I don’t care if you believe the moon is a cookie, but you damn well better be able to argue why.

I apologize for my hiatus. I have been taking some time to work on my inner self, to reflect, and to begin to come to terms with where I am in life right now. I have found some blessings in my pursuit, so it definitely wasn’t all in vain. Now I have a lot on my mind to write about. I guess it works out in the end. 

But something has been really bothering me today. Mainly, that so many people my age these days (actually people of all ages) cannot think or argue as to why they believe something. I took an intro to philosophy class this past summer, and our teacher began a discussion about whether or not gay marriage was acceptable. Now, before people become afraid as to what I will say, my answer is that it is acceptable. This guy sitting behind me copped an attitude and said “No, it’s not right.” When I questioned him as to why his reply was simply “Because.” 

I was not aware that a conjunction was a reasonable answer to an argument. 

When did we begin to stop using our heads to come up with intelligent comments? It’s not even a matter of being right and wrong here. It is about using logic to come up with reasonable propositions to back up your argument. 

I do not care if you think that the world is actually a freaking rectangle! As long as you can back up the reasons why. I know that some people attempt to come up with an argument that involves words other than “Just ‘cuz” or some other unintelligent muttering. Brownie points for at least using your brain. After that, however, the common sense a lot of the time, stops. And mostly it’s because other people do not understand how to respect others when debating. 

First of all, if you want me to take you seriously. Do not call me names or make fun of me for my beliefs. I’ll just tune you out and probably make fun of you to my friends at a later date. It is a respect thing. I am respecting you enough to engage in a conversation with you. You only reduce how smart you sound when you resort to using this as the basis for your argument. In fact, it only makes it seem as though you have nothing beneficial to say, so you just resort to name-calling because you can’t come up with anything and hate to sound wrong. It isn’t that you have to accept defeat if you feel threatened, just explain you have something to think about and walk away. No name calling needed. 

Secondly, do not use weak analogies to back up your beliefs. What I’m saying is, if you try to argue that all freshman flunk at least one class in college, don’t try to claim this is so because you have a friend that did. If you want to argue politics, don’t use facts from a side that is faithful in using propaganda to propel their ideas. Instead, try to use the most unbiased source. 

I guess, what I really hope is that people will understand how offensive it is to others who enjoy debates when they fail to try to be useful in their strategies to prove they are right. It isn’t even a matter of who is right or wrong, it is how you defend that. I don’t think there is one path in life to all things. I’m open to listening to most any idea. But have good reasons. I once had someone say they believed in cheating, which I almost laughed in response to. But then they argued for it, and gave good reasons as to why. And I couldn’t laugh anymore. I could disagree, tell others that it wasn’t for me, but she stood up for what she believed in a positive manner. 

We wonder why the world is full of religious hate and intolerance, yet we teach our children to believe as we do, without any attempt to explain to them why we believe what we believe and then give them the opportunity to make up their own mind after that. We are too afraid they will choose another path, so instead of giving them the tools to properly defend themselves, we give them guns to attack others with (metaphorically and literally speaking) and hope they pick the right targets to aim their aggression at. Then we don’t understand why a kid at school got knocked in the teeth for being gay, but hey, we taught them it’s okay “just ‘cuz”. 

So let’s talk things out. Let’s think about them before we publicly bash others for their opinions. And let’s stop being up in arms because we are being challenged to use our brains. If you don’t want me to ask why you believe something, don’t say it. Silence is golden anyways. 

After all, if we don’t know WHY we believe something, how can we even know what we are believing is right for us? 

Advertisements

Why Bible tracts are extraordinarily offensive and insulting to Christians part 2

I promise, I was planning on completing this final part of this blog tomorrow. But the combination of too many thoughts running through my mind and my husband snoring like the world will end any moment now, is not conducive to a good night sleep at the moment. I can usually sleep through his snoring, if I’m nearly passed out when he starts. Tonight, no so much.

Anyways, I wanted to focus on why Bible tracts fail to make much of an impact, based on their contents.

Now, I understand that most versions of tracts want to remain simple. This cuts down on paper, someone is more likely to read a smaller pamphlet, and you don’t really have to be super smart to understand the bullet points. However, the pamphlet I found today, made the attempt to use reason and logic as to why one should accept Jesus as their Savior. They failed miserably.

