Christianity, Redux

by Frost on December 21, 2012

The end of the Mayan calendar bears down on us, and while the sky has yet to crack open and herald the second coming of the Son of God, it certainly is snowing like a motherfucker up here. Thus, what better time to revisit that most RSS-subscription-culling of topics: God.

Readers will recall this blog’s recent forays into Christianity, theology, and the ethical obligations of the modern Christian man. After several months of studying the Bible, various Christian apologetics, corresponding with a few Christian bloggers, attempts at prayer, and a month-long, 800 km pilgrimage across Spain – I  wrote this specious and highly unsatisfactory cop out of a post. Re-reading it, I can almost hear the cognitive dissonance hissing out the edges of my monitor.

But now it’s Christmas: The season of gaudy decorations, unnecessary expenditure, flimsy excuses to eat crap and skip training, exchanges of unnecessary and unwanted gifts, and perhaps if we’re lucky, a little bit of genuine good will between family and friends amidst all the other unnecessary shenanigans. Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, there existed some connection in the common man’s mind between the holiday of Christmas and the birth of Jesus Christ. Now, western civilization has mercifully outgrown its antiquated and ungrounded fascination with Christianity.

Such is the common perception, anyways. And yet, who can deny the correlation between our society’s abandonment of Christianity, and the Grace of God’s (literal or metaphorical) abandonment of us?

(Actually, many deny it. They believe that things are just gravy in 2012. Thank God Dawkins! They cry, that we live in such a glorious world! Welfare has replaced the barbarism of charity; Our art and culture have scaled the heights of Ke$ha, Piss Christ, and The Expendables 2; Murdering, pillaging bands of savages roam the streets of our great cities, while law enforcement turns to the vastly more pressing problems of contrived hate hoaxes and girls who regret their drunken hookups; Civic engagement and community have been replaced by legions of lonely herbivorous men whiling away their years playing video games and watching hentai porn, while their female equivalents take up arms as amateur Tumblr social justice warriors. Ah, the masses.)

The man – such as myself – who has lost his faith in the pretty lies of this age, must eventually consider the one belief system that:

- Was nearly ubiquitous among the men who built the pre-modern world.

- Was gradually abandoned in lockstep with its decay.

- Is currently among the most taboo, uncool, and politically incorrect beliefs to hold, in an idea space where most of the unfashionable, taboo ideas I’ve come across are true.

For me, this was the big leap. Not faith, but merely the recognition of faith as a viable intellectual option.

Once that hurdle is past – i.e., once the mind is freed from the modern prejudice against Christianity – the question of faith in a Christian God is a matter of logic and evidence.

The Catholic Church holds that the existence of God can be demonstrated by pure reason, no blind faith in a magic sky fairy required. Better men than myself have spilled much ink on the subject of proving God’s existence, so I will limit myself here to the chains of reasoning that I find most convincing.

The Fine-Tuned Universe Argument is an open and shut case for, at minimum, Deism. The only reasonable alternatives are 1) A multiverse, or 2) That human intelligence is insufficient to properly define and understand our relationship with the universe and any potential creator that exists.

It strikes me as likely that any being with the power to build a Universe as complex as our own, should also be powerful enough to exist outside of it and manipulate events within it. Hence, Theism seems likely.

As for Christianity, full stop – The resurrection of Christ was either an act of God, or a pretty freaking impressive trick. Some real ancient David Copperfield shit. Islam in contrast, requires credulity to the point of silliness.

But the case for Christianity is not open and shut. I can’t dismiss the possibility of a multiverse, I can’t dismiss the possibility that the existence of God is beyond the ken of human wisdom, and while I find the historical case for a divine Jesus to be stronger than any alternative supernatural religion, that’s still not setting the bar very high. All things considered, I remain a committed agnostic, albeit: One who takes the potential truth of Christianity far more serious than most agnostics; One who believes that regardless of its literal truth, Christianity is the West’s best hope for a moral and spiritual compass; And without a doubt, one who has firmly chosen to stand beside Christianity.

