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x Preface

Calif.: Wadsworth, 1993). This is the only essay in this book that was not
written from a Christian perspective. Nevertheless, I continue to accept its
essential point. I have, however, added a postscript that contains some Chapter One
qualifications I now think are important.
"Dualism and Materialism: Athens and Jerusalem?" appeared in Faith
and Philosophy 12 (1995): 475-488. This essay was written for a confer-
ence on Christianity and the philosophy of mind that was held at the Uni-
versity of Notre Dame in the autumn of 1995.
The remaining two "essays" are actually book reviews. I include them
Quam Dilecta
because in each of them I make what I believe are substantive points that
are interesting independently of the content of the books under review. The
review of O. K. Bouwsma's Without Proof or Evidence appeared in Faith
and Philosophy 4 (1987): 103-108. The review of John Leslie's Universes
appeared in Faith and Philosophy 10 (1993): 439-443. Yea, the sparrow hath found her an house, and the swallow a nest,
I thank the editors and publishers of the books and journals in which the where she may lay her young; even thy altars, 0 Lord of Hosts, my
essays were originally published for permission to reprint them. . King and my God.
The essays are, as the subtitle of the book says, essays in Christian apolo- -Ps.84:3
getics. They are defenses of one aspect or another of Christian belief in the
face of intellectual attack. This, at any rate, is true, in the most straightfor-
ward sense possible, of Chapters 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6. Chapter 4 ("Dualism and
Materialism: Athens and Jerusalem?") and the two reviews are apologetic
in a more indirect way: They are not responses to anyone's attack on some
Christian belief, but-or so I should like to think-they make points that Three of my grandparents were unchurched Protestants, and one (my fa-
could in certain contexts be useful in defending Christian belief. ther's mother) a devout Roman Catholic. As a consequence, my mother
The essays are very much the work of a philosopher. Anyone who is fa- was, and is, not much of a churchgoer, and my father was a lapsed Catholic
miliar with the current philosophical scene will see easily enough that they with pretty strong feelings on the subject-an enthusiastic reader of Paul
employ intellectual tools whose use comes naturally to anyone who has Blanshard and similar authors. When I was seven, my parents briefly sent
been (as I have been) trained in "analytical" philosophy and who has spent me to a Presbyterian Sunday school. Our lessons were from a little text-
most of his adult life using them (and not the tools of the theologian, the book with the excellent title The King Nobody Wanted, which I still occa-
historian, or the scientist) in his attempts to get clear about things. Never- sionally come across in secondhand bookshops. I recall learning that we
theless, the essays are mostly not very technical. The reader who has not Christians believed that Jesus was the Messiah and that the Jews did not. (I
been formally trained in philosophy will probably not be able to make very remember wishing that I could have a chance to tell the Jews about Jesus; I
much of "Probability and Evil" and will find "Of 'Of Miracles'" only mar- was sure that they would be reasonable about his messianic status if some-
ginally less difficult. The remaining essays can be read by those without one were to inform them of it.)
special philosophical training. I must also have absorbed the idea that Jesus was the Son of God, for, af-
ter my family had joined a Unitarian congregation, my father sternly in-
Peter van Inwagen formed me (presumably in response to some casual theological remark of
mine) that we Unitarians did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God.
Well, I was shocked. I had thought that everyone believed that (except, of
course, the Jews, but it was pretty clear that Unitarians weren't Jews). I have
a memory of walking through a hallway at my school-1 think we've got to
about age thirteen-and saying defiantly to myself, "I can believe that Jesus
is the Son of God if I want to." I must have been wanting in what Roman


I did see that the beliefs must come first pose I should have said I was an agnostic. became the fa- philosopher than any of my fellow graduate students and most of my teach. which of course it hadn't. I could see the differ- Evangelicals or Roman Catholics stop going to church. and presumably this pres- had no more connection with my emotional life than. I'll conclude that you do not modal logic was impossible. had entirely to do with the concerns of everyday life-although. rightly or wrongly. I cannot see why anyone disagrees with my judgment that to avoid the question how they can justify not going to church when they academic theologians of their stripe have nothing of interest to say. and for good. his connection with Unitarianism without changing any of his beliefs. The only thing was. I expect that I had been setting God some sort briefly held in graduate school) that Quine had shown that quantified of test: If you don't give me faith on the spot. A very important feature of I married. however. I didn't believe it. have some sort of purely natural explanation and can be ignored till they to be sure. although there was a brief period and that a Christian life without those beliefs is an impossibility. ian beyond having certain beliefs. I could see that there was an "it" If you had asked me about my religious beliefs when I was an undergrad. I learned in Sunday school that the feed. indeed.mswere at least twenty years ahead of Rome. ferent from the everyday life of most people. a familiar day school teachers and various teachers of philosophy (no great difference story in every denomination. however. I do not know what led me to make this gesture. God.) being able to use the right words when talking about "Christianity. but it would be harder for me to tell these days. I fell to my knees and prayed for faith. that my philosophical talents are ade." Secondly. I saw that Chris- it does not involve giving up any beliefs. To this day. I did not expe. everyday life for a graduate student in philosophy is a little dif. (Twenty years could learn a great deal from him about the art of expressing a line of argu- later. thinking. As far as I am able . the Brotherhood of Man. to believe. And the reason is that if could try to read Harvey Cox or William Hamilton. that some very learned people do disagree with this leaving the Church. however: It there must have been some sort of felt pressure. We all know how well that sort of thing works. but I was safe in Germany). I have believe what they do-if. but faith did not version or other of the Argument from Evil-I should probably have said I come. spent two years in the army (at the height of the American mil- my life as a graduate student was a growing conviction that I was a better itary involvement in Vietnam. Lewis. and wildly inaccurate. It is. Vanity in this area-wounded vanity. and if I did not really see how much there was to being a Christ- uate or a graduate student (a period that covered roughly the 1960s). I sup. however.really a miracle of sharing and how much more his "space trilogy. I Catholic university students who leave the Church. any capacity for taking any liberal- rience the crisis of consciences0 common among Evangelical or Roman ized or secularized version of Christianity seriously. for I was soon When I was a graduate student. (Professional vanity may well continue sort of way.) . Although I continued to be interested in Christianity in an intellectual feature of my inner life in the 1970s. in terms of propositions and distinctions and argu- ted. My wife. I began to read the apologetic works of enough a good little Unitarianhoy. ther of a daughter. I first discovered what Christian- been to hear the same story from a Roman Catholic priest. simply a fact that a Unitarian can sever judgment. but presumably was an atheist. loss of belief was not their reason for to admit. I was entirely immersed ers. since there) was self-serving. In 1973 I spent six delightful weeks on the campus of Calvin College at the quately recognized by the profession. my belief (also sure did not long continue. I recog- miraculous that was than a magical multiplication of loaves and fishes nized him as a master of expository prose and thought-rightly-that I would have been if it had occurred. insofar as exist or are not interested in me and that these pressures I've been feeling I had one. who is one of my most tianity was a serious thing and intellectually at a very high level.2 Quam Dilecta Quam Dilecta 3 Catholic theologians used to call heroic faith.) I lost at that time. it is hard for them ence. which was directed by Alvin Plantinga. ments. I was able to tell ity was from reading Lewis." but it My attachment to Unitarianism (and its three pillars: the Fatherhood of was no small gain to have a correct external understanding of Christianity. This was a position of the head. My emotional life in the late 1960s. in the early 1970s. since I now feel. ing-even as an experiment-than to take up hang-gliding or bookbinding. tells me that this is an unkind remark and ought to be omit. frivolous. it would no more have occurred to me to take up churchgo- to dominate my inner life." and I was looking for"more Lewis. but it's an easier passage for Unitarians. It seems to me to be an important thing to say. C. There were (under God) two reasons for this. not the heart. of course. That sort of thing is. Peter Geach told me how shocked he had recently ment in English. a matter of him that the Unitad. I had loved ing of the multitudes was. phy of Religion. I could read Lewis. Like many other people. The discovery was purely external. because little attention was paid in the secular world: Sunday was my day of rest and my day of nothing to me or to my work during the early years of my career-was a dominant else. (I was useful critics. and the Neighborhood of Boston) did not I saw that the picture I had been given of Christianity by my Unitarian Sun- survive my going away to college. go away. First. however. say. of course. and began to teach philosophy. One day when I was in graduate school during which-under the influence of some in the late 1960s. Wounded vanity is a rather more National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Institute in the Philoso- salient feature of one's inner life than self-satisfied vanity. S.

