Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I was reading a great C. S. Lewis book the other day. The title of which is God in the Dock. This book is a collection of essays by "Jack" Lewis and is divided into three parts. I recently made it to the third part and am struck at the brilliancy of the essays.

The essay that really grabbed my attention was on "First and Second Things" and discussed the paradox that if you pursue something secondary for its own sake, you end up losing the secondary "thing" you were pursuing. He used the example of the literature and the arts. He said it wasn't until the Romantics that art and literature were pursued for their own sake. Before then, the great music of Mozart, the works of Shakespeare, and the art of Da Vinci were pursued for a patron, for God, or to entertain the common man.

But "it was only in the nineteenth century that we became aware of the full dignity of art. We began to 'take it seriously'....But the result seems to have beena dislocation of the aesthetic life in which little is left for us but high-minded works which fewer and fewer people want to read or hear or see, and 'popular' works of which bothe those who make them and those who enjoy them are half valuing too highly a real, but subordinate good, we have come near to losing that good itself." (God In The Dock, p.280)

This isn't just for the arts though, a man who makes his girlfriend his entire universe, what happens when he has nothing to do but contemplate her? He (not only) loses his human dignity but also loses the joy he has in her. A "significant other" is a good thing to have, but when it becomes the sole center of our lives, we come too near to losing that good thing.

You can't get secondary things by placing them first, you can only get them by putting first things first. But this raises the question, what are all these goods secondary to?

Saturday, February 21, 2009


Today, I was mock debating myself on the origin of the universe, and I came upon the question "how can time not have a beginning?"

The main point of this argument was to show time cannot progress if there is no beginning, but then I thought about the closest infinite parallel, numbers. We can progress from 1 to 2 to 3 and so on, so why can't we progress in time?

At this time my brain began to smart.

Then my question changed to, in our reality do we have anything actually infinite? For the sake of the argument, we'll say no. We don't have an infinite number of atoms, we just have a very large number of atoms. So if numbers (of things) in our physical reality aren't infinite, than can time (which is part of our reality) be infinite? You may say "but numbers are infinite, you can keep counting forever!" And I say that it is all hypothetical. Numbers to infinity are a concept, not a reality, in the same way a straight line or a perfect circle are concepts. In our reality they don't actually exist. So, in physical time-space reality, infinity doesn't exist, so there had to be a beginning, and then what started it all? Who was the first cause? At this time, we must look beyond this silly little argument and to religion...(hint: Christianity)