Intelligence, A Religion For Our Times, Just The Same As In The Oldest Times:
Religion gives life meaning. But yesterday’s superstitious religions have become too implausible, even for modestly educated people in the developed world (to compensate, there is an increasing number of self-advancing cynics who make a profession of embracing completely idiotic religions under the umbrella of moronic “multiculturalistm”)
Could we turn to public good as a religion? It was done, long ago, in the best republics, or even kingdoms. This is the way the Athenians, Romans, and the old Swiss had it. No such luck: the non-superstitious religion, the devotion to the Res-Publica, the sort of religion the Romans practiced 23 centuries ago, at the height of their Republic, is sinking in a sea of corruption.
The corruption is not just by politicians and their friend getting extremely wealthy (exhibit number one here is the US “Democratic” Party, where a respected demoncrat such as Senior Senator Diane Feinstein made a billion dollars no questions asked, except yesterday, April 18, when some real democratic activist interrogated her directly something related; Feinstein took it really badly and told them that, if they didn’t like her, they could leave the meeting…).
The corruption to the “representative democracy” system is intrinsic from having too few people with way too much power.
So what’s left to venerate? Well, the very essence of humanity. The core, the essence of humanity, is intelligence. It should be an object of veneration, a cult (as I already argued). Praying to that god will mean thinking hard enough to stop believing in what one was believing before, to some extent, in many ways.
Some will scoff that my new religion does not answer the traditional metaphysical questions, such as:
Why is there something rather than nothing? What’s the meaning of life? Is there a god? Is there a notion of good?
But actually my religion answers the last three: there is no god of the type people believed in previously, not anymore that there is a god of a type the local chimpanzee troop believes in. God is a question of intelligence, yesterday’s god is not any smarter than yesterday’s society.
There is a notion of good, scientifically defined, because there is a notion of pleasure, and a notion of pain, and the gradient between them defines the well ordering of goodness (I just used mathematical notions from set theory and advanced calculus, to provide me with a semantic, harnessing the casual power of mathematics).
“Scientifically defined” means that a theory can be made, and experiences conducted, confirming the theory. “Good” is not that relative. It’s absolute, given the circumstances.
The new religion, same as the oldest religion ever? Intelligence.
Turn intelligence towards all metaphysical questions.
Example: It’s there an afterlife? Intelligence will turn the question around: Why don’t people ask whether there was a prelife? (OK, some Hinduists claim to remember when they were meritorious cockroaches… Intelligence will scoff with disbelief.)
The meaning of life? Figuring all out which is in the way. The fact there is something rather than nothing is not in the way, it’s no urgent problem which we need to figure out. Whereas we have countless dramatic problems to figure out, lest we want to become bad, rather than good! (Besides, contemporary Big Bang physics, takes for granted that one gets universes out of nothing continually, or, at least, once. I think that’s crazy, but that’s just me, and my opinion is little more supported than that of the herd, some will argue…)
The preceding shows that striking a metaphysical pose can be highly practical. Oh, and then what is the common practical metaphysics of common people throughout NATO and the rest of the West? Doing the ostrich, head deep in the sand: warm and dark down there, a womb for the incurious.
Some will object that “my religion” the cult of intelligence, is not really new: didn’t Voltaire have Candide declaring:”Il faut cultiver son jardin”? (One must cultivate one’s garden, the fundamental cult of civilization, since, without culture there would neither cult nor food). However, the cult of intelligence is much deeper than agricultural imagery. Human intelligence is several million years old, agriculture, only 10,000 years old, at most (the first cities appeared in Anatolia… before agriculture…)
Intelligence yearns to make the universe into its garden. Instead of the inwardly mood of Voltaire, akin to putting one head’s below some of the green leafy vegetables in one’s garden, akin to putting one’s head in the sand, intelligence desires to fill space and the universe. Fundamentally, the cult of intelligence is the opposite mood, of just cultivating one’s garden. Even if that search for what makes the universe tick and what it’s made of, and how comfy it can be rendered, passes through the inner sanctum of why and how is it that one thinks, or feels, this way, or that.
Thus, the cult of intelligence has to cultivate one’s garden to, but to go “plus oultre“, as Charles Quint put it (Charles V stopped the Conquista of America, for committing a holocaust there; hence we see that Charles V’s intelligence extended not just in physical space, conquering the Americas, but also in ethical space, stopping said conquest! A nice example of the cult of intelligence in action; later emperor Charles V retired to a monastery)
The cult of intelligence was implicitly practiced by the greatest leaders, such as Akhenaten, Solon, Pericles, Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne, Otto I, even Genghis Khan, etc…
Time to go back to our roots; all-devouring intelligence, cult of the strong, the weak, the caring and the human. Civilization has to construct and deconstruct, with maximal intelligent design, anyway. One can argue that life evolved as the architecture of intelligence, even intelligent design, and so it was, long before nerve cells appeared. The teleonomy (managing at a distance) of Quantum Physics enables to see far out, and implement the smartest (lowest energy) outcomes. Life as intelligence: one cannot get more essential than that.