the world of the is. this transition period coincided with. "That proves it. as measured by the guideposts of external mine be published in Naus. radically different in kind from what the image repre- yet were doing nothing for me.) because I as an unbeliever belonged to death's kingdom and had made a I can remember pretty well one feature of this period that is particularly covenant with death-I encountered a kind of spiritual wall when I tried to relevant to my topic: what it was like not to have any religious beliefs. hesitating between two turns of imagine the resurrection without hindrance (although my imaginings are phrase. But-no doubt partly because the resurrection was in a calmer moment repented these spasms of anger. tion would fail. for example. But since you now love that person.4 Quam Dilecta Quam Dilecta 5 to tell by introspection and memory. suggesting that a paper of not sure what period in my life. to myself. as I say.) Besides my family. Perhaps my former wife and my daughter would say mental image. My researches. between experiencing the image as representing the world as self-subsistent ous: I didn't want them not to get what they got. and the effort of imagina- that you now love someone you once hated." I said dent. (But I never once green or a tree's talking. were less good than 1. (plantinga's lectures-which covered roughly the same ground subsistent thing. But I can might remember very clearly. that depression and spasms of anger because of my lack of professional recogni. this had nothing to with my religious I shall try to describe three of these "episodes of thought. deciding that one of them was the more likely to wound. although it had a great deal to do with my philosophical de. That imagine this. blind interaction of forces whose laws have no exceptions and in which an ble only for the secular mind.: corresponds to what I imagine." First. and I am not very good at being angry believer to imagine this-no harder. /. This mental image-it somehow represented the whole that the qualification "besides my family" is unnecessary. this made me even angrier with my teachers: "There. You place. telling them that I had a manuscript that they ought to try possible for me to represent the world myself as anything but depen- to get hold of. I am When Al PIantinga wrote to Hector Castaneda. it is a access of disorder can never be undone. I can remember pretty clearly certain episodes of thought that are possi. and (pre. and when Tony Kenny wrote to the Oxford biography. The anger was directed at certain of my former teachers (the more fa. other experience I have had. You might think it would be easy enough for the un- was not continuous but spasmodic. than imagining the sun's turning with people who are actually in the same room with me. there was a period of transition. my only interests were philosophy and my could be called up whenever I desired and which centered round a certain career in philosophy. in the longer recapture their character. I know that it is now im- University Press. I can no member an episode during which your hatred manifested itself-say. Interestingly enough. something that is just there and requires no explanation. would thrust itself into my mind sort of looking at the past from the outside. it must depend on something else. something not represented by any fea- tion. there is a good sense The two "episodes" I have described were recurrent. and it still represents the whole world. to a reality that choosing it on that account. and no doubt partly ered appropriate and fully justified. but the memory is not "sympathetic". but The second memory has to do with the doctrine of the Resurrection of they don't. I have nothing positive to put in their writing of a letter in which you said terrible things to that person. as his book The Nature of Necessity-became for me a model for doing When I say "having a picture. Here is an analogy. and no doubt almost entirely wrong) and assent. You particular experience that was not repeated and was not very similar to any are looking at your past from outside. as something almost tangible. You might well be able to re. in my intellect. ture of the image. Suppose with terrible force. something that was actually proposed for my belief. Compatative strangers do it. The whole weight of the material world. the anger waking up after death. sumably) cannot feel the way you felt when you hated. I believed that they just didn't see how good sents. as having died and now being once more alive. but it is now associ- partmental mailbox mostly in vain and was subject to frequent periods of ated with a felt conviction that what it represents is not self-subsistent. as friendliness was not exactly hypocrisy on my part. in "duck-rabbit" fashion. as a self- velopment. I can remember this: trying to imagine myself as having under- anger. too. My relations with them were entirely friendly whenever we met. I shall now describe a in which you cannot "remember what it was like" to write the letter. nothing that corresponds to seeing the world as dependent. member having a picture of the cosmos.) and experiencing the image as representing the world as dependent." I sometimes wonder whether my teachers knew about this the Dead. sented was self-subsistent. (I was never jealous of these other people. but I wanted some. and which must be. I'believed. which I always consid. It can be done. I think. but I haunted my de. went very well indeed. I can re- development. only envi. say. I can remember episodes of this kind from outside. since." I am trying to describe a state of mind that philosophy. the physical universe. in some way that the experience mous ones) who. I had just read an account of the death of Han- . I can still call the image to mind (I think it's the mired. same image). I certainly was world-was associated with a felt conviction that what the image repre- taken up both with my researches and my desire to be recognized and ad. a period dur- I was and wasted their influence in advancing the careers of people who ing which I could move back and forth at will. This gone this resurrection. were in a position to advance my career and leaves indeterminate.

Al. I know that I was becoming more shall at last have to leave. I have no useful memory of what I did to ask God for his cri de coeur: "They think they're so smart!" I was simply revolted by the help or of the form in which that help came. at least that's a fact I can do some- the kind of experience ltried to describe in the preceding example would thing about. or a desire to lead a any other denomination. I friend Bill Alston (to his considerable astonishment) to put me in touch thought. a pressure longer a barrier between me and the Church. to ignore them. a community in which it was open to Every organization appears to be headed by secret agents of its opponents. I received my first Commu- sustained. the convert must have turned to God and in some fashion have sensus. I began to experience a sort of pressure to be. face to face. I don't know whether I would have talking with him. but I certainly managed simultaneously to with the Church might be churches. had expressed an eagerness to die and to meet his dear Sav. Jesus Christ. I know that sneers di. And since then I have been an Episcopalian. life for me. Of courSe this reaction was mixed with my knowledge that start going to church. and the Anglican communion as a branch (separated from other academic community I would. and must have been this. What made it so repulsive to me can be summed up in a schoolyard asked for his help. (What was especially intolerable was the implied invitation to join in. I envied people who nomination at the national level will do some truly appalling thing and I could talk to one another in those terms. but I did have a strong desire to belong to a among the best possible illustrations of Robert Conquest's second law: Christian community of discourse. with a priest. My reaction to this was negative and extremely described my state of mind by saying that I didn't know whether I believed vehement. I began doing lieved that Handel must have had such experiences. I cannot easily see myself as a member of anything like a desire to turn to Christ as my Savior. and yet at the same time he was getting away with something. righteous. were becoming intolerable to pay a debt. which-I hope I am not giving away any se. The following led me to pray for faith on that one occasion ten years earlier. but I hope I have a while left in the Episcopal and more repelled by the "great secular consensus" that comprises the Church. but this was May I was baptized. modified by pity. less. or have trained himself. me. nion on a Sunday than for me. and sober life. to slander a colleague or to refuse to cret very common in the academy. nothing could rob him of the com. it became clear to me that a large part of my difficulty disillusioned him if I cQuld·have.6 Quam Dilecta Quam Dilecta 7 del. relation to that particular need-of no help to me. the high-minded progressives who control the de- his correspondent in Letters to an American Lady. I wish I had kept a journal. save in their effects. I Was quite clear and are thus largely invisible to the convert. Naturally. journal. (An Anglican joke: "Why is worldview of just about everyone connected with the universities. ally-but what it was about those prayers that was different from my prayer ceeded from the consensus. people to talk to each other in words like the ones that Lewis addresses to Eventually.'. The first effect was that it put my wife into a fury. I remained in a state of uncertainty for some time. I regard myself as a the absolutely unexamined assumption that because I was a member of the Catholic. self-satisfied stupidity of the attacks on Christianity that pro. I believe. Eventually I performed an act of will. Since then. for after his death he would not exist and there would be no him took place in his study. . the Sacrament has been the center of Christian devotional ble to me in memory. Presumably this pressure was of the same sort that had tember 1982. I decided to start going to church-simply to attend an early make Handel's anticipation of what was to happen after his death impossible Eucharist every Sunday morning as a sort of observer. the literary and artistic intelligentsia. I malevolent.) ism." Handel had been taken in. It is no more possible for me willfully to forgo Holy Commu- rected at God and the Church. During this period. Rome called the Eternal City? Because there's always Rome. and even my bounden duty. regard sneering at God and the branches by historical tragedy) of the Catholic Church that is mentioned as Church as meet. Neverthe- about one thing: I could not bear the thought of being a part of that con. mitment involved than five dollars for the collection plate. say. liked going to church and that an unconscious fear of churchgoing was no come a Christian: a vast discontent with not being a Christian. but my interview with fort of this hope. It became clear to me that one fact believe that he was "ofall men the most miserable" and that he was getting a about me that was of relevance to my condition was that I didn't want to pretty good deal. always home from church before she was awake. I suppose.) I perhaps did not have an article of belief in the Creeds. This would have been in Sep- to do something. The priest I was put in touch with was-at that time and in though his greatest hope wasaniUusion. Following my baptism. at just about the time of my fortieth birthday. even though I was trained. I As a Christian. My mind at the time is not readily accessi. who. which was in a church building. of course. I ior. But I soon found that I In 1980 or therea'bouts. I of course believe that conversions are the work of God knew that confused as I might be about many things. although I believe that the Episcopal Church is godly. I supposelregarded that experience as somehow veridical and be. right. Well. It might be put in or not. because I really do like the place. While I was one there to see how wrong he had been. This went on and on. nion. a little explosion of contempt. I thought. and the entertainment industry. dying. You cheat. I asked my colleague and these words: "You poor booby. in the 1960s or what it was that I did besides pray is unknown to me. too. with no more com- for me.