And yet…. I invite my readers to peruse and enjoy my latest blog, Thumotic, in which I regale my ongoing daily adventures in fornication pride, gluttony, vanity, covetousness and adultery. I write this blog post extolling the worthiness of time spent considering Christianity, while still reeking of last night’s sin, and steeling myself for another three in a row coming up. All of this is completely inconsistent with my uncertain belief in the literal truth of Christianity, and my certain belief in its utility as a social and moral blueprint. All of this is the great contradiction at the core of my being: Traditionalism, Reaction, Fidelity, Righteousness, and God for thee – drugs, drunken sluts and sin for me.

Are we contradictions in need of resolution, we modern traditionalist playboys? Ah, but I’m afraid this post is long enough as it is. God either exists, or he doesn’t. If he does, those who seek shall find. Tonight, I have whiskey to drink, a fresh soul to collect, and a party to throw in celebration of the world not ending today after all. The questions will still be around tomorrow.

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Stryker December 27, 2012 at 1:03 am

Spoos wrote, “I’d note that there is little to no contemporarily-written evidence outside the New Testament for the existence of Jesus of Nazareth.”

Yes, and there happen to be thousands more copies and fragments of the New Testament than the next most common texts from antiquity. Most of what we know from the ancient world is based on one or two copies (at most several dozen) of various texts. The earliest extant texts are often dated 800 or 1000 years after they were written. Contrast this with the New Testament which has many fragments dated to less than 100 years after the purported events took place, and the witness of the early church Fathers attesting to the Apostolic authorship of the books of the NT. The documentary evidence for the New Testament is simply embarrassing when compared to the paltry number of other documents from antiquity.

Abelard Lindsey December 24, 2012 at 3:06 pm

The problem with Christianity, that is true for all other religions as well as ideologies such as communism and socialism, is the fallacy of the One Perfect System. This fallacy is the notion that there is One Perfect System or worldview that is appropriate to all humans, regardless of differences in our individual tastes, dream, goals, and desires. I automatically reject the One Perfect System concept for the simple reason that we are all different, with different dreams, goals, and life-style choices. I believe it impossible that a single system is capable of being optimized for all humans.

GentlemanSlut December 23, 2012 at 6:30 pm

“I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.”

Sums it up nicely for me

Rob December 23, 2012 at 10:38 am

“The Catholic Church holds that the existence of God can be demonstrated by pure reason, no blind faith in a magic sky fairy required.”

That is Catholicisms problem. The progress of rationality in the developed world makes the above silly. Take the esteemed author of this blog, for example. He examines and views religion from a utilitarian, rational perspective.

“Was nearly ubiquitous among the men who built the pre-modern world.”

The religion isn’t valuable because of salvation, love, etc…It’s valuable because of its utility. Utility is a rational concept. Catholicism apparently wants to appeal to a man’s rationality to convince him of its truth. But real rational men, like the author, see its value in what the religion produces (civilization, appropriate gender relations…).

Face the truth: Catholicism’s appeal to you isn’t doctrine or the required faith. Its appeal comes from the concrete, everyday results of people who follow the faith. You aren’t fascinated by Catholicism, you’re in love with the world it created. Those are two different things.

asdf December 23, 2012 at 12:00 pm

If so then your doomed. Faith as expedient is worthless. It falls apart the second it becomes expedient for each individual adherent to abandon it, which it always does. Any faith based on its real world results alone will by definition fail to accomplish those real world results in the face of any significant resistance.

Hallstatt December 22, 2012 at 7:30 am

“The man – such as myself – who has lost his faith in the pretty lies of this age, must eventually consider the one belief system that:

- Was nearly ubiquitous among the men who built the pre-modern world.

- Was gradually abandoned in lockstep with its decay.

- Is currently among the most taboo, uncool, and politically incorrect beliefs to hold, in an idea space where most of the unfashionable, taboo ideas I’ve come across are true.

For me, this was the big leap. Not faith, but merely the recognition of faith as a viable intellectual option.”

There is another belief system, a secular religion even more taboo and persecuted then that dying creed from Nazareth, created for and by men like you. They formed the last great männerbund (gang), and their leader was the king Arthur of the age. The Idea he propagated and fighting faith he led were the only viable solution to the crisis of modernity and the death of god to yet come forth. The reevaluation all values, the transformation of reaction into the new progress, the reaffirmation of nature’s law. Had this king Arthur and his sworn brothers triumphed the world would be vastly different and vastly better today.

