Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Wishful Thinking

Not long ago an atheist (on a Christian webpage) posted the following challenge. 

The afterlife:

How does that work? How can you expect to see anything without eyes, hear anything without ears, and form memories without a brain? 

It seems like nothing more than wishful thinking to accept that some part of us survives death and allows us to continue to think and/or experience things. 

Note this is a challenge, not a quest for truth. How should one respond?  

First, I do not accept the notion that human beings are merely "eyes, ears, and brains." We are not less than these things, but we are certainly more. Thus the human person cannot be explained by that which is physical or material alone. 

Second, she writes: "It seems like nothing more than wishful thinking to accept that some part of us survives death . . ." 

Two things: 

1) Why do some folks make the illogical leap that "wishful thinking" is "false thinking"? Just because a person "wishes" something were true…it must be false? Isn't it rather the case that many of the things we "wish" were true are true? (Common sense gives us the answer.)  

"Wishing" something to be true (atheism for example) has nothing to do with whether or not that something is true or false. 

2) The converse seems true to me. That is, it seems like “wishful thinking” to accept that no part of us survives death. 

I am reminded of this little scenario in the experience of C.S. Lewis. A friend informed him of an epitaph on a man's grave which read: "Here lies an atheist, all dressed up and with nowhere to go." Lewis promptly retorted: "I bet he wishes that were so."  

You see, this "wishful thinking" business cannot determine truth or error—and it cuts both ways.

2 comments:

  1. God can map out the soul more easily than a computer can scan the components bits of a program. One does not need to have anything of one's own body or spirit that is inherently immutable by death for God to continue one's being after death. That which God wants to exist post-temporally shall because he wills it so.

    One could speculate about divine mechanics through one's entire life. Existence certainly exists...it is something of a leap of faith to believe that it does so either by accident or by design. One must trust in the Lord.

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    1. Thank you for reading and thinking. Blessings on you and your and yours, brother.

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