I have been crystallizing my thinking on what I want to achieve with this blog. So I have decided for purely political :)) reasons to put those ideas into a new post rather than into a comment. I am also going to explain in a second post today a little about the family situation that is causing some problems with how much time I can devote to my writing.
So what AM I trying to accomplish here?
Well, to answer that I need to respond to some of the comments I referred to above. Not to the specific comments but to the type of argument used in those comments. I’m sure that this type of argument has a fancy name, but what it is I do not recall offhand and it’s really not important anyway.
The type of argument I am talking about is very common in religious and political debates. These arguments are where the one side makes assumptions that the other side then challenges. In trying to prove the validity of these assumptions, the first side – the assumer – uses those challenged assumptions to try to prove the validity of those assumptions or uses authorities who are working from the same assumptions to prove the validity of those assumptions.
Religious apologists too often assume the validity of their particular doctrines without really ever proving its validity.
Just because someone believes something to be true does not make it true, even religious doctrine, as the history of the Church has proven over and over again. BTW, if you are not familiar with apologetics, a branch of theology, read this article.
Apologetics is what apologists do.
Now I do accept the existence of God. That is my starting point. We need to make that assumption because God’s existence cannnot be proven. It is a matter of faith, but IMHO, it is the only matter of faith. Everything else needs some sort of proof.
What qualifies as proof is open for discussion and has been such in Western philosophy for millennia. I do not think we need to rehash that discussion here. Let’s just say I am open to pretty much any type of proof, other than faith alone.
I am NOT an apologist. I do critical theology. Please do not assume you know what I mean by critical. Click this link please and read the article
As I said, I accept the existence of God. What I do NOT accept without proof is any religion’s dogmatic definition of God, especially claims of exclusivity. Yet that is exactly what most Christian apologists claim and their arguments for this exclusivity already assume that exclusivity. And using authorities who make the same assumption is not a valid proof in my book. If you use authority proofs and yes. that does include Scripture, then be prepared to have the assumptions of that authority challenged.
That is not apostasy or even heresy. It is merely good critical thinking! I forget who said it, maybe Emerson, but someone once said that a life without reflection (critical thinking) is a life not worth living. Yet so many of us go through life without ever challenging the assumptions we make about religion, politics, and life itself.
So, what I am doing here is sharing my own reflections on religion, politics, and life in general to help you on your own path of reflection. I have no desire to convert anyone”s beliefs. All I want is for each of you to think critically about what you believe, especially before trying to convert someone else to your beliefs. If your beliefs stand up to some serious critical analysis, then perhaps your efforts at conversion (apologetics) will bear more fruit.