You can call it folly if you wish. I can change my thoughts, but I can't change my feelings about the idea of a God.
True freedom? False freedom? What freedom? You may well be correct that there is no freedom to be gained by seeking to exalt oneself. But there cannot be a true freedom if I am a created being. At best, it means that I can be happy and have anything my limited mind can imagine. But it truly means that I will always be aware that I am nothing more than a manifestion of someone else's will. Even if I am loved, it means I have no existence in my own right.
From my perspective, if this is true, then I have not been presented with the option of any kind of freedom other than an illusory kind. Exalting myself would have no effect because I was nothing more than a created being, and following God would be allowing him to love me and feel free, but the problem would still be that it would require me to follow... I could not be free and lead, and thus real choice is out of my grasp.
The only choice offered if this is true, is futile rebellion, or willing servitude. Freedom doesn't exist as anything but an illusion and unawareness. Horrifying.
I only wonder if we would be putting our poor computers through the same thing if we ever bring them to a certain point of awareness?
Athenian200, after I read your first post I left this board so depressed that I determined not to return. I was so grieved over your state that it was the last straw after all I had run into in this section on the forum. I don't know if it is original sin, or that you may be alienated from God and be an enemy in your mind because of your evil behavior (Col.1:21). Believe me, I'm not judging you, I don't know you, and I wouldn't judge you if I knew you. I just can't think what else causes you to say what you have said.
I do feel I have to tell you that there is another choice between futile rebellion or willing servitude. It is to become a son of God. You've been a son before and unless you were mistreated horribly, you weren't a servant. God wants to make you his beloved adopted son. To be adopted is a special thing, you see I was adopted when I was 2 years old. I was special. My parents chose me to be their daughter. I was already a person in my own right and they loved me and took me for their own. Now my father wasn't a king, but our Heavenly Father (Christ said to call Him Abba which means "Daddy") is a King. That means each one of us sons and daughters is a son or daughter of the King which of course is a Prince or Princess. Those people who have that status are pretty important in the Kingdom of God. We will even judge angels (1 Cor 6:3). Finally this passage sums up what is going on right now:
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
I believe you know there is a God, Athenian200. You state that Lucifer fell as though it were a fact. If there is a Satan, then there is a God who threw him out of heaven. Satan hates us humans, for why should we, things created out of the mud, be elevated to such a high station to be heirs to the Kingdom of God through Jesus Christ (God Himself)??? He hates us so much that he uses that lie that you state so eloquently to take as many of us with him to hell as he can. The main thing that makes hell a hell is the complete absence of God. None of us have experienced that. Why go when you can be a son of the King, a Prince, and a heir to the Kingdom through God Himself, Jesus Christ?
7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
You say you can't change your feelings, but you can change your thoughts. I submit to you that if you change your thoughts, your feelings will change. All of this is predicated on there being no evil behavior that is driving your decision about rejecting God.
I didn't write all this for myself, Athenian200. I wrote it for you, because I care about you and your plight. You need not answer this, but just read it and consider it. If you want help to become a son of the Living God, PM me.
Kierkegaard termed this as despair to will to be oneself. As he stated:
"With the help of this infinite form, the self in despair wants to be master of itself or to create itself, to make his self into the self he wants to be, to determine what he will have or not have in his concrete self."
So from the theistic Existentialist perspective; the whole perspective you presented is complete folly. Rather than seek true freedom with God, you seek a false sense of freedom in seeking to exalt yourself.
I am going to ignore EVERYTHING Journey said.
That post having been ignored [I know, in a way I didn't ignore it... but you get what I'm saying.. I hope...]... on to the matter at hand...
It's been a while since I last read Kierkegaard, but if I remember correctly, his entire notion of attainment of selfhood relied on the major assumption that in order to be a fully-realized self, the self must be established in God (there's weak reasoning supporting this).
Unfortunately, this whole debate ultimately relies on Faith... no shit, right? But I think of this issue almost in terms of types (we are on MBTI, right?)... some people are made a certain way, intuitives or sensors, thinkers or feelers... it probably boils down to the same thing with the faith question.
Also, when I read Notes from Underground I noticed that Fyodor (may I call him Fyodor? ) gives too much power to things like stone walls and 2+2=4... There shouldn't be some irremediable gap between compassion and possibility (which K/D link to faith) and skepticism and rationality... as someone who doesn't believe in God, but is nonetheless attracted to spirituality and religion, I find it to be very easy to revel in the forward progress of science while acknowledging that solely relying on science as the arbiter of my destiny is a ridiculous non-position... it doesn't make sense... instead, I have to connect with my human side....
In other words, I don't believe that Faith in God is necessary for someone to accept infinite possibility... Why Faith in God with a capital-F when I just need faith, lower-case -f, in myself?
To just make bold pronouncements that the realm of reason, of the philosophy of spirit, doesn't acknowledge the particular, the human, the ephemeral, and thereby deride it... I don't agree with the tactic... I can map my position on the earth, with respect to surrounding buildings, national boundaries, rivers and mountains... this cartographical knowledge certainly doesn't 'help' me from a human perspective... the cartography pays no heed to me, my feelings on my situation, my ubiety, where I am... it doesn't care... but I feel better knowing where I am, even if only relative to the current-state-of-knowledge, than having no clue that NYC is on the east coast of the USA and separated by massive bodies of water from places in Europe and elsewhere...
a somewhat weak answer, but I'm not feeling upto going into detail to justify my intuition.
Madman's azure lie: a zen miasma ruled.
Realize us, Madman!
I razed a slum, Amen.