Friday, September 07, 2007

And the Cool Became Flesh, and Dwelt Among Us

Many people reject religion on the basis of a fundamental misunderstanding of it, which is easy to do, given the ucool way religion is depicted by its enemies in the liberal media and by our profane culture at large. If that were my only exposure to religion, I too would surely reject it. It took me many years to undo this pernicious influence, and even now I struggle with it from time to time. For example, believe it or not, I can still feel a slight hesitation in saying I am "religious" rather than "spiritual," or conservative as opposed to classical liberal.

I think one of the main reasons for this is that, just as, say, much of the Islamic world is a "shame culture," we in the United States have a "cool culture." To put it another way, we are terrified of appearing uncool. Uncoolness is a shameful state. There is no question that this is a powerful motivator. Indeed, many liberal stances can be comprehended on the basis that the adherent believes it would be uncool to believe otherwise. Gay marriage? Cool! The military? Uncool!! Environmentalism? Cool!!!

Back when I was a liberal, I basically adhered to the cool agenda. I thought the US and USSR were morally equivalent empires, that corporations were bad and greedy, that guns were evil, that capital punishment was murder, etc.

As far as I can tell, the coolness fetish began in the 1950s as an adolescent phenomenon, and then spread to the culture at large in the 1960s and '70s. By the time I was around ten or eleven years of age, I began to see that religion was very uncool and therefore to be rejected. The phenomenon of Christian rock is a very uncool attempt to make Christianity look cool. But Christianity is way cool already, if you know where to look.

A case in point is this editorial by Heather Mac Donald, a secular conservative woman who is very uncomfortable with what she perceives as the dominance of the conservative intellectual movement by the Christian right. You know, those uncool nerds like John Ashcroft:

“Upon leaving office in November 2004, Attorney General John Ashcroft thanked his staff for keeping the country safe since 9/11. But the real credit, he added, belonged to God. Ultimately, it was God’s solicitude for America that had prevented another attack on the homeland.

“Many conservatives hear such statements with a soothing sense of approbation. But others -- count me among them -- feel bewilderment, among much else. If God deserves thanks for fending off assaults on the United States after 9/11, why is he not also responsible for allowing the 2001 hijackings to happen in the first place?"

Being detached, skeptical and ironic is the essence of cooless, so it is understandable that the above approach to religion doesn't pass the coolness test: “Skeptical conservatives -- one of the Right’s less celebrated subcultures -- are conservatives because of their skepticism, not in spite of it. They ground their ideas in rational thinking and (nonreligious) moral argument. And the conservative movement is crippling itself by leaning too heavily on religion to the exclusion of these temperamentally compatible allies.”

You can see this battle in miniature, say, in the difference between an uncool conservative such as Sam Brownback and a cool one such as Giuliani. Interestingly, the cool liberal media are convinced that conservatives are way too uncool to vote for a cool guy like Giuliani. But at the same time, liberals are about to reject a cool black guy and nominate one of the most frigidly uncool women you could imagine. Go figure.

MacDonald provides a worthy and thoughtful critique, not at all like the angry and unsophisticated atheists of the secular left. Still, it seems that her only exposure to religion has been to the kooky and/or superficial kind, but it should go without saying that kookiness and superficiality are most certainly the norm in virtually all human endeavors. One might just as well reject music on the basis of the aural droppings that deafecate from the radio these days.

LIke many reasonable people, MacDonald seems to have the greatest difficulty in reconciling an omnipotent God with the existence of evil. For example,

“The father of Elizabeth Smart, the Salt Lake City girl abducted from her home in 2002, thanked God for answering the public’s prayers for her safe return.... But why did the prayers for five-year-old Samantha Runnion go unheeded when she was taken from her Southern California home in 2002 and later sexually assaulted and asphyxiated?”

But this simply highlights the incoherence of a particular religious view that reduces God to an omnipotent anthropomorphism. This is closer to the unsophisticated manner in which uncool Muslims view Allah, as “vertically” causing everything to happen on a moment by moment basis. I have heard many Christians of this temperament say words to the effect of “everything happens for a reason” -- i.e., God caused it -- which has never made any sense to me either. In my opinion, Mac Donald is correct to reject such an uncool view.

For my part, I am drawn to religion because it is a much deeper and more sophisticated metaphysic, and explains much more than any secular philosophy. It also illuminates cool dimensions of reality that will tend to go undetected or undeveloped in the absence of religion -- the holy, the sacred, the existence of grace, etc.

