The concept of morality is one of the most intriguing and powerful discussions that humans can engage in, in my opinion. The existence or non-existence of morality appears to only come in two basic or possible flavors: objective or relative/subjective. If something ought to be done (in the moral sense), then there must be a corresponding reason that is so. “Ought” implies that there is something outside of yourself that compels or demands that you behave in a particular way. Many like to appeal to social pressures as acceptable justification for how “ought” is derived naturally, but it seems obvious that if it is the opinion of “yourself” vs the opinion of an “other yourself” (ie: a human that is not you is just “yourself” but from their perspective), there is no mechanism by which to adjudicate other than potentially aggregation; “majority rules”.

When exploring morality there are lots of requirements and questions that a viable solution needs to address. Some of the most important are:

  1. Is there actually an ought? (transcendent right and wrong)
  2. If so, how do we know what they are and where do they come from?
  3. If not, what is the purpose of enforcing the obviously illusory oughts?
  4. What could justify, “show or prove to be right or reasonable”, that these oughts exist and, even more so, that they actually be enforced and abided?
  5. What qualities must the solution possess in order to adequately uphold these imperatives?

Natural morality refers to morality that is based on human nature, rather than acquired from societal norms or religious teachings. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution is central to many modern conceptions of natural morality, but the concept goes back at least to naturalism.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_morality

This seems a decent base to work forward from. There are a handful of ways this generally does manifest itself, not to say it couldn’t manifest in different nuanced ways, but these are the primarily, generally proposed as likely options:

  1. That which results in “Flourishing” is that which is “naturally moral” (likely the most common/best form)
  2. That which results in “survival” is that which is “naturally moral” because otherwise life would likely not continue

Let’s begin by defining our terms. It’s important to recognize that all these definitions must be held according to limitations of their applicability across all forms of life. There is no inherent, intrinsic, beginning distinction between any particular form of life within the history of organic development, despite the reality that large disparities between the variations have arrived, based on purely naturalistic explanations. All started from inorganic, chaotic matter, and have derived from such through some form of natural law(s). These natural laws govern the arrival of organic/living matter, but do not necessarily apply to the “natural morality” we are discussing, although they could be relevant to be sure.

Survival seems straightforward, but let’s place a formal definition to it:

continue to live or exist, especially in spite of danger or hardship.

Oxford Dictionary

This is effectively: “the result of actions or events that yield something continuing to exist as opposed to going extinct.

Flourish(ing) is a little bit more tricky, so here are the possible definitions that seem applicable (ie: excluding definitions like “a flamboyant movement” or something; “with a flourish of his hand”):

  • (of a person, animal, or other living organism) grow or develop in a healthy or vigorous way, especially as the result of a particularly favorable environment
  • develop rapidly and successfully
Oxford Dictionary

I would like to steel-man the position, and in my opinion the more slippery and defensible position of “flourishing”, as the more formidable opponent, seems to be the best way to go about tackling this concept. If we can address the nature of flourishing, which has much greater nuance and likelihood of subtle resolutions vs its more basic counterpart: survival, then in properly addressing flourishing, we should simultaneously tackle survival with the same methodology. They both are founded upon the same premises and/or axioms, but have differing explanatory power and ways of yielding the results of those premises.

The sneaky-snake of this discussion is trying to appropriately pin down how “flourishing” (proper) is adequately manifested? Ie:

  • volume of organisms that have survived?
  • ability to read?
  • ability to build?
  • human education vs tradition vs genetic information inheritance?

It’s easy to cheat and assume that human beings are automatically “more flourished” than other life-forms….well, because we are those. But does that make it so, or does it beg the question?

It’s at least possible that humanity is obviously more flourished than other life-forms because of our ability to think (so far as we can tell), create (so far as we view it), and communicate (so far as we assess it), but to simply assert that we are without justifying how or why that is the case is disingenuous. I’m not claiming anyone is doing that, but that an attempt must at least be made is all I’m getting at with that. Beyond that, even after you’ve attempted to justify it, that doesn’t make it true. It only demonstrates that an argument using the human variation of “intellect” that has manifested within our given species feels “valid” (whatever that means) given humanity’s mode of operation and preference for informational representation.

So, one would have to choose which combination of traits would create their version of flourishing, and then place the appropriate weights on those combinations to then be able to quantify the various forms of special (“pertaining to a species”) successfulness at achieving the noble end of flourishing. You would then take those quantities and compare them across species to see which has most successfully acquired flourishing (proper).

