jadedog:

    Science and technology are natural allies to this Judeo-Western optimism, especially if we remain open to an eschatological frame in which God works through us in building the kingdom of heaven today, here on Earth—in which the kingdom of heaven is both a future reality and something partially achievable in the present. Given a choice, it makes more sense to ally with atheist optimism than with atheist pessimism—and we should remain open to the idea that even Faust’s land-reclamation project is a part of God’s larger plan. After all, in the Bible, the sea is the place where the demon Leviathan lives, and it symbolizes the chaos that must be rolled back. And chaos will be rolled back all the way: “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth . . . and the sea was no more” (Rev. 21:1, emphasis added).

This article is really confusing. He intertwines the Bible, God, optimism and atheism simultaneously. In the beginning of the article, it seems like he's using Eden in the Bible as a literal utopia. But if Eden is a metaphor for a better place, then optimism and Eden could be considered closely aligned. Whether one is religious or atheist, aligning with optimism instead of pessimism is usually espoused. As is evident from his rendering of what he considers reality, realism can be closer to pessimism, depending on one's view of reality.

His rendering of reality is pretty grim. I bet that in every time period in man's history, there was someone saying that this was one of the least optimistic times. But optimism is not bound by external circumstances. That's why the Eden metaphor works. There's always the possibility of a better future.

    The optimism of Bacon and Hobbes belongs to a bygone era. And perhaps there always was something profoundly contradictory in optimism and atheistic materialism.

I don't know much about Peter Thiel so I looked him up. He's a billionaire who made money from co-founding Paypal and investing in Facebook. Those are not two companies I think of when I think about companies that solved the world's hunger and environmental issues.

He wrote a long article about how people are starving in the world and how it's harder to get employed today than it was before. At the same time, he just funded Hulk Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker for $10 million. I realize that he's a bit of a hero for many Redditors for taking down Gawker. But if his concerns are about people starving and getting jobs, that $10 million could have fed a lot of people and employed many.

He's also funded an institute for communities to be beyond the reach of the law.

    And he co-founded the Seasteading Institute, which aims to create cities that float at sea, beyond the reach of governments and their laws.

Peter Thiel, Tech Billionaire, Reveals Secret War with Gawker

Yet when he was funding the Hulk Hogan lawsuits, he wanted the government, through its laws, to exact justice, or what he considered to be justice to stop a "bully".

It's unclear to me what his stance is on any of the issues he's writing about.


posted by thenewgreen: 850 days ago