Entropism is a rational philosophy, moral theory, spiritual system and theology.
It provides a moral answer for the atheist question “Without God why should I be good?”
This is an important question
Though this question is often asked in bad faith by evangelical atheists, it is also often asked in good faith by people who honestly want to know the answer. Many people, both atheists and people who profess a faith, have a strong intuition that there is an underlying morality that transcends organized religion, a universal moral code that emerges from the nature and rules of the universe itself, but don’t know where to start on discovering it or deriving it from first principles.
This question is not a mere trick that appears in debate so the atheist can tear down his opponent, nor a rhetorical trick that the religious can leverage to prove the importance of divine revelations from a mysterious God who rules many but limits his direct revelations to a select few. No, it is an important question and requires an answer.
It is the most absolutely important question of our current age.
The modern world has been avoiding this question, most pretending it to be some trite little stab at religion and not a question that has a deep and important answer. There is a desire among many to behave in an immoral way, to do things they know to be evil but hope to evade any responsibility for.
This type of person is on a philosophic quest for a spiritual get-out-of-jail-free card. They deeply desire to live in a fantasy world of their own making where they get to define and selectively edit the rules of morality on the fly. Many people of this sort have already adopted a nihilistic worldview where the world is truly nothing but pure fantasy and emotion, subject to whatever interpretation they choose at a given moment.
Adoption of this nihilistic, hedonist philosophy reflects a desire to be one’s own God. This is a transgression against one’s own nature and a mortal sin. The penalty for this is a life lived in hell and a name unworthy of remembrance as anything other than a warning.
Religion VS Philosophy
While Entropism is a religion for some people it is also a philosophy that can be adopted by members of other faiths. Though it occasionally conflicts with edicts from some religious organizations it does not conflict with most major religions, at least not in their individual interpretations.
Entropism does not make cultural mandates outside of those consequent to describing a moral system. An interesting outcome is that Entropism’s primary cultural guideline is to embrace, assimilate, and adapt to the prevailing culture in one’s own locale (at the very least assimilate before attempting to innovate on an existing culture, especially a long-standing one). Harmony is often an important component of prosperity.
Entropism is not a proselytizing religion. The Entropist take on scientific and rational inquiry may be interpreted as evangelical, as research, teaching and education are all considered spiritual activities and part of the greater life journey of any practicing Entropist, and these activities affect and are intended to influence others.
Impetus and origin
The original inquiry that led me to Entropism started with a basic question: is morality a natural phenomenon? More to the point, is morality a property that emerges as a consequence of sentient, intelligent life existing in a universe subject to physical law? It turns out that “yes”, morality is indeed an emergent property of life under the laws of our universe as we understand them. This has led me down a surprisingly rich path of discovery, not just of basic morality but a whole variety of discoveries that have changed my outlook on life itself. I feel compelled to formalize and share these ideas and discoveries, as they are critical to resolving the breakdown in society we see happening around us today.
While I started with a direct moral question, others have come to Entropism by different paths.
The study of mathematics, the study of biology, information theory, systems engineering principles, concurrent systems design, the discipline of robust architecture, the study of large human systems, project management studies, etc. all give us very strong indications that there is a universal moral framework underlying human life and that it is not merely a matter of opinion or culture or social construction that makes this so, but rather that morality is indeed an emergent property of intelligent life in our universe.
The fascinating thing about this is how many people seem to stumble onto Entropism on their own, lack any way to express it formally, and basically sit on the idea, perhaps embarrassed to even explore or discuss it publicly. More recently anyone who stumbles on Entropist thinking on their own is often unable to express it publicly at all for fear of professional and social consequences, as Entropism is strongly anti-nihilist and this puts it at odds with the current wave of socio-political madness sweeping the world.
Because of this universality I cannot say “I founded Entropism” or “I created Entropism”. No, I can only say that I identified the philosophical leap required to create a stable moral framework and the most significant part of physical law that sets the system up for morality to emerge in our universe. I enumerated and formalized Entropism’s moral foundation but I didn’t even name it myself — someone else helped me find an appropriate name, based on the most important part of physical law that influences the phenomenon of morality: entropy.
Since then Entropism has, as natural consequence of exploring its implications, grown to suggest styles of living that are better rather than worse and indicated that further inquiry into the nature of our universe is not just a good idea, it is a spiritual activity that connects one to the universe in a direct way.
As Carl Sagan said, “The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.” This turns out to be a more literal a statement than many casual followers of Sagan may have realized.
What does religion give us?
Morality is a complex subject. The basic rules of morality may be simple to express, but the list of the implications of those rules are endless. We will never reach a point in time that “good” and “evil” are all perfectly defined for every permutation of action, intention, circumstance and role that can exist. Morals are therefore not always absolute binary rules but rather guidelines by which actions in a given circumstance can be judged along the moral gradient.
