule it control those and must. The Powers are those who have the power to control what ought to be and what ought to be said about what ought to be. Sartre and others like him have the power to define the waiter as inauthentic, play acting, or whatever normative description they have the power to make; the waiter is stuck with what life gave him. The Powers construct their own social identity and then like Sartre look upon hoi polloi around them as cowards who lack the courage to live authentically after having defined what it means to live authentically.

 
Thanks to the material progress provided by science and technology, we are likely to reach a point in the foreseeable future where material and physical poverty will not exist. Everyone will have the basics necessary for materially and physically having a healthy individual life and perhaps with only robots instead of other humans as servants. This future will result from the past suffering of billions of dead souls — approximately 15 souls for each one of us presently living. Is such future happiness worth the price paid by those dead souls? As Camus and Dostoevsky specifically write, who would dare to assert that eternal happiness can compensate for a single moment of human suffering? The same question can be posed for human happiness in this life. These writers used the example of suffering babies and children and even of purely innocent beasts of burden such as donkeys, mules, and horses who from birth are destined to live lives of struggle for their human masters and then die a lonely death as the lonely animals they are. Dostoevsky’s description of a man beating a horse to death in Crime and Punishment and of the hunting dogs killing a child in his book The Brothers Karamazov are examples that are hard to forget. If these books are too long, try the short stories of George Orwell such A Hanging, Shooting an Elephant, and Makaresh dealing with real-life events that he witnessed. These fictions and stories pale in comparison to real-life tragedy such as the siege of Stalingrad. The Powers of this future will accept happiness based on such a price. More likely, just as social justice warriors do now, they will accept their happiness not upon unity with the past or with a sense of loyalty to their fifteen souls but upon a Dorian Gray sense of moral superiority condemning the past as if it was made up of human idiots and assuming they could have done much better.

 
Are the Powers-that-be willing to accept the massacre of innocents as the price to pay for their eternal happiness? Yes, they are. That is why they are the Powers-that-be. The Powers build their happiness upon the past even when condemning the past so as to control the future: to control what ought to be to make a world in their image. The poor are those that cannot accept such a deal or are not allowed to do so or not even given the choice to do so.

 
Do not get me wrong. I am not ridiculing such a future. Personally, the so-called dystopia of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World is a better world than we have now and better than most of the world that I have seen during my life. Given a choice between being materially rich but spiritually poor or being materially poor but spiritually rich, in my experience most people that have known physical poverty would choose being physically rich over spiritual richness. The reality of life is that money can buy love and happiness both in this life and in the next, but on its own love will only get you hate as the love/hate coin flips. However, this brave new world of the future for which my ancestors and I have fought and struggled to achieve, is it really worth what it took to get there? Does not seem worth it right now. The price for ending physical and material poverty seems to be workers who have lost the will to fight and are viewed as inauthentic waiters by those who also lost the will to fight but do not need to fight.

 
This is the substance of the problem and the nature of the definition of being poor and hated by God. God so hates the poor that the rules of the card game are set so that either the poor must endure the absurd meaninglessness of no physical and material power over their lives or endure the meaninglessness of a lack of a will to power for their lives while the chosen few Powers-that-be enjoy both material and normative power not only over their lives but over the lives of the poor. For most of humanity, it is either material poverty or spiritual poverty. It is one or the other. This is free will? This is worse than no choice at all. In the future, the poor will be defined not by material poverty but by a poverty of will; it will still be poverty.

 
God can do whatever He wants. She is doing it. So why does it bother me? Is it really envy that is my problem as the Bible says in the Parable of the Workers? Is it what Nietzsche called resentment: the herd’s envy of their betters? Should I just accept my fate in life? This is the final issue that I must face in defining and clarifying who are the poor in my question of why does God hate the poor.

 

Why Does God Hate the Poor: Can God Love? Part III

As a result of our contemplation of the question of why does God hate the poor, we have been able to define love and to define hate. Self-love is an act of the will by which it states I want to exist; I want to continue existing; and I hope for meaning in my existence. Once meaning is found, love is the pursuit of that meaning, and it can negate the first two elements. Once we have self-love, we can love others or things: that is we want them to exist; to continue existing; and to have meaning in life. Hate is the opposite of love. Hate is an act of the will stating that someone or something should not exist; should not continue existing; and should not have meaning in life. In order to love others or things, one must first have self-love because our existence is the only certain existential knowledge, but self-love does not necessarily entail love of others or things. One can love oneself yet hate.

