Guys like Luther and especially John Calvin had a problem: God’s omniscience implies predestination — if God knows everything that will happen (which is the definition of “omniscience”), then obviously He knows everything you’re going to do, which means He knows, and has always known, whether you’re going to Heaven or Hell. But if that’s true, then what did Christ die for? Dying for our sins is pointless — the slate is wiped clean for that second, and only that second, because we’re just going to go on sinning, as God Himself knows full well. For Christ’s death to have done what it did, we must have free will… which means God doesn’t know what we’re going to do minute-to-minute, any more than we ourselves, His poor creatures, do.
There’s an answer for this, of course* (read it later), but it only applies to God. For everyone else selling a Determinist philosophy — Marx, the Stoics, even my beloved Hobbes — the problem is insurmountable. If the Revolution must happen, comrade, then what’s the point of all this “activism”? Y’all are, as the man said, like a group of astronomers who know with mathematical certainty an eclipse is coming… but who immediately form a Party and start murdering people, to make sure it comes. The very foundation of your philosophy has a crack, and all the ugly neologisms in the world can’t fill it.
The problem is: Nobody looks at the foundations anymore, so you get weird stuff like this (safe link to RS McCain)
Despite my fears, I remain open to parenting because of my friendships with trans, non-binary, and queer activists of color whose parenting is bound up in their quest for liberation. Their existence dares me to dream of parenting one day.
The author(ess?) is a self-described “Displaced Southern queer millennial womanist organizer/writer …They & she pronouns,” and the gist of her complaint — well, the chief among They’s many, many, many complaints — is that “sperm costs too damn much” for They and They’s lesbian partner to have a baby the old fashioned way. But if one ignores all that — and ignores the blue lipstick, weird hairdo, bow tie, and all the other stuff (I should’ve warned you to bring eye bleach before clicking) — one finds theyself inevitably asking:
Liberation from what, exactly?
Back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, Marx et al had an answer. It was even a good answer — read up on conditions in turn of the century Tsarist Russia, and you too will want to hurl a bomb at a capitalist. That the cure was much worse than the disease does not mean the disease wasn’t real. For Russia’s serfs-in-all-but-name, “liberation” meant something real, obvious… and seemingly obtainable.
Nowadays, though? Borrowing a phrase from Marx, the early 21st century West is the only place with the “objective conditions” that allow a “displaced Southern queer millennial womanist organizer/writer” to exist. Everything about this… being… and They’s partner-being exist, and can only exist, thanks to the culmination of decades of unprecedented material prosperity and its consequent mental enstupidation. In my time in a college town I met quite a few people who make up their own pronouns, and trust me, they should be required to talk in footnotes — everything they say or think is lifted wholesale from Jezebel, Feministing, or the Guardian. If they were my students, I could fail their entire lives for plagiarism.
This has the interesting consequence of making the folks in Our Thing the real proletariat. Just as the de facto serf in 1905 had an answer — a very detailed, specific answer, right down to a list of who to murder first — to the question “liberation from what?”, so do normies. Not to put too fine a point on it, the answer is: “liberation from the tyranny of “displaced Southern queer millennial womanist organizer/writers.” If I were the leader of a burgeoning Alt-Right…. “study circle,” let’s say, I’d make up big, full color posters of They and paste them all over campus, with the slogan / hashtag “this is your master.” The usual suspects will shriek, of course… but they won’t be able to explain why, which sets up the second phase of the two-pronged attack: A poster of They, with two captions: “This is your master” and “What’s wrong with that?”, the second question ideally linking to the syllabus from any given Wymyn’s or Queer Studies course at the local U. Given that these types of classes quite openly preach the destruction of heterosexuality, patriarchy, etc., such statements will be easy to find.
Liberation from what? MAKE THEM ANSWER. Then sit back and watch the fun. You’ll make more converts in a day at the protest rally than you could in a year on the Internet.
At least, that’s what I’d do if I were in charge of such a thing. Which I am not, and I completely disavow it all.
*As I recall, the answer is: Predestination in Calvin’s sense implies that God exists within the stream of time — He is, in a way, bound to the forward progress of His own creation. But that can’t be true, either, as it violates God’s omnipotence. Therefore, God exists outside the stream of time — He knows, and has always known, every possible outcome of every possible choice we could ever possibly make. It’s very sci-fi — we each exist, in a way, in our own personal universe, which veers off into another of infinitely many possible universes each time we make a moral choice.