This is something of a personal rant, but an important one nonetheless.
Many of my readers know that I struggle with faith. I don’t know if my struggle is unique, or if it is the same that any Christian goes through. Francis Porretto over at Bastion of Liberty often impresses me with his deep Catholic faith. And then there is the faith of my father, who is a good Christian man. He somehow avoids the complexities that bother me and push me toward the edge of Agnosticism.
Neither, on the other hand, have I been able to deny God or ignore the calling of Christ’s message. I am caught in his orbit, if only distantly, and I cannot escape it. Nor would I want to, I think. The message of the secular world is depressing, on the face of it. You will die someday, and all that you were will vanish. It will be as if you never existed. In light of that, morality can be dispensed with in the tradition of Nietzsche. The strong will prey upon the weak, and humans will be nothing more than animals living out their instinctive patterns.
Free Will comes from God. Morality comes from God. Immanuel Kant famously tried to synthesize an artificial basis for morality, and failed in the doing. Nobody has been able to do it, from Plato to Marx, each attempt to synthesize a morality independent of the divine has resulted in failure at best, and the most terrible atrocities at worst. If there is no God, then there is no Free Will. If there is no Free Will, there is no purpose. If there is no purpose, submitting to your baser instincts because they feel good becomes acceptable. Nihilism and post-modernism root themselves in this terrible intellectual soil, and bear evil fruit because of it.
A gentleman on Twitter kindly sent over a couple of links. I don’t vouch for the author at this point, I’ve yet to read through everything and have already encountered some things I profoundly disagree with. But he had two insights that fascinated me. My attempts to create an epistemology that worked have consistently met with failure. Apparently he encountered the same problem, and solved it thusly:
But nowadays I am no longer plagued by such nihilism – and this is the solution I have worked-out (it seems valid enough to be going on with).
1. God knows – because he is the creator
2. We know because we are God’s children
Explanation: We are God’s literal (not symbolic) children – and therefore have inherited something of God in us, including the knowledge of the creator.
If God is accepted, this provides a handy exit from nihilism and post-modernism, concepts that I have known to be invalid, but could not articulate a proper response to. Once again, I am pulled into a Christian orbit.
My search for meaning in Christianity, for a spiritual home, as it were, continues. But a piece of the puzzle has fallen into place, and the slightest bit of faith has returned to me.