While moving from our assessment of the theism/atheism divide in itself is signal enough for having decided for theism, we quickly realize the journey is just beginning in many ways. While a major chasm has been crossed, we see an apparent “list of applicants” when it comes to the relation that obtains (or should obtain) with regard to the divine. If the skeptic cannot see God because of a kind of metaphysical blindness, the sincere person of faith may risk not seeing for the proliferation of “applicants”… a kind of “hiding” in plain sight. In fact one of the risks is taking the proliferation as is and thinking that it is foundational. This brings us to the focus of this post: the divide between monotheism and polytheism. To treat this, a few areas will need to be covered. We’ll first survey the narratives associated with many polytheistic worldviews, and see what kind of insights there might be from comparing them to the monotheistic accounts. Next, we will revisit the philosophical argument from our last post to see if there is anything about this question that can be deduced from it… and finish with an examination of specific consequences that flow from these admittedly still broad classifications of “monotheism” and “polytheism.”Continue reading
What Christianity says is merely this. That this repetition in nature has its origin not in a thing resembling a law but a thing resembling a will… G.K.Chesterton – The Blatchford Controversies.
Having glanced once more at our roadmap, we confirm that we have now set our sights on a discussion of atheism vs theism. Let’s be under no illusion about our goal. We are not trying to determine which worldview is more “useful” or “beneficial.” This might strike us as odd, but we have left the world of so-called “pragmatism” when we abandoned agnosticism, relativism and indifferentism. We are looking for the “bedrock”… the truth of the matter. We might fully expect that acting in accord with the correct view of reality should cause the important things to fall into place for us, but beginning with “utility” would only restrict the search to our own limited view and purposes.
“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” G.K Chesterton – Tremendous Trifles
Any journey requires at least some planning… and a map. We are looking for a particular destination (the Truth’s “Home”) from among possible candidates and will need to explore the network of roads to find it and distinguish it from the pretenders.
“In dealing with the arrogant asserter of doubt, it is not the right method to tell him to stop doubting. It is rather the right method to tell him to go on doubting, to doubt a little more, to doubt every day newer and wilder things in the universe, until at last, by some strange enlightenment, he may begin to doubt himself.” – G.K. Chesterton: Introduction to the Book of Job
My previous post addressed some typical objections to the truth seeking project, which really amounted to the completion of the first step of our journey… to have the motivation and commitment to “travel”… essentially to follow the arguments wherever they lead. It’s now time to put some “gas” in the tank; those gnawing questions and doubts… Continue reading
“There are two kinds of people in the world: the conscious dogmatists and the unconscious dogmatists. I have always found myself that the unconscious dogmatists were by far the most dogmatic.” G.K. Chesterton
Before venturing out on the Via Apologetica, its important to add a little more here to beef up the case for the attainability and desirability of our target. Many consider the search for truth futile (and thus wasteful at best… arrogant at worst.) If they manage to clear that hurdle, they might still get tripped up by the old canard that somehow seeking transcendent Truth is what drives tyranny and violence, and so not desire it.
Let’s tackle “attainability” first. In my previous post I discussed Truth as “food and light” and alluded to it’s freeing effect. But there is a visceral objection to contend with that manifests itself in a variety of ways. Continue reading
“A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert: himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt: the Divine Reason.” GK Chesterton, – Orthodoxy.
This blog is principally concerned with apologetics, specifically one that seeks to propose for consideration the truth of the Catholic Faith and the difference its sincere practice makes to us individually and collectively. As the name of the blog suggests, this involves both preparing for (“tilling”) and defending (“keeping”) the seed of Truth transmitted via evangelization of the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Continue reading