 
Does this result mean that living with love or hate are the only options for human life? Pull out one of the three elements of love and we no longer have love neither self-love nor love of others, but we do have something. We can continue to exist without love. The same is true for the elements of hate. Something of this existence can be seen in the character of Meursault in Albert Camus’s story The Stranger. This character has given up hope for meaning in life and, therefore, does not love either himself or others. At certain points of the story, he has given up on the second element of wanting to continue to exist and lives in the moment of existence. Thus, he is not bothered by the death of his mother nor by a murder he committed without thought and without hate nor about his own impending death. He does not have self-hate nor hatred of others. He does not go beyond the moment. He has neither love nor hate. He lives a life without passion we would say. It is an existence without passion. Many theologians say that such human existence is not possible: that he is the lukewarm of the New Testament. As Jesus said in the New Testament, “So then because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of my mouth.”

 

It may be true that a Christian life without passion is not possible, but it is certainly possible for life overall. It is probably the way animals look at life, without love or hate of it, that is without passion. As long as Meursault is conscious and approves of his momentary existence — that is he is conscious and perceives what is necessary to live physically — he can continue to exist this loveless and hateless life. Such an existence in fact may make him closer to our God of the ontological proof than any loving or hateful human being would be. He has his own existence and is satisfied with it. This type of existence is what God is: Her existence is Her meaning. I have defined God as the reason there is something instead of nothing, but it may be that He is nothing more than that. The universe definitely exists in this way without need of meaning and without need of passion. By just existing with an indifference to all and to all he does, Meursault is more in one with the universe and more in one with the wholeness of the one or the oneness of the whole or whatever it is the Buddhists say than anyone who loves or hates. The problem with Meursault existing solely in the moment without passion of any kind is that his life cannot lead to love, morality, good, justice, or any normative statements. At the same time, however, it cannot lead to hate, immorality, evil, or injustice. Furthermore, this indifference has its own eternity:

Death is not an event in life: we do not live to experience death. If we take eternity to mean not infinite temporal duration but timelessness, then eternal life belongs to those who live in the present. Our life has no end in the way in which our visual field has no limits. — Ludwig Wittgenstein at §6.4311 of Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

 

Concepts such as morality and ethics only come into existence when we accept the second element of love by wanting to continue to exist, and thus we need to create social norms to give us power to protect our existence. Living in the moment, one would not need ethics. One would not need morality. One does not need love. One does really need anything except one’s own existence and the physical means to maintain it. There may still be the will to power, but that is an issue for another day. Both love and hate have three required elements. Pull any of these out and you no longer have love or hate. But, there is something. There is a passionless existence; it is an existence consisting solely of the individual and the will to exist. A passionless existence without love or hate is still an option for human existence.

 
But is it an option for God? In which one of these states does God exist: love, hate, or indifference? I have framed the question at hand as one of God hating the poor but if it turns out He cannot hate the poor because he does not hate, it seems that I may be asking a meaningless question. I do not think so. The facts of reality establish that God hates the poor regardless of what my ontological reasoning may imply because this may be a matter of which we cannot speak rationally. I will have to contemplate this issue further. For now, on the issue of humans living a life of indifference, I end with a quote from Buffy the Vampire Slayer made by Angelus during the time he lacked a soul:

Passion. It lies in all of us. Sleeping. Waiting. And though unwanted, unbidden, it will stir, open its jaws and howl.
It speaks to us, guides us. Passion rules us all, and we obey. What other choice do we have? Passion is the source of our finest moments, the joy of love, the clarity of hatred, and the ecstasy of grief. It hurts sometimes more than we can bear. If we could live without passion, maybe we’d know some kind of peace, but we would be hollow empty rooms, shuttered and dead. Without passion, we’d be truly dead.

