Thursday, October 18, 2018

Bored to death

I'm going to revisit a statement by atheist philosopher Michael Tooley:

Finally, there is the brief span of human life, and the inevitability of bodily death. This feature of human life seems very unsatisfactory from a moral point of view, as it both places a severe limit upon the possibilities for personal growth and intellectual development, and ends relationships between people that are often deep and enduring. In a well designed world, surely, the lives of people, and the relationships between them, would be completely open-ended, free to develop indefinitely, with no terminus imposed from without. Michael Tooley, "A brief catalogue of some notable evils", Knowledge of God (Blackwell 2008), 113.

Fact is that for many people, the problem is not that life is too short but that life is too long. Many people already find life tedious decades before they die. They don't have enough to live for. They turn to drugs and alcohol. They pad their lives with frenetic busyness and ephemeral entertainment to stave off the sense of emptiness, pointlessness, deadening repetition. That's especially problematic for unbelievers. But even for believers, much of what they hear in church is so repetitious that it palls. Many people are restless because there's not enough to look forward to from day to day. They lack a theological imagination. 


  1. "They lack a theological imagination."
    Was wondering if you could expand on that.
    Do you mean literally inventing theology your mind to stave off boredom?
    Or do you mean finding long term interest in existing scriptural theology?

    1. "Do you mean literally inventing theology your mind to stave off boredom?"

      Come now, Triablogue isn't a progressive Christian weblog! :)

    2. I mean having a deeper interest in scriptural theology, and using your imagination to apply that to your own life. In addition, imagination has a legitimate role in philosophical theology because revelation opens up many *possibilities* that are interesting to consider. That's not *sheer* imagination, but imagination guided by revelation.

  2. I think a lot of Christians tire of the continual struggle against sin and temptation. No longer want to live in an increasingly wicked and Godless world.