But the idea of an omnipotent personal God that answers to one’s beck and call seems to me fundamentally unchristian (and certainly un-vedantic). After all, in Christianity, God himself is crucified in history. What do you think that means, that God himself fully submits to history, to the relative, to the temporal, but is ultimately victorious over it? The whole point is that The Cool became uncool so that the uncool might become Cool.

As I have emphasized before, a merely mental understanding of God is entirely insufficient in my view. Anyone who reduces religion to a mere literalism has given the game away to the cool rationalism of the uncool ego.

In the past, I have attempted to discuss this dilemma in terms of the bi-modal logic of the mind. Our little surface ego moves and has its being in the bright and well-lit world of classical or Aristotelian logic. I will be the first to acknowledge that the world accessed by the ego represents a world. But by no means does it represent the world. Rather, the ego gives access to one plane of being. I won’t say it’s a low flying plane, because, as a psychologist, I am fully aware of how many people with weak and undeveloped egos fail to get off the ground due to various developmental issues and fixations. But it is an intermediate world, with degrees of being both above and below.

In the esoterist view, the planes above the ego are developmentally later but ontologically prior, and therefore more real. Every "below" in the cosmos is contained within a more expansive above, while, at the same time, the Absolute above is uncontainable and necessarily present “within” the below. To animals, the ego is clearly both “higher” and more inward. This is why dogs think humans are so cool.

But we must never forget that the epic story of cosmic evolution does not end with the ego’s exteriorization of its limited understanding -- its colonization of a small portion of consciousness. Think of the ego as analogous to a bright flood light in the dark. Wherever the light turns, there is an area of bright illumination. But we must not be fooled into believing that the foreground of illumination -- the little spot lit up by the ego -- is all there is to reality.

As Kant properly noted, the ego creates a world in the form of its own sensibility (the phenomenal world) and then takes it for the real world. Therefore, it is as if we dream a dream and then inhabit the dream as if it were real. The ego becomes thoroughly entangled in its own exteriorized and reified fantasies. This is what it means to be a fallen ego in a fallen world. The fall is both literal (i.e., vertical) and metaphorical.

With the scientific revolution in full force, Kant saw what was coming and was actually trying to rescue the cool realm of religion from the uncool predations of a cognitively greedy scientific rationalism. Since the ego ultimately has access only to its own phenomena, this left the infinitely greater reality of the noumenon untouched, unknown and unknowable. This is precisely where Kant erred, because in saying that the noumenon was unknowable, he essentially reduced religion to a mere uncool sentimental fideism. It would simply be a matter of time before it became wholly irrelevant to cool and "sophisticated” moderns.

Again, either religion embodies real knowledge that surpasses our egoic understanding, or it is simply an absurdity that is defiantly embraced by uncool people in the teeth of reason and logic. But if it does embody real knowledge, what kind of knowledge is it? Is it mere information, occupying the same horizontal plane as factual scientific information, like saying “water freezes at 32 degrees and Jesus walked on it,” or “the ribs enclose the chest cavity and women are made of one”? In my way of looking at things, this is a gross confusion that simply invites cool people not to take religion seriously.

Let us imagine that the totality of reality constitutes a vast field of consciousness. In navigating its dimensions and coordinates, there are two principle dangers. One involves being shipwrecked on the rocks of a rational but fixed and “frozen” mental conception that ultimately forecloses spiritual evolution. The ego stakes out its little piece of territory. It knows what it knows, and that’s all it wants to know. The vast majority of cultural and religious beliefs are of this variety. Some belief systems stake out a slightly wider area, but each, to one degree or another, places an arbitrary boundary around reality.

The other danger is to become lost at sea with no fixed coordinates at all. This is to be engulfed in the symmetrical unconscious with no bearings to guide one’s journey.

Religions are indeed fixed, and must be so. However, they are not fixed in order to reduce reality, but in order to navigate through it and ultimately to colonize more of it. They are not the destination, but the means of arriving there -- at one’s deustination.

Therefore, the question is not, strictly speaking, whether or not this or that dogma is true or false, in a narrow, purely egoic way. Dogma is critical for the same reason that a ship is -- not merely for the purpose of floating statically on the water, but moving through it.