Why Does God Hate the Poor: Can God Love? Part II

“The mind has a thousand eyes and the heart but one. If the light of the whole life dies, then love is done.” So goes the poem by Francis William Bourdillon. Yeah. Right. Love always gets the good press and hate the bad, but in reality, especially for the poor and working class, hate is often a much more useful tool for survival in life than love. If the love of the Powers-that-be had their way for me, I would still be in the Navy spending at least half my life at sea risking it for their safety. Or worse, I would be working as a janitor back in my hometown or somewhere else as a poor humble servant of God in society while they run around gathering as much power as they can for themselves, for their children, and in the end still go to heaven. Religion and the Powers-that-be love the powerless, weak, and oppressed as long as they stay powerless, weak, and oppressed. Rationally controlled anger, hate, aggression, and ambition usually do more to help one work out of the working class or out of poverty than love unless you are some type of a politician, prostitute, or other willing to sell your soul for money and power.

 
I recently saw a documentary about Bob Gibson, a great baseball pitcher from the 1960’s whom I remember when I was a kid as someone who pitched with anger and aggression and did not hesitate to use a beanball when a batter was crowding the plate thus creating a high intimidation factor with batters. He blames his anger on racism. Yeah. Whatever. Racism is as good a reason as any to hate. Even if that were true, then racism is the best thing that ever happened to him. Without the anger, aggression, and ambition to defeat the Powers that racism gave him — unlike those who accepted it peacefully and tried to change it with love by turning the other cheek — he would have been just another wannabe fastball pitcher playing in sandlots somewhere with millions of others — black, white, or whatever — with nowhere to go. Everyone playing baseball loves the game, it is the skilled hatred of losing that gets you into the major leagues. Anger, aggressiveness, and competitiveness are what gave Gibson the ability to make it and survive in the major leagues as it does for any professional player. Anger, aggressiveness, and competitiveness are each accepted as a good for the Powers-that-be and as a necessary attribute of successful capitalism but somehow these attributes are seen as an evil for the poor and the working class. They are supposed to be humble and accept their lot in life. Racism breeds hate, but the rationally controlled returned hate and the fear it creates in the Powers — just as with class struggle — can beat it and eliminate it by making the Powers who breed racism too scared to promote it.

 
So what is hate that it gives it such a bad rap? Now that we know what love is, defining hate should be easy. It is the opposite of love. Self-hate is wanting not to exist nor to continue existing and having no hope of meaning in that existence. Once all three of these elements come together plus the opportunity to put a bullet in your head or in the head of others, suicide will shortly follow unless one of these elements changes. Hating others is wanting them not to exist, for them to stop existing, or that there be no meaning for their existence.

 
No ambiguity here. Hate, unlike love, is not ambiguous but is very clear and provides clarity for life. It is this clarity that makes hate such a useful tool in trying to survive and battle the Powers, if one can control it: that is avoiding having the three elements of self-hatred come together to the point of suicide. Unlike love requiring that one love oneself before one can love others, hate allows for the option of living while loving oneself but hating others. It is a much more versatile tool than love. One can will to exist, will to continue existing, and hope and have meaning for one’s life and thus self-love while at the same time hating others: 1) willing that they do not exist; 2) that they do not continue existing; and 3) that they have no meaning for their life. In fact, hate of others could act as the meaning that provides the third element for one’s self-love. So for love, you must love yourself before you can love your neighbor. But for hate, there is no need to hate yourself before you can hate your neighbor. You can love yourself and yet hate others. Hate is one side of coin with love the other.

 
So can God love? Or, more importantly given our topic, can He hate? Before we go on to those issues, I want to deal with some ambiguity in my contemplation and contemplate whether there is a third option between love and hate: indifference or amorality to both.

Why Does God Hate the Poor: Can God Love? Part I

Our consciousness and perception of reality reveals that God hates the poor. Can He love them instead? Can God love? All Western religion including secular religions such as humanism state either and usually both that God is love ot that love is the greatest virtue. Do either of these popular statements withstand critical analytical examination? Not really. This hype about love, especially by religion, serves to keep the poor happy and the working class in their place.

