A Progressive Belief: Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble.

Newthink’s worldview tree grows out of its three main branches. One of the three is the Godless Universe metaphor, which begins with the unconscious belief that human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble.

This is the primary unconscious belief derived from the Godless Universe metaphor. It’s the result of cognitive dissonance between two fundamental beliefs: that God is not present, and that transcendental goodness does exist. The unconscious logic branches upward like this:

• The Universe is a Home.
• God is the Absent Father.
• Transcendental goodness does exist.
• Transcendental goodness exists within us, not outside of us.
• Human beings are inherently and transcendentally noble.

WorldviewTree_p024

Newthinkers’ conviction that God is absent, derived from the Godless Universe metaphor, encounters their coexistent conviction that transcendental goodness does however exist. The cognitive result of these seemingly contrary positions is the belief that transcendental goodness does exist, but within us, not outside of us. It is therefore, newthinkers believe, humans who are inherently and transcendentally noble, not an absent God.

Where does the foundational belief that God is not present in our universe originate? From various factors: First, science’s ability to explain the world has led to the belief that the universe is knowable, and that the idea of God the unknowable mystery is simply mysticism. As the New York Times headline said, “God Is Dead.”(Notice the headline said God Is dead, not God Doesn’t Exist. The former implies that he once was alive and now is gone.) Second, science’s ability to manipulate the world has led, in many minds, to its replacement of God as the great manipulator. Third, disbelief in God may seem like freedom; freedom attracts. And, fourth, on an individual level, repressed anger toward a missing or failed father in one’s personal life creates anger which may be sublimated toward God the Father.

Where does the foundational belief that transcendental goodness actually exists come from? I believe it originates in an inherent human recognition of and attraction to transcendental goodness. Virtue is essential to human life – who would want to live in a universe where goodness did not exist? Only the bleakest among us deny the existence of goodness completely. Nearly all people have an internalized virtue system. (And I’m willing to bet that nearly everyone rates themselves above average on their virtue scale.) But, as we’ll see, people with different worldviews define virtue differently.

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