John C. Wright considers the charge that Christianity is nothing more than a fairy tale:
There are those who call Christian faith a fairy tale. I assume such scoffers are not old and wise enough to believe in fairies.He is correct, though, to conclude that there is no better answer than the marshwiggle's. We choose the fairy tale regardless. And there is nothing in your moralities, nothing in your philosophies, nothing in your sciences that can provide one single legitimate reason to criticize that choice.
To them, I give the answer of that most excellent marshwiggle and insightful theologian, Puddleglum: Suppose my account is a fairy tale. Your account is not even that.
Let us contrast and compare the Christian fairy tale with the tale told by witches both white and green, both modern and ancient.
One modern account of the world consists of little more than saying “Life is a bitch, and then you die, and in the end nobody lives happily ever after. Entropy triumphs over all, a nightfall of endless darkness and infinite cold.”
Well, says I, if you actually believed your account, the wise thing to do is to swallow cold poison and jump into the sea: so the fact that you are still here hints that at some level you know your account is unsatisfactory: a poorly constructed story, pointless, plotless, and with a weak ending. It is not a tale at all, but a complaint.
Another account, this one with considerably more pedigree, says, “We are all just naked apes or meat machines: our souls are made of atoms blown together by the twelve winds with no more purpose and meaning than the shape of the sand dune: we are helpless and without free will, victims of blind evolutionary forces and blind historical forces. Atop the Holy Mountain no gods dance, and no burning bushes speak. Death is dreamless sleep and soft oblivion. Therefore let us eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. Entropy triumphs over all, a nightfall of endless darkness and infinite cold.”
This is a poor story: a tale of despair, a myth to justify hedonism.
A nobler version of this same account says, “Man is a rational animal, capable of moral reasoning, creativity, productiveness, love. Man is heroic. Therefore let us live rationally working with mind and heart and soul to produce such works of art and science as befits so dignified a creature: let each man to live for himself alone, a paragon of self-reliance each man in the solitary but invulnerable tower of his self-made soul, never demanding nor making any selfess sacrifice. Nor hopes nor fears of after-lives or nether-worlds need detain us: Therefore let us think, and work, and triumph, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. Entropy triumphs over all, a nightfall of endless darkness and infinite cold.”
This is a poor story: vanity, vainglory, and blindness to the pain and misery of life. The pretense that bad things never happen for no reason to good people is a very thin pretense: since the days of Job, we have all known better. This is a tale of vainglory.