. . . then heaven is a joke, and so is this life, and there is no ultimate justice, hence no God.
Mobster Frank Calabrese Sr. has died in prison. Good riddance. I read the book by his son, Frank Jr. and came away impressed by him for courageously 'ratting out' his father: family loyalty is a value, but there are higher loyalties.
Frank Calabrese Jr. told the Sun-Times on Wednesday that that violent history made his father's death especially emotional.
"I believe he was taken on Christmas Day for a reason," he said. "I hope he made peace. I hope he's up above looking down on us. ... He's not suffering anymore. The people on the street aren't suffering anymore."
With all due respect to Frank Jr., this is just morally obtuse. For it implies that how we live here below makes no difference to the ultimate outcome. It makes no difference whether one lives the life of a brutal murderer or the life of an Edith Stein or a Simone Weil. But then there is no justice, and this life is even more absurd than it would be were there no God or afterlife at all. The reality of the moral point of view cannot have the divine underpinning it needs unless God is the guarantor of justice. The following exchange between Drury and Wittgenstein is apropos:
DRURY: I had been reading Origen before. Origen taught that at the end of time here would be a final restitution of all things. That even Satan and the fallen angels would be restored to their former glory. This was a conception that appealed to me -- but it was at once condemned as heretical.
WITTGENSTEIN: Of course it was rejected. It would make nonsense of everything else. If what we do now is to make no difference in the end, then all the seriousness of life is done away with. Your religious ideas have always seemed to me more Greek than biblical. Whereas my thoughts are one hundred per cent Hebraic.
(Recollections of Wittgenstein, ed. Rhees, Oxford 1984, p. 161.)
What I like about Wittgenstein is that he was one serious man.