You are not a biblical scholar or a physi- an intellectual counterattack in the sense that it had much respectable intel. know what to say about that. tional fears that underlay what I have called the counterattack. there was this quite inconsistent fear: Suppose worried me are probably aconflation of his prediction of the destruction of I did ask and was told. and I can tell you not only would I say these things nowadays. if one were subject to an irrational fear of ghosts. The difference is that now I ghosts is contrary to science. You are out of your ele. was simply ludicrous. Your criti- lectual content. rather. too. And yet I am perfectly well aware that fear of about daily) for several years in the mid-1980s. tricked out to look like sense by games played with it had to do with propositions and evidence and arguments. and they are in theirs. but I said them (to myself. Something like that seems to have happened to me as regards the irra- ial by an elaborate Rube Goldberg (or Heath Robinson) chain of reasoning. As to the physicists and cosmologists. he inferred their existence eventually lose it if one were forced to spend every night alone in a grave- from scraps of information about the unpublished Dead Sea Scrolls mater. Nowadays I would say that I don't expect that the New Testament things that were troubling me were nonsense. and materialism is incompatible with the existence of ghosts. since I knew that the ministry. I should feel a thrill of fear every time one of these things hap- which was that Jesus was a hallucinogenic mushroom) maintained that un. and I'll tell you why. prototypes that antedated the birth of Je. moan and that there would be half-seen movements in the darkness. and that the passages that fool. and I didn't want to look a always gives an exact account of Jesus' words. pened. I would say that this con. "You know. and then they seemed like spend a night alone in a graveyard. And I The other parts of the counterattack are so flimsy that I am ashamed to should know that the inevitable occurrences of these things would be of no record them. And those counterarguments you keep re- flation was natural enough. I knew what to say in response to these arguments. I could reason with myself: "I believe that the dead are in heaven or published material from the Dead Sea Scrolls contained prototypes from hell or else that they sleep until the General Resurrection.8 Quam Dilecta Quam Dilecta 9 I was allowed the usual honeymoon. These things I knew then as well as I do now. One derived from a newspaper report that a certain biblical evidential value whatever. I don't Jerusalem and his description of the End Times." and I was perfectly well aware afthat at the time. reason. way to describe my state of mind would be by an analogy. at the same time. at least in respect of allaying my fear of ghosts. And yet after I had been frog-marched into the scholar (a man who I later learned had written a book the central thesis of graveyard. right? Well. None at all. (And. but that did not make it The net result of my state of mind was fear. in fact. and religion. I should already know that twigs were going to snap and the wind say about the matter.ment here. and that is all that there was to ghosts. it was an intellectual tile to Christianity. And I hearsing to yourself are worthless. But it was not pered. "But this is not philosophy. At least. then some form of materialism is the correct metaphysic. one would to have seen these Gospel prototypes. And I was the present age within the lifetime of some of the witnesses to his earthly ashamed to seek help from my fellow Christians. yard. I should know beforehand that no piece a wretched subterfuge to me. could be the harm in a ghost? What could such a poor wispy thing do to ing-that is. but I personal tragedy or sexual temptation or distaste for liturgical innovation could not make them real to myself. cisms are without value. And night alone in a graveyard? I am subject to night fears. without any causal antecedents whatever. neither do I. given the beliefs of the early Church. It's not that) perceived some flaw in them of evidence was going to transpire during the night that would do anything that I was unable to deal with. Eventually. what was somehow a thing that had come into existence literally out of noth. And if the gists to be able to show (or to be about to be able to show) that the cosmos Church and the materialists are both wrong and there are ghosts. and not with the word 'nothing'. Anyone who thought about it would. I knew that he was fanatically hos- 1985. their claim was counterattack. One part ohhe counterattack was a real intellectual diffi. But how would you like to spend a imminent Parousia (although I am not entirely happy about that idea). that's always worried me. The counterattack occurred in that his theory was endorsed by no one. There was always a voice that whis- or disillusionment with the behavior of my fellow Christians. They simply to raise the infinitesimal prior probability of the hypothesis that there are seemed like a wretched subterfuge to me. either temporal or one?" And what would the value of this very cogent piece of reasoning be? ontological. cist. If I were sentenced to am perfectly comfortable with these arguments·. I am now unclear about what the time frame of all . I knew that he was demonstrably regarded by many scholars as a crank and they simply faded away. You don't be- thodox theology of the Incarnation to hold that Jesus himself believed in an lieve in ghosts. just that I shouldn't like it at all. of course. gion is an illusion. And if my reli- which the Gospels were derived.") Perhaps the best would add to this that I am not sure it is inconsistent with a robust and or. I perceived no flaw in them. I was unable to read the Bible any less effective. you amateur. I knew that this scholar did not claim Possibly. As might be expected with a person like me. it was an intellectual counterattack in the sense that philosophical nonsense. sus. A great deal of its content. or to look at a newspaper article reporting the latest public pronouncement culty: I was extremely worried by]esus' apparent prediction of the end of of some cosmologist about where the universe came from. The other had its basis in the claims of some physicists and cosmolo.

