Sunday, March 4, 2012

An Ingenuous Apologetic (. . . or why I still believe that Christianity is true . . . or more true) Part III

Compulsory Nihilism II by Astrolavos
If you continue where I left off, considering that most of us believe what we do because of the culture in which we were raise, you start to get the feeling of hopelessness. If you add to that, the point that I've made before that certainty about anything is impossible, there is a great temptation to resort to a nihilistic position.  It must be hopeless to know anything.

But nihilism doesn't get you anywhere.  You are still stuck in the bottom of the crater and in the worst possible position. Even the atheists finagle a way to find meaning . . . although that "meaning" is build on wet tissue paper. True atheism should be wed to total nihilism.

But, the fact that we reach our belief systems as a product of our culture doesn't alter reality, only our perceptions of reality. If the tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it . . . yes, it does still make a sound.  Reality is, whether we think about it or not. So the fact that we can't know with certainty or that our perceptions are skewed by our culture, with powerful emotional coercion at work, there is still a reality there. It would make sense that the closer we live to true reality, the better our lives are, so it is worth the pursuit. Nihilistic hopelessness is a horrible way to live. Yet, to create, mentally, a better "reality" just to give us a sense of hope is equally worthless.

Thinking through these things can be exhausting. That is why the majority of pilgrims check out at this point. The Evangelicals do the "cop-out" of saying, "It doesn't matter. I believe the way I do because God caused me to believe the way I do so I will just believe it and go on."  The majority, more than the Evangelicals, do something differ. They give up quickly and fill their minds with distractions.  The things of life, family, TV, work, sports, hobbies and the list goes no. Not that those things are bad, but they use them as a constant treadmill of distractions so that they will never have to give the questions of life a serious thought.

Now, regarding the Evangelicals, if they believe that God has done the work for them, that He has called them to believe and therefore they have no choice, and if the Christian God is truly there, then they win. So, even though I may be critical for their intellectual laziness, I do believe that the Christian God IS there, so I can't fault them as they are right . . . but accidentally right. We all end up at the same place.

But for some of us, especially as we interact more and more with the greater world (other religions, world views, cultures), we want to do the work of knowing why we believe and knowing if we are right. We are not comfortable with accidental correctness. Accidental correctness can be, just as easily, accidental incorrectness.

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