I know that God exists, but not in the same sense that I know I am typing on my computer right now. If I knew God existed in the same sense that I know I am typing, God would be dead, because facts are dead and truth is alive.
Faith matters perhaps now more than ever. I understand that the world has likely seen far worse than what we are experiencing here in 2021, but with the increase in technology, the differentiation between truth and facts becomes increasingly important.
Cold and Warm.
Technology is cold. You interact with a piece of technology, but there is little emotion or reciprocation with technology. There is no personality with technology, at least not in the sense that interacting with a human being has potential to bring warmth into your life. And even a negative interaction with another human is warm in the sense that is an interaction. If we as humans spend too much time in the cold, we lose our warmth. Spend five minutes on Twitter and you’ll see this carried out in real time.
Facts and Truth.
Facts are dead but truth is alive. It’s a fact that I am a father, but it’s a truth that my role as a father will have an impact into infinity. Because my role as a father will impact my children, and my children’s children, and so on. It’s a fact that I can tip over a cup of water and water will spill out, but the truth in the role that gravity plays here is unseen. We know gravity exists not by seeing gravity, but by seeing what gravity produces. Facts are cold, truth is warm. The fact that the cup tipped over is a fact and is dead; the truth of gravity existing is warm.
A huge part of the reason faith matters, and might matter now more than ever, is because faith gives humans purpose. I may not suggest that all religions are in this sense equal, but the faith you have might be irrelevant for the purpose here. After all, even faith in yourself is faith in something just a little higher than yourself. Faith in self is often in relation to a future self, or some abstract version of yourself that isn’t manifested in a tangible reality.
In the Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis said that essentially, all humans have is the present; that the past and the future don’t really exist. Each future moment is actually a present moment. So, it’s easy to have faith in self. But a faith in something intangible requires effort – and is also a truth you can interact with.
Why Faith Must Be Alive.
I know that God exists, but not in the same sense that I know I am typing on my computer right now. If I knew God existed in the same sense that I know I am typing on my computer right now, God would be “dead” – because facts are dead and truth is alive. And when Nietzsche said, “God is dead,” that wasn’t necessarily a hopeful or triumphant statement. Nietzsche seemed to think that at least practically and at most, philosophically, faith gave people a purpose and acted as guiderails to allow for the proliferation of human existence in warmth and life (truth) rather than cold and death (facts).
Nietzsche knew that humans, left to their own devices, would grow cold. Humans would become commodities and a means to end, and have no reason to aim for something outside themselves because mere facts would dictate existence, and facts are dead.
Faith matters, perhaps now more than ever. I have a personal faith in Jesus Christ, but have a fear that even attraction to faith in love, family, and some higher purpose in even the simplest of terms, is in deep jeopardy.
And a society with no purpose other than unto itself will grow cold, nihilistic, and purely facts based.