Thursday, August 01, 2019

Surviving Cultural Collapse

My recent interview with Fr. Robert McTeigue of the Catholic Current can be heard here.

Yes, this is a religious radio program, and although there is only passing mention of religion during the interview, perhaps a quick note on my personal stance on religion is in order. The gift of faith is one that not all people are granted. Faith comes most easily to those who are simple, while hypereducated urbane sophistos like most of my readers tend to find it difficult to believe in immaculate conception, resurrection, tricks with loaves and fishes, ascension unto heaven, the second coming, yadda-yadda. But here's a stunning discovery I've made that you may find useful: if you find that you lack the gift of faith, you don't necessarily have to tell anyone about it. You may also lack perfect pitch but nobody is ever going to demand that you sing a capella. You can still go on and act as if you believe in an all-seeing God who is just but merciful. Living in fear of a God that you believe to exist is functionally equivalent to living in fear of a God whose existence you doubt but cannot disprove, which is the best you can do. (To use Bertrand Russell's famous example, you cannot disprove the existence God just as you cannot disprove the existence of a small porcelain teapot in high elliptical orbit around the Earth). Having looked up some statistics, I can assert that if you live your life as if God exists and abide by His commandments it is statistically likely that numerous benefits will accrue to you more or less automatically: you will suffer fewer psychological problems, your marriage will be stronger, your children better-behaved, you will find yourself keeping better company and, when the time comes, you will rest easier on your deathbed because you've done your homework, unlike W.C. Fields who, when visited by a friend shortly before his death, discovered to be studying the Bible, and asked as to why, responded: "Looking for loopholes."


Roberto said...

Probably a larger podcast exposure to the collapse message than other venues and a well mannered, thoughtful host. A fine way to end with the message of making the most of the life you have here on the spinning blue orb despite the ever present calamity here and there. More and more collapse message folks seem to be coming to this conclusion: get on with your life (but steer clear of the major impact zones).

Moderate christians have always treated me well.... my wife is a fervent believer and while some of the dogma is tiring her church groups are pretty pleasant folks to hang with and they don't pressure me to get a membership card. Tolerant to the point that my jaw hit the floor when my wife trotted out this joke at a christian potluck and some actually laughed:

Family run business "Als Nails" decided to use billboard advertising and consulted with the best rep company in town. So solid a reputation that Al left it up to them for the campaign as he was going away on a business trip. They told him the billboards would be up when he returned. Upon returning Al sees his billboard while driving home from the airport: Jesus on the cross and underneath the image in bold letters "Als Nails". Enraged Al drives to the billboard company offices and demands a immediate change. They tell him it will be changed overnight. Driving to work the next morning Al seems the same image now sports Jesus slumped at the base of the cross and the new slogan: "Shoulda used Als Nails".

Not the most appropriate joke for a christian potluck but it shows christians as being somewhat resilient. Meanwhile, of course, my wife will boil in hell for that for all eternity. Yes, as a group, better character, less emotional issues, and more trustworthy, IMHeathenOpinion.

WZ said...

I can deliver you a good news: you are on the "right path" as you question things and that's exactly what, as you said all seeing God wants you to do...on another note double slit experiment and more recently this experiment proves that we live in a simulation and so there is someone who created the simulation

JavaKinetic said...

The player they use seems to have problems:


Cortes said...

I listened to the first ten minutes and will catch the rest later.

Your introduction reminds me of the slyly great comment of one of the great French existentialists (Malraux? long time ago) about the correct response to notions that God had died...

“If God is dead then there’s no reason to behave well. Equally, there’s no reason to behave badly.”

Along those lines. And including, I suspect, making mockery of the beliefs of the simple people.

Beagle Juice said...

What would be the point in living in a world without God?

“In the beginning, the church was a fellowship of men and women centering on the living Christ. Then the church moved to Greece, where it became a philosophy. Then it moved to Rome, where it became an institution. Next it moved to Europe where it became a culture, and, finally, it moved to America where it became an enterprise.”

The Reverend Richard Christian Halverson