For example:

Quantity of Organisms has a weight of .000004 significance whereas the level of complexity of the organism has a weight of .00025. And the existence of complex creation (buildings, medicine, etc) attributable to that grouping of organisms has a weight of .002 (significantly higher than the others), etc.

There are roughly 7.88 billion (7,880,000,000) people on the earth as of writing this in March of 2023. There are an estimated 20 quadrillion (20,000,000,000,000,000) ants living on the earth. That is a ratio of ~2,564,100 to 1. For every 1 point attributable to humanity, there are 2.564 MILLION points for ants based on population alone. Now, of course, based on your weighting scale, this could be meaningless or this could be the determining factor. Are we allowed to bias our scales towards humanity? Is that objective? Are we even capable of being objective in judging this properly?

The point of the above was only to show that you can easily and obviously pollute your scaling if you’re not careful, and beyond that, how would you even truly quantify that measurement without simply relying on intuition and/or preference? Just because something is derived from intuition doesn’t make the conclusion wrong, but intuition is not quite the same as empirical justification. It requires an assent to a transcendent appeal: a stated premise which must be accepted without demonstration (proper) or an axiom which must be accepted as “self-evidently true” (as the definition of axiom entails).

But for the sake of steel-manning the argument, let’s do our best to take flourishing, properly represented, as being “that which humanity continues to achieve”. Otherwise stated, “humanity properly represents flourishing in an appropriate enough way.” We will simply grant that, not that I disagree with the sentiment, but we aren’t going to go so far as to properly justify the position and just grant that it’s true, while also simply highlighting it would be difficult to justify although maybe not impossible.

Certain things like: empathy, reciprocity, and fairness are attributed as the precursors that yield our perceptions of “natural morality”. So, given that we know we are derived from inorganic matter, and are ancestors of the most rudimentary forms of life, we are attributing flourishing to be the pinnacle result of living beings only to be invalidated when survival takes precedence due to necessity. All life is generally pursuing, or should be pursuing, the result of enabling life to flourish.

It should be obvious that human beings believe themselves to be continually reaching greater heights of flourishing, so it also should be obvious that this directly implies our explicit opinions on this may change with time. Although, the fundamental principles likely should remain intact or be more fully discovered throughout the course of our existence. But what this all implies is something profound if taken seriously. The general disposition of the argument is to state that these general “rules” are not objective and binding, in any full sense, but rather are merely tradition, cultivated and enforced in the past, and handed down to those who come after. Should they have happened differently, would they still be applicable?

The rebuttal question is important because of something often referred to as “the law of non-contradiction”, which basically states:

No thing and its opposite can both be true at the same time in the same sense

A simple example of this would be a “married bachelor”. That is a contradiction in terms. basically, -x does not equal +x is another way to represent it.

So, if we have a law that states it is illegal to steal something from someone, but another society has a law that says it’s illegal NOT to steal something from someone (like a pirates’ code or something), those are contradictory positions. Both sets of standards could not both simultaneously exist while both being “true” in the moral sense. Each society would object to the other as immoral.

The appeal would then have to be made to one of the following (which may not be exhaustive):

  • majority rule (majority opinion decides what’s right)
  • one violates empathy, reciprocity, and fairness (a transcendent law of some kind that governs life; natural or otherwise)
  • both are equally valid but ultimately subjective
  • both are equally meaningless

To address the first we need only to ask ourselves a simple question: if one person believes something is true while 50,000,000 people believe something is false, is the majority correct by sheer numerical weight, or is truth independent of majority? If you say, yes, majority rules, then Galileo was wrong in the past but he could be right now, since it’s all about majority. It seems intuitively obvious that something can be true regardless of the assent of the majority of people. The divide happens here, in relation to morality, in that naturalists would assert that morality is not within the same realm of fact as physical sciences. But, don’t you think that morality plays out on the physical stage? Can’t we simply either look at history or experiment with what results from participating in shifting our sense of moral compass?

