See Part I. (update: “loose ends” is here)
In my previous post, I discussed what I see as atheists’ (and agnostics’) flight from reality. To pile on, today some in this camp are even likely to posit the existence of infinite universes (nevermind evidence) in order to eliminate the possibility of a Divine Nature. Even more amazing, some evidently seriously consider whether reality might be a computer simulation rather than the creation or product of any sort of god or god-like-reality.
And of course, if aliens were responsible for this simulation (which I heard on a recent public radio interview!), they probably would not be divine, but would simply be like any other life. Just more evolved. Nevermind the infinite regress (who created them?), which is nevertheless more reasonable when mind comes before matter than when it is said to follow from matter. In short, many these days seem more determined than ever to become determinist-technological-occultist types.
Of course, perhaps its not really fair for me to mention people like these in the same breath as Charles Lamore. In any case, no matter which agnostics or atheists we are speaking of, their arguments seem to me terribly weak. As Lamore notes, Charles Taylor argues that things many take for granted today in the Western world, like the importance of individual conscience (think “prodigal son”), rational control (think “…subdue it”), and the supreme value of simple earthly tasks (think “whatever you do…for the glory of God”) arose in a thoroughly Christian context, and this, I think, is impossible to mimimize (through what Taylor calls “Subtraction stories”). Yes, as Taylor notes (and Lamore quotes), in recent Western history, “the human and the divine… came to be so sharply marked off from one another that making sense of the world appeared possible in this-worldly terms alone”, but that says more about the pride of man than any real evidence damning the Divine. Hence, even without talking at length about this event, Lamore’s argument for the reasonability of the agnostic position (again, see part I) seems even weaker to me.
It has been said that the atheist has two key principles: a) God doesn’t exist, and b) I hate Him. I think that, for Lamore, it ultimately comes down to this: how can I most effectively deny and argue against my obligation towards the Divine Nature responsible for the cosmos that most everyone else in the world seems concerned about relating to, in some fashion or another?
In other words, the real question is not whether there is a Divine Nature, but what, or who, this Divine Nature is. Lamore should be asking: “is the one [this or that group] believes in true?”
Lamore may indeed “hope that there is something more to things than is contained in the disenchanted picture of modern science”, but the “Something More” that he may be tempted to seek is one that not only brings momentary comfort – when he may “feel moved by what may be a deeper spiritual reality” – but one that is still positively within his control (where he can justify himself before that Divine Nature).
In other words, though he, like all pagans, sophisticated and unsophisticated alike, may indeed “grope for God”, he by no means seeks the One True God, who is the Triune God revealed in the flesh through Jesus Christ. Simply put, rational adults do not go looking for, nor intend to find, that God (although He may indeed make Himself found in the process).
On the other hand, despite their sinfulness, infants are willing to be nothing but given to – and receive that Word of Christ freely when He comes to them.
Note: “pious” defined as “Having or exhibiting religious reverence; earnestly compliant in the observance of religion; devout.”
Note II: for any concerned that I might be painting with an overly broad brush, take comfort in the fact that I am eager to take a look at this.