Sunday, June 12, 2005

Why I Hope

I cannot easily say what I believe about myself and my relation to God. I am familiar with many of the Confessions and cannot with conviction state any of which I know. But I do find that when I am in church and recite one or another I stirs something within me. I hope that what I say is true.

For if what I say is true, I and those I love will in the next life achieve a perfect security that cannot be had in this world. I, my wife and children can now be hurt. We can now be killed. We can now fail to achieve that which we set out to do. We can now live well for a time and yet have what measure of peace and security we have achieved taken from us either by sin or by accident.

I sometimes feel that I'm always on edge in this world. I never really let go. I am never fully calm, fully at peace.

I don't believe that I can ever feel at ease in such a world. But I hope that another exists, a world in which a being both all-powerful and all-good will shelter us from all harm.

Of course a defender of naturalism will say that this angst is simply the animal in me aware of the potential dangers that surround it; and that of course evolution favors this ever-present fear of a hostile, or indifferent world. I have no sure refutation of such a view. But I hope that it is false, and I hope that there is a God.


J. Hawthorne said...

As a fellow philosopher (which is the flavor of your site) and a Christian (again flavor) I hear you your meditation. I have been conforted by thow following: 1)JP Moreland who told me that I need not know how in order to know that.2)Augustine who demonstrated that first person awarnesses are often latching onto the truth of the real world (as well as his observation of self-presenting properties). 3) A steadfast belief that the general problem of skepticism is self-refuting. 4) Simple, "ordinary" worship and prayer. 5) Being around spiritual people.

Please do not read this list as intructions or "preachy" information. Rather, hear it as if you heard a fellow pilgrim in your proximity reminding himself of his blessings and mission.

PS - I'll be reading here again soon :)

Franklin Mason said...

Thanks for the comments.

What you say reminds me a bit of what was said by Pascal to those who were tempted by his argument for God's existence but could not all at once begin to believe. He told them to act as if they did believe, to act as others who believe in fact act. I expect that I should do this.

I very much believe that first-person meditation can lead you outward and reveal, or at least put you on the track of, profound truths about the world and your relation to it.

I'm curious. I'm certain that some very general forms of skepticism do refute themselves. But as for other more circumspect versions, I'm doubtful. Any more light on this issue?