February 05, 2006

Reader Mail - Philosophical ADD - Redux

In case you haven't noticed, I've amped things up a bit here at my blog. (Mine go to eleven)

I've redesigned, renamed, and been much more regular about adding content. I've also promoted a bit more, and as a result, I'm getting near 20-30 viewers a day! That's good, for a little personal blog. So tell all both of your friends about this place and let's see if we can get some good discussion going here.

Some of you are emailing me directly with comments about the page, and that's fine, but I get all the comments you post here emailed to me, so why not post them here. I know if you're not registered there's a step or two to go thru the first time, but please do it and share your wisdom with the world.

Oh, and if you're thinking of adding Ads to your blog, click my referral button to the right! It takes very little effort and it brings in BIG BUCKS! :)

Speaking of comments, a longtime friend emailed a response to my post about Philosophical ADD.

I wanted to post the pertinent parts of it here and see if any of you have thoughts about this issue.

As Steven Wright said, I want to throw in my two cents... but why is it a penny for your thoughts? Somebody's making money off me....

Do not throw yourself into a tizzy over these deep philosophical issues. There is nothing in any book, movie, song, college course, etc. which is going to alleviate your cognitive disonance. *There are just things we can never understand.*

I warned M*** O*** [Name omitted by DB] about this, when he started to take post-graduate classes in philosophy. Seemingly nothing wrong with that. Then I get an e-mail from him that says, "the more I study philosophy, the more I drift toward agnosticism." In other words, the more he tries to learn (from a human aspect), the more he realizes he knows nothing, and never will. This can be very frustrating if total understanding is one's goal -- which it sounds like your goal is.

"There are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."

Everybody made fun of Donald Rumsfeld for saying that, but he was absolutely right. We have "known knowns"... i.e., ______ is the way, the truth, and the life... no man comes to the Father but through ____. Don't need a degree to fill in those blanks.

But exactly how do we come to the Father? Can we describe exactly how the process happens? We know we'll never know that here on earth. And then, what are the heavenly questions we don't even know to ask? We don't know that we don't know them. How arrogant of us to be pursuing these goals in the short time span of our earthly lives. We need to spend less time thinking about stuff and more time doing stuff. Ecclesiastes says we just do what we do and leave the rest to God. 12:13 specifically: "Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man."

That's why the Bible repeatedly stresses that we should have "faith like a child." It's so bloody simple. Pilate asked "what is truth?" when the truth was right in front of his face. If Pilate studied more -- consulted with philosophers, read the prophecies -- would he have arrived at the truth? He should have just opened his eyes.

You don't need to justify yourself before anyone by "confirming" or "proving" what you believe. A beilef is a belief. That's why strong Christians' light shines so brightly, because their faith is so strong. They don't waste time on second guessing the Father.

I don't intend any of this to be taken personally, I hope you understand... you know the truth, and of all people you know what to take seriously and what to shrug off. So I just wanted to buoy your soul, and encourage you to know the basics... and let tomorrow worry about itself.

To assist, I've come up with my own detailed capsule views of each issue you mentioned. Hopefully they'll be a nice springboard:

Predestination: who cares? You think God would let you see the script? Understanding God's workings of every being in the universe is like trying to explain the Internet to an ant. Be content. Be the ant.

Creation/evolution: who cares, as long as God did it.

Tribulation: if not, hurrah! If yes, we keep doing what we're doing for a little while, and then, hurrah!

Biblical inspiration: yes. Here's one case where my own study (archaeology, language, theology, history) jibes... the Book is inspired, it's trustworthy, and even if it were an elaborate joke written by Wonco the Sane, it would still have more verifiable historical truth than the Rosetta Stone, Caesar's Gallic Wars, Confucius, Buddha, and cave paintings put together.

So, what do you think...?


Edison in a moth-eaten ghillie suit said...

Well, I was going to post a well-researched document citing sources and supporting my opinions with citations, but I have class in half an hour. I agree that we need not worry about the big questions because we know that we can trust God with having our best interest. It’s like an ideal republic where citizens vote for officials to act on their behalf. As Christians, we put our trust and faith in God so that we do not have to “worry about tomorrow.”

There is pleasure in researching all the sources and coming up with a conclusion you think/know is right; it is your secret knowledge that no one can take away from you. But ultimately, you’ll find out the truth in the end, whether you spend your time worrying or not.

DanBuck said...

The email I received from my friend very nicely illustrates where I've been intellectually for the last 10 years. But it's just not enough anymore. There's not enough solid ground beneath me for me to be able to move anywhere. I feel as though I've used the "difficulty of knowing" as an excuse to not work toward understanding. I need to do the work, even if my research is inconclusive.

Edison in a moth-eaten ghillie suit said...

So what you're basically saying is that "It's not the destination that is important, it's the journey; even if you never get there." Seeking the knowledge is a reward onto itself; I can see how that can be the situation.