As you x-seekers know, vaulting yourself off the virtual ramp of dogma and getting some sick air in hyperspace is very cool.


NoMo said...

"After all, in Christianity, God himself is crucified in history."

And, I would add, in Judaism - its just a matter of when.

There is no parallel in any other belief system to this concept. It is Ultimate.

BTW, Bob, it is a joy to meander through OCUG - spirit expanding, perspective enlightening (as well as a whole lot of fun). Thanks.

tsebring said...

"All Hail the Power of Miles Davis"....:D

Anonymous said...

As far as I can tell, the coolness fetish began in the 1950s as an adolescent phenomenon, and then spread to the culture at large in the 1960s and '70s.

Bob, this is due to Generational Dynamics, aka the Strauss-Howe Cycle.

It didn't "spread to the culture at large", those 1950s adolescents aged without ever growing up and BECAME the culture at large.

Gagdad Bob said...

When you think about it, in each presidential election since 1972, the "cooler" candidate has prevailed -- Carter over Ford, Reagan over Carter, Reagan over Mondale, Bush I over Dukakis (not that Bush was so cool, but Dukakis was so dreadfully uncool), Clinton over Bush, Clinton over Dole, Bush II over Gore (one must remember that this was before the robotic Gore reinvented himself as a cool environmentalist), and Bush II over the stiff and haughty, French-looking gigolo.

dilys said...

Wow, to use a typo Bob'sself coined, "ucool"!

This is the nub of the cultural issue, though in all fairness the practitioners and apologists for religion add a good dollop of distressingly unnecessary un-kewl (often by trying to be cool) to the whole process.

"Cool" as a standard for anything is probably part of the Aesthetic Fallacy, that the ultimate worth of something is determined based on partial aesthetic sensations rather than harmony of the Whole.

What I find true of religion is that, once one finds a remotely plausible gate and creeps sincerely in, wrapping her toes around the traction point of the beginner/intermediate lift-off platform-o'-practice, in aligning oneself (if it is an authentic path) there is limitless productive opportunity* for deep intellectual inquiry, humor, aspiration, irony, surreal juxtaposition, sublime simplicity, eros, rigorous standards, kindness, focus, generosity. And honest sorrow. We still get to play, it's just in a landscape that dimensionalizes itself out of Flatland into a different more inclusive cartography. And seems to point toward a destination where these good things become ever deeper, more satisfyingly congruent with how we are put together.

And the ironic adversarial onlooker may not be able to discern whether it's just a barrel of perduring propaganda. The evidentiary process is subtler and more algorithmic / sequential than many matters. So is the result.

*Caveat: There is also vast opportunity in religious contexts for all the same nonsense that happens in any other setting. The canny participant, though in a learning not superiority mode, cannot go limp and give over his priorities to anyone else.

Gagdad Bob said...

Likewise, if Thompson has a chance over Giuliani, it's because he comes across as pretty cool.

ximeze said...

dilys said:
"We still get to play, it's just in a landscape that dimensionalizes itself out of Flatland into a different more inclusive cartography. And seems to point toward a destination where these good things become ever deeper, more satisfyingly congruent with how we are put together."

Very, very cool.

Petey said...

"Leftists who are cool to the cruel are always cruel to the cool."

Joseph said...

Is that a prediction that Obama will win in 2008? Barack Rocks, or so they say.

I too, but for different reasons, get very uncomfortable with illogical religious tributes and such. I don't think it is uncool, just not rational for a particular order of things. Does God, for example help baseball teams win. Certainly the Cardinals, but never the Marlins. How then does one explain the Marlins winning a World Series? Also, was God helping Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa hit home runs? McGwire thought so, as I say him say so in an interview. Does that mean God asked him to take steroids? I believe in a God who rarely ever asks us to take steriods. Or, as Fletch once said, "I believe in a God who doesn't require major financing."

Sheae said...

The greed of gain has no time or limit to its capaciousness. Its one object is to produce and consume. It has pity neither for beautiful nature nor for living human beings. It is ruthlessly ready without a moment's hesitation to crush beauty and life out of them, molding them into money. ~
Rabindranath Tagore
greed Quotes

Beat Christian Hipster said...

Bob writes:

"The phenomenon of Christian rock is a very uncool attempt to make Christianity look cool."

Not the case. Christian rock is now defining pop music, not the other away around. Witness hits like POD's "I Feel So Alive" and McKee's "Undeniable." Started on K-Love, ended up everywhere. Or multi-platinum albums from Stained and Creed.

