Skip to main content

Lunchtime Philosophy

I went for lunch today with a friend. Our conversations always leave my head spinning, just a little. They're big, they're philosophical, they're personal. Sometimes they go around in circles and I forget where we came from or where we were headed.

But I'm always glad for them, because they make me think. They challenge me to ask why I believe the things that I do, and to consider the myriad of views that disagree with my own.*

After we moved on from philosophy to computers (we always get distracted) and I bought a netbook, I am left with two over-arching areas of thought:

a) There are days that I fear that I am essentially a child who is convinced of the existence of Santa Claus. As rational as my beliefs about Jesus seem to me, I sometimes find myself wondering if the wool is being pulled over my eyes. Do I sound as ridiculous to secularists as I would find a believer in the big red Christmas man? Am I oblivious to some obvious fact that would bring my Jenga tower toppling down?

Yet at the end of the day, despite my fears of how I am perceived or whether I am slightly deluded, when I stop and look at what and why I believe, I come back to Peter, who said to Jesus, "Where else would we go? You have the words of eternal life."

b) My friend's main barrier to faith (not specifically faith in Jesus, but faith in any religious system) has to do with intuition, logic, and submission. My attempt at a concise summary would be: If we choose a religious system based on our logical thought & intuitive processes, what do we do when those same processes come into conflict with the authority we've chosen to submit ourselves to? If we trusted them enough to choose our worldview, we must continue to trust them and therefore reject this worldview. If we choose instead to accept that the authority is right and we are wrong, we are denying the very thing which led us to accept the authority in the first place. So we're left with the question, do we trust our intuition or not? Can we trust it sometimes, but not others? Why/why not?

I hope that made sense to you. It makes sense to me (assuming I'm recalling it correctly), and I am not sure what the answer is. Any thoughts out there?

And in a step that will only result in more spinning-brain-syndrome, complex discussions, and a (hopefully) more thoroughly self-examined life, I began reading Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals by Immanual Kant, as lent to me by my philosophical friend.

*I also tend to laugh in these conversations. Today, it was because I was compared to both Lewis Carroll and a Marxist...


Mindy said…
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MLW said…
This blog makes me think of what Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 1 about the wisdom and foolishness of God and Man. When you try to apply man's wisdom to understanding God you will never suceed. Thus many walk away from God. That step of faith to believe in/accept God requires us to acknowledge our lack of ability to explain/define God. We need to accept Him based on what He says about Himself not on what I understand/know about Him intuitively or otherwise. Understanding comes with faith.

Popular posts from this blog

What About Travis!?

I just watched Hope Floats, the second movie in my I-really-need-to-vegetate night. Now that we have more than three channels, there are so many quality programs on TV! Like movies in the middle of the week. I enjoyed many of the lines in this movie, including:

"I went home and told my mama you had a seizure in my mouth."
(referring to her first french-kissing experience)

"Dancing's just a conversation between two people. Talk to me."
(the conversation in our living room then went,
Girl 1: Only Harry Connick Jr. could say that line without it being incredibly cheezy.
Boy: Without it being cheezy? That's all I heard. Cheez, cheez, cheez.
Girl 2: Yeah, but it was sexy, sexy cheez...sigh.)
"Better do what she says, Travis. Grandma stuffs little dogs."

Bernice: At home we had a pet skunk. Mama used to call it Justin Matisse. Do you think that's just a coincidence? All day long she would scream, "You stink Justin Matisse!" Then one day she just…

Fostering FAQ: What's Her (Mom's) Story?

This is probably the second most common question I hear about the baby currently in our care, right after, "Will you keep her?"

It comes in many forms:

"So, what's her story?"
"Is her mom in the picture?"
"How did she end up in your home?
"Is her mom a drug addict?"
"How could a mom not love such a cute baby!"

I get it. It's natural curiousity, and I know I've asked similar questions of my friends who are adoptive parents.

But here's what I'm learning: a child's story is their own. And equally as important, the parent's story is their own.

Imagine how it might feel to hear that for the foreseeable future, you are not allowed to care for your child. On top of whatever difficult circumstances you are already in - perhaps poverty, social isolation, lack of adequate housing, domestic violence, intergenerational trauma, drug or alcohol dependency, low cognitive functioning, or a myriad of other complex strug…

Simone Weil: On "Forms of the Implicit Love of God"

Simone Weil time again! One of the essays in Waiting for God is entitled "Forms of the Implicit Love of God." Her main argument is that before a soul has "direct contact" with God, there are three types of love that are implicitly the love of God, though they seem to have a different explicit object. That is, in loving X, you are really loving Y. (in this case, Y = God). As for the X of the equation, she lists:

Love of neighbor Love of the beauty of the world Love of religious practices and a special sidebar to Friendship
“Each has the virtue of a sacrament,” she writes. Each of these loves is something to be respected, honoured, and understood both symbolically and concretely. On each page of this essay, I found myself underlining profound, challenging, and thought-provoking words. There's so much to consider that I've gone back several times, mulling it over and wondering how my life would look if I truly believed even half of these things...

Here are a few …