The Sin of Curiosity
The curious hate what they do not know with “anxious hatred,” wanting to reduce the number of unknowns to zero, to extinguish them. Curiosity wants new knowledge or intimacy with something so it can use that knowledge to control and dominate. — Nathaniel Petersin his article
The Sin of Curiosity
While bouncing around in my FedEx truck the other day, listening to an interview, I was seized by the idea that curiosity can be a sin. I had never before thought of curiosity as a sin. Reflecting on our current age the author of the article linked above writes, “We are prompted and guided to distraction, coaxed into desiring things we never thought we needed or needed to know.” He suggests that curiosity might be the “besetting sin of our time” and then observes, “Such a statement seems absurd, or perhaps it belongs to a more legalistic period of Christian life that modern believers have happily outgrown.”
The reason we may be tempted to think that way is because, Peters writes, “schools and responsible parents encourage it, and our economy rewards it.” I would add that the internet — especially the more “social” aspects of this revolutionary technology — is hard wired to exploit the sin of curiosity.
Nathaniel Peters offers the insight, “Earlier Christians recognized that the desire for knowledge is not necessarily pure.”
I am so thankful for the effect of Christian theology on my life. If God had not knocked me off the academic path I was on in my early twenties I might have become a professor. My wife sometimes laments that I didn’t take that path. God threw me out of academe into politics after I acquired my undergraduate degree in philosophy and religion. In His wisdom he decided to add real world politics to religion and philosophy. I am not especially credentialed in any of the three, but I remain fascinated by all of them. In my short 58 years I have acquired more personal experience than I have book learning or scholarship.
One of Christianity’s greatest theologians, St. Augustine, distinguished curiosity from studiousness. According to Peters Augustine taught, “The studious are prompted by a love of what they know.” Other Christian thinkers described studiousness as, “An eager and rightly ordered pursuit of the truth.” A disordered or sinful curiosity must always take ownership of new knowledge, the more novel the better.
It is important for all of us to think behind the “trusted sources” of news and authority in the West. It has been obvious to me for a few decades that an institution that is willing to force sodomy on children is not to be trusted. Our government is using force. So called mainstream churches are complicit. Leading the way is the current hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church under Pope Francis.
The West enjoyed a bit of a respite from the relentless enforcement of the sexual revolution under Popes John Paul II and Benedict. Francis has returned the Church to it’s posture of complicity with the agenda of “progressives” in the West.
They are losing. And the internet is the major force in their way. Ironically, in the hands of Godless progressives, it also holds the most promise for becoming the axe that will finally sever God the Father’s head from his body. I don’t think that is going to happen. As Dr. E. Michael Jones says so helpfully in the title of his just released 700 page book, Logos is rising.
As we continue to inform ourselves using the internet it is critical that we avoid the sin of curiosity, and push toward becoming studious. We must exercise extreme caution when using the internet for anything social — gaming, Fakebook, entertainment. When we are using it for study we must pray that God will give us the mental strength to focus like a laser beam on what it is we are studying. The internet is a distraction machine. The most brilliant and capable engineers of slot machines have been relied upon for the design of the most highly trafficked platforms.
We must think prayerfully, logically and reasonably when we are considering any serious matter.
It is a good practice to look with a jaundiced eye at anything the once trustworthy sources like the NYTimes, Washington Post, the alphabet networks and anything tied to government or Western megacorporations are promoting.
The absolute best thing a Christian can do is pray. As a newly-minted Catholic I am seriously studying and practicing the sacramental life. I want what is good, true and beautiful more than I want anything else. Jesus Christ is good, true and beautiful. I want all of Him.
Children are innocent and beautiful. Marriage and family life are fundamental. God is obviously not happy with our disordered priorities. It is time to repent, and love our families. The only way to get started for the Christian is to worship God as a Father. Non-Christians might choose to get started by applying their dogma of tolerance to Christians instead of just their favorite basket of deplorables.