Thursday, June 04, 2009

Worldviews and Sanity

I was looking on a list of my favorite writers and I couldn't help but grin a little as I noted something that I was well aware of. Some of my favorite writers didn't share my worldview at all. This is most notably true of HP Lovecraft and David Lindsay. Why do I enjoy the writing of people so opposed to my worldview?

The answer is simple. Both men were honest about what their worldview meant to themselves and humanity at large.

Lovecraft had a personal philosophy of Now all my tales are based on the fundamental premise that common human laws and interests and emotions have no validity or significance in the vast cosmos-at-large. He also once wrote The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind. He took his atheism to its logical conclusion, that life was futile and hopeless and died a madman at the age of 47. Now to be honest, his writing is often poor and weak but his stories themselves . . . thank God there is no truth to them.

David Lindsay was a Maltheist, ie one who believes that God's intentions are not in mankind's best interest. As I wrote before his biggest problem was that he was a man in his 40s and 50s but his understanding of the Christian God was similar to that of a five year olds; his theology never advanced beyond the child's prayer God is great, God is good so he couldn't understand how a good God created a world where evil is so powerful. What is sad is that in many ways he was so close to the truth, but refusing to advance another inch may have cost him everything. It did cost him his sanity.

You look at the writing of some Atheists, such as Ayn Rand and wonder why they bother. Their bland optimism is without rational foundation. If there is no God then there really is no hope for us as individuals, a species or even a universe. You can wrap yourself in drugs to forget it, or stop thinking about while you tend to your own garden (Voltaire - who was technically a Deist but is considered a hero to many materialists) or go mad (as did so many, such as Neitzche).


Blogger Z said...

I don't know how you managed to cover such a huge subject so succinctly, meaningfully and inspirationally.

but, you did. that's for sure :0)

5:40 AM  
Blogger christian soldier said...

I agree w/ Z--

9:46 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

I don't enjoy reading works by authors who don't share my world view, Shoprat, just like I don't enjoy watching movies that push a liberal agenda, but after reading this post I think perhaps I should. Perhaps it would better help me understand exactly why we're in the mess we're in.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Ducky's here said...

He also once wrote The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind.

God, forgive my little jokes on thee,
and I'll forgive your great big one on me.

--- Robert Frost

2:12 PM  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I am not familiar with David Lindsay's work -- fiction or non-fiction? What titles has he authored? Why is his writing considerable?


4:02 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

David Lindsay was a Scottish writer who totally failed as a writer when he was alive, but after he died people began to discover his work and, like Vincent Van Gogh, he is considered an eccentric genius whose talent was recognized until after he died.

Here is a site dedicated to the man and his work.

7:20 PM  
Blogger Donald Douglas said...

Interesting thoughts, Shoprat. May I suggest another of your post on Obama's postmodern Cairo tour. I think we're just now finally seeing the real Obama, although conservatives knew what was coming all along.

10:03 AM  
Blogger Z said...

did you all hear Obama, though corrected soundly for having misspoken about America being one of the biggest muslim countries yesterday has said it AGAIN to the French press TODAY?
I wonder if our press will divulge that..Mr. Z read it in Le Figaro.
Is this THE most tone deaf admin. we've EVER had? He just DOES....because HE IS THE ONE.

12:56 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...


I like reading Steinbeck because every time I read his depressing worldview, I get cheered up because my little world is so much better.

8:06 PM  
Blogger Larry Durham said...

My guilty pleasure would have to be Kurt Vonnegut. Player Piano and Sirens of Titan to name a couple.

10:56 PM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

I had never heard the word "Maltheist" before but I now realize that I once knew one. Needless to say he was completely miserable and insane.

10:48 PM  

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