Doubting The Faith, But Demanding A Purpose

For those of you who don’t know, I was raised as a Christian.  In fact, I still retain many elements of a Christian worldview.  However, it would be disingenuous to call myself one considering I am not practicing nor embracing key parts of the faith.  I am still highly sympathetic to the overall Christian community

To be honest, I’m not completely sure what I believe.   Most of those who leave the faith usually do for reasons of outright rebellion. It is fair to say that I am in a rebellion of sorts, but I still don’t see it as a enough of a reason to completely throw out my worldview.

My “deviation” from the faith has taken place within the last year or so and has been for mostly carnal reasons – engaging in pre-marital sex and a kind of enjoyable narcissism – yet I remain very conflicted.    I enjoy my current life of sinful pleasure, to the point of willful rebellion, but I am fully aware of it.

My father raised me with a Christian worldview, specifically one that deals.  heavily with presuppositional thinking – something that I filter every idea through.   It has caused me to become somewhat of a philosopher at heart.   I’ve looked for alternatives to the faith, but I have not found any viable ones.  I know I am not alone in this predicament.

Most of my friends who became Atheists, Agnostics, or whatever else did so for the reason as to be absolved of responsibility to a specific moral authority.   They are essentially advocates of a moral relativism that allows them to do whatever they wish at this particular time.   I see why they do this and it is an easy route.  I however feel that is shallow.

At my core, I am desperate for a worldview that isn’t dependent on human reason for it’s moral standards, its tenants, and its suggested purpose of life.  Because of this, I find the concept of appealing to human reason through human reason to be circular logic and foolish.

The problem for me is that if I ditch religion, science can’t actually provide me with answers to the major questions of reality, not to mention that science is totally useless on moral questions.  One person pointed this idea out on a comment thread:

“Science, properly defined and understood, explicitly refuses to even get involved in the most important questions. Life, the Universe, Everything. Science stops with a firm thud at the Big Bang, saying nothing at all about what came before or even if that question is even a meaningful one. Science can’t come to grips with Why.

Currently I am at this odd crossroads of depressing philosophical thought:  If there is no absolute truth of any kind – might makes right.  Influence, power, and money make right.  The implication is too scary for me to accept.   Instead I suggest like the X-Files says, “The Truth Is Out There.”  I really hope it is.

I have come to ponder upon the idea that life is short.  I could die tomorrow.  Any of us could.

I am not daft however.


What To Do?

I don’t want to live as a hedonistic narcissist because of this acknowledgment, but I also want to enjoy every last second I have – while still planning and anticipating the future.  Yes, I feel as if I am consumed by cognitive dissonance.

In the Bible, the first chapter of Ecclesiastes covers the concept of vanity, something that has created in me a philosophical mood and outlook that is seriously and worryingly quite pessimistic.

16 I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.

18 For in much wisdom is much vexation,
    and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

Hate the Bible or not, this is a valid and important point.  The more “knowledge” we acquire, the more despondent and pessimistic we become.    Getting that college degree, large house with a white picket fence, a family and children, ect seems almost useless and vain.  What’s the point? Shouldn’t I just become a complete hedonist and live every moment like it’s my last?

We all die at some point. Nothing can go with us, and we have no idea if there is any kind of afterlife or not.

This disturbs me because the idea of an afterlife is often the only thing that inspires people to be “good” – and I shudder at how relative the idea of what is “good” has become in modern society.   In the modern world, “good” is simply determined by who has the biggest megaphone on social media and who is driving the current accepted cultural narrative of “good.”   That is comforting, and yes, anyone with a brain can see that the assertion I just made is correct.

People mention we are progressing in concern to humanity and what is “good”, but no one seems to have a destination in mind as to exactly where we are progressing.   I.E. -” Like in art when a work is described as ‘significant’ – Significant of what?”  

If good is as relative as everyone these days insist it is – because absolute truth is such a dangerous concept – then what is there to stop us from evil besides the threat of punishment from a government for whatever is accepted as “evil” in our current time?

Quintus Curtius from the manosphere brings up an important point about this:

Man cannot be exhorted to do good by words alone; he must be held in the grip of terror by a religion that promises damnation if he misbehaves. Religion provides the backing to a moral code that rises above man; the myths, fables , and stories of religion are there for a purpose, and that purpose is to impart a moral code that can keep man’s baser instincts in check.

Curtius, Quintus (2014-09-05). Thirty Seven: Essays On Life, Wisdom, And Masculinity (p. 27).

“He also needs myths to sustain him, to console him in his bereavements, to provide a code to anchor his life, and to impart a sense of meaning to this mortal existence. Snatch away his mythos, rob him of his ideal, and you banish his spirit to a rudderless drifting in life’s drama. It is a cruel fate, and one that is far too common. But for some men, the myth is strong. And it is the last thing to die.”