The ability to create a hypothesis and test it in the physical world is the basis of science. Try living your life assuming stealing (in our current moral sense) is a valid moral imperative to act upon. Even, in your own mind, presuppose that you are never caught. Perform a thought experiment and explore what one who indulged the act thoughtlessly and continually would yield in their lives should they participate and never be held to account by society. Dostoyevsky wrote about this very thing in Crime and Punishment. Does his exploration determine what is true about reality? Of course it doesn’t necessarily entail that, but does that mean it’s incorrect? Our intuition, which is the primary thing he spent the entire time highlighting, is that it would very much so be a violation of some form of natural law, not just societal limitations. Even just imagine that you are in the majority of your own home, and change the moral imperatives within the controlled environment of your own home, how do you believe that would play out? If majority can’t drive it then we shall scratch it off.

The last two bullet points get to a point of absurdity. We hold each other to standards because we do. “It is what it is.” If society were different, it would simply be different. There is no real right or wrong to it, and it could and likely would be otherwise if it were replayed. Both are neither right or wrong, meaningful or not, they simply are. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

The 2nd bullet point of violating empathy, reciprocity, and fairness is particularly interesting to me because it teases at a sort of transcendent, not necessarily in the “deity” sense, Law which governs the proper behaviors of life itself. Those three traits are actually the way that life must act. Not because of compulsion or rule, in the sense of imposed rules antithetical to the desires and existence of the creature, but as naturally fundamental to life as how gravity interacts with mass. “What goes up, must come down.” That would translate into, “that which lives must generally act with empathy, reciprocity, and fairness.”

This gets to the core issue: What natural forces, if any, govern the way inorganic matter must interact once it becomes living? We could, again, just take this for granted and say, “Well, that’s just the way it is,” but I’m only willing to go so far. At some point, the requirements imposed upon the solution by the quandary must actually be met, and not just blithely attributed to the solution without justification.

This particular solution implies that these traits are actually necessary for life to survive and flourish, as opposed to simply being “random results” of an otherwise haphazard set of potential. This has direct implications on the nature and origins of the universe itself. To have rules baked into it that govern even the potential of organic material itself implies something interesting about the makeup of it itself. Why would the potential of organisms exist, and why would rules that then govern their behavior be preexistent to that which they rule?

It would be like asserting that the rules of physics necessarily result in the formation of the universe. You presuppose the egg, and obviously the chicken becomes inevitable. But what are the natural rules of physics when all of that which they govern do not yet exist? If space, time, matter, and energy are corelative and governed by the laws of physics, and those appear to have been instantiated, then what more fundamental thing makes them all up or grants their contingent state the quality of “necessity”? None of them, in and of themselves, appear to possess necessity, and all of them appear to have been guided by something that precedes even themselves and their codependent laws that guide them.

To use the description of a thing, which is what the Laws of Physics are: descriptions of how the material world interacts, to then state those descriptions are the reason they are necessarily existing is preposterous.

“Why do chickens exist?”
“Haven’t you seen? Chickens come out of eggs.”
“But where did the egg come from?”
“Haven’t you seen? Chickens lay eggs.”

So, to propose a set of guiding forces that determine and control the interactions of organic, living material before any such thing exists implies only 1 of 2 things in a naturalistic world:

  1. No such rules exist and these are simply illusory continuations of regular physical laws (seems to imply there would be much less destabilization in their manifestation and governance)
  2. The rules are baked into the fabric of the universe but don’t actually have causative deterministic powers in the same sense (they really do govern, but only loosely and can relatively easily be trumped or ignored and take a long time to realize their dominance)

It appears, based on most forms of science, that virtually the entire universe seems to obey pretty standard sets of rules and limitations. While we haven’t fully grasped all the nuance of how these things seem to properly and fully be described, it’s clear that we have a decent grasp of the general boundaries of a great many categories of the material world and how it functions. The interesting factor is that we seem to be able to fathom how interstellar systems function and interact, even believing we can look through the corridors of time to the beginning of the universe, and yet can’t even properly comprehend ourselves or other forms of life when they’re right at our fingertips. Obviously, this doesn’t entail that there is something more to life than mere material, but if it doesn’t compel the conclusion, that seems pretty incredible to me.

So, what are the implications of a naturalistic morality?

Our society in the United States, and seemingly the entire Western World, seems obsessed with the eradication of tyranny. The eradication of the arbitrary and incessant enforcement of rules and imperatives that bind and limit our ability to express whatsoever we should desire; freeing ourselves from the restraint of the past. We do this with most everything. If the government and/or majority indulge in slavery, we abolish it, even if it was a critical part of maintaining a profoundly flourishing and profitable society that had done away with massive amounts of historical poverty and a restriction on the survival of many. If the majority, government, or tradition persists monogamy or traditional sexual norms, we break free. We loathe, desperately, limitations that are arbitrary and restrictive when we recognize them.

