As a follow up to the thoughts posted yesterday, the Witt once jotted down some notes on his personal religious orientation while leaving Norway to see to his family’s needs before the outbreak of WWII. Monk recounts the event:
On the ship to Bergen Wittgenstein wrote of Christ’s Resurrection and of what inclined even him to believe in it. If Christ did not rise from the dead, he reasoned, then he decomposed in the grave like any other man. ‘He is dead and decomposed.‘ He had to repeat and underline the thought to appreciate its awfulness. For if that were the case, then Christ was a teacher like any other, ‘and can no longer help; and once more we are orphaned and alone. So we have to content ourselves with wisdom and speculation.’ And if that is all we have, then: ‘We are in a sort of hell where we can do nothing but dream, roofed in, as it were, and cut off from heaven.’ If he wanted to be saved, to be redeemed, then wisdom was not enough; he needed faith.
In the posthumously published Culture and Value, Wittgenstein elaborates on the nature of religious belief:
And faith is faith in what is needed by my heart, my soul, not my speculative intelligence. For it is my soul with its passions, as it were with its flesh and blood, that has to be saved, not my abstract mind. Perhaps we can say: Only love can believe the Resurrection… What combats doubt is, as it were, redemption. Holding fast to this mus be holding fast to that belief. So what that means is: first you must be redeemed and hold on to your redemption – then you will see that you are holding fast to this belief. So this can come about only if you no longer rest your weight on the earth but suspend yourself from heaven. Then everything will be different and it will be ‘no wonder’ if you can do things that you cannot do now. (A man who is suspended looks the same as one who is standing, but the interplay of forces within him is nevertheless quite different, so that he can act quite different than can a standing man.)