As far as I can make out in reading scientific treatments of the question of origins written for ordinary folks, the farthest the cosmologists can reach back is about 14-15 billion years to the Big Bang. Whether and why there was anything before that to “Bang” is, for the present and foreseeable future, enshrouded in mystery. Some evolutionary astro-physicists prefer to leave any hint of an uncreated Creative Power or Being which, or who, is not somehow the pre-Bang stuff of the universe itself, out of consideration. This decision is an article of faith, a theological statement based on no evidence. All that can be seen is that, from what looks awfully like everything coming out of nothing and nowhere, the original stuff of the Cosmos suddenly just was and at the very instant it was, it exploded with a violence and heat beyond any semblance of calculation.
Moving fourteen billion years forward, the Palaeontologists and Evolutionary Biologists tell us that 3-4 million years ago the first hominids appeared, walking upright and using their growing intelligence and hand-ingenuity to manipulate the environment. Once more we meet mystery. Why did these creatures appear in the first place? It is part of the larger question of why life appeared, and how apparently chaotic combinations of atoms and sub-atomic particles could, would, and should formulate anything orderly, let alone life-bearing. In other words, why did what, by all the odds, should have remained fundamental chaos begin to organize itself?
The scientifically unsophisticated are carefully instructed that someday science can and will be able to penetrate these great mysteries. However, an rapidly increasing number of more forthright scientists do not dogmatically restate Stephen Hawking’s position on God that “we do not have need of that hypothesis”. Instead, they gingerly use the word “God” now and again, without attaching a specific description of who or what God may be. The tentative and usually unspoken admission is that the why of it all is beyond science to answer. Even in the specifically scientific realm of why just the right sort of particles should appear in just the right proportions and just the right kind of combinations in defiance of all laws of probability is also a deep mystery, for it presents all the appearance of design and intentionality.
The particle researchers and Cosmologists admit the appearance of intentionality even at the origins of things, as if the “universe” or “Cosmos” somehow “knew” to go in a direction leading to increasingly complex organization and, finally, at least in some places, that most complex of developments – living things, with the most amazing of those being, as far as we can tell, humanity.
Nevertheless, believers in the Creator who follow ancient revelation are still seen as simpletons, fanatics, or irrelevant relics. Meanwhile, the new faith propounded over the last two hundred years, has entrenched itself against all challenge in a fashion every bit as founded on dogma as any creed proclaimed by any Council or Synod of Church or Temple, or any mullah or ayatollah.
The point we have been hammering is that at ground level faith is implicit trust in basic beliefs put into practice. Ideologies and “secular”, god-denying worldviews (and materialistic Scientism, aggressive atheism, and militant progressivism are undeniable worldviews which now dominate our education systems and academic establishment) are every bit as dogmatic as any religion their proponents abhor, and at least as intolerant as any sect of Christianity has been. “The proof is in the pudding,” or, as Yeshua said, “You will know them by their fruits. You won’t get thorns from a fig tree and you can’t get figs from a thorn-bush.” (I am liberally paraphrasing, but remaining faithful to all the sense of his aphorisms about such things as discerning the truth about things and people.) In that last two hundred years, there have been 100-200 million corpses to illustrate the innate fanaticism of militant secular ideologies.
Here in Canada, it is facile and frequent to hear the denunciation of the apparent evil and hypocrisy of the rapidly eroding Judeo-Christian foundation and heritage of the West. The more quickly we shed it the better, it would seem. Then we will be free of all the vestiges of that cloying sanctimoniousness about the superiority of European civilization, largely rooted in that reprehensible Christian claim to be the one truth all need. We must celebrate every aspect of the new diversity without judging any of it, however implicitly. It would seem that “judgment” comes in almost every form of “euro-derivation”, even in the foundations of our mathematics and science itself.
Talk about having your cake and eating it too! We are told on the “traditional” left that reason, logic, and science are the true way to enlightenment, then on the even farther left that that kind of thinking is also implicitly racist because it emerged from the West. Anything tainted by the West (the European heritage of Canada), was, a few generations removed, Christian and founded on the Christian perspective of a personal God who made the universe according to definite design and is maintained in being by principles of order and function so delicately balanced that any slight change would have meant, and will mean, chaos and extinction. But apparently we should disregard all that: (a) because it came out of the West and is therefore by definition racist and thus evil, and (b) because, having emerged from the West it is, by association, and however obliquely, rooted in Judeo-Christianity.
It would seem that the old progressives are now a prime target of the new radical ultra-progressives. The new progressives have set their sights on the extinction of all vestiges of the old Christian consensus, and, secondarily, of its derivate, the scientific Enlightenment heritage.
If you find yourself a bit at a loss as to what this is even about, a look at what is being propounded in faculties of education and written into major curriculum revisions all across the West will quickly enlighten you. Peruse the blatant ideological agenda of many of the trendy new faculties and programs of study on offer in our higher institutes of learning – even those still clinging to some vestiges of their old Christian founding principles. Survey what major publishers are putting out – and what they are not offering anymore. Watch the collections still available in your local libraries – and see what you can no longer find, at least very readily. Watch how the news is reported and what is not reported. For example, when was the last time you saw anything about the killing of hundreds of Christians because they are Christians every week across the globe?
All these things are faith-inspired and faith-motivated, conviction-inspired and conviction motivated. That is so self-evident, and we have belaboured it now so much for weeks, that we need spend no more time on it.
What we still need to discuss are the aspects of hope and assurance, without which conviction and faith are desperate posturing akin to Ophelia’s declarations of her undying love for Hamlet. The desperation and tone have the opposite effect of causing us to doubt its sincerity. Violence and vehemence are too often a betraying cover-up for the inadmissible but intuitively understood truth that the Emperor is wearing no clothes, no matter how often we admire their splendor.
The naked Emperor is exactly what the new ultra-radical left vividly portrays in all their screaming denunciation and shouting-down of their much more composed and rational opponents and targets.
As Jordan Petersen has brilliantly deconstructed this fanaticism, and as Friedrich Nietzsche so amazingly predicted 140 years ago, it all boils down to childishly murderous temper tantrums about rights to everything and responsibility for nothing. It is all about what Nietzsche, the greatest modern philosopher, called “The Will to Power”.
Very strangely, the old enemies of Scientific Rationalism and Judeo-Christian fundamentalism (and not Fundamentalism) about basic truths may very soon find themselves allied in a desperate effort to save what is left of the West’s best heritage from what Arnold Toynbee dubbed the Internal Barbarians, who are far more dangerous than any assemblage of external tribes and circling vultures smelling blood in the sand.
TO BE CONTINUED
2 thoughts on “Faith and Hope: Assurance and Conviction, 7 – The Smell of Blood”
I have been enjoying your present series, and note again that though our approaches and styles differ, there is a similarity of outlook and worldview that supports and reinforces our respective posts. Thank you.
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Continuing good read!
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