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christianity religion

Reading

I brought “The Logic of Political Survival” along with me to the beach house. I haven’t touched it though. Instead, I have been listening to “Orthodoxy” by Chesterton. It was one of two books that I downloaded from emusic when they started their audiobook service. The other one was “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”

In any case, I hadn’t listened to either of them yet. Mom offered me the use of her iPod (I should get one of those at some point) and I’ve been listening ever since. I had been expecting something about Eastern Orthodoxy, but it is simply Christian apologetics. He does a good job, good enough that I’m still listening to it. It’s been a long time since I have delved into any philosophy, so it is a bit hard to get through at times. It does help to be familiar with Plato, William James, and several other, mostly materialistic philosophers for the first part of the book to make any sense.

So far, there are two things that have stood out to me. The first is how he made clear the difference between things that must be true vs. things that happen to be true. The essence of that distinction is that in one case, we cannot imagine it being any different and the other we can. For example, 2 plus 3 is 5. There is no imaginable alternative to that outcome (assuming base 10). If I say that she is my mother, it always means I am her son. Contrast that with the idea that grass is green. It’s easy to imagine an alternative to that. How about the idea that if you snip an apple off of a tree, it will fall. Maybe, if it were on a satellite, it would just hang there…

The other, less pedantic, idea that really resonates with me is how Christianity is built upon paradoxes. This is in fact a strength, not a weakness. I’m in the middle of his explanation, so I’ll report back if it is explainable in a way that I can handle.

This is slow going stuff, even for me. I usually will listen for 20 minutes or so and then switch over to music while my head explodes. Of course then Cara (one of my nieces… step nieces?) wants me to read a book to her. I can do it, but going from religious philosophy to talking about colors under the sea gives me extreme intellectual whiplash. We’ll see what I get out of the first run through of this…

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