Christianity vs Buddhism: the principle version


Postulate 1: Living is good.

Postulate 2: It is good that living is good.


Christianity: It is good that it is good that living is good. Spacetime will configure itself over time to be the best of all possible worlds.

Buddhism: It is natural for living organisms to believe that living is good since this belief enhances their survival. In fact, once biological sentience arises and complexifies, it will express survival as an idea—indeed, as the primary good.

Living is good for whom?

It always amazes me that how absolute necessity can rest on absolute contingency. If ur-cells and hypercycles did not exist, then the whole world of clinging—the biosphere and noosphere—would never have existed. But once the negentropic eddy arises, and once natural selection gives it powers of cognition, axioms (like: It is good that living is good) that appear super compelling arise.

survival will

It is natural that eddies would develop imaginarily static ego executive functions equipped with ever-higher orders of implementation and self- (or principle-) representation.

linguistic perception

The living is good rests on the fact that it helps my cellular automaton to survive. The machine is an accident, but machines do happen to fare better if they value survival. Its actions are more pro-survival if it believes that survival is important. Natural selection on behavior selects for executive functions that entertain “moral principles” in language and gets all deontological about them.