Καλή Ανάσταση! (On the irrationality of the modern belief in death)

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Happy Easter! (“Καλή Ανάσταση” in Greek literally means ‘Happy Resurrection’)

And let not the irrationality of the miracle of resurrection hinder you from believing.

The most important things in life we anyway do not understand.

Our self.

Being.

The cosmos itself.

And yet we are defined by them. And we live by them.

Yes, the resurrection is irrational.

And that is why it is true. (refer to “Resurrection – Illogical, thus True.“)

Because knowing is not about understanding, as Shestov said.

You think you need to believe in order to accept the resurrection.

But it is the other way around…

You already believe so many things and that is why you accept death.

Think again.

Time. Existence. Matter. Identity. Me. You. The notion of change itself.

Who told you these exist?

Do not ask whether Christ was risen.

But instead.

Could you ever die?

PS. Refer to the “What does it take to believe in Death” series of articles at the Blogger Harmonia Philosophica portal for more extensive coverage of the ideas that support our belief in Death. I was much younger when I wrote it and did not wrote so eloquently as now (at least not as much as I believe I do anyway), but my ideas were far more clear and raw. Thus, I still like them. Hope you like them too.

How many scientists are Christians? (Does it matter?)

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Statistics of religiousness are a hot topic.

A friend recently initiated a discussion regarding science, religion and the ‘war’ between them. One of the basic elements of the discussion was the number of scientists who are Christians and of course the actual number of christians in the world to-day. The discussion heated up, with many people invoking researches and polls where the number of scientists who are religious or atheists was documented, explained or projected, while taking into accounts multiple criteria and factors.

Yes, the number of religious scientists may be falling.

On the other hand, there could be polls claiming otherwise.

But at the end, does it matter at all?

Should Christianity care about diminishing or increasing numbers of christians?

If we take a good look we will understand that we are looking at the whole topic from the wrong angle. The problem of Christianity to-day is not that it has a dropping number of faithful going to the church. Or an increasing number of people going to the church. The problem is that Christianity (and christians) care about the number of people going to the church…

Nietzsche once said that the first and last Christian died at the cross. Whether this is true or not I do not know, however I do know that I would surely prefer to have Christianity with only one Christian who is a good and humble person, than having billions of followers who argue and debate about whether the numbers of Christians are rising or falling…

And since the discussion is abour religion and science, the same applies to science as well. I would also prefer science with only one proper scientist, open to all possibilities, self-criticizing eveything and with a free spirit, rather than millions of self-proclaimed scientists who are just parroting the same things over and over again because someone else has said them.

In every case, remember: Less is more…

Be aware and be worried when your followers increase too much.

You are doing things suspiciously right…

PS. All the above also apply for atheism and agnosticism as well.

Outside the Church!

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Aid from the Padre, 1962. [source]

We usually forget what is obvious.

This photo won a Pulitzer Prize, depicting a priest holding a soldier who dies in Venezuela (details here).

We tend to go to church to remember that we are Christians. To light a candle, to pray, to feel mentally uplifted. And yet, Christianity is not the buildings. Not even the church canon or its typical rules. These are of course very important elements carrying significant symbolisms and functions (on multiple levels), no one denies that. But if one looks at life and at the world with a clearer eye, he will see that its most Christian moments took place outside the buildings and outside the formal framework of some liturgy – many times not even by Christians.

In moments of despair, death, pain and agony.

Christianity is not us either. Why should it be? Wy have we won the title of “Christian”? Because we do superficial things that even a child could do? Basically, I don’t care much what Christianity is. In moments of despair, death, pain and anguish, who would care anyway? And yet, it is in such moments that we remember again something that was once obvious to us.

The world is full of pain and horror.

The world is dark.

And yet somewhere inside us we remember vaguely…

(But with absolute certainty)

That there is light somewhere…

Italy, coronavirus, saving the younger ones: Civilization dying.

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In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, it is reported that in Italy there is a shortage in medical supplies and doctors are now making choices about who to save and who to leave unattended to die. There are reports that the selection doctors make are in favor of the younger ones. (Source)

If this is the case, then we are dealing with something worse than the death of some people. We are dealing with the death of civilization per se.

Because there is nothing worse than arrogance. Arrogance that man can ride at the level of God and play God’s role. Arrogance that someone can decide who lives and who dies.

It is such arrogance that made crimes as the Holocaust possible. Don’t be fooled. The devil always comes disguised as an angel.

Sure, there is logic in selecting the younger ones for survival. But a wrong logic altogether. What if that young person is someone terrible who commits crimes? What if the older person who is left to die is an honorable person who had devoted his life to saving others? What if that younger person you saved went on to rape children? What if that old person you killed was an experienced heart surgeon who was going to save the life of a prime minister who would in turn save the world from the next world war? What if that older person was you?

Any logic applied in selecting who lives and who dies, at the end, promotes death. Not life. Death of the ones not selected. Death of a civilization that once upon a time called for saving the weak not because they could survive, but especially because they couldn’t!

Look around.

And in the faces of the people you will not see men and women dying.

But a whole civilization crying…

PS 1. But what should we do? could someone still ask. Shouldn’t we decide something? The answer is simple and already given: we should do nothing! In the case of such life or death dilemmas men should not decide! We cannot play God. Treat people with a “first come first served” priority (and no, no two people arrive simultaneously, simultaneous events do not exist even in theoretical physics). So simple. So “irrational” with regards to our death-loving distorted logic. These dilemmas have been solved a long time ago in modern European law tradition. We are here not to play the role of fate. We are here to suffer it.

PS 2. Yes, you guessed correctly. There is no “trolley problem” as such. In such cases, one should not do anything, i.e. one should not try to play God. The solution to such infamous problems is that you try for the best, without playing the role of fate as we so much like to do these days…

Coronavirus, Christianity, Death, “sissies”…

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There is a lot of discussion about the new coronavirus affecting the world as we speak. Harmonia Philosophica usually does not deal with such news since our focus is philosophy and not everyday matters. Our subject is the eternal, not the ephemeral.

And yet, as we have said many times here, the ephemeral is sometimes more eternal than the eternal. And philosophy needs to take into account everyday life if the latter poses important and interesting questions.

The coronavirus has suddenly made humanity again aware of its fragility. And right when we thought we were “progressing” and ready to conquer the world, Death is suddenly again part of the discussion.

This is, understandably, unsettling to many people. I will not make the arrogant mistake of not including myself with all those people. I am also afraid of death. I am also afraid of suffering. But as we have said again many times, my personal or your personal feelings on the matter at hand mean nothing.

Photo by Spiros Kakos from Pexels

And here is where Christianity comes into play. Despite what most people believe, Christianity does not evangelize that if you are a good Christian you will not suffer; the exact opposite is true! Christianity reminds us of death and suffering. Christianity emphasizes death and suffering and brings them to the spotlight. Jesus and all the saints have died horrible deaths. No one is spared from death or suffering because of being a good Christian. Being a Christian does entail accepting pain and suffering, so that we can acknowledge that death is nothing more than a portal to real life.

The world had rejected Christianity because of those attributes of Christianity. Because the world does not like death and suffering. Because the world believes that it is – or can be – immortal and live for ever. Because we admire matter and we cannot see beyond it. Blinded by our dogmatic materialism, we fail to see the obvious only because we are cowards.

As Johnny Cash has said, “Christianity is not for sissies”.

Don’t be afraid.

Yes, at the end you will die.

Can you not cry?

(Where is your philosophy?)

Related article: How to easily win an atheist in a debate…