Friday, March 04, 2005

In my attempt in examining my belief, a friend presupposed (or presumed) that I now have no (or lost my) purpose in life. I realize that in my attempt, I am in fact trying to establish my real purpose in life. It is no coincidence that I’m reading a book by Viktor Frankl who developed the “logotheraphy” or the will to meaning, which theorizes that “this striving to find a meaning in one’s life is the motivational force in man.” And also, to quote Nietzsche who said “he who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” Thus, I would say I am indeed seeking my true purpose in life, or to borrow Frankl’s term, my will to meaning.

Now I go back to examining my belief. I recall once in January (9 to be precise) that one of the point of our pastor in his message was about conviction. Conviction, he said, is something you are willing to die for. That simple statement triggered in me, a series of questions. I asked myself, what am I willing to give up for my belief? Am I willing to give up, even my life, for it? If I say yes, then is my belief that worth dying for? Am I able to live, even to die for the sake of my ideals? Am I then believing the truth if I’m willing to die for it? Not necessarily! I may be convicted by my belief, but it does not necessarily mean I believe what is true. It only means I believe. It only means I believe it to be true. Consider that even those who commit suicide and acts of terrorism have as much, if not more intense conviction.

I’ve been reading selected, random works by Nietzsche. Admittedly, I can’t bear yet to take on the whole of his writing. It is worth to note that he is an atheist who cannot believe the idea of a Christian God who “begets children with a mortal woman,” nor a doctrine that teaches “a justice that accepts the innocent as a vicarious sacrifice” nor among other things “sins perpetrated against a god, atoned for by a god.” He believes in the “ubermensch” or the superman (overman). To him, that which we cannot become, that is his ubermensch. In a similar manner, there is a concept among Christians that God is someone humans cannot fully understand. Meaning, if they can understand God, then he is no God at all. This concept then leads me to an estoppel. Any attempt to fully understand God diminishes his being a God?

Note that I like Nietzsche and am fascinated by his controversial ideas. But I do not share his contempt with Christianity, its God and Christians. He is a genius (or to others a madman) in challenging popular ideas and wasn’t afraid to be ridiculed of his belief. Still, I want to point out that he lacks the moral value that I admire in a philosopher.

I believe that Christians (or any other religion for that matter) should not be afraid to find out or read any ideas opposed to their belief. If that would make them doubt their belief, then it must put a question on the credibility of their belief, or on the knowledge of the believer, instead of the absurdity of the oppose idea.

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