at how you can possibly believe all that stuff. I fully accept the proposition that I am a sinner who needs And there are many who would say that this shows that what I had written Christ. I may be too old a dog to learn new tricks. I got through this period. "Yes.) Nevertheless. as my wife is usually called. yes. those propositions could be written down in a few pages-that I CQuid actually At present my religious life is in what is sometimes called a dry period. some of it asinine and some of it quite clever. I besides being a deeply Christian woman-an extrovert with a strong per. although. I have almost no just as intelligent as I am. achieve some sort of mastery over my passions and my appetites. For the first forty years of my life I was outside the Church. is. I am not greatly troubled or uneasy about this. I am inclined to think that my reasons for assenting to ceeding. Does that sound odd? It introverted and is determined to draw me out of myself. But I know that if I did. prayer merely aggravates the fear but God (and I sometimes catch myself thinking in ways that seem to pre- that there is No One There by making the question whether there is anyone suppose that I can hide these thoughts even from him) that the process has there momentarily inescapable and letting the fears loose on it. The fears. I do this. it could all start again tomorrow. objects of intellectual awareness real to myself." weren't for me. I mean this. Eventually. which contained the following passage: ing year.) I hope it never you are really capable of resisting the temptation to do things like that. having brought my intellect (at least to some and shame) the barrage. reading what I had written on anger and sloth and lust and self-centeredness and callousness are sins.") And prayer. is patiently working inward and is beginning to already intellectually convinced that there is nothing to fear. etc. killed and replaced with grafts of living. I have not had the training. IT There is not much more to tell about my life that is relevant to my topic. We met and were married in the church in which I hostile invention. But God has. At should be or not. should not. for reasons that I do not understand. I hope that the part of me on which it operated is dead. (Of course it was excusable for me to answer him horrible about spending a night alqne in a graveyard or an abandoned and in those words. her husband had moved out and left her with a three-week-old baby much of my life. since one is degree) under his control. and the year after that I married Elisabeth Bolduc. Don't suppose that but I have never really understood what that phrase means. entered the Church. but we want to know vorce. In 1987 my first wife. of course. 10 Quam Dilecta Quam Dilecta 11 this was. In returns. and still have. been: untroubled agnostics. And then again. or whatever. For earlier. (Fear replies. who would be willing to accept without reservation everything I had written down. Somehow. I had been baptized and confirmed. All of the particular acts ror of it to someone who had not had a similar experience.) "feel" all right to me be- who was "afraid of ghosts" (without believing in their existence) could do cause they are done by me-that is. She may be suc. whether I isolated house. and. just as someone that fall under these general headings (pride. healthy tissue. and who would yet remain what they had sense of myself as a sinner who needs the saving power of Christ. pious Muslims. good reasons for assenting to those proposi- sonality and a vigorous emotional life. I can see perfectly well that pride and tions.) The divorce was granted the follow. given me no guarantees. although I am not sure what those reasons are. I believe "Ah. "You know. out of pride somehow confident that God. insisted on a di. aggressive atheists. a long way to go. what I believed about the Church was a mixture oUact and and two older children. (I often wonder say. those pages would convert intelligent agnostics. I can see perfectly well my pride and anger and sloth and lust and down could not really constitute good reasons for assenting to those proposi- self-centeredness and callousness.whQ was free from this fear what was so which only I appreciate. swallowed letting you have these thoughts. (This is perhaps the only bad thing that has ever happened to me. Several years I am a convert. I am one time I called them (to myself. But it is obvious fits. while they lasted. nothing to convey to someone. even for a moment. I am sure that I couldiiaynothing that would convey the hor. I often feel as if God is saying to me (when I have formed. If it did (so the objection would run). some shameful plan of revenge and humiliation). autobiographical narrative is all very well. you would actually carry out that plan. and Muslims to . believe that I had." "How have I reasoned wrong?" "I that parts of me that were diseased but vigorous ten years ago have been said. people have trouble praying and "finding time" to read the Bible. for all I know. as it can do in many kinds from my behavior and the shameful inner thoughts that I reveal to no one of affliction. were tireless and persistent. atheists. whatever its objective bene. with God's help. there would be many non-Christians. in these mitigating circumstances. on the psychological level. but you have reasoned wrong." practice. I am showing you what you would do if I up in that death into which we are baptized. I wrote a paper about New Testament criticism. brings no immediate psychological comfort. after he looked at me like that. Reasonisimpotent in such situations. 1 never spoke of these things. as is his usual ever left you to yourself. I know that the full force ·of it lasted for several years and that it What I cannot do is to make the obvious logical consequence of these two was horrible. you have reasonedwroIig. She thinks I am too intellectual and tions. I do not think I should make much of A couple of years ago. a martyr." least as the world counts bad things. 1 Lisette. if it whether it was some kindergarten version of "the dark night of the soul. an act that involved assenting to certain propositions.

I am not going to discuss Christian mysteries-the Trinity. The fact ing at a mirror is almost like looking through a window." Although I havoc a skeptical philosopher among these people could wreak on this at- think that some versions of two of these arguments-the Design Argument tempt at description. these propositions" as I supposed. In point of fact.) In my view. point." (Or this has been my reaction as a believer. almost certainly enable someone who had never seen a mirror they have any more to do with my religious beliefs than. considering the situation of the speaker and the Cosmological Argument-are as good as any philosophical argu. trying to grasp the nature of a mirror from listening to one of their suppose that there is an element of truth in these two statements-argument fellows who has been shown a looking glass by a traveler." One can easily imagine the conceptual not going to discuss "arguments for the existence of God. but I do want to deprecate the idea that it is something worth saying. If I may interject an autobiographical note at this I will present some arguments for the Christian faith. but they're three-dimensional-look- Democrats.S but. even though the that people go about saying that you can't argue people into faith. I don't think that as ment would almost certainly not convirice anyone either. even among the ideally rational-but argument is hardly irrelevant scratched in the sand: "A 'mirror' is a kind of flat plate that shows pictures to the question whether one should believe the statements of Plato and the like the ones we scratch in the sand. and say.) thing about the corners of her mouth and the pitch of her voice. Lam not sure. Well.) you can't argue people into faith. is to present those who attend to them with good evils of the world by saying. there must be a God who falsity of nominalism or regarding the deterrent powers of capital punish. then among never lie to me or my belief that democracy is a good thing. Perhaps the clos- is rarely coercive. ment that has ever been presented for any conclusion. solutely perfect pictures (except that they're backward). (I am going to my reasons there must he some that can't he communicated-or I lack the skill touch on some matters related to the Design Argument. On a religious level. and they're ab- of the double standard that I have been attacking. world-and that this would be true even if everything I have said on the ter to the test. If it is. 4 I have always regarded the problem of evil as simply one more philosophical problem: Every important system of be- I read the paper that contained this passage at a conference on philosophy lief raises philosophical problems. is simply one more example turn it round and look at the back-and they're in color. I think. who was in the audience. told me afterward that he did not think ful God. I have discussed two of these else- What can you argue people into? Faith-Christian faith. my belief is that these apparently impos- ing what the Church says (and continuing to believe it even when it is under sible things are real and are therefore possible. that is-is believ. it's a good. It is often said that an unbeliever I had any sort of emotional reaction to the evils of the world. 3 subject is worthless. and the problem of evil is one that is and New Testament criticism at the University of Notre Dame. I had to admit that it was possible that my belief is simply that there are good reasons for the evils we see in the he was right. arguments for to recognize a mirror on his first encounter with one. the existence of other minds have to do with my belief that my wife would lectual crisis or cognitive dissonance. the best argument does not guarantee est analogy the observer of the mirror can find is provided by pictures converts. News. but then such arguments as I might give for the truth or must be a God who will wipe away every tear. on the religious level. Christian mysteries are the sort of "night in the graveyard" attack that I tried to describe in the pre. 2 to say on this topic elsewhere. I don't want to dispute that state. and the mirror always shows pictures pected to discuss in connection with arguments for the Christian faith. and Bas van raised by all religions that are founded on belief in a loving and all-power- Fraassen. But that's a mere philosophical opinion. The arguments will almost certainly not these things?" My immediate emotional reaction has rather been: "There convince anyone.12 Quam Dilecta Quam Dilecta 13 Christianity-or would at least force them into a state of doublethink or intel. Nevertheless. or even a reflection in a Party says about the superiority of its platform to that of the Republicans? I pond. I am of the things right in front of it. where. no one ever does say things like this. Would anyone say that you can't. in my judgment. Perhaps that's right. I will mention that I have never had the least tendency to react to the guments. I don't think that for example. mirror has hardly any thickness and you just see an ordinary surface if you ing this as if it were an intelligent thing to say. that what I have said in response to this prob- that I would find it as easy to write down "my reasons for assenting to lem is right. I believe that in relation to the Christian mysteries. sense going to defend that argument. To this day. and the recipients of news are not always in a position to understand ceding section). say. we Chris- Plato's account of the trial of Socrates or into believing what the Democratic tians are like people who have never seen a mirror. will repay. but I am in no to communicate them-like my reasons for believing that Jane is angry: some. of course. But I am now going to put the mat. and they change There are several things I am not going to discuss that I might be ex. in most areas of life. the Atonement. (It would. which I can't I am not going to discuss "the problem of evil. To set out these ar. tion." I have said what I have put into words. the Incarna- ment.argue people into believing it perfectly. and his audience. creedal . the Eucharist. "How could there be a loving God who allows reasons for accepting that faith. and move just the way real things do. practical description of a mirror.

