Tuesday, June 10, 2008

So far, the closest I am to reaching my ambition of writing intelligent things in a blog, is writing about intelligent things that other people have said.

For example:
Matt was talking about atheists. He has this friend who has given him the impression that the scholastic atheist community tends to be 1) literary men who dabble in many sciences, 2) highly evangelical. He has been listening to tapes and lectures his friends has been touting. Chris also let me read a few lines from an atheist apologist and.... well... from these two vague sources (which I deem intelligent and, am thus, remarking on); it seems to me that we are talking of apples and oranges. Am I wrong to think that these apologists tend to disprove mythologies?
It seems to me that the process of apologetics is one that goes about taking belief systems and running them through a reasonable or empirical logic to see how they fair in light of the scientific method. It's bit of the problem of "apples and oranges". I'm not sure that mythology or religious folklore was ever considered science (although it can be more highly valued).
More over, why do Christians choose to participate in this arena? I once, very enthusiastically, considered an apologetics degree from Biola. I went to their introductory courses during which they simultaneously advertised the [necessity of the discipline for the Churches and to the benefit of all Christians], but also that "one cannot argue someone to Christ." But... I mean... this is exactly what most Christians will do when given the tools to build an argument. The term "apologist" itself is very deceiving.
I understand that we are called to "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have", but I think it is hard to maintain an attitude of "gentleness and respect" (to finish off the 1 Peter 15 verse) when one deliberately enters an arena of debate. In true debate, both parties offer of their perspectives for judgement, to be tested and found or not found wanting. One of my favorite quotes from the book Yellow, by Frank Wu, is the definition of a debate:
“A debate is a spectacle, with its angry slogans and rhetorical ticks... A debate channels participants into its format of diametrically opposed pro and con viewpoints. Mutual concessions and reconciliation would represent a defeat for each and be a disappointment to the audience. Spectators at a debate root for their chosen cause or assume a passive role...” I think there are few more things in Scripture to warn us against such actions.

And my brain just stopped. I... need coffee. I'm done.

"Everyone is an atheist, you just believe in one more god than I do." - Richard Dawkins
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