Apr 13, 2007

John C. Wright, Again....

I am continuing to read John C. Wright' Journal, the atheist writer of science fiction who converted to Christianity a few years ago. Here is a sample of his recent and extended discussion with atheists. Pray for him.
It is the failure of modern systems, after Kant, to explain synthetic a priori reasoning which has led to the foolishness (e.g. Marx) and triviality (e.g. Wittgenstein) and wickedness (e.g. Nietzsche) of modern philosophers. The moderns no longer believe the mind of man can deduce truths about the universe and know right from wrong. Without an assumption that reason tells us real things about the real universe, we are left with three possibilities: philosophy is an intellectual superstructure or rationalization imprinted on our false consciousness by the mechanics of the inanimate forces of history around us (Marx); or philosophy is just a word-game (Wittgenstein); or philosophy, especially moral philosophy, is an arbitrary convention of the small minded that the great should shrug aside during their triumphant march into the superhuman (Nietzsche)
At no point did I say that a man could reason himself to a belief in God. At most, philosophy can argue that the Unmoved Mover of Aristotle or the Absolute of Hegel exists: but this God of the Philosophers does not have the character and personality of the God in the Bible (even though the God in the Bible, oddly enough, does have the character of the God of the Philosophers). I do not think anyone can believe in God unless he is inspired or suffers a revelation, or accepts the testimony of someone else who is or has. Theology, reasoning about God, is defensive, not persuasive. I cannot possibly talk you into belief in God: all I can do is show you why, once I have accepted such a belief, my ideas are rational and cohere each with their axioms and conclusions.

Christianity is the default position for several reasons: its age proves it has stood the test of time; it is a mature and a beautiful view of the world; it has a salutary effect; it has no serious rivals.
Keep in mind that during its 2000 year history, Christianity has been opposed by many rivals. Only Islam has any staying power, and, frankly, Islam copies many of the best features of the Judo-Christian tradition, but leave out some specific humanizing elements and beatitudes that gives this sad copycat religion the barbaric backwardness so much on display today.
Everything else has flourished and faded. Is communism still a viable rival for the affection of the intellectuals and common man? What about Logical Positivism? Deism? Theosophy? Albigensianism? Donatism? Montanism? Gnosticism? Right now, the only contender on the field is a type of naïve materialism that can't even explain itself, much less the universe, and offers no reason or meaning to life.
The historical dominance of the belief does not necessarily show that it is right; but it does show that every generation was sufficiently convinced of its verity to pass it along to the next, and each new generation was sufficiently impressed to accept the learning and add to it. The jury has been sitting for two thousand years, and a single nay vote of one generation would kill it as dead as Thor-worship.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm not referring to modern Christianity necessarily, but isn't it fair to say that there are vast periods in Christianity's history where the Generation didn't exactly get to Vote...but were instead forced to convert?

Again I'm not talking about modern Christianity, but since you are bringing up the religion's age as a factor, and as something to admire for its lasting power...it should be noted that those 2000 years were not exactly peaceful, love-filled centuries. Christianity has quite a history for killing off its rivals...literally.

I don't hate, or even dislike Christians or Christianity, but your religion used death and violence repeatedly over centuries to wipe out the pagan and heathen religions in Europe. So if the Muslims manage to kill/convert/overrun enough Western Countries to become dominant, will you declare them the "default" religion because of their violence-borne success at dominating the religious scene?

Just curious?

Mark Stinson