April 27th, 2012
For whatever reason God chose to make man as he is—limited and suffering and subject to sorrows and death—he had the honesty and courage to take his own miedicine. Whatever game he is playing with his creation, he has kept his own rules and played fair. He can exact nothing from man that he has not exacted from himself. He has himself gone thorugh the whole of human experience, from the trivial irrtations of family life and the cramping restrictions of hard work and lack of money to the worst horrors of pain and humiliation, defeat, despair, and death. When he was a man, he played the man. He was born in poverty and died in dsiagrce and thought it well worthwhile.
From Dorothy Sayers, Christian Letters to a Post-Christian World (Eerdmans, 1969), 14.
October 23rd, 2011
If God does not exist then man lives in Bertrand Russell’s world of scaffolding despair. Man is merely the product of pointless cause and effects with no prevision of the ends being achieved. All the labors of the age, devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vase death of the solar system. Man’s achievements are destined to be buried in the debris of the universe. Only within the scaffolding of these [teleological] truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.
If there is no God to provide meaning, value, and purpose, the only consistent option for humanity is suicide. Any becoming of life-affirming or life-denying acts are illusory. Absolutely nothing can be a positive or negative act for the individual since there is nothing to determine a differentiation. One is forced to face Nietzsche’s abyss and face the reality that no rope can scale the depth of nothingness. One is only left with despair, guilt, and angst. If one can determine that despair, guilt, and angst are not preferred then his only option is to eliminate such emotions and thoughts (if the implication, by any means, can be determined to be better). If there is no God, the only remedy for absurdism is to participate in Nietzsche’s abyss of nothingness: suicide.
(As a note, I want to emphasize that I am not advocating suicide. I completely disagree with the starting premise that there is no God. I believe the logic is sound but since there is a God, there is objective purpose, value, and meaning to life. If you are struggling with the thought of suicide please tell someone.)
 Bertrand Russell, Mysticism and Logic (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1917), 47-48.
 Here is where Sartre, Camus, and others disagree. Because of absurdity, man’s only option is to choose suicide. Death is the only means by which it can be overcome. In a Christian context, God recognizes that death is the only way to overcome man’s absurdity. The means by which God provides teleology is by means of death. God becomes incarnate and overcomes absurdity by means of his own death, which may be imputed to humanity. Here we find a paradox. In order for there to be a genuine sense of teleology and becoming there must be death. There must be death to bring about life, a life of becoming, relationships, and of teleological existence.