The Depths of the Abyss

For my part I do not want to make peace between my heart and my head, between my faith and my reason; I prefer that they be at war. –Miguel de Unamuno, The Tragic Sense of Life in Men and Nations

If I were to express a theme for this book so far, it would be “never mind reason! I need life, and life forever! Ah, but reason is necessary; there is no escaping from it! I shall live within the tension and find vitality in the contradiction.”

I was thinking about the Truth Project along with similar attempts at finding “true truth” – while I don’t necessarily disagree with much of what he says kind of misses the point. I’ve never tried to reason my way to faith, but suspect it to be possible, since everything depends on the premises. Start with premises about the necessity of the Unmoved Mover and you get – well, not to faith, exactly, but to some concept of God. Start with the inerrancy of Scripture, and you do get to faith – though sometimes of an incomplete source. Start with darwanistic materialism and psychology, and you may well end up with the Bicameral Mind. It all depends on what you already believe. Start with Faith and that’s just where you are – “I believe because it is absurd!”

As regards the truth of it all [what he is describing in his book in response to the hunger for immortality], true truth, truth independent of ourselves, beyond our logical and cardiacal truth, as regards that truth – quien sabe?

Apologetics is hard – and apologetics in the way that many of us are using it today is perhaps wrong as well. If you believe because someone has convinced you of some fact or other, what happens when someone cleverer comes along and casts doubt on the fact? Unamuno’s solution seems to be not to worry too much about facts and logic in regards to faith – it’s all about the vital longing; I believe because… well, because I believe. I’m not sure how well I like that solution yet, but I’m certainly looking forward to seeing the other side of the rational abyss!


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