One of the funniest things that I have found about the modern unbelieving movement is 1) their constant claim that we should have evidence before we believe anything, or 2) their often-heard pronouncement that sound arguments are needed to warrant holding a particular belief, or 3) their repeated sermons about following reason wherever it leads, or 4) their endless refrains about the fact that we have a duty to seek the truth no matter what the consequences of the truth may be, and so on and so forth, and yet the reason that I find all these claims and assertions humorous is not because I deny their value and worth as ideas–in fact, I wholeheartedly endorse them–but I find them humorous when coming from unbelievers and atheists precisely because they are coming from unbelievers and atheists themselves, and the reason that this fact is humorous is because in an ultimately purposeless and meaningless universe, as it would be on atheism, and at least when speaking objectively and in absolute terms, we have no “duty” or requirement to believe things on evidence, or on arguments, nor must we or “should” we, in some objective sense, endorse reason or seek the truth, for, on atheism, there is no purpose in this universe that makes us do so, and note that even if a consequentialist-type argument is made to try to convince us to endorse these things in a purposeless atheistic universe, that argument will only work if we care about the consequences in question, which is not always the case, and so, when the atheist and unbeliever is telling us that we should do all these things, he is, in essence, doing no more than subjectively emoting, and in a purposeless universe, his claim that we should believe true things rather than false things, or that we should follow the evidence rather than not, is about as convincing, and about as valuable, as him telling us that he likes chocolate ice cream over vanilla, and that we should like chocolate over vanilla too (and this, needless to say, is not a convincing argument); and perhaps the greatest irony of this whole issue is that it is only on something like the Christian worldview that believing truth, and following evidence, and using reason, ultimately and truly and objectively matters, for if God, who is Truth itself, exists and wants / requires all people to come to know of His existence and nature through the things that have been made, and also forbids us to lie–all of which is the case on Christian theism– then all these things mean that on something like Christian theism, we should follow the evidence of our senses, and we should believe true things over false things, and we should use our reason to discover God’s nature through the natural order, and so on, and thus it is the Christian who can objectively claim that we indeed have a duty and should follow the evidence where it leads, and seek and believe the truth, and have reasons for our beliefs, whereas all the atheist can do is advise us of his subjective preferences about these matters, and yet these subjective preferences can be as easily ignored as the atheist’s subjective preferences about ice cream, cars, and Barbie dolls.
Unbelievers often scoff and mock that Christians follow, as these unbelievers say, Bronze or Iron Age beliefs written down by ignorant peasants and superstitious persons thousands of years ago in a no longer relevant book called the Bible, and by using these pejorative and chronologically-snobby labels for the foundational of Christian belief, the unbelievers are obviously trying to imply that Christians are fools for holding to these antiquated ideas, but, in fact, the truth, in many cases, is the exact opposite of what such unbelievers believe, for the fact of the matter is this: in this present age, where 1) we have modern academics and “thinkers” telling us that men can become women by mere verbal fiat, and where 2) we have modern academics and “thinkers”, such as modern ethicists, endorsing infanticide and bestiality and incestuous marriage, and where 3) we have modern academic and “thinkers” telling us that something can come from nothing, or that language is meaningless, or that morality does not exist, or that consciousness and the self just illusions, or that there actually is such a thing as equality in the world between people, or any one of the other myriad of absurd and reality-denying claims made in the modern world today, then I tell you that, in many cases, I am more than happy, and I am more than rational, in preferring to believe the common-sense and time-tested wisdom of reality-hardened men from generations long past than I am in trusting some modern gender-studies professor or some “ethicist” who tells me that shagging sheep is A-OK; remember, truth does not respect chronology, and just because it is 2016 does not mean that we do not have many things insanely wrong, and it is for that reason that in many cases, I am more than happy and smart to embrace Bronze Age beliefs rather than wedding myself to the insanities of our present age.
Inspired by KIA…thank you, KIA!
Certain unbelievers like to claim that skepticism is the antithesis and opposite of faith, and thus the implication is that to have skepticism is not to have faith, but the problem is that not only is such a point of view philosophically uninformed, it is also, ultimately, backwards, for while it is true that a limited or selective skepticism might seem to remove “faith” from one’s beliefs, the fact is that real and unvarnished and genuine and universal and un-selective skepticism not only does not remove faith from one’s heart, but it actually shows us how we all ultimately rest ourselves and our most fundamental and unavoidable beliefs on faith, for, for example, skepticism shows us that (barring theism) there is no non-circular way to justify our trust in our reason, and thus our acceptance of the validity of our reason rests, ultimately, on faith, and so too is the same (barring theism) with taking the reliability of our cognitive faculties on faith, and so too, as the great skeptic Hume showed us, does (barring theism) our trust in induction–the basis of nearly all science–rest on faith, and so too does skepticism show us that (barring theism), our trust in the value of and use of such explanatory values as simplicity rest on faith, and so on and so forth; thus, not only is skepticism not the opposite of faith, but rather, barring theism, skepticism shows us that nearly all our beliefs–again, barring theism–rest on nothing but faith, and so, perhaps with a deep irony does skepticism teach us that the very people, namely unbelievers, who claim that their skepticism is the opposite of faith are actually about as mistaken as they can be, for when skepticism is coupled with unbelief, it shows that all the unbelievers most fundamental beliefs–trust in reason, reliability of cognitive faculties, truth of induction, use of explanatory virtues, etc.–rest, ultimately, on little more than faith…and so those unbelievers, often claiming to have the most skepticism and the least faith, actually hold a position that has the most faith, and they actually have the least skepticism, for they do not realize that their dependence on faith given their lack of skepticism (and it should be noted that perhaps a few readings of the genuine skeptics, rather than just the “I-call-myself-a-skeptic-but-am-nothing-more-than-a-standard-materialist / naturalist” would be assistive in this regard).
