A Personal Comment

LLB, your comments have been interesting and smart, so no, not bothersome.

As for rationales for morality and so forth, I’m certain that I could, as an atheist, come up reasons to dodge nihilism, but none of them would make sense in the end. Of course, it’s obvious that there are decent atheists out there, honest and good, with a desire to help the poor and make their communities better places. They love their children, care for their parents, and so forth, or at least they try to do these things. (None of us succeeds all the time.) That’s only because the truth of who we are and whose we are does not change because a person is an atheist. In fact, being an ‘atheist’ is, to borrow Barthian lingo, an ‘impossible possibility’ – I don’t imagine anyone is really a full-on atheist, for we all have a god, or gods, even if we don’t name them as such. We are religious ‘all the way down’, as the kids say, because we are made ultimately for communion with the Trinity. It just gets screwed up because we’re also fundamentally depraved (depraver, to warp, to corrupt, to debase – the later is particularly apt). Hence the riot of ‘religions’ in our lives. All that’s good, all that’s beautiful, all that’s true, exists only because of the Trinity, and finds fulfillment in the Trinity. No Trinity, no good, beautiful, true – just a void of careening particles that come together from time to time in various configurations to no purpose whatsoever – that’s the way it is. Again, if I found myself with no Triune God, you would want me restrained. Seriously. As for salvation – it’s what I hope for, pray for, and desire for all. I’m in bigger trouble right now than an honest atheist. Again, that’s just me.

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One Response to A Personal Comment

  1. LLB says:

    I will trust your self assessment in this matter, but I would like to take a small exception to the assertion that defying nihilism would make no sense in the end. If we insist that some form of objective truth is necessary to legitimately ground meaning in our lives, then yes, the atheists prospectives are quite dim and I think you have adequately laid them out in stark realism.

    But the issue with this diagnosis is that it ignores that objective truth is itself grounded in something, namely in the religious concerns of the abrahamic religious paradigm. Once this is rejected, the necessity of objective truth is obviated and one is free to discover a much more dynamic paradigm of truth that allows the admission of multiple meanings and truths. It is the blind men and the elephant, only on a much grander and complex scale. Truth is no longer objective, but rather subjective, truth within the framework of the question which leads the inquirer to it.

    I have no doubts that you are fully aware of all of this and find it wanting in favor of what can only seem the surer ground of the objectivity grounded in the triune God. I would have agreed with your assessment if only I could still believe in the triune God necessary to hold to the idea of objective truth.

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