 
In my reading of history — for that matter in any reading of history — love such as love of country, power, money, tribe, and even love of family and love of justice have caused much more evil and suffering in the world than hate. Hate has rational limits. Few, if anyone, would risk their life for hate. Almost all who have or who can love would risk their life and that of others and outright kill others for the love of whatever it is they love. Hate may make you a serial killer of 30 to 40 people but love will make you a patriot willing to kill three to four million. Love is not necessarily a good. That conclusion seems to depend on what you love. Love of power is supposedly bad. It is considered bad for the poor. The Powers love the poor and oppressed but only if they are willing to stay poor and oppressed. The Powers worship love of power as a good despite sometimes pretending otherwise. Regardless, love of power is what drives human culture because history is class struggle, so pragmatically love of power may be called the ultimate good in terms of human culture surviving the power of the natural world always trying to kill us. Capitalism at least admits it considers love of power a good — as long as there are equal opportunity and struggle among the Powers which there never is.

 
Loving your neighbor — now called “the Other” by secular religion that wants to hijack Christianity without the Christ — as you love yourself is supposedly a good but what about the first necessary premise of that command: love yourself? In order to love your neighbor, you must first love yourself since your existence is your only certainty. However, self-love seems to be one of the most harmful evils that has caused just as many atrocities as love of power if not more. Then again without self-love, humans would have died out millennia ago. The ability to love oneself blindly regardless of any faults and thus to have hope for a better life is what allows the poor and working class to survive its miseries and the ridicule of the Powers around them constantly trying to demean their life. Supposedly, according to women at least, love and sexual love are distinct and being addicted to the first is good but being addicted to the latter is bad. You will have to ask a female philosopher to explain that difference.

 
What a mess this love issue is. In order to determine if God can love, we must first define love. We must first see if we can ontologically define love especially insofar as that word is used in respect to God. Self-love just as consciousness and my existence is one of the few items in the fabric of knowledge that are ontologically certain; we either have it or do not. Thus, we can ontologically — not just pragmatically — rationally contemplate self-love. As long as we exist and are conscious, regardless of what skeptical reason may say, we know and perceive self-love otherwise we would commit suicide. The Commandment to love your neighbor as yourself is more of an attempt to get humans to reduce their self-love than to raise their love of others. There is no doubt as to the existence and strength of self-love, so I will start by contemplating and defining self-love to see through the cultural and social smokescreens created to make self-love a vice for the working class and to replace it with all sorts of hype such as God is love or love is life in order to keep the poor and working class in their place.

 
The most basic element and requirement of a person having a use and of the usefulness for the word love and thus its meaning in self-love are that the person wants to exist and wants to continue existing. Love is an act of will saying I want to exist and want to continue existing. This does not seem to do it though. If I want to exist living as a heroin addict on the streets of New York earning money by being a prostitute, the conclusion would not be that I love myself but the exact opposite: that I have self hate and am trying to destroy myself. Just wanting to exist would not give much meaning to the expression “love your neighbor as yourself”. If I want to live as a prisoner in North Korea and want the same for my fellow humans, again, the implication is that I neither love myself nor my neighbor. Love seems to demand more than just existence.

 
Our present United States culture would say that the additional element that self-love demands in order to be love is individual happiness: that we want or will a happy life for ourselves — we have hope. And, thus, when we love others, it also means that we want a happy life for them. This emphasis on happiness seems to be nonsense and a modern cultural phenomena. For much of the world, individual happiness is not a possibility. Never was and never will be. That is why we are asking the question that we are asking. Yet all these people that really have no hope for happiness in life are still able to love themselves and love others. There is more to life than happiness. My favorite example of this need that goes beyond happiness in life is expressed by the eight points of the Maltese Cross establishing the required moral standards for the Knights Templar: faith, repentance, humility, fairness, mercy, forthrightness, honesty, and suffering. Happiness is not in the list of elements for self-love by these warrior monks. Of course, these eight virtues only have power and meaning because the knights expected happiness in the afterlife after giving up on happiness in this life. So we are back to the point that perhaps this additional element is happiness or a want or hope for happiness.

 
Some philosophers, such as for example Thomas Aquinas, have in fact concluded happiness as a required element for love: love consists of a desire to exist, to continue existing, and to want happiness. Happiness for Aquinas consisted of an afterlife with God. So as to the elements that define self-love, can it be be defined as a desire to exist and to continue existing plus a hope for happiness?