In this twentieth and sixteen year since the birth of our most just and merciful Lord, and in this time of the resurgence of militant jihad, there is a hard truth that must be heard by the many infantile, unserious, historically-ignorant, and culturally deluded left-leaning people in the West today: Know this, that though it may make you feel better, and though it may make you feel like you are actually doing something, and though it may make you feel that your unreal beliefs still somehow align with reality, the fact is that in the face of yet another Islamist jihad attack, starting 1) a “hashtag”, or 2) singing Lennon’s “Imagine” while holding hands, or 3) printing emotion-laden cartoons, or 4) laying flowers at sites of carnage, or 5) endlessly repeating “Diversity is our strength!”, or 6) intoning like a mantra that Islam is a “religion of peace”, or 7) lighting up buildings in the colors of countries where death has just been wrought, or 8) crying little an infant, or 9) yelling that “This has nothing to do with Islam”, or 10) virtue-signalling that you are worried about some never-materializing right-wing backlash, accomplishes ABSOLUTELY ^$&*# NOTHING IN THE REAL WORLD, and doing this won’t protect you or your loved ones from the next attack, and it won’t stop the next Islamist jihadist attack, and it won’t make the Islam jihadists think twice about committing their next attack, and it won’t magically transform 1400-years of Islamic offensive aggression against the West, and it won’t change Islam itself either…so these “feel-good” virtue-signalling actions are ultimately worthless and empty and pathetic gestures of an unserious people which are clear symptom of the liberal West’s mental sickness, and this fact should wake you and ever other leftist in the West out of their self-induced suicidal slumber.
Though I have said it before, and I will likely say it again, and though transforming this simple truism from mere mental knowledge to an actually lived-out truth took years of contemplation and practice, I tell you all (especially those of a currently younger bend who have not yet experienced the years of life fly by), that the most important and precious finite resource that you have–the MOST important and precious resource–is not money, or looks, or health, but rather, it is time, for time, unlike money, or looks, or health, or so many others things, is the one thing which, once lost, can never be recovered, and time is the one thing that is required to regain all others as well (for you need time to become wealthy, or healthy, or smart), and so, if there is one thing that no one–at least no one who fears his accounting before God–should waste is time; now, the way not to waste time is to, quite simply, avoid doing useless and trivial things–and note that there is a difference between genuine relaxation and sloth–for as even men of great renown and deep experience, such as ancient samurai Miyamoto Musashi, have said, the way to success and achievement is to “do nothing which is of no use”, for to do that which is indeed of no use is not only folly, but it is also a sin most foul…and so, listen to this hard-won wisdom: guard your time zealously, for only by doing so can you both succeed at your life’s task and stand before God without the stain of sloth upon your chest.
Look, the fact of the matter is that Islam may or may not be true, but whether it is or not (and it is not, but that is a different story), the further fact of the matter is that history lays waste to the assertion that Islam is a “Religion of Peace”, for the truth is that for its approximately 1400 year history, and right up to the present day, and wherever Muslims had some larger numbers of men and material with a human population, Islam has been at war along its borders with non-Muslims of every stripe–essentially, Islam has bloody borders–and these wars have, as often as not, and in fact more often than not, been expansionist and offensive in nature, and even in the cases where some of these wars were “defensive” in nature, the wars themselves had earlier been spurned on and instigated by past Muslim aggression (the Crusades fit this category), and the further fact is that such vast expansionist aggression was not earlier seen in Arab pagans or Christians, and so the main unifying theme motivating this aggression was Islam and, of course, the earthly plunder that Islam allows its warriors to have; so again, whether it is ultimately true or not as an overall religion, for the sake of historical and contemporary truth, we need to stop saying that Islam is a religion of peace, for its record does, quite frankly, contradict such a claim to the ‘nth’ degree.
As an apologist, it is critical to remember that ultimately, ultimately, you must always be seen as striving to speak the truth, and if, to do so, that means that you must come across as rude, or condescending, or arrogant, or superior, or haughty, or aggressive, or offensive, or bigoted, or “phobic”, or even all of the above, remember that your approach, and the perception of your approach, must always be secondary to speaking the truth; now, of course, whenever possible, you should strive to initially speak with gentleness, respect, courtesy, and cordiality, and this should be an obvious given, but if push-comes-to-shove, and if there is no other way to speak the truth than with verbal violence and vitriol, then it is indeed better to be seen speaking the truth in the vilest of fashions than to be seen as an individual who sounds sweet, but who ultimately spews out nothing more than agreeable and face-saving falsehoods…so speak truth and all else, ultimately, be damned!