Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Further notes on the argument from desire

What the argument does is point to desires within us that cannot be fulfilled in this world but may be fulfilled in a future life. It isn't a desire for God per se at all, it is just that it is doomed to permanent frustration if this is the only life and there is not God. A person might be strongly affected by this desire and at the same time say that an everalsting heavenly life is not appealing. C. S. Lewis himself described himself as the most reluctant convert in all England. The satisfaction of this desire within us comes at a price, we must admit that we are not the supreme beings, we must acknowledge the moral authority of our creator, we must submit to having our characters fundamentally altered in order to enjoy a life in heaven.

You have to admit that typical Christian descriptions of the future life are not especially appealing. Now Islamic accounts, that's another matter! But the Christian idea is that literal descriptions of heaven don't come anywhere near to capturing how good it is supposed to be, nor should we expect them to.

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