– Curtius, Quintus (2014-09-05). Thirty Seven: Essays On Life, Wisdom, And Masculinity (p. 25).

As the great Christian thinker and philosopher Francis Schaeffer would say, “How then should we live?” Like Shaeffer, I desire an absolute of some kind – in his case the Bible – as to which I can conduct my life and evaluate society.    There is an interesting point about Schaeffer’s interpretation of the moral quandary impacting modern society in his, “How Then Should We Live” series:

“When we base society on humanism, which he defines as “a value system rooted in the belief that man is his own measure, that man is autonomous, totally independent”,[6] all values are relative and we have no way to distinguish right from wrong except for utilitarianism.[7] Because we disagree on what is best for which group, this leads to fragmentation of thought,[8] which has led us to the despair and alienation so prevalent in society today.

I am feeling this despair.  I don’t know honestly know how to solve it, but I fear that the longer I go without an answer, the more worried I become about my future.   I want to retain the Christian faith that I had, but the “faith” part is lacking.

I am eagerly exploring “alternatives”, but there seems to be no worldview out there which doesn’t require a fundamental leap of faith at its core to begin it’s particular journey.   Yes, science can give us facts, but it can’t answer metaphysical issues nor these two questions which pop into my head every day:

What is my purpose in this life? How should I live my life knowing that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed?

In fact, where do I go from here? What do I do?  How should I live?   Is there any conclusion whatsoever that isn’t fallible and based on the assumption of humanity? I have become stuck in a circular spacial vacuum of uncertainty and I don’t like it.

If You Support Abortion Rights, You Should Opposed Forced Vaccinations

Do You Get A Say In What Happens To Your Body?

Today, the question that is captivating the public’s attention is, “Do you alone make the choice’s over your own body, or do others have some say in it?”  You would think that most of the people who insist that only you have a choice over your body – abortion rights namely – would do the same with the debate over vaccination. Apparently not.

Our wise friends at the “The Good Men Project“, a hotbed of consistent bad advice for men lays another gem of wisdom onto us in an OpEd through author Shawn Henfling,

“It is my opinion that the CDC recommended courses of vaccinations become compulsory, not voluntary. Exclusions for personal belief should hold no weight when considering the greater public health. ”

I’ve seen the Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and several other more liberal publications lambast Chris Christie and Rand Paul for daring to suggest that mandatory vaccinations conflict with parent rights.   I don’t agree with Christie much, but he is right on this.  In fact, it conflicts with both the rights of the parents and the “body” rights of children in general.

Remember, if it is your “body” and the government shouldn’t be able to control what you do with it, that doesn’t only apply to just “abortion” and reproductive rights, it applies to every other issue that concerns your body under the sun – including vaccinations.   Unfortunately,  this rather simple level of consistency is not only rejected by some liberals, but is lambasted as irresponsible.

What’s gets even more bizarre is that condemnation of people who hold “anti-vax” positions aren’t just limited to liberals, but to conservatives as well.   The “anti-vaccination” movement actually started on the left, but then was taken up as well by religious conservatives and now millennial libertarian/liberal types.  This is actually bi-partisan support and opposition on the vaccination debate.

 

You must accept the needle.

You Don’t Own Your Body

Okay, at some level I see their point when it comes to vaccination of kids about to enter a school.  If a disease would spread unchecked from your kid, because you don’t want to get a vaccination, I could see arguments as to why you shouldn’t be able to send your kids to that school.  In fact, the Supreme Court has ruled that if you wish to put your kid in a public school, they must be vaccinated. (This is all the more reason to homeschool and give your kids an actual education.)

I however reject this totalitarian idea that the parents must comply and then force their kids to get a vaccination.  I can understand if the kids demand one, but they so often don’t.   Leave it up to some of these liberals – and even conservatives as well – to politicize the issue and suggest quasi-fascist like ideas of control upon the populace despite it being our “bodies”.   Conservative leaning The Federalist believes that opponents to vaccination simply don’t understand it:

Calls to jail ‘anti-vax’ parents, for instance, strike me as extreme and disturbing. But vaccination is not about protecting the vaccinated so much as it is about protecting others from disease-carriers. Vaccines are properly understood not on the basis of narrow self-interest but as a defense of the human species.

Speaking of calls to jail people and/or parents who won’t vaccinate their kids, Mr. Alex Berezow in an opinion column for USA Today, appears to be sick to the point of twisted in strong tyrannical state power and the “collective good” in his article entitled: “Jail ‘anti-vax’ parents.”    Yes, he actually said that.  We’ve heard about the dangers of radical individualism upon American culture, but never forget the effect of radical collectivism upon the culture with statements like this, “Put simply, no person has the right to threaten the safety of his community.”

