Tuesday, April 21, 2009
An Answer for Everything, Proves Nothing
Someone very dear to me has schizophrenia. He thinks that he's living the life of the Truman Show. He believes everyone in the world knows who he is and is watching his every move. He has an answer for everything.
I challenged his view one day by telling him that if he did a Google of his name, he'd be hard pressed to find himself even listed. I proposed that in a world where everyone is watching you and knows your name, a Google search was bound to prove this.
His explanation was simply that God could have manipulated the results of the Google search to hide the truth. We could all even be a part of a conspiracy. His answer was expected. "You have an answer for everything", I replied. The problem with his way of thinking is that there's nothing anyone can say or do to prove or disprove his beliefs.
He proves nothing by answering everything.
The brilliant scientist Stephen Hawking is very ill right now. He has spent much of his life working on a theory to unify Einstein's theory of relativity (which deals with physics on a large scale) with quantum theory (physics on a very small scale). His hope is that this unifying theory will explain everything.
I can't help but wonder, in the light of my schizophrenic friend, whether or not Hawking is looking for a system of truth that is just as insane.
Reading the doctrinal statements of some churches and Christian universities, I wonder if I don't see the same sort of insanity. They seem to have everything in life figured out. Is Christ anything if not a paradox? Does not the Christian see life in Christ's death, power in the cross, strength in His display of weakness and hope in His suffering?
I have always been skeptical of skepticism, but I am now becoming skeptical of any theory that claims to explain everything. I am starting to bring my skepticism of the "too good to be true" product that "slices and dices" to my philosophy.
Perhaps the best worldview of life purposefully leaves room for mystery. Perhaps the healthiest dogma is that which includes faith.
And why would the best worldview leave room for mystery if mystery wasn't the door for worship?