Thursday, November 03, 2005

A basic choice

With much suffering I have been contemplating the whole subject of "meaning", and scrutinizing the rational basis (in so far as there can be one) for why I believe what I do - and when "push comes to shove", just what it is I really believe.

One thing that I have tentatively concluded, is that we are posed with a fundamental choice in this life;

a) to believe that this world/existance is an absurdity devoid of purpose of meaning. At best, we can create our own meaning for ourselves and things. Whatever we choose, it is ultimatly indifferent.

- OR -

b) the complete opposite. Our existance (and that of the world) is purposeful; there is an agenda, there is an inherent utility in people and things. And while we have the liberty to interpret/formulate "meaning" as we choose, this does not necessarily accord with "nature" as such. IOW, it is possible to be deluded.

On the surface, I could say that the choice between the two is an arbitrary one - it's simply a decision that we have to make. However, I do not accept this (that "all things are equal") - also, accepting it in some wise would be granting too much to the "absurdist" perspective, since such a posture would grant that the "fundamental choice" is an arbitrary one (and hence, a case of us simply inventing meaning.)

Everything is clearly in favour of accepting our existance as a providential, purposeful, intentional one. To accept the "absurdist/existentialist/Nietzschian" type position, is to totally distrust anything and everything the senses can observe, and what the mind can infer and sympathetically recognize in the world surrounding it. The "absurdist posture" is, above all, dishonest dealing on the part of those who unflinchingly accept it. I have concluded this because, to arrive at their position, they (absurdists) have had to indulge in the very sort of logical excercises and rely on the sort of processes of inference that they otherwise condemn! They reduce everything to "linguistic traps", but render themselves victim to an incredibly gross form of sophistry - they have traded rhetoric for common sense.

I think this is precisely why such atheistic postures are the temptation primarily of the naturally gifted and/or well lettered. This is not because they're "too bright" to be "fooled by that God business". Rather it is because their intellectual wealth is much like the material wealth of the rich - while it can be used for great good, it also affords opportunities for perverse leisure which are simply outside of the means of those of average income (and more so, the dirt poor.)

Though I disagree with his religious affiliation, I enjoy reading/hearing (I've done both in person) the sermons/lectures of the often controversial Bishop of the Society of St.Pius X (SSPX), Richard Williamson. One excellent point he made during a lecture he offered centered precisely upon this unfair dealing on the part of absurdists. He pointed out that it is without fail, never the case that they live in accordance with the "conclusions" (there we go again!) that their convictions unfailingly point to (and again!). He doubted that they have an existential crisis every time they roll out of bed in the morning, or ceasessly distrust their senses/memory when they reach for their cup of coffee and newspaper.

Of course, I'm sure a snide existentialist reading this could say that the significance they "attribute" to all of these things is arbitrary and/or ultimatly a matter of personal decision. To this I say, "fine" - excercise some of that "will to power", declare sticky fudge a great fly repellent, and see how far this gets you.

No, there is order - and more to the point, there is consequence and utility. And all of that heavily indicates purpose. To accept the contrary requires a tremendous amount of exertion, not to mention inconsistancy.


Blogger Justin said...

Interesting thoughts.

10:35 p.m.  

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