So, why would we abide a moral compass imposed upon us by a nondescript, natural and non-entity force like a “natural physical predisposition”? What could be more definitionally tyrannical than organizations of living material dictating to disparate groupings what is or is not permissible to them based on “natural/physical rules/preferences”? I can think of nothing more oppressive, tyrannical, or imposing than arbitrary material forcefully governing other material solely for the benefit of “abiding the rules”.

It’s quite obvious that we have the capacity, if these “natural” rules exist, to recognize these arbitrary limitations imposed upon us because we are talking about them right now. Staring them in the face. Highlighting their irrelevance and uselessness in the face of our own fancy. To abide them is only to participate in an illusion; to continue in the absolute bondage of pinnacle Stockholm Syndrome. I can think of nothing more tyrannical than matter forcing dissenting matter to abide its whims because it has decided to do so and for no other reason.

Abiding them honors nothing. Accomplishes nothing. And worse, persists suffering above most all else. Reducing suffering could be done in the blink of an eye with a series of atomic bombs stopping countless generations of those who would suffer from disease and decay, persecution and the slow creep of death.

There is a paradox in this conceptual encounter yielding in the realization that the vast majority of life (~3.7 billion years on earth based on modern scientific estimations) has been objectively and profoundly overwhelmed by periods of such a disparity between suffering and flourishing that almost certainly no amount of positive flourishing in the next 1.7 billion years before life is eradicated on earth could ever outweigh the suffering that has and will continue to occur before the end. We make moral grandstands about the virtue of empathy, fairness, and reciprocity, while the rest of the material world, as Richard Dawkins puts it, marches on with “…nothing but pitiless indifference.”

It is an unfortunate impasse to come to terms with absolute meaninglessness in a moral compass. We pretend our children are different from amoebas despite the fact that they are our great, great, great, great grandfathers and live within us most of our life. We force others to abide our societal rules. Enforce our country’s, nation’s, race’s, culture’s ethics upon others with violence, whether in reactively defending others from contrary ethics or in forcing our own proactively. We perpetuate suffering in the name of achieving flourishing, and for what? To appease gravity? To accommodate the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics?

The catastrophic reality of divorcing our moral compass from a transcendent that actually necessarily fulfills the requirements of the quandary and also possesses the qualities therein is beyond comprehension. To teach our children that religion is frivolous and wanton but that the universe demands obedience of social norms is intentionally dumping poison down your children’s throat. We possess the ability to actually encounter the applicability of those claims and accept or reject them. We are either creations made in the Image of God, and can therefore see and perceive the good and necessary consequences of abiding the moral code and choose to obey or rebel; or we are animals that are capable of seeing the imperialistic irrelevance of our feigned moral compass and can choose to obey or rebel. One is imperative and possesses intrinsic value, the other is feigned and illusory.

There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is or is not worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy. All the rest — whether or not the world has three dimensions, whether the mind has nine or twelve categories — comes afterwards. These are games; one must first answer.

Albert Camus

He believed life was worth living, but almost none in this debate are earnestly doubting whether or not it is worth it but rather why is it so that it is worth it?

If tyranny is to be loathed and treated with contempt, as I believe virtually all of us are wont to believe, then there is only one source of morality in which there is both satisfactory justification of the intellectual impasse while also being able to attribute the necessary characteristics to resolve the requirements. If we are to choose that life is worth living, mostly by instinct and intuition, then the answer must provide a satisfactory and fulfilling justification for why that is so. Otherwise, why would anyone abide it?

The questions from the top now get placed into an ending context:

  1. Is there actually an ought? (transcendent right and wrong)
    • If you say no, enforcing rules seems capricious, arbitrary, and maximally tyrannical so far as I can tell
    • If you say yes, then naturalistic explanations seem inadequate to compel one to actually abide them, and also seem to simply impede a pursuit of pleasure and persist suffering. While having something loosely upholding them, there is no mechanism to adjudicate between the wills, and our recognition of their meaninglessness seems to highlight their irrelevance
  2. If so, how do we know what they are and where do they come from?
    • Can naturalistic explanations truly explain their origins? How do we properly identify what the rules are when they’re natural? Do we just accept whatever unfolds, absorbing from the most flourishing societies? Why are rules placed upon inorganic matter (all that was present at the beginning) something we are required to abide even when we are capable of recognizing their, at least potential, irrelevance?
  3. If not, what is the purpose of enforcing the obviously illusory oughts?
    • It seems that at least a possible justification would be that life would not persist should these be violated. But to assume that the preservation and persistence of human life is some maximal “good” that should be pursued seems to not only be another premise that must simply be accepted, but that seems contrary to the highest goal of preserving and flourishing life. Humans actually cause mostly harm to the rest of the Earth. We are quite literally cancerous if viewed from a purely naturalistic perspective. While we achieve “greater things” (whatever that actually means in a context like this), we also destroy, pillage, and create instruments of torment and agony on unprecedented scales.
  4. What could justify, “show or prove to be right or reasonable”, that these oughts exist and, even more so, that they actually be enforced and abided?
    • The presence of natural laws, whether physically imposed on inorganic matter itself, which is what living matter is comprised of and therefore also governed by, or whether there are rules fundamentally built into the universe that are specific and solely applicable to living matter, seems to only get us some form of “standard”. It does seem to indicate a form of ought, but an ought that can only truly be compelling in a sense of human preservation. It seems to violate the reality that we are life in the same way that amoebas are life, trees are life, insects and livestock are life, and yet we have catastrophic impacts on these significantly more prevalent forms of our ancestors. To continue in our own existence seems a direct affront to the oughts of life (proper).
  5. What qualities must the solution possess in order to adequately uphold these imperatives?
    • Here lies the conundrum. The oughts must either be specific to all life or it’s possible human beings are a special category. What has the capacity to grant human beings “special status”? Does the natural explanation actually provide us a necessary resolution to this, or do we just recognize the arbitrary nature in which we prioritize ourselves and allow ourselves to blindly justify our self-importance despite our antithetical impact on life according to natural law? If oughts apply to all life and we are in violation of those oughts, then the annihilation of our species seems a legitimate and viable solution to the problem. To persist in the face of that impasse is an act of rebellion against the dictates of the universe, and seemingly no amount of justification could ever bridge that gap. It must be crossed solely in blind ignorant optimism. We will just work harder to reduce it until the end even knowing we will continue to make it worse all the while. Therefore, the solution must apply to all life or adequately justify the supremacy of humans vs the rest of life/existence.
    • The force(s) that govern us seemingly must be personal as morality is personal, at least in the way we discuss the concept and apply the rules, and yet the universe is decidedly impersonal. Inorganic material compiled into organic material, and organic material then has assigned itself supremacy. One could argue that because personal beings have arisen, that is justification enough to state that the universe is personal, but it surely seems that personal is without question illusory in that context. We are no different from stars in that we are marching to the tune of the rules that bind us, and the rules that bind us likely are identical to the rules that bind them (being collections of stardust ourselves). We already “know”, through intuition, that there is something unique about humans and life itself but how to adequately justify why that is and what can appropriately qualify why that matters is an entirely different beast. To simply say, “we are different and better because it’s obvious,” is only to state, “it is what it is.” Therefore, the solution must be “personal”.
    • The force(s) that govern us must be “good” (in the sense that we understand the word) because, in this particular instance of discussion, flourishing seems to be primarily focused on the good or well-being of life. To attribute “goodness” to a force imposing its will upon inorganic matter seems to not only be arbitrary, but wholly and completely unjustifiable. How could you bridge the gap between “that which is simply occurring” and “that which is right and proper”? There is a qualitative jump between “that which is” and “that which ought to be” that seems incapable of explication. A qualitative gap of untraversable magnitude. To assign “goodness” to the natural laws that govern matter, is to assign goodness to all acts of matter which obey their restrictions and immediately loses all sense of uniqueness when applied to morality. This continually highlights that goodness would, without question, be viewed as the most tyrannical force conceivable. Humans should, without exception, march to the drum of that which is best for the flourishment of humanity. If promiscuity causes disease and death to run rampant, it should be quelled. If the production of non-organic food causes cancer and disease, it should be stopped immediately. If the appropriation of wealth through governmental taxes yields inequality and unbalanced power dynamics where no recourse is afforded to those of directly equivalent status to their peers, then all such systems should be abolished. And yet, we do the opposite. And not only do the opposite, but believe the opposite is the moral imperative. Therefore, the solution must be “good” in a transcendent and absolute sense.
    • The force(s) that govern us must be other, transcendent, absolute, and exceeding our limitations. If the solution does not possess otherness; ie: qualities like timelessness, authority, and immutability then they can not rule us and would be just as we are. We view “Laws” of the natural world as other, at least in some sense, but to state what actually upholds a Law, or what the substance of a Law is, is to fundamentally ask another “Chicken or the egg?” question. A Law must be different from that which it describes/governs, but what is a Law if that which it describes or governs does not exist? Does something uphold the rules that bind that which exists, or are they inextricable or even derivative from that which exists? Are they wholly and completely bound up in one another, and if one came to be, then by logical necessity, the other came to be as well? Natural explanations, by definition, are bound within the confines of that which exists, and therefore, if “that which exists” were to be demonstrated to have not been, in the sense that we understand it today, then that which governs that which exists must also “not be” at least in the same way. The force(s) must transcend “that which is” or, again, must simply be taken a priori without justification and seemingly without possessing the qualities required to solve the impasse. Therefore, the solution must be transcendent, qualitatively, in authority, kind, and limit, possessing an immutable nature and boundaries wholly unlike our own.