Christian Rock is where it's AT baby, didn't you know? It's not about appearances. It's all about singing "Glory, glory halleleujah, He reigns."

Get with it, Daddio. Don't be square.

Gagdad Bob said...

Tommy Lasorda once attended mass with the Reds' Manager, John McNamara, while on the road in Cincinnati. They both lit candles at the altar. Afterward, Lasorda told McNamara that he wanted to stay behind for an additional prayer. As soon as McNamara was out of sight, Lasorda blew out McNamara's candles.

Because of the strike-shortened season that year, the Dodgers ended up in first place despite having a worse record than the Reds, and ultimately won the World Series.

God works in mysterious ways.

will said...

Re: the term "cool". When did coldness become preferable to warmth?

On one hand, there is coolness under pressure, ie., keeping one's wits intact even as the material, fallen world batters away at one. So, in one sense, coolness could be interpreted as being a holy detachment, a mystical virtue. Getting overwrought about something? "Chill out," dude, don't let the world get to ya, become cool. Which is cool.

But of course, as we all know, mystical virtues as easily appropriated by those who have no real mystical insight and are thus are perverted into their polar opposites - something decidedly inhuman. The ape of God doing his thing again. In this case, cool becomes not detachment, but aloofness, cynicism, distancing from human emotion and sentiment. A mere smile becomes uncool. Traditional homespun virtues, Mom, apple pie, baseball, church are sneered at.

Maybe this could be boiled down to ape of God's appropriation and perversion of the Biblical concept of "becoming like "little children" in order to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. In one sense, becoming a child translates as entering a state of guileless, ego-less, open and creative innocence. But as perverted by the ape of God, the little child becomes the adolescent, approx. age 12-13, the age when children began to consciously rein in their emotions and their hitherto unrestrained public enthusiasms, this in favor of becoming socially acceptable - of being "cool" in effect.

joseph said...

Did Lasorda blow out the Cardinals candles at some point as well? They suffered the same fate that wierd year.
Also, God must also have channeled himself/herself (trying to be politically correct) through the first base umpire during the 1986 World Series to make the worst call in history.

Gagdad Bob said...

That call by Denkinger was without a doubt the worst call I've ever seen. But the worst called game has to be game 5 of the 1997 NLCS between Atlanta and Florida. Eric Gregg decided the strike zone was 27 inches instead of 17 that day.

joseph said...

Thanks be to God I missed that game. I boycotted baseball from 1994-1998 + the Marlins were playing.

maineman said...

"God must also have channeled himself/herself (trying to be politically correct) through the first base umpire during the 1986 World Series to make the worst call in history."

Of course, one must always take the long view when it comes to God, and especially to the relationship between God and baseball. To which all Red Sox fans can now attest, having watched every piece magically fall into place for the greatest reversal of fortune in sports history and its precise culmination under a blood red moon undergoing a total eclipse.

Bob F. said...

"The Cool became uncool so that the uncool might become Cool."

Cool, but be careful not to jump the shark.

cousin dupree said...

Fonzie jumped the shark way before he jumped the shark.

cousin dupree said...

Likewise, many things that appear uncool at the time are cool in hindsight: Buck Owens, Tom Jones, the Bee Gees, the Carpenters (at least certain songs).

NoMo said...

Now that's cool.


It's hip to be square?

Webutante said...

OK, let's see. Judging by the coolness factor, Thompson may just have it all over Giulianifor the nomination. I mean isn't having toddlers by a much younger second wife cooler than having an older third wife and angry adult grown children?

And where would Hillary and Bill with his sexophone fit in?

Well, I'm at least more optimistic through the conventions...

cosanostradamus said...

NoMo said, "Now that's cool. Yikes."

He gets a break cuz everything is reversed and backwards Down Under. He was behaving normally; everyone else was counterclockwise.

At least if I were Tony Snow, that's how I'd spin it, which is pretty cool in itself.

Smoov said...

This post is getting at something very profound in our culture. The saucy, irreligious default pose struck by your average young American just begs for someone like Bob to come along and upend it. I think it can be done, and I think the ideas that Bob is beginning to carve out here have legs on a much larger scale. There is already significant blowback against the "decade of the slut", especially in light of the announcement this week that suicide rates among American girls have skyrocketed recently.