 
I do not think so. The greatest love is the love of one who sacrifices their life for another such as the soldier who falls on the hand grenade to suffer the entire blast then dies so that others may live. This act of love most certainly did not demand a desire or hope for happiness in this life. It is not clear it demands or requires a hope or belief for a happy afterlife. In the ancient world, the Greeks believed in an afterlife that consisted not of an eternity of happiness with a loving God but with Hades — the word from which we get our word hell. A life after death for the Ancients was simply to exist in a peaceful sleep with one’s ancestors unaware of any past or future but just peace after a life of struggle and war. Despite such a dismal view (from out modern perspective) of the afterlife, this view did not stop the Greek warriors at the battle of Thermopylae from sacrificing their lives to try to save their neighbors. Actually, those so called pagans with their belief in a Hades apparently had more love for their neighbors than modern Christians have either for their God or for fellow Christians. The Ancients fought to save their neighbors. Modern Christians with barely a whimper allow the modern warrior religion of Islam to tramp around killing Christians so as to trample out Christianity.

 
So maybe the third element that defines love is not a desire for individual happiness but a desire for the happiness of others. This would make some sense and explain a lot because as rational beings we know that the individual dies and always will die. Any hope for humanity to continue must be for humanity to continue not for any individual to continue which is impossible. But, now we are reversing ourselves on the logic. Love of neighbor cannot come first and cannot define self-love. As even the Christian Commandment admits, in order to love your neighbor, you must first love yourself. Ontologically, we know this must be the case. We have to stay focused on the ontological nature of the knowledge we are seeking. I only have true knowledge of my own existence. Everything else could be a figment of God’s imagination as idealists argue.

 
Love of neighbor must start with love of self. In order to define love, we first have to define and understand what love of self is. So back to square one. Love of self we know involves at least wanting to exist and to continue existing — the desire to continue existing plus a desire for something more. The something more is the open issue. The something more is not only the final element that defines love but is also the element that from the social perspective makes it a good or an evil; and, in the case of self sacrifice love, it is able to negate the first two existential requirements of existing and to continue existing. The only characteristic that I can contemplate that would satisfy these purposes is meaning. Self-love is: 1) the will to exist; 2) the will to continue existing; 3) plus the hope that my existence has meaning. If I find a meaning for my existence, that hope becomes real instead of just being hope thus the first two elements can be negated and I can fall on the hand grenade to save my comrades as an act of love. To love our neighbor as ourselves is to want them to exist, to continue existing, and for their lives to have meaning. If we decide on what that meaning is, it can negate the first two existential requirements for love.

 
Further, just as finding a meaning for life will allow for our self sacrifice of our own life for that meaning, love will allow us to want to kill and actually to kill our neighbors as an act of love to maintain that meaning. Thus, ontologically, love is: 1) the will to exist; 2) the will to continue existing; 3) plus the will that our existence has meaning. Love of neighbor or love of money is all the same ontologically regardless of whether ethics or morality calls one good or the other evil. This definition may not be very romantic or live up to the hype that love seems to have in popular culture, but that does not make it any the less true or less powerful. It is powerful enough for a person to sacrifice their own life for others. It is also powerful enough for a person to sacrifice others for that love.

 
What about hate? What is hate? Before we decide whether God can love the poor, I want to go on to define hate and then also see if there is a third option just as there is with morality: can God be amoral? Is there an option between or outside of love and hate?

Why Does God Hate the Poor: Is It a Universal Hate?

Why does God hate the poor? Is this a universal hate? As we contemplate the issue of God’s hate for the poor, all of our answers so far have negated possible explanations based on human excuses for hate that cannot be applied to God. The meanings of “good”, “evil”, “morality”, “ethics”, “justice”, and “fairness” are all human constructs, created to give us meaning in life. None of these words can serve as an explanation, justification, or excuse for God’s varying treatment of His creations. The individual creates a morality to give meaning to life and a social group creates an ethics to maintain the group’s power structure. “Good”, “evil”, “justice”, and “fairness” are all terms that describe other humans or things in reality that either help or hinder our created morality or ethics. These words do not apply to God, God can do whatever He wants and is not limited by our concepts. None of these human words explain why God prefers some humans over others.  How far does this preference go; does it go beyond humans? The question of God’s hatred for the poor, is this question limited solely to humans? Do concepts and questions such as these that we are asking apply only to humans? I’ve been treating them as such, but in order to avoid confusion about what we are contemplating, I want to be clear that the issue of God’s hatred for the poor is not simply a human issue but one of the natural order of reality and of all life.

