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Why are my friends Christians?

(Text as at 08/09/2007 16:55:12)

(For earlier versions of this Note, see the table at the end)


As all your closest friends are Christians, then why is it that you tend to gel towards these, rather than your fellow atheists!

I presume this is a response to a rather unguarded comment, in the second paragraph of the beginning blog1 entry, that “my wife and most of my dearest friends are committed Christians”.

This is accounted for partly as something of a historical accident, and partly as a symptom of my comparative intellectual and moral seriousness.

It’s a contingent fact that your lifelong friends are acquired in your youth, at the time when you were working out the way to conduct your life and first start trying to implement you own projects. This coincided with my “Christian” period.

As it happens, geography and changed circumstances had separated me from all but one of my University friends, but recently I’ve arranged a monthly reunion. I did meet up with one of these friends on a regular basis after I became a Christian – he was always interested in what was happening in “the Sect”, but had no interest in “spiritual things”, though we discussed Christianity at length. I think he found it all rather amusing.

I have occasionally been able to talk about serious things to work colleagues, but this is a very rare privilege, and few are on the same wavelength. Besides, it’s difficult to find a suitable venue for quiet discussion in a non-inebriated state.

Prior to studying philosophy, I got to know a large number of people in Mensa and ISPE, though seldom face-to-face. We had a lot of earnest discussion by email, but people interacted with in such manner are hardly friends.

At Birkbeck I’ve met a number of interesting and intelligent people, a few of whom could be described as friends. However, I’ve found that most treat philosophy as an educational opportunity, or as some sort of mental stimulation, rather than as a dangerous life-changing activity that exposes your most deeply-held beliefs to critical scrutiny. Most seem to stop at cataloguing and analysing other people’s ideas without thinking themselves able to make a personal contribution to the subject.

As for Christians, there are very few to whom I’ve ever been able to talk on matters that concerned or interested me. I tend to be seeking answers where they haven’t even got questions. However, I’ve had some Christian friends with whom I’ve been able to interact on a psychological level, and from whom I’ve learnt much.



Previous Version of this Note:

Date Length Title
06/09/2007 00:14:24 471 Why are my friends Christians?



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08/09/2007 16:55:12 None available Sylvia's Questions

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