Part of the reason OC works is because it is cool. What other "religious" site features extended riffs on great jazz, sports, and other cool topics too numerous to list.

What other religious site has such an entertaining security detail, or varied supporting cast?

OC is cool, Dude.

Smoov said...

What is considered uber-cool by the pretty young things these days?

Well, provides some clues. These people are agressively atheist--mocking conventional religion with their "flying spaghetti monster" alternative to god (leftists always spell it with a small "g"). This site is a mish-mash of modern urban cool sensibility. The strong flavors in this stew are:

- Childishness (obsession with toys)
- Irrevernce
- Sexual obession
- Leftist/socialist politics
- Aversion to intellectual property laws
- Obession with novelty for its own sake

There is a strong sense that one is dealing with adult versions of a rebellious and precocious 9-year old. From the constant stream of weird toys, crafts, gadgets to the hostility to religion and obsession with abnormal or unusal sexual practices--this site pretty much defines the gamut for the unserious, faux-sophisticated, pseudo-intellectual adult children that are legion in places like Berkeley, San Francisco, East Village, Picadilly Circus, Montparnasse, etc. etc.

They are playing at life, and it suprises me not that while they forcefully reject Christianity they have plenty of time for "cryptozoology" and other bizarre or borderline pursuits.

There they are: the cool set.

Still want to be cool?

dilys said...

"If Thompson has a chance over Giuliani, it's because he comes across as pretty cool." Is "cool" unruffledness? Or the panache, shiny-modernity, and yecch-free nature of the barely-relevant images (family; performance) we conjure up, as you describe them?

It's an interesting question whether the fact of the forum in which this discussion is taking place makes it "cooler" than a classroom, a parish hall, or any non-Romantic venue fatally associated with the absence of FunFunFun. How many environments and spokesmen are discredited for whimsical reasons? Or accredited?

Going back to Marshall McLuhan and "cool" media, we might notice the built-in chronological bias. By virtue of when we live and communicate, we're super-cool: combining two cool media [via the Web] into a new synthesized, multimediated experience...  hypermedia on the Web is "freezing" and 3-D. However, McLuhan reportedly reversed his Teilhardian fascination with electronic media, concluding it is "an unholy impostor,'a blatant manifestation of the Anti-Christ.' "

Rapport, even prestige, is one thing, a factor in communication and credibility on-the-ground. Cool is pernicious, the driver of the oblivious and mean-spirited tribal celebrity culture, and not just the easy-to-look-down-on, Paris Hilton celebrity culture. What in the world would Seraphim Rose or Schoen make of "cool"?

Elites have declared and congratulated themselves on a variety of covert social contracts involving reciprocal back-scratching in every culture. Jesus called the arrangement and by extension the standards that drive it bogus honor, militant against truth.

NoMo said...

Smoov - Sounds more like "The Lost Boys". Oh wait, they were vampires.

Hmmmm. That's a rich vein.

walt said...

When I last checked the comments this afternoon, Smoov had just left: "OC is cool, dude."

I thought: "Well, yeah, OC is cool, but I, personally, feel 'not-very-cool', uh, dude."

After his next post, and Dily's, I now feel "at home" in my un-coolness.

Smoov said...


We need to redefine cool.

Depravity mixed with juvenile insoucience has become exhausted. The Left has defined cool for several decades, and look where it has gotten us.

walt said...

Smoov -

I'm afraid it's not new. Just got the book that Bob suggested the other day about St Theophan. He has quite a passage about what passed for "cool people" in his day/culture 100 years ago; the mode and the bling has changed, but it's the same problem, and not just a modern one.

Yes, we must re-define "cool" because I just don't feel like I fit in!

NoMo said...

Walt - Nor will you ever "fit in" again. That's the beauty of it.

wv: zcwckuw (wv feels the same way)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"LIke many reasonable people, MacDonald seems to have the greatest difficulty in reconciling an omnipotent God with the existence of evil."

At the expense of understanding free will.

Apparently, she advocates giving up free will so that evil will not exist.

At least that is the conclusion of her shortsightedness.

Smoov said...

"Cool" -- or whatever you want to call it -- was far different 60 years ago, at least it was here in Canada, where young men signed up by the thousands to storm the beaches of Normandy. Canada was a God-fearing, church-going, family-centered country. It is practically the inverse of that now. Much of the US is indistinguishable (I often forget if I am Boston or Toronto--the Weltanshcauung is identical for the most part).

