Monday, August 27, 2012

What is this blog about?

Taking another step back, I feel it is important to explain why I chose the title of this blog: Faith, Rationality and the Unknown. Early in high school I encountered the first of what would ultimately be many philosophy and theology books that follow a somewhat clever, but, extremely obvious pattern. In philosophy, many folks explore a single concept, or, maybe, two concepts in a book all by themselves. The concept was to take two seemingly unrelated concepts, and, explore the ideas, by themselves, and, then, the relationship of the two ideas to each other. This way, folks could take two major philosophical (or theological) themes, much as composer might, and, write themes, variations, fugues, concertos, etc, on the ideas as if they were symphonic pieces.

Some such title are Being and Time, Being and Nothingness, Being and Event, Totality and Infinity and Hope and History. The whole idea is to take two ideas and study them from every angle you can to exhaust any insight or information you can from them before, theoretically, moving onto some new idea (or ideas). In my case, I decided to shoot for three themes, or, if you do the math, six. So, we have this fundamental set of ideas to explore:

  1. faith
  2. rationality
  3. the unknown
  4. faith and rationality
  5. faith and the unknown
  6. rationality and the unknown
  7. faith, rationality and the unknown
It may sound, dry, boring and dull, but, I look at a list like that and get excited. I see ideas, journeys, explorations yet to be had. With three main themes, and, all their interrelationships, exploring all of the aspects of each concept and its interrelated connections could take years. This blog was meant to be a sounding board as I wrestle with some of the key concepts. I don't have any specific goal in mind. That is to say, there is no central point I am hoping to prove. No key thesis I hope to establish. This is not an academic exercise. It's the mental wanderings of a dying man. Many of the real world struggles I have to process in order to deal with my own death fall very easily under the umbrellas of any of these topics. Hopefully, as I process these various topics I provide a framework for others to deal with other issues in a meaningful way. Perhaps, if nothing else, my musings can serve as the ground work for some new tools meant to work with complex, if not, impossible tasks. I know sometime the unlikeliest of work can lead to new research later.  Although it is a bit ambitious, I hope, in the back of my mind, these writings can truly serve others by giving the ideas, discussions, logical approaches to topic not yet covered, at least, not in this method.

So, when I ask myself, "What is this blog about?" my answer is, "this blog is a place for consideration of the strengths and weaknesses of faith, rationality and the unknown, as central ideas in grappling with mortality and being." In reality, that is, back here on earth, away from the ivory tower, I use these ideals try and, as one philosopher said of what philosophy is all about, make sense of things. In this case, I am trying to make sense of what seems to be my fate: death resulting from incurable cancer. As a Christian who exercised, followed the law, didn't abuse my body and actively put Christ first, I find my situation absolutely mystifying. Basic, obvious questions are the foundation of my search for truth. Why, God, are you allowing this to happen? What good could possibly come from this? In short, that is the essence of what the blog is about. I could go on, but, I think have addressed the main question and will save up the rest of my ideas for other posts.

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