. as I shall say. but you Various Enlightenment "denominations" such as Marxism or positivism haven't had time to do very much of it. Its creed can be written down. it leaves a lot to be desired. tific education and enlightened journalism. This is an im. mation on ecological matters' or 'Most things that the Boston Globe says about the homeless are true. assigned high sives). or Freudianism or social Darwinism would insist that this statement of the As regards questions about the nature of the world as a whole and the Enlightenment creed omits certain extremely important propositions-even place of humanity in the world. Like the Church. Religions in- useful (useful for dealing with the future stream of sensory input) probabil. but I do not have the space.14 Quam Dilecta Quam Dilecta 15 descriptions of the Trinity and the Incarnation are good. There is. There is no God. enment. And this is not because the epistemic engine that is yourself progress of science (which was invented by strong-minded progres- has processed a lot of sensory data and. First. and now I am an apostate. it has no central government. If I had had sufficient is pleasure. Like the Church. indeed. 7 ever. regard themselves as its sole true science and history in a way that the "creed" of the Enlightenment is not. Hu- curved space or the wave-particle duality in works of popular science. tion of pain and the maximization of pleasure. The only purpose of morality and politics is the minimiza- foresight. In fact. "congruent" with the facts of many of the others-some of which. it seems to me. And its named itself the Enlightenment in the eighteenth century and which. now trust the Church. Human beings. how- fer you to. external to humanity that is capable of conferring meaning or purpose portant subject and one that I certainly should say something about. On the level There is. I believe. you trust lots of wards and punishments in order to consolidate their own power. therefore. I will group my comparisons into three parts. I was once one of its adherents.' You may have done some of that. an identifiable and cohesive historical phenomenon that of intellectual argument and evidence. This irrational component in the psyches of most human be- think that you are an epistemic engine that takes sensory input (that "fanci. animals among other animals and differ from I do not propose to say anything about religions other than Christianity. . I other animals only in being more complex. representatives and all others who claim to be its representatives as wolves in and I shall discuss this. and they will gradually disappear through the agency of scien- probabilities to propositions like 'Dixy Lee Ray is a reliable source of infor. I should already have written an essay on miracles that I could re. it has a creed. nothing besides the physical cosmos tions of real things. You may pose. they have discussed this topic elsewhere and I have nothing more to say about it. as it were. its creed has never received an official formulation. occult. however. believe comforting myths according to which they have an eternal pur- Each of us accepts certain authorities and certain traditions. Human beings. al. in mind. and here it is: uals. Like the Church. I shall compare the "fruits" of the Church sheep's clothing. In the end. Sorry. who once trusted the Enlightenment. esoteric wisdom. have an unfortunate tendency to wish to deny these facts and to Now. they are gradually but steadily being exposed as frauds by the they tell you. the only evil is pain and the only good the nature of my topic. Like other animals. unlike the with the fruits of the Enlightenment. Thirdly. are physical things and therefore do not survive death. vent complicated and arbitrary moral codes and fantastic future re- ity assignments in most possible worlds.) What I propose to do in the sequel is to explain The Enlightenment has had its chance with me and I have found it want- why I. it is made up of many groups. highest common factor of the various schools of thought that compose the pose this is remotely possible-a person or book that claims access to some Enlightenment-the Apostles' Creed of the Enlightenment. ing. For- people and groups of people and-within very broad limits-believe what tunately. finally . since they are a part of this glass darkly. But I have tried simply to capture the some readers of this essay will trust the Torah or the Koran or even-I sup. ings-it is the great good fortune of the species that there are a few fully fanciless medium of unvarnished news") and generates assignments of strong-minded progressives who can see through the comforting probabilities to propositions by means of a set of rules that yields the most myths-encourages the confidence game called religion. still exists. it does I am going to compare the attractiveness of the Church and the Enlight- not speak with one voice. nothing of reports of events that are contrary to the laws of nature. or anything else. in consequence. though it long ago abandoned the name. I shall compare the effects of Church's creeds. Like the Church.. social consequences have been horrible. 8 But that adherence to the Church and to the Enlightenment in the lives of individ- is a minor point. given on human existence. it is statistically very likely that you trust propositions that are absolutely crucial to an understanding of the world one or the other of two authorities: the Church or the Enlightenment. man beings are. (But and humanity's place in the world. 6 are a product of uncaring and unconscious physical processes that did I do not propose to discuss miracles and questions about the believability not have them. in fact. although. practical descrip. Secondly. I am confident that they are at least as good as descriptions of cosmos. descriptions that will do till we no longer see through a that science investigates. some of which heartily detest the teachings of the Church are. in fact. There is.

. you can always make two things sound similar (or "different only in de- structed to fit the imaginations of Christians (unless its source was actually gree") if you describe them abstractly enough: "What Canada geese do in divine revelation) that turned °out to be consistent with what science has when they migrate is much like what we do when we jump over a ditch: in discovered. what the except to make a joke of it." he said. The difference between the two accom- modern cosmology. what it wants in this area. pean civilization was the Church. times for vision and four for flight. and it meager score is one) and the fact that this event would not have occurred if can be found in some circles even today. (Let's hear nothing about "fundamentalism. it moves through the air. that Augustine was a wishy-washy theological liberal. time in an argument with someone who would believe it in the first place. is the universe that removing every excuse that anyone had ever had for thinking that we were was constructed by the imagination of the Enlightenment when the facts much different from our closest primate relatives. and science became less fact that rationality has evolved only once on the earth (as opposed to forty and less hospitable to it as the century progressed. a comet or asteroid had not happened to cause the mass extinctions of 65 sible. it is moreover gov. historically speaking. of a small handful of them. I asked him whether he thought stitutional right to own automatic assault weapons: Its consequences apart. but . and the gleanings of the "search for ex. There is. 9 But no one knows anything to speak of about the The Enlightenment has. it begins to seem unlikely that the Enlightenment will get number of years ago and may well be spatially finite. "Yes. My point is that the Christian is right at home in such a universe. even at the beginning of the century. Berlinski pointed out that still allowed that imagination free play." Some Christians each case. It has even managed to convince itself that modern science has theism. Saint Augustine was not. Christmas tree it rather resembles. This universe was incompatible with the content of nineteenth-cen. while rationality's nation (which is what it was designed for) throughout the century. cosmologically speaking. When these facts are combined with the tury science."lO I am also put in mind of a cartoon tianity. plishments is only a matter of degree. European civilization." I'm sorry if I seem to be are a figurative description of six aspects of the created world. Today this picture is simply impos. proved this." Aquinas. after all. would like to think of the Orion Spur (our own little galactic neighbor- turies. I remember reading a very amusing response made by David whereas the adherent of the Enlightenment would much prefer the universe Berlinski to Stephen Jay Gould's statement that modern science was rapidly of nineteenth-century popular science. that Augustine was wrong. so it can hardly be all good either. simply says making a joke of this. Nevertheless. or at least very much like some of them. But fundamentalism is one of the accidents of Chris. Present-day science gives us a universe that began to exist a specific million years ago. Phillip Johnson once showed me: A hostess is introducing a human being talist in the current sense of the word.. I am making of joke of this. there would be no life: only a van. between human beings and all other terrestrial species is simply a washy theological liberal because I read the book of Genesis in a way that very funny idea. I admit it. It is infinite in space and time. so it can't be something that happens "automatically. this affection is not what it used to he. this uni. and if home in a universe in which humanity is the only rational species or is one these numbers were only a bit different. Nevertheless. no scientific reason to think that life is After all. radical difference. You certainly wouldn't want to invest much Enlightenment would really like is a universe bursting with life and chock. on the other hand. It's like the idea that Americans have a fundamental con- was compatible with modern cosmology. The preferred universe of traterrestrial intelligence" have not been very encouraging to those who the Enlightenment was constructed in the eighteenth and nineteenth cen. tions is spread over hundreds of thousands of species. The Enlighten- there is is governed by a set of laws that falls within that minuscule region. felt a certain affection for origin of life on the earth except that it is at present one of the great scien.) it's simply a very funny idea.) tific mysteries. he does not say that Augustine's views were Why shouldn't I? The idea that there isn't a vast. and the one universe terrestrial animals. the single greatest factor in the development of Euro- life elsewhere in the solar system. well. "you share 99 percent of your DNA. . and are fundamentalists and are consequently unhappy with the universe of it comes down some distance away. and it consists entirely of matter in hood) as festooned with technological civilizations like ornaments on the motion. and there's nothing much one can do about it Coming down to more modern times. therefore. this picture of the universe-persisted in the popular imagi.16 Quam Dilecta Quam Dilecta 17 The first matter for discussion is congruency. ment would like this so much that it has actually managed to convince itself It is of course possible to explain these things in terms other than those of that it is so. Best. not a part of its essence. A fundamentalist-turned-logical-positivist once called me a wishy. If Saint Thomas Aquinas was a fundamen." It is pretty certain that there is no all bad. chasm. is right at erned by laws that contain a lot of apparently arbitrary numbers. ishingly small region in the space of all possible sets of physical laws is oc. a heretical. (Admittedly. European civilization produced the Enlightenment. when he discusses Augustine's thesis that the "six days" of Genesis she says. an organism's feet leave the ground. The Enlightenment would like it if humanity were continuous with other cupied by sets of laws that permit the existence of life. The Christian. "You two will have a lot to talk about. full of rational species. And and a chimp at a cocktail party. But it is the universe that was con. That. and each of these evolutionary inven- verse-that is.

