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> My religious beliefs are . . . in flux

That's.. interesting, I always thought of you as a stern atheist. May I ask you to elaborate how you came to a different position from your past (presumably) atheistic views?




I continue to find it difficult to entertain the invocation of the supernatural. But I've come to appreciate much of the substance of Christianity beyond the metaphysics. In the past, I used to think "Christianity - metaphysics" was just "be a good person secular humanism" but it's quite different.


There's also David Foster Wallace's take on religion, which is that you can take it or leave it, but the alternatives might "eat you alive":

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB122178211966454607


That's a great reading, thanks.

On a separate note -- it really, really, really bothers me that DFW made the decision to commit suicide. I mean, it almost compels me to read what you linked in a way that I should not, on the line that hey - this is what he said and believed - and then he decided to go that way. It makes one question the message, that if I immerse myself in this viewpoint, will I also find myself being pushed in that direction? Or, is the message empty and insincere or really not as profound as it seems, given that he had these insights and still he decided to do what he did?

Meh, sorry that I'm being so negative here. I think it was mainly the free will thread ( https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8160395 ) that got me depressed (ideas that basically 1) completely kill any notion of the supernatural or deep meaning (in the way that our religious teachings may have impressed upon us; that we ourselves may have held so dear once upon a time) and 2) question the agency of a human's free will; realizing the lack of a free will just takes the joy out of living really... at least for me).


Depression is an illness. If the guy had died of cancer, would you be reading so much into his decision to "let himself go"?

(I confess I find this turn of phrase so repugnant that I can barely bring myself to type it, even inside scare quotes. Its implication is that a person with a proper philosophy, or one whose belief was sufficiently sincere, wouldn't have slacked off to the point that they suffered from a debilitating, painful, often fatal condition that is apparently the number-four cause of disability in the USA: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOAgplgTxfc )


Most especially if you read the heartbreaking details of his last year. Nobody informed about the details of what happened to DFW could possibly argue that he had control over it.


Remember most Christians (most anybody in any religion) are just there for the coffee. As my Minister used to say, There are pillars and there are caterpillars. We know who the pillars of our local Church are. The Caterpillars just visit on Sunday; they crawl in and they crawl out.




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