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Interesting Easter Conversation, pt. 3 - Kurt's Life (or lack thereof) [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Kurt Onstad

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Interesting Easter Conversation, pt. 3 [Mar. 31st, 2002|06:42 pm]
Kurt Onstad

IQ Pierce: If a God who created the universe and who is the source of everything and who is Perfection itself exists, then it seems to me automatic that knowing him as much as we can is our first priority, Christian or not.
Kurt: But, what if there's not? For a moment, let's go to the other side. If the Universe was a big cosmic accident, then what should our first priority be?
IQ Pierce: Whatever our animal desires tell us to, because there's nothing eternal and no reason to suppress our hedonism.
Kurt: So, if you found out for sure that you were wrong and there was no God, you would change the way you feel and act, because there's "no reason to suppress our hedonism."?
IQ Pierce: I believe in sacrifice because it is giving that which I cannot keep to gain that which I cannot lose. If there were no God and no eternity, why engage in sacrifice at all? I would have no reason to act as more than an animal.
Kurt: So, if there's no God, you find no reason to be a good person? Whereas, if I find out for sure that there is a God, I'll still be a good person...
IQ Pierce: 1.) Why? 2.) The point I'm trying to make is that even hypothetically, the universe you describe is nonsensical to me. I can't accept it, it is completely opposite of all Truth and Beauty and Depth which I've seen in my life and in myself. I just can't relate on those terms... life would really be pointless. Don't think I'm only not going hedonistic because I want Heaven, that's not the case.
IQ Pierce: In Norse mythology, the gods were going to be destroyed by the barbarians and the trolls; and many chose to die on the side of good, fought for Good even though it was losing. I would, too. But the random universe is one that's incomprehensible to me, and I don't know how anyone can truly believe it.
IQ Pierce: Not that I'm saying you do, I'm just saying people who do, I don't understand.
Kurt: Well, my mind is open enough to see both possibilities. I can see a universe with a diety or deities controlling it, and I can see a universe without that. In both universes, we're still here, relying on each other, and that's what we should be focusing on while we're here.
IQ Pierce: Okay, is this random universe purely physical? The evolutionist's universe, the materialist's universe?
Kurt: By purely physical, what do you mean?
IQ Pierce: When we die, we just disappear... there's no God or gods... no definite morality.
Kurt: Correct, correct, not correct. Mankind has evolved self-awareness, and with that came a basic agreed upon morality (which is what we find in common in all religions).
IQ Pierce: Ah, but the way you put it there makes it something that just evolved with us. It's not higher than us, it's not eternal, it's not spiritual. When humans disappear, it disappears?
Kurt: Yes, it does. If another sentient lifeform evolves, they might have different moral values built in.
Kurt: But that doesn't make our moral code less valid, in my eyes.
IQ Pierce: See, it does for me. Last semester I tried seriously considering that basic theory... basically that all our morality just evolved as a failsafe, a way of keeping us in line... that it was from natural selection, that only the humans with inclinations to do what was acceptable to society passed on their genes and thus we get this "conscience."
Kurt: Okay.
IQ Pierce: I couldn't accept it. For one thing, I think C.S. Lewis really tears it away... if it came from natural selection, it would be part of our animal instinct. But we do have a herd instinct; and the part of us that knows right from wrong is clearly distinct from the same thing. We may have to encourage our herd instinct to do Good and discourage it when it leads us to Bad. My consience seems quite distinct from anything like an instinct in me.
IQ Pierce: I guess I just really can't not regard my conscience as a lifeline to the eternal. If it weren't, why would it matter? I don't even know if my conscience always DOES lead me to do what would be the most helpful to society.
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