In this section of my blog I want to share with my readers things that I think Matter. I do not mean the things we normally talk about that ‘matter’. Some things ‘matter’ a great deal like family, friends and vocation. Other things like sports, movies and music fill our lives with happiness, frustration, joy and hope; but we know they do not ‘matter’ ultimately. Both of these things have their place in our lives, but ultimately, we know they are temporal. By Matter, I’m trying to get at is something a bit deeper. The things that have ultimate meaning (which makes them really Matter) are those things that carry certain philosophical, moral and eternal weight. These are things that if we get wrong, can have significant consequences.
Really Allston, consequences? Of course! Think about it. Everyone has a framework in which they view the world. This framework informs what we think is right, wrong, true, false, beautiful and absurd. This is a worldview. Worldviews come in all shapes and sizes and inform every aspect of our lives (whether we know it or not). Worldviews are primarily made up by what we think is true of theology, philosophy, ethics, values & religion. Therefore, we ought to take these things very seriously. We ought to try and hold as many true beliefs and reject as many false beliefs as possible. You see, if you view the world in a way that does not correspond with reality, serious repercussions could follow.
This makes perfect sense. Consider the possibility that a large government adopted a worldview that included a system of ethics and values that treated man as if he were not inherently valuable. Meaning that they did not hold that all persons are equally valuable just in the mere fact that they are human. In this framework, who then is to say what gives a certain man value and another not? What if they made this value judgement based on skin color, ethnicity, mental capacity or social status? Is that proper justification?
Well, we need to look no further than the ethics and values of Nazi Germany. We all know what happened and how horrific this period of world history really was. But why do we think the Nazi Holocaust was horrific? Simply put, we know that they were wrong in their view of human value. We know that it is not right exterminate a race of people because of their ethnicity. You see, ideas have consequences.
Is there good reason to believe in God? Does it Matter if I take the God question seriously? What is the nature of Truth? Is there a soul? Are humans valuable in the mere fact that they are human? Are there false religions? What happens after we die? If what we believe about these questions does not correspond with reality, then we could cause serious damage to our lives, our society or even worse, our eternity.
You see what we believe about these questions Matters.
(As I said in my previous post: “I’m back”, I’ve been studying in this field quite a bit over the past year. In this section of my blog, I hope to share some of the work, thoughts and papers I have spent time on. So stay tuned & enjoy!)