I know that I am not always the majority, but I do believe there are many people out there who will say that if you want to argue a point, at least attempt to come up with intelligent and nearly sound arguments. Otherwise, I simply don’t even want to bother trying to figure out what you mean and how it could possibly make sense in your head. It is not that I’m trying to judge you, but I have over time developed a strong passion for debates. Civil ones, but debates nonetheless. I am willing to listen to and hear out your different opinions if you are willing to not personally attack me and sound like a complete moron who does not know how to logically come up with conclusive arguments for your side. Even if those two things don’t happen, I’m cool enough I’ll probably listen anyways, and then when I get home just bash my head against the wall and wonder where you learned to argue.

Back on track here.

I am lucky enough to have taken a philosophy of religions class that really got my gears going regarding formulating arguments. I had a good idea, but with religion it can be difficult to decipher where to begin sometimes because everything is cyclical reasoning to an extent. I attempted to give this pamphlet the benefit that for the convenience of space, time, and understanding of their audience that they wanted to make their reasoning simple. And while I get that, I beg to differ that they succeeded in attracting an audience dying to finish reading if they even started in the first place.

This is the tract I picked up from work today

The three witnesses they try to claim prove the existence of a God are:

  1. the universe and life itself
  2. the word of God–written and living
  3. conscience and moral law

The first two points are sort of valid.

I do think there might be a case for creation of man indicating that there is a God. However, science has fought with this for centuries, and maybe if you are trying to convince me that there is God, this point should not be put in there for length and common sense. I say this because evolution could have been used by God (in my opinion), but we’ll never know. Trying to convince someone who is a non-believer to have faith does not begin with attempting to make them believe the world they live in was made by someone. Though this could be argued for. So, while this argument is more sound (a little more waterproof) than the last one, it is not an amazing one.

The second point is a little more logical than the first. If the statistics are true, it is difficult to think that a book that has no supernatural abilities throughout human life could have had so many prophetic signs come true. I will let this one slide, even though again I find it tough to convince someone stout in their beliefs that a man rose from the dead. We debated stuff like this in my philosophy class this semester and I’m pretty sure some people there were making fun of me behind my back because they felt the Christian viewpoint held no water whatsoever. Whatever, I can choose what to believe.

The third argument the tract tried to explain is pathetic at best, to be honest. It states at the top of this section that. “Every man knows in his heart that it is wrong to murder, it is wrong to steal, it’s wrong to lie, and it’s wrong to have another man’s wife.” Wait, really? Do they? EVERY man? It goes on to attempt to claim that because every man knows this God exists. So basically, because I don’t murder someone there is a Supreme Being. It holds no water. If maybe they had attempted to use some sort of logic to word that statement better I would not have laughed myself all the way home today after reading that. The paragraph after that quote states that God is the ultimate judge and He will judge you for your sins. Yep, nice try but you’ve now shut down at least half of your audience because they don’t want to follow someone who smacks them every time they make a mistake. Most people are aware that if there is a God, he is a judge. They know that if there is one, they will probably be punished for their poor actions. Therefore, there is no need to include in a tract that is attempting to save someone’s soul the fact that we should accept God because of moral reasoning and our sins. That’s called promoting fire insurance, and it does not promote a true and genuine relationship with God. When people attempt to convince others to believe in God solely on the fact of their sins, they might begin to believe they are not worthy of His love (and while we really aren’t, we are in a sense, because even if only one person existed in this world, He would have still died for us).

I guess all I’m trying to say in this post is, that if you decide you must write or pass out tracts, make sure it is one that’s contents speak volumes logically.

The last thing I wanted to comment on is the last page of the tract that started listing quotes from other faiths and why they were invalid. I found that offensive. I know why they did it, and what the intention was, but you will not turn a crowd to listen if you are slamming their faith. I know this opinion is not going to be the popular vote here, but I am very much a person who believes in coexisting with others. We wonder why there are religious wars all over the place, yet we are not even willing to get along with others unless they are converts of our faith. I will save my entire rant on this for another post another time, as I do intend to write a post about why religion is such a scary war force.

Just please, consider the way we argue, and how we word things to those we know do not believe. Love them instead. Let God work to speak in their lives, and leave the convincing to Him.