Two AphorismsFebruary 7, 2009 at 10:11 am | Posted in refleksi | 16 Comments
Tags: atheism, God, the meaning of life
On a bright sunny day he decided to become an atheist. He never really understood what the atheist philosophers said about the almighty, all-knowing being that he ever believed had created the universe sometime ago in the absence of time, and nor had he ever had the slightest idea of what the atheist scientists were saying about the origin of life of which he knows very little: what were we before we were born?
He attended a school of philosophy to find answers but only to return home with more questions far more basic, far more delicate and far trickier than the ones he had asked before. He was fascinated by the ticklish questions all the clever and erudite philosophers posed; he loved their clear expositions, their solid propositions, their strong arguments, their excellent logic, their witty rhetoric, their interesting lives and so on. But none of them provided him the certainty he had had when he was a little boy; when he believed 100 percent in the eternity of his being/consciousness – in life beyond death in heaven, or hell, under God. He needed no reasons to reject the authority of any beings other than himself, then the only reality he trusted. He lost his faith for stupid quasi-political reasons. He just made himself the God of his life; a decision he regretted deeply.
On the darkest day of his life he decided to find his way back to God. But he knew too well he had gone too far and too long to remember where he came from. He failed to recognize his own footprints. It was too late – he missed his only chance to be God’s children. He knew he was now an orphan fully alone in a world that could not be more alien to him. He cried bitterly. Life, objectively seen as ephemeral by those who count their age, is never short to those who suffer.
The road to death is to him an eternity.
Born to be non-believers
There is nothing more obvious than your own mind. We are never sure about things as they are in themselves. Is the redness of the red really red? Is the vulgarity of the vulgar really vulgar? We could never know. We could only believe. But what does it mean to “know”? And what does it mean to “believe”? Life is presented in and understood through metaphors. A box of chocolate. A winding road. A game to play. Etc. We know very little of our lives. Everybody is new in town. We have long resorted to poets and novelists to tell us what life is, or what it is supposed to be; but, alas, poetry is a means to an end. Metaphor always speaks of something else. Interpretation is thus a sysyphian struggle to find meaning – a distant, intangible “thing” which will always be on the other side of the road. The truth is perennially that which lies behind the perceptual; we are cursed to disbelieve it as an actual truth. Men are born to be non-believers.
We are destined to be infidels.