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Main Page From Hell to Heaven RBLUM-34 Chapter

From Hell to Heaven

Chapter 34 - Robert’s notion of faith and the right worship of God

1. Says Robert: “Friend, You drive me crazy! Hearken, if what I believe is not faith, then you can pull of my head, and I will still not be able to say what one is to regard as true faith.

2. “Mere thinking surely is not faith! And just looking, hearing and touching even less so? Besides knowing and infallible perception by the senses however I don’t know what else man could take in as a capacity to recognise and judge; and if knowing, seeing, hearing, tasting and feeling is called faith, then what is that which I called believing until now?

3. “To me, believing means to regard something as true, so far as it does not gainsay the law of pure reason, even where a dogma cannot be proven like a mathematical axiom. If however they can do even that, then that is the necessary end of faith, just as hope, as the daughter of faith, ceases when the object of hope has been fulfilled!

4. “Hence, by faith I cannot imagine anything other than the ready acceptance of dogmas and historical dates, so long as they can be proven to reason. Should this not be called faith, then I would love to know what faith should be.

5. “You did indeed a few times speak to Your disciples about the miraculous power of faith – where you spoke of moving mountains, which however they probably did not understand any better by a hair’s breath than I do. Do You therefore mean such unreal faith? Then of course my own faith would be anything but that. Because my faith would not have moved even the smallest grain of sand, let alone a mountain!

6. “Well, listen, my little friend! Could I have achieved such faith on Earth, then the good Windischgräz would have fared badly. This one I would have moved quite amazingly! Oh, to move mountains just by faith is indeed a grandiose thought – but only a thought, unfortunately!

7. “Paul’s dogma to prove everything and retain the good I have indeed made my motto. And to be perfect, even as God our Father is perfect (even if nowhere as perfect as He is) was always the motivating force of all my efforts; but what did I achieve therewith? My present condition answers it.

8. “Nor do You seem to have a sun under Your own feet yet. I mean: Your miraculous faith has yielded no golden mountain for either You or me! But who knows what is yet to come!

9. “If I quite willingly assume for instance that You are the Son of the living God, or perchance the highest diving Being Itself (provided You demand such assumption) then I simply believe it because my reason finds at least no logical impossibility in it. This is because of Your most pertinent clarification about the Deity, remaining the real Deity, unhindered in its action, notwithstanding Its assuming a form visible to Its being. But if I were to receive tangible proofs of Your being what I know merely believe, then believing in any case ceases, with experience taking its place.

10. “Of course You could say now: ‘Behold, all true believers bow their knees at the speaking of My name, worshipping Me.’. If therefore you say that you believe I am the Deity Itself, why don’t you do as all the true believers do?

11. “This retort is indeed noteworthy. But this reverential attribute towards the Deity I regard as a kind of feeble-mindedness, the shortcomings of reason being paired to a certain fanaticism.

12. “If You were to be the real Deity, You would have to agree, of You would have to be an ambitious and most feeble Deity, to be laughed at rather than worshipped! I know however that You were never troubled by such weaknesses, whether You are God or not. Wherefore I am not prostrated upon my knees before You yet, knowing only too well that such human feeble-mindedness would offend You.

13. “I would therefore not do so even if convinced that You really are the Deity, because I cannot presume that a most wise Deity is addicted to being worshipped. Such holy joy would seem senseless and extremely foolish even if rendered to myself – a mediocre thinker.

14. “I regard only the conscientious keeping of God’s commandments as God-pleasing worship. For this is called for God’s eternal order, without which no creature is thinkable. Everything over that belongs to the kingdom of blind paganism!

15. “I often admired and praised Your rebuke of the shameful Jewish honouring with the lips. In contrast I think Paul’s ‘pray without ceasing’ as the greatest donkey business, - provided Paul meant a mere pious babbling with the lips, which I doubt from the usually wise Paul.

16. “I therefore now believe that You are God, or at least a true Son of God, something You Yourself counselled those people who keep God’s commandments and hence love Him above all. – I am firmly determined to do whatever You wisely ask of me. But if You ask for knee-bending and rosary prayer of me then be assured I shall never do so, and that because I regard this as offending rather than honouring Your supremely dear name! Tell me once more whether you are satisfied with my explanation?”

Main Page From Hell to Heaven RBLUM-34 Chapter