The Wright Perspective: Seven Right Ideas (Faith)

My latest is up at EveryJoe: This is the last in my series on the Seven Right Ideas on which Conservativism is founded, and it is the more difficult idea because it is a mystery.

Faith is as impossible to define in fullness as love, but it includes the idea that you owe a personal loyalty to truth, virtue and beauty, and that the mysterious source of truth, virtue and beauty will reward that loyalty and faithfully reciprocate.

Faith is the opposite of nihilism, which is the idea that there are no metaphysical truths, no supernatural reality, no innate purpose to life.

The point of faith is often misunderstood, and, frankly, often lied about. Matters of faith are neither illogical nor do they lack evidence.

The confusion comes because no other decision in life (even such all-embracing decisions as the decision to marry or to join the army) requires loyalty from every part of your soul and every nook of your psychology; including the part that decides.

All other decisions but this one allow you a place to stand, a neutral ground, a judge’s bench, where you can weigh the arguments for and against and make the decision according to rules that are themselves not part of the decision. But in this case, whether you become a Christian or become a Political Correction Cultist, there is no neutral ground.

You cannot make the decision based on the truth of the claims, because Political Correctness rejects the concept of truth whereas Christianity says Christ is truth.

You cannot make the decision based on the virtue of the claims, because Political Correctness rejects the concept of virtue, and says that all moral good or evil is a human invention, or the imposition of mindless genetic processes.

You cannot make a decision based on the beauty of the claims, because Political Correctness rejects the concept of beauty as trivial and trite, and rejects the concept that beauty reflects truth.

You cannot make the decision based on the rationality of the claim, because Political Correctness rejects the idea of objective reason whereas Christianity says Christ is Logos, a Greek term which means, among other things, reason, account or logic. We worship a rational God who created a rational universe in which he placed men to whom he granted the gift of reason.

You cannot even use your free will to make the decision because Political Correctness casts grave doubt on the freedom of the will, or denies it altogether.

Between the Christian universe and the anti-Christian universe, there is no way to be objective and dispassionate between the two universes. There is no third universe in which to stand while you make the choice. Either you are a member of one or a member of the other.

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10 Comments

  1. Comment by AstroSorcorer:

    Mr. Wright, I may have misunderstood a point of the discussion.
    The article clearly and effectively indicates why Christian faith and PC nihilism are utterly incompatible. I think that is what you meant by “no middle ground” or “no third way”. I heartily agree.
    Did you mean that Christian faith and nihilism were the only binary choice, though?
    It would seem to me that the null-set of values within within Political Correctness would also be incompatible with any other faith or even complete philosophical set. I cannot see, for example, non-Christians such as Moses, Aristotle, or Ayn Rand having anything to do with the quivering gelatin that forms the moral back-bone of Political Correct ideology.

    • Comment by John C Wright:


      Did you mean that Christian faith and nihilism were the only binary choice, though?

      Of course not. If that is what I meant, I would have said it. What I meant, and what I said, was that Christianity and Nihilism are choices demanding the consent of the entire person. Paganism is not, because paganism has no theology, and therefore paganism does not effect every nook and cranny of the personality of the man making the decision.

      Mohammedanism is an heresy of Christianity and shares many of its characteristics; Judaism is Christianity before Christ, but are not major contenders for the soul of the West, one because it is Eastern, the other because it is small and insular. As an abstract and theoretical matter, both reject the teachings of Nihilism absolutely and are rejected by those teaching absolutely. But as a practical matter, this is not so.

      Both historically speaking, as a matter of practical politics, are allied with the Left, which is Nihilist. Whether the Jews in large numbers will abandon Leftism once the Leftist antisemitism becomes too large and pervasive to ignore is an open question. While, as a matter of logic, a Nihilist of the Left would have no more use for Mohammed or for Moses as he has for Saint Peter, logic is indifferent to Leftists, and their hatred of Christianity, which is a rival to them, makes the choice more binary as a practical matter than it seems as an abstract matter.

      • Comment by AstroSorcorer:

        Ah, thank you for clarifying.
        Yes, Christianity, and the moral void of the Nihilists do represent the major poles, the centers of gravity in a fashion, of Western thought. I do hope more will come over to the side of reason and civilization. I suspect the means may be given by the arrogance of Nihilists as they believe they are winning. I recoiled in horror when I saw the mask slip, and beheld the rotting maggot-ridden flesh underneath. Perhaps others will as well.

  2. Comment by Zaklog the Great:

    Just thought you might like to know I attended my first RCIA class tonight. The first session was basically introducing ourselves, then an overview of what the class is going to look like.

    • Comment by John C Wright:

      God is good. I cannot predict what yours will be like, but I loved my RCIA classes, and made friends I have kept to this day.

    • Comment by ConceptJunkie:

      Deo gratias. I’m sure you will attend the classes with an open heart and an open mind, but don’t be afraid to challenge them on anything and everything.

      If they are worth their salt, they will be able to adequately answer anything you bring up, or will provide you with the resources to get questions answered.

      There is a wealth of information available, and in this day and age, almost anything written before the 1920s or so can be found online, and almost anything still in copyright that is still in print can be purchased easily and quickly.

      I’m sure our gracious host and mother Catholics who hang out here (like me!) would be happy to discuss anything you wish to talk about as well. There are also some good forums to be found for Catholic discussion, although of course they are subject to the same kinds of politics, attitudes and obnoxiousness that affect any kind of internet discourse.

      I attended RCIA about 25 years ago as a “reconvert” and found it rewarding and enjoyable. It’s always good to be among people who are asking the same kinds of questions and people who want to help you answer them.

    • Comment by Zaklog the Great:

      Thank you both for the well-wishes. If you’ve got the time, a prayer for my parents when I tell them would be appreciated. I’m an adult and not under their authority, but I still love them, and I know they are not going to enjoy this news. (From Grace Brethren, a small Protestant denomination.)

  3. Comment by johnedko:

    The Steven person is really annoying over at EveryJoe. He also doesn’t know jack about history (or maybe only knows enough to support his own preconceived notions). Ugh.

    -John

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