Wednesday, January 18, 2006

faith squared

I had a nightmare about death the other night. I dreamed I was older, a grandfather surrounded by family, and on my last legs. As I started to go, to blink out, doubt hit me. What if there’s no Heaven? No afterlife? No soul?

I’m a card-carrying believer in the Great Hereafter. And the soul and God and Old Scratch and all that. Ask me why and I’ll piss you off by presenting my one-word argument. I just do. I just know it. I don’t believe I’ll go to Hell by eating meat on Fridays in Lent or missing mass on Ascension or by ogling boobies here or there, but I have faith that something exists beyond what can be proven.

But I’ve been wrong before, haven’t I? (I mean, look at the way I’m dressed.)

Tangent: A few things brought this on, I think. Not the least of which is the fact that my relationship with Mortality has recently gone way past handholding, now that I have a young’n on the way. Might have been a recent conversation over beers (the drink, not the ex-room mate) about souls.

Also not the least of which (grammar!) is the whole Limbo thing. WTF, mate? (For those of you who haven’t heard, the church did away with the idea of Limbo recently. Turns out they weren’t getting enough converts in 3rd world nations where the infant death rate is high. We certainly can’t have a marketing tool that says the afterlife isn’t just peachy for everyone, baptized or no.)

So here we have a man-made organization somehow re-shuffling the ethereal Final Reward, bar-talk ending with “even still, how do you KNOW???”, and me procreating. Add to that school and whathaveyou and I guess nightmares aren’t exactly unexpected. End of Tangent.

Questioning faith doesn’t hurt it, I don’t think, so I’m not really worried. I know what I believe. Just because my subconscious wants to play the “what if?” game, that doesn’t necessarily make me agnostic. (Or does it? I just looked up agnosticism and damn, it might. Let’s call it “agnosticism lite”.)

Follow my logic:
Given: I know Heaven exists because of my faith.
Given: I, a mortal, am fallible. According to theologians, I was born so.
Therefore: My faith cannot be infallible. No matter how much I believe in my heart of hearts that I am wearing a green sweater right now, I know I have the ability to be wrong and therefore must accept the possibility that I might not be wearing a green sweater right now.

Bottom line, though – this doesn’t change much. I’m still not going to kill anyone and I’m still going to ogle the occasional booby. Beyond that, just hope for the best and remember that if I die a grandfather, surrounded by family, I’ve done okay.


Peter said...

I have fallible faith in your ability to count the words in your "one-word" argument.

Garvey said...

I was wondering if I should have worded that differently. I was talking about "Faith".

Esther said...

Are you stoned?

Garvey said...

Nope. Just a stressed law student.

GabsOSteel said...

i always though booby was spelled boobie. i guess i'm failable too. or fallible. damnit.

Peter said...

I agree with Gabby, because "boobie" is much more feminine. A "booby" is a kind of bird.