I have used the words “philotheos” and “philotheism” to identify the two key aspects of a God centred system of philosophical thinking.
Philotheos refers to the fundamental conceptual idea of God. That conception must reflect the essence of Who or What God must be. The conception identified is the Name of God given to Moses: “I AM”. It is this manifestly accurate, God derived conception of God which I intend to elaborate in this series of 3 parts, namely:
- God – Who God is
- Godless – What we are
- Godly or Godless: relating – or not – to God
The series is titled, “God, godless, godly”.
The word “philotheos” is appropriate because it places God first, not ourselves. It means, “God love” or “God lover”. It means we place God and God’s assessment above our human view and our human understanding. It rejects the man first, man derived perspective of our existence – it therefore rejects outright the human centred notion that everything is determined according to human perception – objective reality does not exist. I assert that, while everything may well be distorted by man’s perception [he is a self deceived sinner !] there is nevertheless an objective reality susceptible to being distorted by man’s perception !
I use the word “philotheism” to describe the paradigm which necessarily arises on the basis of the concept of God as “I AM”. The suffix, “-ism” indicates teaching of a system of belief, such as Communism, or Buddhism, or fascism, or socialism. A body of teaching necessarily arises from the fundamental concept or idea which the teaching exists to explain. In so doing, it necessarily delineates itself from other belief systems; it usually adopts parameters of reference to reinforce and explain its perspective and its assumed norms of how to look at the world.
Philotheism therefore elaborates the perspective, mindset and system of thought which necessarily arises from the fundamental assertion that God our Maker is “I AM”. It necessarily thinks in and promotes a particular way of thinking, in accordance with its assumptions and key ideas. It even has vocabulary reflecting this thinking. It is therefore a paradigm.
Accordingly I will explain “What” we human beings are and “How” then we relate – or fail to relate – to the God who is “I AM”, by referencing the terms and assumptions of God-centred thinking. That will necessarily contrast such thinking from human centred thinking and assumptions. Notice that human centred thinking has its own paradigm which it seeks to impose as THE paradigm by which we all live. The systematic elimination of the Christian festivals in the annual calendar is both example and symptom. We witness now a human centered calendar being imposed in order to cause us to live by the conceptions and assumptions of human divinity: hence Pride month; Black history month; International Women’s day etc.
But, if God is the essence of existence, then our existence is necessarily predicated upon the existence of God – otherwise humanity becomes ‘god’. In philotheistic terms that is ‘nonsense’ – we entertain such ‘nonsense’ because we deceive ourselves by saying God does not exist. In so doing we exalt ourselves to the place of God and thereby expose our foolishness – a foolishness manifest in the fundamentally untenable idea that our existence is merely a matter of perception. This is clearly implicit in Descartes ‘Cogito’, “I think, therefore I am” – we know we exist because we are aware of ourselves. That contains a great deal of truth. Indeed, Descartes would not necessarily see a contradiction with that and the existence of God. But note the words of Descartes ‘Cogito’ represent an anthropocentric appropriation of the God declared Being, “I AM”. While himself not rejecting the idea that God must exist, Descartes in fact subconsciously reflects the real, underlying attitude of the human ‘heart’ which revolts against God, demanding for itself instead the status of god.
Today’s Western world has rejected a theistic view in favour of a merely human centred view of the world. Accordingly, we now have laws which require us to think as if our existence were self dependent and self conceived, not God dependent and God conceived. We are each to determine our own identity according to our individual feelings and thoughts, not according to any objective criteria.
In reality this entails a reductio ad absurdam; it creates the extreme nonsense whereby a person with a facial beard, a penis, and all the physical attributes associated with being a “man” can become a “woman”. This person must be treated as a woman and be referred to as “she” in legal documents. If someone has the audacity to refer to that person in the historic understanding as “he” they risk prosecution. This reveals the triumph of self centred perception over God centred objectivity and reality; and in fact it is also represents the triumph of nonsense over reality. ‘Paradoxically’, this is where godlessness actually leads …
Traditionally, a person of one sex identifying with the “opposite” sex was thought to have psychological issues to resolve. But today, society must be forcibly conformed to that individual’s conception of themselves. That individual is no longer the problem; Society’s preconceptions have become the problem. The individual is exculpated and justified.
But it has meant that if dishonest individuals make a self assessment to deceive society as to their criminal motives, such individuals nevertheless remain entitled to maintain their manifest falsehood. Why ? Because the ruling philosophy applied imposes an extreme individualism to the total denial of all other factors. There are incidents on record where a dishonest individual has raped women in a prison to which only women may be sent. The abuse of self declaration by an individual is foisted onto Society but Society may no longer make any objective assessment of that person and their actions. Why ? Because the only assessment now acceptable is self assessment – considered to be their fundamental “Right” .
We have, then, the conditions for the breakdown of the traditional conception of the rule of law; this philosophy leads directly to a situation where the criminal’s rights over-rule any consideration for the rights of the victim and of Society. The strong may abuse the weak, and the institutions of the State must nevertheless protect the notion of self identifying identity. This type of reasoning has become dominant among many intellectuals and academics over the last 20 to 40 years. It represents the triumph of human centred, human-only determined reality where human beings have displaced all accountability to their Creator and become, instead, accountable solely to their own perceptions and judgements.
Such anthropocentric thinking has been revealed time and again to create a situation of domination by the powerful few over the obsequious majority who are conceptually and psychologically intimidated into accepting the minority view. Witness the extremist authoritarian regimes of the 20th century and the atrocities which they committed.
Such thinking reflects the default mindset of godless human beings. It is the mindset which appears time and again where certain human beings believe fanatically that humans are themselves god; the corollary is that human beings must therefore determine both the moral order and their own destiny. Control of the majority by a self promoting minority citing the pretext of “the good of all” becomes the order of the day.
This man-centred and domineering mindset has become so overwhelming that the governments of western democracies resorted to unprecedented control of their populations during the Covid 19 pandemic. The most everyday and normal actions of the population as a whole became subject to government diktat and control.
The pretext of extreme individualism has in practice caused the most extreme denial of the most ordinary, fundamental liberty. It is so extreme that the very dignity of the individual is now demeaned in the name of this minority conception of ‘the good of all’.
This paradox, however, is entirely explicable in the philotheistic worldview. Indeed it is predictable.
An objective God who is supreme over all human beings is replaced by the idea of human beings as god. This defies the fundamental reality of our God centred, God dependent and God ordained world. Such self deceit is invariably practised and imposed by the few. Both the psychology and the strategem of control were identified long ago by Plato when he articulated his ‘Noble Lie’.
Philotheistically, however, God creates and therefore owns every human being. All human beings, both dominant and submissive, must see themselves as accountable at all times to a Power beyond themselves as individuals. It necessarily therefore means that all those in positions of power are required to see themselves as accountable to that greater Power for all their actions towards those for whom they have responsibility. That constraint and counter balance to human arrogance disappears, however, in the man-oriented system of thinking. The descent into abuse of our fellow human beings is inevitable when this mentality gains complete control. This is what we witness today.
This becomes blatant once the actual God is removed from our thinking. Certain men then exalt themselves above all others, appropriating to themselves the accountability which belongs to God alone. This is the ultimate blasphemy. And the history of the 20th century demonstrates the wickedness which atheists are capable of as they seek to exalt mere men as god – Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Pol Pot. They were all deniers of their Maker and they obsessively imposed their particular versions of human centred thinking as the answer to all human problems. They refused to see therefore the even bigger problem which they themselves represented, indeed which they incarnated…
My allusion to the God incarnate concept in Christianity is intentional.