Dostoevsky

Eight forty.

Thinking about going to church today. I might be able to make it. If it’s not Pastor Dan, then I can go a little bit later, as long as I’m there by ten o’clock. I keep forgetting that it’s Halloween today. It doesn’t seem very relevant to anything or to me. It’s not supposed to rain at all today, but it’s pretty chilly outdoors. The time is going rather rapidly; before I know it I’ll be out on the road, pounding the sidewalk. I can always hear more than I want to. Right now someone is making noise on my street.

Quarter of noon.

Service was pretty good today. Now it occurs to me how fragmented our culture is these days, mostly because of people like me who are honest and follow their own truth. I saw a funny Halloween decoration at a neighbor’s house: a headstone with the name “Metta Physik.” But this is exactly the problem I have with religion, that is, metaphysics or the supernatural. Without evidence, the spiritual stuff falls to pieces. So it’s probably better if I don’t go to church; just stay home and read my books of analytic philosophy or something else realistic. This is more responsible of me than spoiling a worship service with my presence. There is one argument, however, for metaphysics that gives me pause. It’s that our sense of right and wrong hinges on the spirit, and that with no Lawgiver, everything is permitted. You find this point in The Brothers Karamazov, and the amorality in the story leads to a murder. Dostoevsky is a thinker to reckon with before you dispose of religion altogether. Probably the world needs a good dose of his writing right now, and I might go back for another look at Karamazov, even after I thought I’d exhausted its possibilities. It brings up the serious question, What is existentialism all about? 

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2 thoughts on “Dostoevsky

  1. Sometimes attending a religious service is quite pleasurable; especially as an unsubscribing observer. If you are truly emancipated you can go without guilt. I visit Catholic temples for the folk art.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Arcadia,

    I really appreciate your comments on my posts, and for the most part I agree with them absolutely. But I was also wondering if you’ve ever read some of the work of Soren Kierkegaard. He distinguished three stages of the understanding of life: the esthetic, the ethical, and the religious. According to him, the religious is the highest stage— for the reason that the absurd leap of faith is so very hard to accept by any logical person. Apparently he believed that this kind of devotion was very admirable, but it’s still something that no one will ever know the truth of for certain.

    Thanks so much and take care!

    Like

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