sci- Here is the story the Enlightenment tells. there is a tendency to use the word 'science' so and the scientific method were reborn in the mind of Galileo (or maybe broadly that at least some "science" can be found practically anywhere. for example-believed in all of the miracles of the New Testament. those been little persecution of science by the Church. White's History of the Warfare of Science and of the current representatives of the Enlightenment (and rightly so).) been useful to the Enlightenment. But the Greeks took a few steps world to develop science in the modern sense could be blamed on Chris- down the road of science and faltered. then. And the unique occur- bad aspects to the Church and its good elements to the Enlightenment or to rence of science-real science. but a have. (This to the history of a particular civilization. It has since been largely ignored. The main problem confronting this Enlightenment strategy is science. When one looks carefully at the persecution of Galileo. it has Theology. tianity. The Church persecuted nature works by mechanical causes are going to be less effective the debate between Huxley and Bishop Wilberforce. I would suggest that science is an outgrowth of Western Latin Christian- torian of science has had to the story told in the preceding paragraph. and the causation Christ-which amounts to pretty quick work if Christianity stifled ancient is not inevitable. I suppose. one scientists if they believe that miracles occur at special junctures in what finds that most of what one thought one had known about them isn't true. in scientific stud. The Modern science-the kind of science of which Newton's derivation of task of explaining why there was no science in India or China developed Kepler's laws of planetary motion is a paradigm-has arisen only once in into something of an industry in the eighteenth century. Over a millennium later. There would have been a scien. The real conceptual enemies of science are astrology and magic. but what was it to be blamed on in the case of China? After all. there has been some observational astronomy here and some shared the values of Voltaire. causes-happened in a civilization that was built upon the Church. so science has "happened" only once in the his- in those other civilizations if we looked closely enough) and to ascribe its tory of humanity (unlike writing or the calendar). who actually were responsible for the birth of science-Galileo and New- tory of the relations of science and Christianity that can be compared with ton. sible. The modern growth of science did not begin suddenly in six. science contribute to this. this does not solve the problem. (That Ancient science discovered very little after about the time of the birth of is. consult A. Christians call salvation history-or even that they happen frequently at and that the real episodes do little to support the Enlightenment picture of Lourdes. The failure of the much-admired classical ies that were essentially applied geometry. scholarship and a demonstrated capacity for mechanical invention. a story that is in my view better supported by the evidence. It the Lysenko era in Soviet biology or the condition of science in Germany really is very hard to see how those who believe that in the normal course under the Nazis. Two devices ancient science and created the Dark Ages. as much makes the unique birth of science seem somehow less puzzling. While this tendency has lately been much deplored by some more detail. not logical. I will simply tell another science as something that belongs to the history of "the world" rather than story.18 Quam Dilecta Quam Dilecta 19 perhaps. right to it as any follower of the Enlightenment who was not a trained his. and it could hardly. for it enables one to think of the birth of I don't want to get into an historical argument. The achievements of the Confucian China.!3 (The suggestion has sometimes been made by representatives of the Middle Ages." There was a very dangerous outbreak of serious interest in astrology and . it was extremely puzzling that "rational" attempt at systematic medical knowledge there. this view is of course the view of an amateur. Well. since there is only one world. the connections are historical and causal. atic descriptions of phenomena but goes on to probe their underlying cus. it helps rosweep it under the carpet. not in China? The question was the biblical literalism and otherworldliness of Christianity had not stifled never satisfactorily answered. There is nothing in the his. First. which does not stop with precise and system- such "morning stars of the Enlightenment" as Roger Bacon and Coperni. If Copernicus had something to do with it). Middle Ages produced a mental climate that made the birth of science pos- teenth century but was continuous with the natural philosophy of the High I· . To someone who history. should particularly in descriptive astronomy and statics-that is. Oh. there is a tendency to identify the history of the world with the his- ground to science ever since.) I would suggest that the Christian worldview of the High science. never have developed science. to stress its similarities to other civilizations (no doubt we'd find Just as rationality has "happened" only once in the history of terrestrial native "Enlightenments" bravely struggling against the local superstitions life (unlike vision or flight).12 why. (If you would like to see this story set out in tory of Europe. D. ence had flowered in monk-ridden Europe. therefore. . connected with it in much the same way as Gothic architecture. of. or the Scopes trial. l l ) ity. Sec- but it failed to kill the infant he had fathered and has been steadily losing ondly.) There has Enlightenment that a belief in miracles is inimical to science. tific revolution like that of sixteenth-century Europe in the classical world if be a particularly frail blossom. an ancient and settled civilization with a long history of Greeks in taking the first steps down the path of science were magnificent. a perpetual "warfare of science and theology. (This has been well documented by Pierre Duhem.

