Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Complex questions have complex, not simple, answers

The great journalist H.L. Mencken is often quoted as observing that in politics "for every complex question there is a simple answer". In a comment on an earlier post, David expressed a frustration that, I think, is one faced by many of us who are believing, practicing Christians: "All sorts of people lead long lives believing in one thing,or in something else, or in not much at all. Some people change beliefs while others don't. Some end their lives in confusion. Its a mystery to me. Is there a doctrine that explains the multiplicity of faiths and belief systems? Can the Truth be measured? Will it always yields the same results when manipulated?"

Truth, the kind with a capital T is, properly speaking meta physical. Therefore, the answer to the last question David asks is "No". However, Truth can be measured, not with instruments, etc., but by one's life. To this end, at the last Communion & Liberation worldwide gathering, known as the The Meeting (No, not "the Meadows" of So I Married an Axe Murderer fame- my wife's all-time favorite movie), which is held annually in Rimini, Italy, philosopher Francesco Ventorino, professor of Ontology and Ethics at the Studio Teologico S. Paolo di Catania, answers this question better than I ever could:

"Man rejects the truth because he does not know what to seek, does not know this truth which has set out in search of man. In some way, the initiative is the truth's, is God's, and man, provoked by this initiative, responds to God's yes with his own small yes. This is the Church's reply to the skepticism of the world."

As far as a doctrine that explains the multiplicity of faiths I offer my best hack from this blog, a post entitled You will know them by their fruits, along with a follow up post called An addendum from slightly more than a year ago.

1 comment:

  1. Appreciate the in-depth answers!

    Your writings lead me to reflect that God's creation is a "work in progress". Patience and trust, patience and trust...

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