POC Blog

The random technotheolosophical blogging of Reid S. Monaghan

A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Question of God - Part V

continued from Part IV


I am sure some of you over time have seen the bumper sticker that reads “mean people suck.”  Let me just be risky and go on the record with you that I indeed agree with the philosophy that mean people indeed sucketh.

We seem to all agree that there are right and wrong ways and these seem to be objective and universal in some sense.  We do not have any time here to discuss theories of ethics be they virtue, deontological, ordered by God, or consequentialist in view.  What I will say is the moral nature to life is extremely important clue to the nature of reality.

Even a large corporate juggernaut has as an official ethic of “Don’t be evil.” Surprisingly when asked what being evil was, Google CEO Eric Schmidt candidly replied “Whatever Sergei says is evil.” [1] Now this reveals both a clue and problem with our understanding of our world.

Who says what is right in this world?  Is it really up to Sergey? Or you? Not me!  It seems to me that if there is a standard, a moral law by which we might find our way, let me suggest a higher standard than Sergei Bryn is needed. Unless Sergey = God we have a massive problem on our hands. What is right or wrong? Who says? It might be easy to say “we do” but this sort of naivety, even if espoused by learned academics, simply ignores so much of the reality of human experience.  There are always many, many individuals who step out of the herd to define and do life their way.  To hell with the rest of you they say.  We might just say “Bad Hitler” but “good and bad” is what we are wrestling with in the first place.  It seems morality is not made up by Sergey Brn; so there may be a higher source which is needed to understand the moral nature of our universe.

A related clue is our obsessive realization that they world is broken and needs to be fixed.  This is the thought of every generation not simply those of our own.  Every politician feeds off of this reality.  She will fix it all for us if we elect her!!! This seems to indicate that we all see something wrong with humanity, something not quite right and that we ought to be different, that we need to change. Or we at least everybody else needs to get their act together.  This only seems to fit in a view of the world that teaches us that life is good but has gone bad and needs to be redeemed.  The view that says “life just is how it is” really has no resources to say that it is also “jacked up” and needs to change.  But there is a view that is in concord with our intuitions; listen to the 20th century journalist GK Chesterton:

And my haunting instinct that somehow good was not merely a tool to be used, but a relic to be guarded, like the goods from Crusoe’s ship — even that had been the wild whisper of something originally wise, for, according to Christianity, we were indeed the survivors of a wreck, the crew of a golden ship that had gone down before the beginning.[2]

The world seems to be a good place which has gone bad and needs to change.  Perhaps this is simply a deep truth about reality.  Ancient Christian writings teach us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God and need to be changed and redeemeed…I find this to be true and in harmony with our acknowledged suckiness of mean people.   Just something to think about…

continued in Part VI - Destiny


[1] Afterall, when the chief executive googler, Eric Schmidt, was asked what was “evil” the reply was simply: Whatever Sergey says is evil.  (see 2003 Wired Mag piece Google vs. Evil)

[2] G. K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy, Image Books ed. (New York: Image Books, 1959), 80.