 
I will clarify what I’m doing by using an example that I recently came across. A bunch of Yale University economists, with the aid of anthropologists and other academics, have been using an island of monkeys near Puerto Rico for social experiments. One test involved giving the monkeys pretend money that they could exchange for food from one of two persons. One person would show the monkey a cup with one grape but in exchange for the coin would give the monkey two grapes. The other person would show the monkey three grapes but then in exchange for a coin would give the monkey two grapes. So in both situations, the monkey would get two grapes. As you would expect from academics not skilled in analytic thought, the Yale professors using illogical or unsound assumptions went on to make a series of illogical conclusions. The unsound and illogical assumption they used was that the rational thing to do would be to take grapes randomly from either tester since the end result is the same — one will always wind up with two grapes regardless of which tester one picks. However, the monkeys almost universally always picked from the tester who showed one grape but gave them two. The Yale academics went on to make the unsound and illogical conclusion that the preference was irrational and that this universal irrational preference is ingrained and explained in the monkeys by, as always, the universal academic religion of evolution. Reason abhors arbitrariness and randomness.

 
Without getting into the philosophy of science and theory of knowledge at issue, based simply on clear logical reasoning that I’ve been trying to delineate in these essays and not on the prejudice and bias of academia, hopefully you will see how irrational their conclusions are and what they miss in terms of learning and knowledge from their experiment. Imagine having an employer who offers you one of something in exchange for doing a small job. You then do it and he gives you two of that thing. Imagine another employer who offers you three of something in exchange for the same job. You do it but then he gives you two of the same thing instead. In both cases, for the same job, you get paid two grapes. So given the choice of employers next time, for doing the same job, which employer would you choose? The rational choice is the one who gave you the extra thing, not the one who took away one of the offerings. Playing the odds and appearances, the one who gave you something extra, based on your needs and desires for as many as possible of whatever is being offered, appears to be the more trustworthy individual; that is, appears to be the person most likely to give you what you want and thus from the rational perspective is the person who is more moral, ethical, just, and fair. Since you know the other person will most likely take at least one thing away, they might take more away given the chance and thus there is a greater danger of their denying you what you want. So why give that cheat a chance? Based on the facts and rational concepts of good, morality, justice, and fairness, the rational choice is the person that adds a thing.

 
In reality, both of the Other may be scientists who may one day kill you to autopsy your brain regardless of the rationality of your choices. Until then, the rational choice is to pick the one giving you the extra thing based on concepts of morality, justice, ethics, and fairness and good and evil or whatever rational analysis is used for the choices. The human rational concepts of good, evil, morality, ethics, and justice and fairness based on getting what one wants are universal, not only to monkeys but to all life. There is a natural law in the universe: anything that gets us what we want is normatively what ought to be. Even at the level of quantum physics, the randomness of nature disappears once an observer is added and when observations get large enough. At that point, the randomness disappears and deterministic classical physics kicks in and everything appears orderly and beautiful. At that point, you can read The Consolation of Philosophy by the Roman philosopher Boethius and you can be impressed by the beauty and order of the universe and then concepts of good and evil and other norms start to make sense.

 
The difference between humans and monkeys and other non-human life is that we can be irrational. Instead of always acting in our rational best interest, we can reject the rational choice of the tester that gives an extra grape and, irrationally, instead pick the other tester intentionally: out of spite; rejection or protest of the testing situation; to mess with Yale testers; out of hope that the other tester will give us all three grapes; or out of an almost infinite number of reasons for acting irrationally — whereas there is usually only limited reasons to act rationally. As Wittgenstein’s Rule Following Problem conceptually analyzes, unlike computers, monkeys, and other entities, there is no such thing as “rule following” for humans other that a specific instance of following a rule — we can always create new rules and not follow those we create or already have.

 

As humans, we can look outside the game and ask the question that other life cannot ask. Why does God hate the poor — including poor monkeys and the uncountable number of other lives and beasts of burden varying from abused animal prey to worker bees dying for a queen out there who have lived and live their entire existence only as a struggle to exist or are forced to live their existence in servitude to the Powers who not only control them but decide whether they are to live or to die. So this question we are asking, of why does God hate the poor, is important not just relative to us but to all of reality that is unable to ask it.