Susan Lee said...

Duke Ellington Live on, I think, the “I Love You Madly” tour , with “Satin Doll” playing in the background…..

“Thank you very much, Ladies & Gentlemen, you’re very beautiful, very sweet, very gracious, very generous…and…this is Satin Doll. . . we use it now for the purpose of giving background to this finger snapping bit . . .And you are all cordially invited to join the finger snapping…
Crazy!...I see I don’t have to tell you one never snaps one’s fingers on the beat. It’s considered aggressive. Don’t push it, just let it fall….
And if you’d like to be conservatively hip. . . at the same time tilt the left earlobe… establish a state of nonchalance…and if you’d like to be respectably cool, then tilt the left earlobe on the beat and snap the fingers on the afterbeat. . . and so by routining one’s fingersnapping and choreographing one’s earlobe tilting, one discovers that one can become as cool as one wishes to be.
With that we’d certainly want to thank you for the wonderfiul way you’ve inspired us… and remind you, you are very beautiful, very sweet, very gracious, very generous and we do love you madly- Je vous aime a la folie”

Voltron said...

THIS is Cool!

More here

Mizz E said...

I am too classical, not enough up-to-date in the interpretative branches of culture, and I can only plead the disadvantages of my education and a temperamental slothfulness that prevents me from doing the work to get cool.

Van said...

Something tells me we've been here before...
That's cool.

What's really interesting, is when Cool make their opposite cool again.

Think of the mid 70's and putting on a movie about an old guy to grow up and find religion and put his life on the line for what is right. Oh, and to really turn on the younger crowd, how about some a soundtrack of classical music...

Fez would snicker.

Enter the so-cool Darth Vader into the mix, and suddenly Heroes are cool once again.

It's an interesting Cosmos... come One, come all....

Van said...

Uhh... meant to say "Think of the mid 70's and putting on a movie about an old guy yeaching a young guy to grow up"

typoing is so uncool

Van said...

not yeaching, Teaching! TEACHING!!!

That cuts it.

I'm going to bed.

NoMo said...

Not bad, Voltron. not bad. But for serious cool, its hard to beat
Dr. Buckaroo Banzai.

wv: uijbb (Buckaroo be jammin')

NoMo said...

Not jammin'...yammin', YAMMIN'!

wv: ovtvnto (oh, yeah)

walt said...

Nomo -

Ha! Finally, someone (else) acknowledges Buckaroo Banzai! Never could figure out why there wasn't a string of sequels!

Insider's question: do you remember the momentary pause to look at the watermelon?

Voltron said...

I don't know nomo...

I like Buckaroo Banzai, but a bionically enhanced Sean Hannity, G. Gordon Liddy and Oliver North seems cooler in today's political climate.

Ricky Raccoon said...

Adult children – exactly. You should see the dress code here at this Looniversity. I’m talking about the so-called employed at this place. I don’t care what a person wears – but here is most certainly a dress code. Shorts, flip-flops, t-shirt, ball cap required. I saw this one frumpy guy the other day. I had to check for the propeller on the cap. He looked like Baby Huey. Why not wear your pajamas to work? Skip brushing your teeth too for that matter. They clearly want the bennies of being cool (nerds) but now they’ve just gone too far …and just look like little kids. Cat’s otta the bag.
I say make ‘em wear togas again :-)

NoMo said...

Walt - Absolutely. Just one of countless hilarious moments in this classic of all B's. The sequel was to be, "Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League"!

I still cross over to the 8th dimension on occasion and this is only one reason why...

walt said...

Nomo -

"Would a watermelon in the midst of a chase sequence not be, in its own organic way, emblematic of our entire misunderstood enterprise?"

Words to live by.

Anonymous said...

Bob - Regarding this portion of your post:

'I have heard many Christians of this temperament say words to the effect of “everything happens for a reason” -- i.e., God caused it -- which has never made any sense to me either.'

In my traditional Christian upbringing, the term "everything happens for a reason" did not mean "God caused it". Rather, it meant "God allowed it to happen (didn't stop it) because he has a plan" beyond what we can immediately understand.

John B

merlin wood said...

Sounds like you could imagine, gagdad bob, that if a truly scientific discovery was made that indicated that the cosmos did, after all, make enough sense from a human pont of view, no scientist would believe or wish to believe such a discovery.