Wednesday, July 4, 2012


People wonder why I call myself optimistic.

Here's why.

I don't think God is in heaven trying to figure out what is going to happen in November, or upset with himself because he didn't foresee the wildfires in Colorado, or worried sick about the Euro and Greece.   I try to remember this when people want me to panic, or worry, or get upset.  If God is not in a 5-alarm frenzy, why should I be?

I don't think people redefining marriage is anything new.  Civilizations have come and gone again and again, but traditional marriage remains, because it works.  It remains the best shot that small humans have at becoming good big people. A society can "redefine" marriage any way it wants, but it is a self-correcting problem.  A society that messes with the basics of marriage eventually either stops having children or breaks the children so badly that the society cannot continue.  Hence, marriage survives, societies fail.

People who insist that there is no such thing as "truth" engage in a self-contradiction, since such a statement begs the question "so, it is true that there is no truth?"  Of course there is truth, and of course there is falsehood.

People who insist that we cannot know the truth commit the same self-contradiction, once removed, which can be summed up this way:  "so, you know that we cannot know?"

So there is truth, and we can know it, because to think otherwise is incoherent.  Now, if someone is positing a universe of complete gibberish, well, okay, but why should that concern me?  They are free to posit such a place, and talk gibberish to themselves and others, but I feel no need to take them seriously or worry about what they have to say.

I mean, am I supposed to base my life on this?  Carl Spackler's quote from the Dalai Lama - "Gunga galunga . . .  gunga, gunga-lagunga" - was funny at the time, but when you string whole paragraphs of that together it loses its charm.

There is such a thing as causation, and if there is causation, there was a first cause.  And a first cause begins to look an awful lot like God.  BTW, so does infinity.  So does quantum mechanics.  So does math.  But I digress.  It is difficult to describe a first cause that does not at least make you think of God.

And it is difficult to see how someone can argue that there is no such thing as causation (many have argued it), since language itself is one long, extraordinary chain of causation.  The fact that one is able to communicate the idea that "there is no causation" is possible only through a breathtakingly intricate chain of causation that starts with a conception that stimulates brain cells, nerves, breath, tongue, vocal chords, lips, the air between the speaker and hearer, the ear of the listener, nerves, and brains again.

If there is no causation, there is no statement "there is no causation."  Which  makes me suspect that the notion is fraught with difficulties.

Love is a good thing.  This doesn't change, and it is difficult to argue against.  Love requires self-sacrifice, courage, faithfulness, humility, devotion, thoughtfulness - the list goes on, and it is a good one.  Love spawns intelligence, but not arrogance, diligence, but not impatience, creativity, but not self-absorption.  Love, in fact, is endlessly creative, endlessly giving of itself.  Self-absorption is eternally sterile.  It does not give of itself to make more; it takes from the store created by others to feed its own maw, and gives nothing in return.

A society that does not love will not care for its children, and eventually will stop having children. That society will die.  Again, a self-correcting problem.  Societies come and go, but love survives.

There is a God and he loves this world, loves it enough to have made it and sustained it and saved it.  He loves the world because it is incoherent to think of him otherwise.  There is no creation without love; the two are inseparable.   Because of this God and his love I am eternally optimistic.  What's not to like about heaven?

Oh, and one more thing.  "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among them are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."

Happy Fourth of July!

1 comment:

  1. Nicely argued EO. BTW I love you and yours and that my friend will never end but will remain long after the prophets have gone and all the institutions (including marrage) have passed away. Love remains!