Across times and cultures we find the idea of an afterlife where the just are rewarded after hard trials. Today we mock those ideas as "pie in the sky." But do those stories passed down through centuries point to a shared delusion -- or to a reality more glorious than we can imagine?
Hellfire. Damnation. Eternal separation from God. These are scary topics which are today generally treated as fairy tales good only for frightening children and credulous rubes. But what if there is a great and terrible Truth behind those unsettling legends?
According to most secular Americans religious morality is anti-sex, anti-pleasure and anti-fun. C.S. Lewis's views were considerably more nuanced. Our modern culture has built its towers on sand and now they are crumbling. Can we rebuild something better on the bedrock Lewis has laid bare for us?
There are many Christian denominations; they have serious differences on important points of doctrine and are in some cases openly hostile to each other. But what common ground do they share? In his 1952 book *Mere Christianity* C.S. Lewis sought to discover a "mere Christianity" which was the true heart of the Faith. Can his wisdom inspire us to put aside our differences and work together to protect the Good and conquer Evil?
In a world where “rebel” and “heretic” are terms of endearment, what use can there be in stale old dogmas and outworn creeds? G.K. Chesterson’s *Orthodoxy* offered a defense of Christianity’s continuing relevance amidst the science, progress and prosperity of Victorian England. Can the timeless truths he offered then help us find a way to clean up the 21st century’s post-Christian mess?
G.K. Chesterton, *Orthodoxy* (1908)
Welcome to the seventh episode of Notes From The End of Time: The Quotients of Intelligence
Today children around the world are ranked and measured by standardized intelligence tests: their data is weighed, sifted and measured by innumerable algorithms and parceled out into neat charts and reports. Yet over and over the computers keep repeating blasphemy: some groups score lower than others? How do we address this problem? How do we solve this problem? And what preconceptions and misconceptions lead us to conclude this is a problem?
Kenaz Filan, “The Quotients of Intelligence”
As our government teeters and our populace becomes increasingly polarized, many fear war is on the horizon. Some of us have realized it is already here. How can we wage a just war? How can we work for a just peace? And how can we fight monsters without becoming monsters ourselves?
Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae (Prima Secundae Partis)
Kenaz Filan, "Toward the Unknown Shore"
"What We Know of the Ring"
Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, “Just War Theory”
Eric Patterson, "Just War Theory and Terrorism" in Providence Magazine (Summer 2016)
"St. Joan of Arc" at Catholic Online
Gene Wolfe, "The Best Introduction to the Mountains"
H.P. Lovecraft''s writings have become famous for their "cosmic horror." He showed us our place in the Universe: dust-specks living atop a bigger dust-speck for what barely counts as an Elder God's eye-blink. But were the vast empty demon-haunted vistas he created fiction -- or was he drawing from life?
In September 1931 C.S. Lewis accepted Christ after a lengthy conversation with his friend and fellow Oxford don J.R.R. Tolkien. Both would go on to become two of the greatest Fantasy writers of the 20th century. Today their work is seen by many as quaint, outmoded, even reactionary. But can their halting voyage toward Truth help us set our course in a world drugged on lies?
Kenaz Filan, "The Golden Sceptre and the Iron Crown"
Mykal Gilmore, "George R.R. Martin: The Rolling Stone Interview"
C.S. Lewis, *That Hideous Strength*
Today many scientists are wondering if we are living inside a computer simulation: Elon Musk famously claimed that the odds we are living in "base reality" are a billion to one. But what does it mean to live in a simulation -- and where do we find that base reality?
(Note: I know, I know: Laurence Fishburne played Morpheus, not Samuel L. Jackson. My bad).
Nick Bostrom, "Are You Living in a Computer Simulation?"
G.K. Chesterton, *Heresies*
Kenaz Filan, "Infinity in the Palm of your Hand"
Martin Heidegger, "Only a God Can Save Us"
Martin Heidegger, "The Question Concerning Technology"
Joshua Rothman, "What are the Odds We Are Living in a Computer Simulation?"
New Yorker, June 9, 2016
Pontius Pilate asked “What is Truth?” Today we are told that Truth is contextual, Truth is shifting, Truth is a tool used by the strong to hold power over the weak. Like Pilate, we have turned away from inconvenient Truths. And today our nation, and the Truths we once held to be self-evident, are burning. Our only hope is to return to the Truth which Pilate washed off his hands.
Created 3 months ago.
Category Spirituality & Faith