I am returning to writing blog posts after a delay from January 22, 2018 until today June 19, 2018. I felt no desire to carry on the careful philosophical analysis of my religious belief. I was not accomplishing anthing. I intended it to be analysis of religious belief in general. But honesty requires admitting I wrote only of my religious belief.
I had become involved with subtle distinctions between statements such as:
A. Jesus changed water into wine at Cana.
B. I believe that Jesus changed water into wine at Cana.
C. We believe that Jesus changed water into wine at Cana.
These subtle distinctions are intriguing to this retired philosophy professor. They are, I’m sure, boring and obscure to almost anyone else. So my efforts at philosophical sophistication undercuts the purpose of these blog posts on Christianity. I am putting these blog posts on the internet to evangelize. I “labelled my efforts at evangelization “Christian Re-enchantment” because I wanted to show that there can be a single narrative of nature and the human condition whose components are,
1. reality as science would have it,
2. Gospel miracles – especially the resurrection of Jesus
3. doctrines of Christian theology.
A Christian view of reality accepts truth claims from all three components. These discussions exposed my reluctance to accept that we are living in a Christian reality. I constantly slipped back into belief scientism which holds that there is nothing but reality as science would have it. My analysis was not helping my Christian faith; let alone that of anyone else. So I will stop this analysis of my belief in a Christian reality. I will simply write on a variety of topics about the human condition and morality as if there are truth claims from all components of Christian reality. I hope that I am not mistaken in assuming that some of the Gospel miracles really occurred and Christian doctrines about post mortem rewards and punishments are true. In any event, I intend to die under this assumption.
My confidence in this assumption waxes and wans. How I feel and events I experience are causal factors in my degree of confidence. But I do not let my confidence, or lack thereof, change my stance that truth claims from all three components can be true. This does not mean that if an occasion arises for supporting a Christian truth claim, I will not try to make a case that it is a correct claim to make. Indeed the assumption that there can be correct Christian truth claims provides the rationale for giving reasons for them. Absent an assumption that the Christian claims could be true, there would be no motivation for trying to show that they are true.
With care a Christian stance on reality can be held consistently. There need be no logical contradictions between claims a Christian accepts as true. In particular there need be no logical contradiction between biblical and theological claims on one hand and claims of natural science on the other. I am simply repeating the oft made claim that there need be no logical contradictions between religious beliefs and claims of natural science. However,I must recognize the “logical price” I pay for reconciling science and my Catholic faith. And I think all who struggle to reconcile religions and science will have to pay this price. The price of having a logically consistent Christian stance toward reality is having an incoherent stance towards reality. By “incoherent stance” I mean that the law of excluded middle does not hold in the logic we use for describing all of reality. Excluded middle is not a law of logic
( In this connection, please see my previous postUnrealistic Fictions.)
Let me illustrate. Consider “Jesus changed water into wine at Cana or Jesus did not change water into wine at Cana.” A Christian should not say that this disjunction is necessarily true even if he goes on to claim that exactly on of the disjuncts is true. Talking biblically I would assert that Jesus did change water into wine. talking scientifically I concede that there is strong evidence that Jesus did not change water into wine. Nonetheless, I assert as true that Jesus did change water into wine at Cana.
Excluded middle not being a principle of logic means that I think reality has gaps because sometimes neither a claim P nor its denial not-P is true. For instance, consider “Jesus cured Peter of a stammer or Jesus did not cure Peter of a stammer.” In my stance towards reality there is no answer to whether or not Jesus cured a speech defect in Peter. It is not merely that it is unknown about whether Jesus cured Peter. It is that there is no fact one way or the other; that is a “gap” in reality.
I will not labor this point about excluded middle further. It is enough that I admit that with respect to logic the language I use to talk about fictions is the same as the language I use when I intend to how reality is.
My book on sexual morality requires no narrative about enchanted realities other than the everyday one about our thoughts and feeling. But the traditional sexual morality I justify on purely secular grounds receives more motivation if placed in a Judeo-Christian framework.
My book Confronting Sexual Nihilism: Traditional Sexual Morality as an Antidote to Nihilism was released by Tate Publishing on March 11, 2014. See Book Web Page for information about the book. The publisher’s listed price is $26.99. Printed copies can be purchased here by credit card for $3.99, plus $3.71 for shipping and handling.
To purchase the printed book by check, send check of $3.99 plus $3.71 for shipping and handling per copy. Send to:
Charles F. Kielkopf
45 W. Kenworth Rd.