Instead of a coherent framework to simplify the unknown, we get an appeal to the mysteriousness of the unknown. Not satisfying to say the least. This appeal quite simply no longer cuts it in a modern society (which last I heard, Filipinos aspire to becoming).
So let's simplify the unknown, shall we?
Sounds oxymoronic, doesn't it? But consider that most misunderstood "unknown" called infinity. A commentator recently admonished me:
benigno, even the greatest REAL minds in all the history of mankind never pretend to speak, in authoritarian manner, in infinite terms. to define infinity is to limit it, which is absurd and contradictory.
He was of course referring to a brilliantly simple mathematical principle that underpins my challenge to the monopoly that organised religion enjoys over governance applied to how people regard what happens after they die. The concept is so simple that I can state it in one phrase (a complete sentence is not even needed):
The certainty of even the most unlikely given infinity
With the above phrase, you could actually go up to the Pope and a-la Crocodile Dundee, tell him flat out: "Dude, that's not a god, this is a god".
How certain is, say, a one-in-a-million guy like me, given infinity? Quite simply, very certain; in fact infinitely certain. I am not a unique individual across space (if space is infinite), and/or I am not a unique individual across time (if time is infinite). Because everything with a non-zero probability of happening will happen given infinity. That means there will be an infinite number of instances of moi all over space for all eternity.
How's that for a humbling concept to regard?
Consider that even the god of the Roman Catholic Church Himself consistently fails to curtail the renowned misplaced kayabangan (arrogance) and self-importance of the typical Filipino. If we then regard a robust ability to evoke humility in a thinking people as a measure of godliness, then hands-down, my god wins.
We all want a simple god -- not one that plunged (and continues to plunge) humanity into innumerable wars, and immeasurable atrocities, all the while accumulating untold volumes of painfully convoluted written reasoning to prop up a pained semblance of His coherence in our minds. In mediocre thinking is propagated our continued beholdenness to the absurd. And it is in all ironies the absurd that the most militant mediocrity is nourished.
So consider the epiphany of the venerable Jim Paredes where the term "militant mediocrity" arises:
This “militant mediocrity” is easily threatened by superior ideas and often rejects them outright. Because it is highly invested in being average, it mocks anything that wants to raise the bar. Don’t we often dismiss as pilosopo, a snob, or an elitist, anyone who questions or challenges us with new concepts and ideas and new ways of thinking?
Fortunately for those who see the elegant simplicity in the concepts of the infinite, there is no need to renounce your Catholic sensibilities. It's quite simple:
Hell is empty, because God's mercy is "infinite".
If we are to believe in God's infinite mercy, we can conclude that behind every sin, is an infinite range of possible avenues for clemency. So fear not for your souls.
[This article was originally published by the author on 21 April 2009 in the now-defunct FilipinoVoices.com.]