radically evil. Jaken. that civilization is not neces. I not only have all thinking very hard about how society should be organized) will. It shows. But there are know them. or at least reducible to tolerable Voltaire and Hume and my own past self. Chesterton perhaps.) I must ad- case. therefore. how." the Enlightenment liberation. Skinner represent this point of view in its purest. But to read such Enlightenment figures as Hume or Voltaire ilized people is parochial. He was. "how progressive. right before our eyes. stable. however. But they that had been shaped by (as they believe) a unique revelation of the mind have never been listened to by the body of the Enlightenment. which the Church worked very hard to sup. "We are none of us but deadly and inoperable cancerous tumor. of contact with reality). Or I'm sorry may be. ment. the business of civilization to attempt so to would whisper in my ear. that I am not in a position to feel too terribly superior to social artifact and as therefore eliminable. Rousseau and B. and Voltaire and Hume. remarked. I will mention only the diagnosis and one half of the prog. and when it has been achieved it will be pable of such realism. will be comfortable with the fact that the single most them don't. the contemplated act be fairly way. the voice of one flatterer. do no right to expect that their great-grandchildren-or they themselves in not seem even to be able to get on with the business of self-admiration their old age-will live in a civilized society. As someone. "By their fruits ye shall most innocent form (innocent. And this is simple realism. In theory. referring only to preachers and much shrewder thinkers who hold it in some recognizable form. As it is real. but its real driving negative The Enlightenment holds either that human beings are naturally good or emotion was contempt for subjects and churchgoers. zation (whose nature representatives of the Enlightenment discover by of course. of course. however disinclined my heart may them into a form in which they will behave only in desirable ways. by some form or other of social reorganization. the horrible way that human beings treat one another is regarded as a mit.") It arrange matters that if any individual does regard rape or murder or fraud may well be that not every adherent of the Enlightenment has used it that or false witness as a matter for deliberation.) This evil may be only potential. but The Christian is also able to have a realistic view of himself or herself. The re. (I mean. a cause there it is. they are so rare that it is extremely un. they have aban- last. past and pre- must. but press. or I die." said Jesus. I do not claim to be able to look into the souls of the living. a·diagnosis. (Are there no exceptions doned the only Christian dogma that can actually be empirically proved. perhaps. the hymn: "Foul I to thy fountain flylWash me Savior. I mostly think I'm a pretty fine fellow. (Tn some cases it may be comparable to an as yet asymptomatic Christian writer of the present century remarked. The representative of the Enlightenment cannot. moreover.J ". (At any rate most of Christians. radically evil. The Enlightenment. does not accept this thesis. (True as regards the diagnosis and one half of the prognosis. without perpetual sneers at "milkmaids" (Voltaire)-that is.) It is. It is not the doctrines they preached. admiring myself. I concede that a few of the people who have described them- powerful instrument for understanding the world developed in a culture selves as "humanists" have had a realistic view of human nature. fact that is not congruent with the creed of the Enlightenment and which The Christian is able to have a realistic view of the human. I will now turn to my second kind of argument. 14 All human beings are deeply. F. however. tremely unfortunate that some Christians have abandoned the doctrine of I have left what I believe to be the single most important congruency for original sin. This is still true of the that they are neither good nor bad but simply infinitely malleable. but at least I have silenced (We do not want our fellows to regard murder as a matter for rational de. This reorgani. (The eighteenth- nosis: We are deeply." When I look back on the days of my allegiance to the Enlighten- citizens of a truly civilized society to realize. sent. hated kings and priests just as it said it did. enlightened. but I'm religious as well. In either current representatives of the Enlightenment. so to call it-no doubt natural means. allow the natural goodness of human beings to flourish or mold I'm not sorry. mass of people who keep the wheels turning while the Enlightenment sips and a prognosis. I accept the words of proportions. moreover. for it is the business of civiliza." In practice. to this generalization? If there are. be to follow my head in this realism. its chocolate and peers at them through its quizzing-glass. the long dead. mutatis mutandis. well. clear to me how anyone could ever actually have held such a position.) likely that you or I have ever met one. as the case my native niceness. I'm afraid.20 Quam Dilecta Quam Dilecta 21 magic during the Renaissance.15) But I'm sorry.) This fact can be hard for the very nice.) that anyone could hold it in the late twentieth century is believable only be- That the single birth of science occurred in Christendom is. but the saying has usually been taken in a . much less obviously unprofitable. at any rate. The Enlightenment seems to be inca- organization is humanly possible. at the great The Christian doctrine of original sin comprises an etiology. with Christian eyes is to see every possible opportunity for self-admiration sarily a stable condition and that people who live in a civilized society have . ("How intelligent you are. either be ignored or explained away by the Enlightenment. like me in my own Enlightenment days. But human history shows that the viewpoint of civ. I stilI admire myself. that is. therefore. I discover that this allegiance was primarily a device to assist me in tion to train people from birth not even to deliberate about certain acts.) It is ex- and purposes of the Creator of that world. and this condition is unalterable by any century Enlightenment-the Enlightenment proper.

ment. lightenment cannot survive. I am. dence I am in possession of. Khmer Rouge is to be laid at the door of the Enlightenment. of course." New Age fluff. Nazism. I would look at the issue raised by this question from the . can you. something new. In matters of the spirit. Let no one say that I have blamed the great post-Christian remind the Christian reader that I am at this point discussing only things horrors of the past two centuries on the Enlightenment. gineering in the 1970s can with the same justification be ascribed to the En. But with whatever justification these things existence is uncontroversial. the concept of universal and I will produce a parallel argument of about equal merit-not very human rights and its embodiment in working constitutions. it certainly comes to mind. it has nothing positive to offer humanity. I wish to consider the effects of the Church on individual lives. as Burke was the first to realize. for there is no way of determining how they would tural level will destroy the Enlightenment. And these caused thousands of times as many deaths and in. the Soviet Communist Party. of the Committee of Public Safety. horror. really hit its stride till I have mentioned one of the "fruits" of the Church: modern science. politically established Age of Aquarius or under a triumphalist reign of The Enlightenment makes much of the suffering and death caused by the "theory" in the universities.) There are others. manism under Hitler or on the probable fate of liberal humanism under a spierre and Lenin as instructive examples. Enlightenment worldview. bakes no bread. and what is this year called tions were very imperfectly and. Whether or not the Enlightenment is responsible for the French Revolu- and most of the individuals who contributed to their development were tion and Pol Pot. although it is also true that I shall not be as- can be ascribed to the Christian religion. old-fashioned atheists of the Enlighten- lightenment. even if (by the standards of the world) it ing at people like Tom Paine and Karl Marx who never actually held the should destroy the Church. one brief remark. you must look human heart that the Enlightenment has created. I would suggest Robe. There are many atheists I know. existed today would be described as a democracy). they are going to start believing in everything. If you want to "theory!' in literature departments have rushed in to fill the vacuum in the see the social fruits of the Enlightenment in their pure form. but I will make history and what Saint Paul called this present darkness. I suppbse it is al. as a the history of Europe. according to the Enlighten. the door to all manner of substitutes that are. for example-despite their being Christians. for there is no way that I can convey to you the evi- advice on how to conduct its case. Those who doubt this should reflect on the actual fate of liberal hu- they were faced with recalcitrant political reality. such episodes as the Terror of the serting the existence of anything that is in principle incompatible with the 1790s. It cannot legiti- Christians. I concede that the debt owed by all who cherish these things to mately claim to be the author of science or democracy. then. and the rule of great. in my opinion-for the conclusion that responsibility for the crimes law (law as opposed both to the momentary will of the sovereign and unal. and that is the way I shall take it. what replaces the Church at the social and cul- reins of political power. only edit the standards that the Church has made common currency-even those Enlightenment figures who actually contributed to the development worse than Christianity. and the terable custom). Thomas Jefferson only an aching emptiness at the spiritual level.selectively de-Christianized. My claim is this: whose existence would be admitted by a non-Christian. who are singularly impressive people. Saturn's . But they arose in-Christian nations. the Great Terror of the 1930s. it cannot create standards but can Jefferson. by its own standards-stan- lowable for me to admire certain representatives of the Enlightenment like dards it has borrowed from the Church. There is no point in look. In the end. of those benign social institutions that are among Europe's greatest inven. inventions of the Enlightenment. Satanism. were quite ordinary episodes in Christian believe that without conversion and repentance these admirable the immemorial string of crimes that mainly compose what the world calls people are lost?" That question is not to the present point. despite their allegiance to the Enlightenment. therefore. As Chesterton remarked. not talking about things whose tion to the Thirty Years' War. ment type. at the contributions to history of those who had consciously and decisively when people stop believing in God they are not going to start believing in separated themselves from the Christian tradition and who based their po. I would suggest that it pay more atten. The Crusades et al. the En- litical activities solely on Enlightenment theories.children will devour have used the forces of coercion that power places at one's disposal when him. awful things Christians have done-the Crusades and the Inquisition seem Finally. In its attempts to undermine Christian belief. (If anti-Christians can admire certain Christians. The new kind of horror did not. and Pol Pot's experiment in social en. these things are. The French Revo. "the jargon of authenticity. and its creed leaves certain representatives of the Enlightenment is very great. The cult of the nation-state. a new kind of of the Spirit). Like science. to be the standard examples. (I about the 1920s. it has opened Saint Francis. Layout an argument for the conclusion that responsibility for the crimes of One might mention democracy (we must remember that no Greek polis if it the Crusaders and the Inquisition is to be laid at the door of Christianity. people whose lives and comparably greater suffering than all of the pogroms and religious wars in behavior are worthy of the highest admiration. although if I were to give the Enlightenment Here I must be brief.) In fact. however. ("How.22 Quam Dilecta Quam Dilecta 23 more general sense (possibly under the influence of Saint Paul on the fruit lution was.

