The Heart Can’t Contain All That Empty Space

Like all great poets, let me quote myself.

Let me put it another way. I am compelled to believe because the idea of Grace has gripped me. I find Grace presented in the Gospels. Its beauty is beyond the reach of science and its profundity is deeper even than philosophy.

I wrote that a few days ago and my good friend Jimlad has asked me to back it up. Its like an amateur theologian throw-down. Jimlad wants me to to show potential somebodies out that that my faith is not “based on pleasure triggered in your brain as a result of an evolutionary process”.

The first thing to point out is that I can’t categorically prove that this is not happening.

The second thing to point out is that it might not even matter.

If it turns out that my religious faith, like all other faith systems, are really just evolutionary by-products of human socialisation that doesn’t in any way indicate that my faith is misplaced. Its a dead-end argument for the doubter to classify Christian faith as an evolutionary product because:

  • Orthodox Christian theism believes God is the cause of and sustainer of evolutionary development at every step of the way.
  • Or

  • If religious faith is postulated as an evolutionary by-product and therefore meaningless (somehow), what protects evolution theory itself from the same meaningless since it too has come about through the same process?
  • All arguments for the Christian faith, I think, are cumulative. The order and beauty of the universe as displayed in this formula that Jimlad shared with me is thought-provoking, the portrait of Jesus in the Gospels is compelling, the music of Johann Sebastian Bach is haunting but none of them prove anything. The world and our experience stacks up however, with philosophical argument and scientific observation and aesthetic joy and theological insight and together they push us to the edge of the precipice and we see that the leap into faith was always the most rational thing to do.

    Well one of those arguments I have really been enjoying over the last few weeks goes like this: (Quoting CS Lewis):

    Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for these desires exists. A baby feels hunger; well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim; well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire; well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.

    I think that when you take that and add it to Jean Paul Sartre’s comment, “there comes a time when one asks, even of Shakespeare, even of Beethoven, ‘Is that all there is?'” you get a pretty robust opposition to the faith-is-evolved argument that is increasingly extended.

    Some Election Related Links
    So the Irish General Election is on today and so people are thinking about lots of things like tax rates and motorways and inevitably, because we are Irish, the potential legalisation of abortion. I found this article from the LA Times about doctors who are planning to do abortions as a form of protest really disturbing. The arguments are so weak, “It’s like when your big brother says you can’t do something, that just makes you want to do it even more”.

    Teragram was a key figure in keeping our humble pencils as our way of voting instead of silly e-voting machines but in the USA, it seems voter fraud is slipping into the category you would just label as run-of-the-mill.

    Finally, in Maynooth it is rumoured that the local government body will consider going into partnership with the churches to provide much needed community services, which is a political step of some importance. It makes me sad that it might mean the end of the glorious church buildings in Ireland as we all rush to build badminton halls that can hold mass. But there is always the past and such majestic buildings as Las Lajas in Colombia, which is surely the greatest church in the world, if for nothing else, the theological allusions drawn from its location bridging two deeply separated worlds.

    Your Correspondent, Slouching towards Bethlehem

    2 Responses to “The Heart Can’t Contain All That Empty Space”

    1. jimlad says:

      Thanks for that zoomtard. By the way, I should point out that zoomtard and I are one and the same person. We decided to exist as two people in case people thought we were a schizophrenic. Don’t worry about this when you are talking to either one of us, we are completely separate physical entities now.

      I read last night in the bible where Jesus agrees with Zoomtard. He actually gave out uncompromisingly to the Jews he was talking to because they only believed what they could see. He seemed to think it ridiculous for someone to base their understanding only on what they saw, and yet claim to be born of God.

      Funny that if I focus on my question that Zoomtard is answering I will never be able to answer it myself. Once a little faith is applied, the answer becomes apparent because I can think in terms of the perspective of an infinite God. And funny too that once I think in these terms I find it much easier to discover other truths. Funny that it fits so well, regardless of whether I like it or not. Funny that the nice logical picture that science represents will never be complete without the idea of some sort of God. It makes the picture fit perfectly, once we don’t assume we are God.

      Yes Zoomtard is also telling the truth elsewhere in the above blog, theologians also seem to agree that God reveals himself generally through Creation. I wonder if this general revelation is becoming more and more specific as we understand science better, because now people are trying to explain ethics through evolution. I haven’t yet read a book on ethics through evolution, but I will, and I expect that if any morals can be derived from science, they should agree with the bible. But the morals of science are the morals of keeping the species healthy whereas the morals of the bible go beyond that.

      waffle waffle waffle.

    2. zoomtard says:

      Important waffle though.

      Morality derived from science is no morality at all because human beings cannot be reduced to formulae, and morality properly understood, is the task of being human.