I can’t help but shake my head in dismay at the implications of that statement. Yes, an individual must consider the impact of their actions upon a community, but that doesn’t automatically equate to trumping individual rights.

 

Employing Common Sense

Unlike some folks, I don’t actually oppose the concept of vaccinations. I do however want to make sure they have been thoroughly tested and I also don’t trust our government in this regards – and no, that doesn’t make me some tinfoil hat conspiracy theorist.   I just firmly believe that “choice” as my liberal friends seem to selectively apply should most certainly apply here.

Rand Paul – love him or hate him –  articulated this point in a CNBC interview about the subject:

“I’m not arguing vaccines are a bad idea,” Paul said. “I think they’re a good thing. But I think the parent should have some input. The state doesn’t own the children. Parents own the children.”

It is here yet again, that I find myself in agreement not only in agreement with Paul, but with the hippies, treehugger, eco-friendly folks, vegans, organic foods people, ect on yet another issue.  I continue to shock myself.  I don’t care if the science is 100% in favor and support of vaccination. Choice on an individual level isn’t sacrificed even if it is.

Mr. Henfling is essentially saying  that the argument of its “your” body only applies to reproductive issues. Good to know there is a principle level of consistency at the core.

I wonder what other things we can force upon people in the name of “social responsibility.” Note that scary word of “compulsory” and how it usually impairs the freedom of others. I guess that doesn’t matter if you can justify it under “social responsibility”.

 

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Why is Catcalling Bad?

We are often told in life that many things are “bad”.     Some are obvious – theft, rape, murder, ect.  Others such as “cat-calling” are not.   I ran into this article on XoJane in which this smoking hot babe was catcalled. Determined to do something about it, she confronted every last one of them.  Either there were only 3 encounters worth mentioning, or she was only catcalled three times – group encounter for one of those – in a week.

Something that kept popping up in my mind: Why actually is catcalling bad? Most men – and I use that concept sparingly – know that it often doesn’t work, hence it usually is employed as more of a “I’m messing with you” kind of interaction.   Well these days, almost any kind of interaction can become undesirable, offensive, and even become capable of being defined as harassment.

Catcalling has been a bullet point for most of today’s modern first-world feminists. We know they don’t like it, but they never have really set up a “doctrinal statement” with all the trimmings as to why catcalling is offensive.   (1) “I’m offended”, is not an actual valid argument.  Why should we care? Just to get the cycle rolling, perhaps we are offended that they are offended.   (2) Just because certain women are offended by it does not actually make it offensive.  (3) Interactions that make you uncomfortable aren’t inherently wrong.

Her main “argument” against catcalling seemed to be that it makes women feel afraid:

How can you explain to a stranger that a compliment makes us feel afraid? That words like gorgeous and beautiful sound like threats when we hear them whispered to us on an empty street late at night? That we feel uneasy, objectified, and uncomfortable when you say this to us while we’re going about our normal routine, not asking to be judged on our appearance out loud? That this thing they do for fun is at the expense of our peace of mind?

So if something makes someone afraid, we shouldn’t say it? Where exactly is the line drawn? So what if it causes fear? What if this women actually causes fear just by the sound of her voice?

That’s not a quick chat you can have with a stranger on a street corner. It needs to be part of a bigger conversation, earlier on, by the people who are in charge of shaping you into a respectable human. When we’re being taught as young women not to respond to this kind of attention, we need to also be teaching our young men not to engage in this behavior in the first place.

Until she and the rest of these radical 3rd wave feminists provide a thorough methodology as well as a strong philosophical foundation for why young men shouldn’t cat call,   we should ignore and dismiss her demands as illogical and irrational.  In fact, I’ve talked to girls who claim they like and enjoy cat-calling.  While it is a somewhat mundane form of validation, why should I encourage others to acquiesce to the demands of this writer vs these other girls I’ve talked to? It’s also not just the ladies I’ve talked to but ladies online, including self-identifying feminists.   Decisions, decisions.

I very much dislike in today’s polarized and vitriolic climate.  I also take issue with the constant refusal and automatic dismissal of people based on what they identify with as well as the labels others give them – yes that includes radical feminists and all other “labels” I disprove of.   We should never become these irate walking narcissists who will only associate with others who think as we do.   However, we must be careful as well.

In the end, if a woman confronts you about “catcalling” its an immediate, glaring, and vibrant red flag that you should ignore her and refuse to converse with her any further. Walk away, and if she refuses to stop following you, threaten to call the police.  The chances are high she could be a radical feminists who has a score to settle with the male half of our species and defining your words as “harassment” is her logical next step.   When you run into the Jezebels of the world, it’s best to avoid them, or face their wrath in which the ends always justify the means.

Happy Conversing.