Most humans don’t have time for complex moral deliberations before every action they may take or deciding what thoughts to entertain. Humans are constantly encountering random situations they never expected and each human’s knowledge of the world is absolutely dwarfed by his ignorance. What saves non-psychopaths from analysis paralysis is the application of moral heuristics that our brains are highly optimized to apply even in highly ambiguous and uncertain social environments. The delivery system for these heuristic guidelines is a combination of cultural tropes and religion, a combination that is more often than not blended seamlessly.
Religion provides opaque truths.
Those truths are typically discovered and evolve over centuries and millennia. Some moral truths are so old that our brains have even physically evolved around them, and indeed the speed with which the social heuristic evaluator can operate is itself evidence of this.
The systems that underlie religious truths are vast and complex, based on a mix of divine revelations, cultural memory, historical precedent and judgements rendered on interpretations that are flexibly vague or strict depending on the situation. It is almost uniform across cultures that the dedicated, life-long study of the complete theological system behind these opaque truths is a defined job that the society fully and directly supports.
A person in this role is who people turn to for an elaboration on the nuances, origins and reasoning underlying various opaque truths, as well as being the one charged with social enforcement of those truths when members of society, especially powerful members such as the ruling class, stray so far from moral guidelines that the entire society becomes unstable. These people are, of course, the priests, shamans, village elders, and other sorts of clergy.
This pattern is so strong that even in anti-religious society, such as under Marxist or other fake woke Jacobin rule, the antimatter analog to this role exists in the form of the paid snitch, the commissar, the nit-picky neighborhood karen, the political officer in a military unit, and so on.
What does Entropism give us?
While religion gives us opaque truths and those truths provide highly functional heuristics for moral determination in times of high faith, at points when society has lost its faith the utility of those opaque truths begins to break down. Opaqueness gives collective certainty and incredible speed in moral determination, but when the truths themselves are questioned the opaqueness suddenly becomes a problem and can even hasten the loss of faith in a society. The average member of society is typically completely unprepared to deal with this.
When a society begins to lose faith in itself, its culture, its founding ethos, and its institutions those institutions succumb to corruption. Often the original cause for loss of faith started with observed corruption in the system (and as an effect can strengthen its cause, this can place an entire society into a vicious and accelerating cycle). It is then no longer possible to trust the person in the priestly role, as the motives behind their edicts and revelations and teaching becomes suspect. Opaque truth becomes the subject of suspicion and derision rather than confidence and inspired action.
Society therefore occasionally requires transparent truth. Transparent truth is not always fantastically complex, but does take quite a lot of time, thought and effort to discover, understand, enumerate, formalize and express.
Entropism provides transparent truth.
Those of us dedicated to formalizing and expressing Entropism may be considered as a sort of “priestly class,” though one certainly worthy of scare quotes as there is nothing magical about our revelations that one cannot discover on their own. We are essentially amortizing the time required for exploring the rules of the universe, concentrating that expense on ourselves as most people are too busy being productive in other ways to bother much about things like moral systems regardless whether their lives are ruled by their effects.
The purpose of this is to give members of modern society — be they atheists, agnostics, or those of a defined faith — an opportunity to recover the heuristic approach of formalizing cheap, heuristic, opaque truths by providing a base of expensive, exhaustive, transparent truths on which to build.
James Lindsay recently made the following observation: “You need theology.”
He was right. Though we have not gone public with Entropism before, it is clearly time, and given the current situation perhaps it is just in time.
What comes next?
Now that you know roughly what Entropism is, in following posts I will explain the moral foundations of Entropism, follow some of its implications, and carry on toward further inquiry and exposition on Entropist thought in the abstract.
In addition, I will be continuing to explore, experiment and expound on subjects in which I am knowledgeable. Inquiry, exploration, debate and exposition (teaching) are absolutely important spiritual practices to us, and as an Entropist myself one of my highest moral callings is to publicly record and profess any new knowledge of the universe and how it works that I discover. I am imperfect and so is my knowledge, but the opportunity to be corrected is one of the most important aspects of public profession of new knowledge!
In that same spirit, as readers of my personal site have already probably noticed, new characters have popped up recently expounding on a various topics. Most significantly so far, a fascinating series has been started on a style of mathematics that avoids real numbers and in fact reveals “real numbers” to be fake (whereas integers, imaginary numbers, rationals, quaternions, matrices, and so on are all quite “real”). The style of language in that series is crafted to be triggering to the fake woke and humorous to the intended audience. These posts are the beginnings of a public explanation of a revolution in mathematics that is largely impossible to pursue within woke academia and is itself an Entropist pursuit.