and it is a the Christian is demonstrably superior to any competing nonskeptical posi- Christian thread. for all the rich individu. I have Church teaches that without the help of God. Hume has said. the fruits of the Church. nal support to Christian belief (but this assertion is not a part of my Christ- ferent stories about the world and the place of humanity in the world. each shining with the who reads this essay thereupon becomes a Christian. is very difficult indeed to believe that one is not in the presence 'of a living I do not mean to suggest that my acceptance of the Church as an author- reality that transcends their individual lives. however. who are very that thesis is false. herent of any system of belief incompatible with Christianity. There is no way to show that in his or her own way. tent to produce that belief in some (or all) of those who hear and All of the things I have mentioned-congruency. Maybe the only people who selves before God. and their impressiveness is of a distinctively Christian refutation of skepticism. But there is nothing more I can ity rests on my own unaided rational evaluation of the arguments I have say about this (except perhaps to say that I am sure that the reason I do not given. no one comes to Christian no tendency to believe that the people who look this way to me are closer belief.) But each of these people is impressive sophical skeptics as well as religious skeptics. that ignores Hume's ironic intent and examines this statement seriously will find anyone who believes the Church in the world as it is is in a pretty good epis. there would be a philosophically adequate impressive people. understand the argument. I my much more everyday sorts of judgment to the effect that this or that could do no better with arguments for any controversial philosophical or person is kind or generous or honest or loving. And yet there are those who have cial consequences of its influence have been disastrous. woven together into a seamless garment. But there is no way to believe only' the logical con. But for all that. "Mere reason is insufficient to convince us of its [the are logical contraries. (The stories sible. I ex- itation of my heart. that the epistemic position of sort. Almost everyone would admit this as a general my perception of the lives of some of my Christian friends-are. however. I have never been able to discern an "Enlightenment" tion. I do not see how anyone could regard the En. and it has nothing at heard the arguments and deny the propositions.) As I have pointed out. it God's help to find them convincing-indeed. it seems to me that I must conclude that the provide sufficient rational support for the following propositions: 'Jewish Church speaks with authority. it is merely one of my opinions) and that. he just wasn't yet aware of the fact. 'The earth is considerably more than 6. however. for any philosophical or political thesis that is of of this light-when one so much as listens to one of these people speak-it any interest or importance. An argu- mention it would misrepresent my claims about the reasons I have for being ment may provide sufficient rational support for a belief and yet be impo- a Christian. There are five or six Christians I know who. a better epistemic position than anyone else who God's subversive miracle is indeed required for Christian belief. I require speaking with authority and one with a meretricious pretense to authority. that it is very near to the truth in one way and very far from it in another." The Christian who cal consequences of what is uncontroversial. we see why it is that conversion and repentance are all occupy a defensible epistemic position are skeptics-political and philo- the more necessary for the rest of us. that person was al- same. temic position (at any rate. even to find them faintly plau- does not follow that the former is right.) It is even possible that the mere. (If anyone ality of their lives and personalities.000 years old'. truth.24 Quam Dilecta Quam Dilecta 25 other end: In the fact that even these admirable people cannot justify them. Its creed is not congruent with the world we live in. however. whatever disagreements there might be about particular cases. 'The pyramids are thoritative voice. uncreated light that shines in the pages of the New ready a Christian-as regards propositional belief-when he began to read Testament. A common thread runs through their very diverse lives. these arguments do lend ratio- to offer the intellectual and governing classes. are like lamps. lightenment-or any individual Enlightenment "denomination"-as an au. and no the principles of his understanding. in the med. is actually capable of functioning in the world). blood cannot be distinguished from Teutonic blood under a microscope'. and gives him a determination to be- one-unless it were the inhabitants of some asylum-believes only the logi. one ian faith. thread that runs through the lives of the admirable atheists of my acquain. the so. I can no more doubt this judgment than I can doubt many of it. and it is for this thesis that I have tried to argue. I believe. When I take all pect that all readers of this essay will grant that there are arguments that of these things into account. not contradictories. If two voices tell radically dif. dearly familiar. When one is in the presence political thesis-that is. which subverts all sequences of what is uncontroversial and to believe very much. I am fully aware that my arguments will convert no one who is a firm ad- tance. but what . What I would say about all to offer "milkmaids" and nothing but opportunities for self-admiration the arguments that I have given is that. for the see more Christians as lamps is to be found in my own limitations. first. lieve what is most contrary to custom and experience. It seems to me. Maybe no one is right. No one who believes the Church could take that position. secondly. If there were. I mention it only because not to tional support for (or good reasons for accepting) Christian belief. There are Christians I know. is conscious of a continued miracle in his own person. not the work of extraterrestrial beings'. the arguments I have given may provide sufficient ra- to God than any other Christians are). Christian religion's] veracity: and whoever is moved by faith to assent to it tricious posturer is right.

pp.avrodes's thesis is that Christianity-or. Hermes and Athena: Biblical Exegesis says in the Philosophy of Religion (Ithaca. Ind. 7. 241-278.") And by this mira. in a proceeding instituted by her former hus. The conclusion of this argument was that any reason for thinking that religious beliefs are "based on insufficient evidence" would be an equally good rea- son for thinking that philosophical and political beliefs are based on insufficient evi- dence. 170-181.. My amateurish views on the history of science have been deeply influenced by our continued acquiescence in our inborn tendency to worship at an altar the work of Stanley L. and Moral Commitment: New Es- in Eleonore Stump and Thomas Flint. cle the understanding is set free. pp. and "Not by Confusion of Substance But by Unity of Person.26 Quam Dilecta Quam Dilecta 27 this miracle subverts is not the understanding but the flesh. ed. Religious Belief. N. The Enlightenment believed that the young Church had stifled the vigorous adolescent science of antiquity but that the powerful Church of the sixteenth century was unable to dispose of the in- Notes fant science of its day. really means by "custom and experience. They are pretty mealymouthed compared with the "creed" in the text. See "The Magnitude. I had considerable difficulty with the notion of remarriage. ").2 (1988): 161-187. 9. Ind." Rome-hers in fact has been annulled. pp.Y.. 1994). ed. . 11. (For this is what Hume. however. N.Y. The sixth essay in the present volume was written.: Cornell University Press. 176-177. See. 3. The Rationality of Belief and the Plurality of Faith (Ithaca. 1988). although he does published as The Road of Science and the Ways to God (Chicago: University of not know it. I am sorry to say that I do not remember where I read this. But there is little 13. and "The Problem of Evil." in Thomas V. pp. 12. See also Chapter 5 in the present volume. Philosophy and the Christian Faith (South Bend. "in partial fulfillment of this requirement. In this printing. a certain 1993). and Distribution of Evil: A Theodicy. 10.. The quoted passage occurs on pp.." Philo- sophical Topics 16.: University of Notre Dame Press." Philosophical Perspectives 5 (1991): 135-165. Duration. 5. hIS RehglOn and the Queerness of Morality. Chicago Press. P?· M. have said something about the way in which (in my view) the Christian doubt that both my wife's first marriage and mine were invalid by the standards of worldvlew made the birth of science possible in a note (n.: Cornell University Press. In the original printing of this essay. but they come to much the same thing.. For evidence that this is what the Enlightenment would really like. and the Problem of Silence.Y. ]aki. Morris." included in Alan Padgett. 1. 4. say. They are printed together in Humanist Manifestoes I and II (Buffalo. 15. N. I have borrowed this marvelous sentence from a talk I once heard Eleonore Stump give. the two "humanist manifestoes" issued by the American Hu- manist Association. 6. The Logic of God Incarnate (Ithaca. 1986). and they are written in the worst sort of academic prose (" . there followed at this point a long argu- ment that was based on a comparison of religious beliefs with philosophical and po. See "Non Est Hick. 1986).rge has presented a very interesting "congruency" argument in band-and I suppose that there is no point in being more Catholic than the pope.. and Philosophical Theology (South Bend. I. 216-241. Rationality. ed. 1995). eds. N. Reason and the Christian Religion (Oxford: Clarendon Press.: University of Notre Dame Press. 1973). the old Adam.. . Ge?. see Thomas V. "Critical Studies of the New Testament and the User of the New Testament.." in Robert Audi and William]. 2. pp. more generally. eds. See "And Yet They Are Not Three Gods But One God. 201-226. litical beliefs. as academic bureaucrats 1 . Morris. kmd of theIsm-Is congruent with a belief in the reality of moral obligation and that the creed of the Enlightenment is not.. 15) to "Non Est Hick. the Problem of Air." 8.Y. Senor.: Cornell University Press." in Thomas D. But the story about this is somewhat confused." Wamwnght. 14.: Prometheus Books. I omit the passage in which this argument was presented be- cause I later expanded it into a self-contained essay: Chapter 2 in the present volume. the nature of the universe depicted by modern science makes unaccept- able any supernatural or cosmic guarantees of human values . 1978). I refer the interested reader to his Gifford Lectures on which we have set ourselves. 159-190..

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