Friday, May 05, 2006

Life without God is absurd

Fabien and I had really big issues about getting married in a church in France. The crux of it all was that I didn't want to get married in a church unless I was sure that there was no spiritual hypocrisy involved in our decision. Fabien is more of a "cultural christian", so he hadn't exactly considered the possiblity of getting married anywhere else.

Having opened pandora's box, we proceeded to go for catholic marriage preparation classes and embarked on a series of intense discussions. Fortunately we reached certain conclusions/resolutions before getting married (in the church).

Now that we're preparing for the baptism of our kid, we are going through those arguments again in its practical application - what are we going to tell our Tabulae Rasae about moral choices and God? A child learns not only by what you SAY but mainly by what you DO...

I call myself a very skeptical christian. There are many things which I still do not know and I still do not understand about our faith. Just some random examples include, my stand on abortion (I support it), the truth of other faiths (blind men and elephants?), and the existence of hell (what's the deal really?). How do I reconcile all this with Christianity? The answer is - I don't know right now, but I am still looking, and I'll tell you if I ever get this all figured out...

However that doesn't change what I already do know and believe. That God exists for me, and gives purpose, absolute moral standards and comfort to my existence. That I think my life without God in it would be absurd - in the sense of "deviod of meaning" as opposed to "comical"- because I would consider it intensely tragic!

Nietzsche's Parable of the Madman:

'Have you ever heard of the madman who on a bright morning lighted a lantern and ran to the market-place calling out unceasingly: "I seek God! I seek God!" As there were many people standing about who did not believe in God, he caused a great deal of amusement. Why? is he lost? said one. Has he strayed away like a child? said another. Or does he keep himself hidden? Is he afraid of us? Has he taken a sea voyage? Has he emigrated? - the people cried out laughingly, all in a hubbub. The insane man jumped into their midst and transfixed them with his glances. "Where is God gone?" he called out. "I mean to tell you! We have killed him, you and I! We are all his murderers!'

You see, having killed God, we're stuck with Sartre's "l'etre-pour-soi", because without God, human freedom is experienced as an intolerable burden: "man is condemned to be free." If God is dead, then there can be no objective standards of life. This was the "moral argument" point made in this 1948 Radio debate between Betrand Russell and Father Copleston.

Mood - pensive

1 comment:

Ex Night Queen said...

I just posted a question on Yahoo Answers on whether Earth has ever accomodated any society where there was no belief in God / any higher beings or forces other than in the people themselves.

In the meantime, I found this interesting article related to your musings on life without God, that offers some observations on what those societies (somewhat) were like :