There are more that could likely be expounded, but no need to be completely exhaustive (possess the character of justness and the means to enforce it, possess the character of love and empathy, self-sacrifice and mercy, etc). The list below should be sufficient to make the general point, hitting what seem to be the lowest hanging fruit.

  • What does, or even could, grant humanity a special status?
  • What does or even could, grant organic matter special status?
  • What does, or even could, grant personal to the natural?
  • What does, or even could, grant goodness to the natural?
  • What has the capacity and qualities of being “other” and transcendent in the natural?

To fail to answer those questions is to reside on a solution that is incapable of addressing issues like infinite regression, proper empirical or rational justification, philosophical intuitions, and to simply rely on a significant set of propositions that are axiomatic and/or unprovable, likely unjustifiable, premises. The hardest part of this is that even if one were to grant every single unjustified premise, the entire panoply of granted axioms and premises still wouldn’t possess the qualities necessary to resolve the impasses. They would simply state, “to ask anything beyond is meaningless.” To have an answer that says, “No question beyond this is relevant,” despite not possessing the qualities necessary to resolve the issue, is a real shame.

Why do questions like, “Who created God then?” not have merit? Because He possesses the necessary traits to end the infinite regression. That which is uncreated has no Creator.

“Is what God says good because He says it, or does God say what is good because it is good?” God says what is good because it is in accordance with His nature. He is the grounding of that which is good, as the sole Possessor of goodness itself, and it can neither be separated from His commands or grounded in the things which are good by sole virtue of deriving from Him. He resolves the impasse by being the standard itself. The locus of goodness exists solely within Himself.

“Can an all-powerful God create a rock that even He can’t lift? If not, He is not all-powerful.” This is a sneaky move of equivocation. It demands a violation of the Law of non-contradiction. “Can something that can do anything not do something?” is a proper formulation of the actual question. In the context of this question, the question is really, “All-powerful implies that something can break the laws of logic (hence the invalid structure of the question), but we will demand that they be broken while also assuming that something all-powerful can not do so. So can He?!” This is nonsense. If “all-powerful” implies an ability to violate the laws of logic, then yes, an all-powerful Being could do this because the laws of logic don’t apply to Him. He could create a stone even He can’t lift and then lift it after because there is nothing He can’t do. He can lift it and not lift it because He is not bound. But the better solution is: the question is nonsense. Can -x = +x? No. The end. God can do all things that are possible, and “…all things are possible with God.”

Lastly, why do these things work for God but not for the accepted premises/axioms of natural origins? It should be relatively simple. There is a massive difference between assigning properties to a thing, and them actually being demonstrably or definitionally applicable to that thing. There are incredibly powerful reasons to believe the universe came into being, in the fullest sense that we can state the proposition, in some way or another. There are also incredible reasons to believe, as a direct sequitur from that truth, that no natural solution is even capable of possessing even one of the traits needed to resolve the impasse, let alone all of them.

The solution, as I keep stating it, must address the requirements and possess the required traits to actually be a solution (proper). And should any solution stand at a gap of untraversable magnitude with the requirements, qualitatively at odds with the solution, then it should compel you that the solution is obviously not tenable. Optimism isn’t objectivity, and while admirable, is not a virtue when done in contrast to what appears true. It is a bizarre skin-suit-wearing version of virtue masking defiant rebellion.

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