What position will we take in the game? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
We’re continuing our look at Edward Castronova’s book Life Is A Game and looking at how games are lived out. He writes that if he saw a Buddhist who was drunk, he would not criticize his devotion to his teacher, but he would question how seriously he took his teaching. After all, Buddhism does say a lot about self-control.
The same could be said about Christians, naturally, and yet this is something that needs to be kept in mind. When non-Christians want to bash Christianity because they see Christians living inconsistent lives, such as being heavily promiscuous, then that doesn’t say anything about Christianity. It says something about that particular “Christian.” (The person could really be fooling themselves into thinking they are a Christian.) If you see a Buddhist not living out his Buddhism, then that tells you nothing about Buddhism. It tells you a lot about the Buddhist.
When we choose a worldview, we are choosing how we play the game. We are choosing a position that we think best describes the game that has been created. When you play a real video game, you could debate what kind of worldview it exists in. Not all will be screaming something, as it could be hard to tell what worldview Tetris could be in, but what about a series like Final Fantasy? In this world, it is taken as perfectly “natural” that gods, magic, and stupendous beasts exist. Also often in these games, that good and evil exist is a given.
As a gamer also, I never really got bothered by the problem of evil which is brought up. Evil is something that since it is in the game often provides something for us to rise above, for us to conquer. If you’re a fan of mysteries, you understand this also. You read wanting to know who the bad guy is and in the end, how he gets tracked down and stopped.
This is not to say that evil is good, but we do realize it as a challenge for us all and we need a good worldview to conquer evil. Not only that, we need a good worldview to tell us that evil is real and that the fight is winnable. Somehow, many of us do have that idea that it is winnable.
If you read a book and in the end, the bad guys win and that’s it, it seems like there is a problem with the book. Somehow, we anticipate that no matter what is going on, the good guys will win. There can be a hint of anxiety in us at times watching a show or movie or playing a game and wondering “Will this last-ditch effort really work?” It does, and we are relieved, but not always surprised.
So in conclusion at this part, what do we learn? We learn that to defeat evil, we need a worldview that can be lived fairly consistently at least, as humans tend to fail to some degree at everything and that includes our worldview. We also need a worldview that tells us that evil is a reality and explains its place in our world. Finally, we need one that can show us that evil can be defeated and there is hope.
We’ll discuss more next time.
(And I affirm the virgin birth)