There is a growing desire in me to understand existence, life, people…our human story. Everyday on the news all you hear is more conflict: conflict between the Right & the Left, between governments & people, anti-this and pro-that. It seems to me the majority of people are most satisfied to pick a side and fight, to dig in, wave their banner and quash, kill thrash or humiliate the other side. Though I do find my self aligning with the beliefs of one side verses the other, I am not content with offering unanswered rhetoric, email or Facebook status’ to bolster my team or metaphorically kill and bury the “opponent”. Rather, I have a desire to, not just understand their side, but to try and make sense how their side even exists within my own paradigm. I think this may be a root to understand the Universalism or “Coexist” mindset. I think that thought line can stem from a desire for everyone to be OK and for no one to be “cast out” by a world view. I understand that desire, but I think there is a more realistic way to see all humanity on the same playing field.
I believe a world-view must take into account, on the one hand, many differing views on everything as well as make clear sense of the pain and suffering in the world. Though the term “Theory of Everything” has been used in scientific circles to try and understand our origins, I think it can be applied to philosophy as well, but only if that philosophy is objectively true. So instead of jumping to a cute, comfortable or traditional world view, a methodical person might layout a list (a list that may never be complete) of all the things that must be taken into account by a all encompassing Theory of Everything. Here are some things I would think that need to be explained by this Theory:
1. All that is right: beauty, love, laughter, joy, excitement, etc.
2. All that is wrong: pain, ugliness, destruction, sorrow, disease, etc.
3. Morality (there is almost unanimously some kind of moral desire in everyone regardless of their religion or lack therof)
4. Origins & afterlife
5. Physical observable existence (this includes all sciences)
6. Purpose (why are we here & where are going?)
There are probably more but I don’t have a lot of time right now.
I confess I know very little about all the belief systems in the world. I do know that most of them deal in depth with many or most of the above mentioned items except one. There is one that seems to be sort of swept under the proverbial rug or insufficiently explained and that is #2 All that is wrong. Again & again I find Christianity as the religion/world view/system of belief that sufficiently deals with the ugly, broken, wrongness of life. When I concentrate on what is called in Christianity “sin”, I suddenly start to find the string that unravels the whole story.
Our gut reaction is to see pain or injustice and to have a righteous indignation (which reveals that morality built into all of us) but what’s harder is to admit that we’re all in some way a part of the problem. The older I get the more I see the necessity of justice, but I also see that the sword of justice must come down on me too if it is to be true. When I come to grips with this I begin to understand that there are too many points of view, too many differing understandings of what is right and wrong…rationality cries, yearns for an ultimate standard that all of must adhere to; a standard that will make murderers and cruel evil people pay. Humbly I start to understand that standard remains steadfast, even if it is my own head under the guillotine. And my head is under the guillotine, I deserve jail time, community service, the electric chair…I’m on death row. Maybe this seems likes a depressing realization, but this is where we must find ourselves if we are to have a fair assessment of evil, pain and suffering.
Enter mankind’s longing for a savior.