Friday, 12 April 2013

Walk in the Dark with a Mystery, or Walk in the Daylight Alone?

Friendly Atheist has this video up in a post by Paul Fidalgo. As Paul says, it's quite heartbreaking, especially given the recent news. In it Kay Warren, wife of Rick, says:
I would rather be in relationship with a god who in many ways remains a mystery. And walk in the darkness with a god who in some ways remains a mystery, than to try to walk in complete daylight without him.
That seems to me to be such a sad thing to say, although maybe many people identify with it; who wants to be alone in the universe? But wanting something does not make it so, although we are excellent at conjuring beings out of thin air.

I remember as a kid growing up on an estate with dark, rather forbidding woods behind the houses. I used to gather the kids together and we would go down into the wooded valley where the foundations of an old hut remained, and play in the mud and the streams and the trees. The foundations of the hut had the look of a footstep. A large one, obviously, so I used to regularly scare the other kids by telling them how it was a giant's footstep, and that I had seen the giant once. In fact, I would say, looking nervously about, I think I can hear him coming now. With not much more than that, I would put the heebie-jeebies up the gang and a rushing, stumbling, all out retreat from the woods would ensue.

And here's the odd thing; I would get caught up in the panicky evacuation too, just as frightened as the others! I was excellent at invoking beings with completely bogus emotional manipulation, and I don't doubt that everyone else is too. There we were running in the dark with a mystery (and quite thrilling it was too), and we have at least one believer who would rather remain in those woods than escape to the daylight.

But what we prefer does not determine what is true. We would prefer the universe to be one of innate justice and goodness, but as Kay Warren appears to have noticed, sadly, that does not appear to be the one we live in.


  • Phil Rimmer says:
    20 April 2013 at 07:59

    I don't believe we are innately existentially fearful, innately cautious yes, but real fear takes another human being to bring it on. Story tellers plant the seeds in every generation, in the woods, or in the churches or in the home. This women has been made afraid and its someone's fault.

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