The end of the Mayan calendar bears down on us, and while the sky has yet to crack open and herald the second coming of the Son of God, it certainly is snowing like a motherfucker up here. Thus, what better time to revisit that most RSS-subscription-culling of topics: God.
Readers will recall this blog’s recent forays into Christianity, theology, and the ethical obligations of the modern Christian man. After several months of studying the Bible, various Christian apologetics, corresponding with a few Christian bloggers, attempts at prayer, and a month-long, 800 km pilgrimage across Spain – I wrote this specious and highly unsatisfactory cop out of a post. Re-reading it, I can almost hear the cognitive dissonance hissing out the edges of my monitor.
But now it’s Christmas: The season of gaudy decorations, unnecessary expenditure, flimsy excuses to eat crap and skip training, exchanges of unnecessary and unwanted gifts, and perhaps if we’re lucky, a little bit of genuine good will between family and friends amidst all the other unnecessary shenanigans. Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, there existed some connection in the common man’s mind between the holiday of Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ. Now, western civilization has mercifully outgrown its antiquated and ungrounded fascination with Christianity.
Such is the common perception, anyways. And yet, who can deny the correlation between our society’s abandonment of Christianity, and the Grace of God’s (literal or metaphorical) abandonment of us?
(Actually, many deny it. They believe that things are just gravy in 2012. Thank God Dawkins! They cry, that we live in such a glorious world! Welfare has replaced the barbarism of charity; Our art and culture have scaled the heights of Ke$ha, Piss Christ, and The Expendables 2; Murdering, pillaging bands of savages roam the streets of our great cities, while law enforcement turns to the vastly more pressing problems of contrived hate hoaxes and girls who regret their drunken hookups; Civic engagement and community have been replaced by legions of lonely herbivorous men whiling away their years playing video games and watching hentai porn, while their female equivalents take up arms as amateur Tumblr social justice warriors. Ah, the masses.)
The man – such as myself – who has lost his faith in the pretty lies of this age, must eventually consider the one belief system that:
– Was nearly ubiquitous among the men who built the pre-modern world.
– Was gradually abandoned in lockstep with its decay.
– Is currently among the most taboo, uncool, and politically incorrect beliefs to hold, in an idea space where most of the unfashionable, taboo ideas I’ve come across are true.
For me, this was the big leap. Not faith, but merely the recognition of faith as a viable intellectual option.
Once that hurdle is past – i.e., once the mind is freed from the modern prejudice against Christianity – the question of faith in a Christian God is a matter of logic and evidence.
The Catholic Church holds that the existence of God can be demonstrated by pure reason, no blind faith in a magic sky fairy required. Better men than myself have spilled much ink on the subject of proving God’s existence, so I will limit myself here to the chains of reasoning that I find most convincing.
The Fine-Tuned Universe Argument is an open and shut case for, at minimum, Deism. The only reasonable alternatives are 1) A multiverse, or 2) That human intelligence is insufficient to properly define and understand our relationship with the universe and any potential creator that exists.
It strikes me as likely that any being with the power to build a Universe as complex as our own, should also be powerful enough to exist outside of it and manipulate events within it. Hence, Theism seems likely.
As for Christianity, full stop – The resurrection of Christ was either an act of God, or a pretty freaking impressive trick. Some real ancient David Copperfield shit. Islam in contrast, requires credulity to the point of silliness.
But the case for Christianity is not open and shut. I can’t dismiss the possibility of a multiverse, I can’t dismiss the possibility that the existence of God is beyond the ken of human wisdom, and while I find the historical case for a divine Jesus to be stronger than any alternative supernatural religion, that’s still not setting the bar very high. All things considered, I remain a committed agnostic, albeit: One who takes the potential truth of Christianity far more serious than most agnostics; One who believes that regardless of its literal truth, Christianity is the West’s best hope for a moral and spiritual compass; And without a doubt, one who has firmly chosen to stand beside Christianity.
And yet…. I invite my readers to peruse and enjoy my latest blog, Thumotic, in which I regale my ongoing daily adventures in fornication pride, gluttony, vanity, covetousness and adultery. I write this blog post extolling the worthiness of time spent considering Christianity, while still reeking of last night’s sin, and steeling myself for another three in a row coming up. All of this is completely inconsistent with my uncertain belief in the literal truth of Christianity, and my certain belief in its utility as a social and moral blueprint. All of this is the great contradiction at the core of my being: Traditionalism, Reaction, Fidelity, Righteousness, and God for thee – drugs, drunken sluts and sin for me.
Are we contradictions in need of resolution, we modern traditionalist playboys? Ah, but I’m afraid this post is long enough as it is. God either exists, or he doesn’t. If he does, those who seek shall find. Tonight, I have whiskey to drink, a fresh soul to collect, and a party to throw in celebration of the world not ending today after all. The questions will still be around tomorrow.