Friday, February 6, 2009

A Matter of Logic

I wrote a bit about my faith the other day. My friend Danielle wrote me an email after reading it, part of which reads as follows. Bear in mind that this is only a little of her email and it is taken out of context. Danielle wrote,"I don't know about England but in France, the churches are almost empty, and the last Christians who go to mass on Sundays are oldies. Which means that catholicism might soon or later disappear. Protestants are not a great many, and apparently, apart from the great ceremonies, temples are not full either.. Which seems to demonstrate that there is a crisis."

I won't dispute that at all. Back in the 1960s I was a Church Choirboy and every Sunday there would be two or three services and the Church, Kendal Holy Trinity (which is a big church) was full. But that was in the days when there was nothing else to do on a Sunday. The boozers had very limited opening hours. The only TV Channels didn't start till 7 at night. No shops, none at all, were open.

Over the intervening years all that has changed. We now have 24 hour a day boozing in pubs that never close. The TV is never off and the shops are open every day of the week. So we all worship the great god mamon by going shopping.

As a result, the churches are, as Danielle says, empty. The Church that I attend now has a regular congregation of about 90 for the one and only service that is held on a Sunday. Numbers are really on the decline, and maybe we are seeing the beginning of the end of religion as it has been in this country for hundreds of years.

I don't think that it is necessarily so, or at least I hope not.

Then, almost on the same day that I got that email from Danielle I found the following. I am currently reading a Science Fiction Novel, and military Sci-Fi at that. In this rather strange place, lying in bed reading my novel, I read the following.

"Staynair laughed softly. "It isn't a matter of faith, it's a matter of logic. Either God exists or he doesn't. Those are really the only two possibilities. If he does exist, as I believe, then ultimately anything that promotes truth will only tend to demonstrate His existence. If he exists then whatever happens will be what he chooses to allow to happen - even if what he chooses is to have mankind turn against him, for a time."

"And what if he doesn't exist?", Merlin asked quietly.

"If he doesn't, then he doesn't. But if he doesn't then none of it will matter anyway, will it? If it turns out that I've been wrong all my life, what have I really lost? I will have done my best to live as a good man, loving people, serving them as I might, and if there is no God, then at the end of my life I'll simply close my eyes and sleep. Is there truly anything dreadful, anything to terrify any man, in that possibility? I don't fear oblivion, I simply hope for, and believe in so much more."

This is back to me again. I have edited that passage but only very slightly and only to remove a few things that were not germane to this posting.

I thought it was amazing that, just at the point when I needed an answer to a philosophic question, an answer popped up in the most unlikely of places. Strange!

I will admit that I think that passage is rather appropriate. I found it, personally, very satisfying. I think that it kind of speaks for me.

1 comment:

glophantom-ebox1 said...

About Christians not going to Church on Sundays because the shops are open and the telly is on.. What do you have to say about the fact that on Fridays, the shops and the telly are exactly the same as on Sundays, and the mosks are full? And the same is to be said about Saturdays and the synagogues???

Don't you think there should rather be new questioning in the Christians sphere as to the purpose of their faith???? And the way it is seen by the youth? And how they should change with the world instead of dying day after day, except in Baptists churches?

About what you read in your book, all I can say is that it was written by a believer who has no idea, whatsoever it is to be an atheist...

You spend your life relying only on yourself, no-one to talk to in your sleepless nights, no-one to pray when something happens to you, and death is not just closing your eyes and sleep, it means losing all you've lived for, with nothing to go to...,

Which makes a complete difference to the way you live, and try to do as much as you can, and see as much as possible... Because you know there's nothing after!
Carpe Diem...Enjoy your church on Sunday.. While I'm going to the cinema...