But of course he didn’t triumph. His armies were shattered, his cities burned, his people raped and he himself driven into suicide, while thos of his comrades in arms that survived were dragged before then hangman. And the truth of his reign forever obfuscated under heaps and heaps of lies.

It is the final taboo, the natural end-point of any true red-pill evolution. Consider it.

Simon December 22, 2012 at 5:24 am

As I thought, it is just a matter of time.

Don’t get too caught up in philosophical arguments about God’s existence. All philosophy is tautology, so if your premises do not include the existence of God, then of course you will conclude he does not exist. Instead, look at what happens before we can begin reasoning, the things we assume exist, which can only have their source in God. bgc has recently blogged on this, and elaborated in the comments:

http://charltonteaching.blogspot.com.au/2012/11/the-feebleness-of-human-reason.html

Good luck.

asdf December 21, 2012 at 11:23 pm
Spoos in August December 21, 2012 at 6:59 pm

I’d note that there is little to no contemporarily-written evidence outside the New Testament for the existence of Jesus of Nazareth. Similarly, there is no archaeological evidence that I’m aware of. One could, quite convincingly, assert that Christianity is a Hellenistic mystery cult which piggybacks on messianic Judaism.

Coincidentally, there’s also very little independent evidence for Muhammed’s existence, which is deliciously ironic, considering how recently Islam came to be.

Ultimately, one cannot make a case for religion on a solely empirical basis, since truly extraordinary claims require truly extraordinary proof. The weak anthropic principle is an easy counter-argument to the “fined-tuned universe,” even though both are quite teleological.

Nonetheless, even a staunch atheist would have to grudgingly admit that he would much rather live in the, albeit fading, Christian West than anywhere else in history. Clean water, electricity, antibiotics, all of these things came from a society (even where explicitly secular, c.f. the Treaty of Tripoli) based on the Christian morality.

will December 23, 2012 at 6:41 pm
ray December 21, 2012 at 6:26 pm

2 thousand years ago, Jesus’ only direct comment on gender was:

“As for my people, women are their oppressors, and children rule over them”

that bear any resemblance to the nations you folks are living in? does it sound like the “patriarchy” has been “oppressing” women for millions of years?

well, everybody seems to think so . . . except my guy, who already had the game figured out way back when

who ran around his whole life, homeless hungry and cold, yakking endlessly about the need for Fatherhood and Sonship?

see any analogs to the problems of fatherlessness, and of the hatred of sonship, in your current cultures? see any other major religious figures spend their lives addressing those problems? mohammed? buddha? the dilly llama?

no, only the ONE guy (and a few friends before and after) talked constantly about the wickedness of this shithole planet, and the need for a Kingdom of the FATHER (instead of nations worshipping the mother) and the need for global BROTHERHOOD (instead of the vastly funded and organized SSisterhood that rules the lives of ourselves, and our sons)

NOBODY else fought for these things, NOBODY else gave their every effort, and their life, for the establishment on this gynoplanet of fatherhood and sonship

he is all you have, and if you think your brilliant opinions, and Game, are going to free you from the Fempire, then by all means, everybody do it their own way

you guys best wake up and smell the coffee before they start passing it through your cell bars each morning

Koanic December 21, 2012 at 5:38 pm

I approve of this post. There will always be doubt.

Now that you’ve seen the evidence, examine the man. Your heart will tell you.

asdf December 21, 2012 at 5:35 pm

Good stuff.

I too consider the case for theism very strong, but don’t find the case for any one religion 100% convincing. I have been impressed with many aspects of Christian theology though.

I would also not worry about convincing anyone in argument over religion. Jesus was the perfect man, who lead the perfect live, and had a perfect message. And still nearly everyone in his own age didn’t believe him. His own disciples constantly questioned him and one betrayed him. They eventually crucified him to shut him up. If Jesus couldn’t convince people with his perfect words I would worry less about you or me being able to do so.

I can’t answer what will make it easier to live a godly life as I’m not 100% sure what that is myself. However, I think extracting yourself from leftist and modern institutions helps. I ended my year with the government three weeks ago, and my new job even has me working from home most days. Not being in a standard office environment (which is inevitably emasculated PC poison) is a huge plus.

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