So I was thinking this morning about the verse in Hebrews that says quite categorically:
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6 ESV)
Now that’s all good and well, and very reasonable, if you accept the bible at all. What if you don’t? Well, if you don’t accept the bible, or any other system of faith, if you’re not even trying to please any god, especially not the “one god further” iteration of the Judeo-Christian worldview; even if you’re merely trying to please yourself, then you also can only do so, by faith. Continue reading
Pessimist followed by Selfish followed by Cynical followed by Idealist generations in an ongoing cycle. Sociological manifestations of a 2500 year old spiritual conspiracy. Do you really believe it? Are you conscious of it?
Alexander the Great, whom Daniel pictures rather unflatteringly as a male goat, was Aristotle’s pupil. Alexander was an idealist.
Aristotle fundamentally disagreed with Plato, he believed that our actions in the physical realm should be organized, and ethical. But quickly found that grandfather Socrates was right about one thing: although we ought to be ethical, we are anything but!
There seems to me to be a forced division between science and faith based systems of thought. I think there is a lot more overlap than each camp’s fundamentalists will grant. Each side wants to replace the other’s term with “Fiction”. But the truth is that theories require faith, even proved ones; and faith requires reason, especially real faith.
But there is a truly magical (and very real) place where these two elements, Fact and Faith come together, hand in hand almost, and demand that we give them equal portions, like siblings requiring the equal division of a packet of candy.
It is only in the realm of inter-personal relationships where fact matters as much as faith.
Martin Heidegger said “Philosophizing is to ask the question ‘why are their beings instead of nothing?’”
“What the philosophers say about reality is often as deceptive as when you see a sign in a second-hand store that reads: Pressing Done Here. If you went in with your clothes to have them pressed you would be fooled; the sign is for sale.” Søren Kierkegaard in “Either/Or”
There is nothing benign about secularist atheism.
Dawkins says, “We can give up belief in God while not losing touch with a treasured heritage.” (The God Delusion)
Really? Now wouldn’t that be lovely?
Does Dawkins propose any examples of this actually happening?
Darwin says: “With savages the weak in body and mind are soon eliminated. We civilized, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination. We build asylums for the imbecile; the maimed and the sick. Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. Hardly anyone is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.” (The Decent of Man – 1871)
Paul Pot: “Since he is of no use anymore, there is no gain if he lives and no loss if he dies.” “Look at me now. Am I a savage person? My conscience is clear.”
Every ancient national story is one of conquer and rule. Every mythology is one of powerful gods cheating and revenging each other like kindergarten kids.
Then I read Joshua 9, the first account of a national conscience, a treasured heritage if ever there was one. “We have given them our oath by the LORD, the God of Israel, and we cannot touch them now.”
Give up belief in God and you give up all your treasured heritage, eventually you give up your very self.
I was watching Michael Shermer (publisher of Skeptic Magazine) on TED speak about the nature of belief. That humans have evolved to look for patterns; which is why we tend to believe things.
Like poor Frodo Baggins, Daniel first sees the destiny of humanity approach through other people’s dreams, then he has a dream of his own, and then he sees it coming “with his waking eyes“. At the height of these visions all thought of food and drink will leave him, as his visions terrify him.