Tuesday, March 02, 2010

One For The Minister



From Charles Colson's book - The Faith:

The gentleman seated next to me greeted me with a blunt warning that he was an atheist. I looked at him for a moment - graying temples, a wise expression, handsomely attired - the very image of a community leader. I told him I was glad to sit next to him because "I've never really met an atheist."

As his eyebrows arched, I explained, "An atheist believes the existence of God can be disproved. So please, tell me how you've done that."

He looked momentarily uncomfortable. "Well, perhaps I should say I'm an agnostic."

"When did you give up studying about God?" I asked.

Now his neck began to redden. He admitted he'd really never tried.

"But an agnostic is one who says he doesn't think God can be known, and you can only be an agnostic if you've tried to know Him and exhausted the search." I'm not sure even now what made me so bold, but I added, "So I would say that while you appear to be a very educated person, you've made and unsupportable statement."

Not surprisingly, he was offended and rather quiet for the rest of the evening.

Some weeks later I received a copy of the editorial page of the state's largest newspaper. It turned out my dinner companion was the publisher. His lead editorial was an explanation of how my visit had affected his view of life, how religion was indeed an important element of all our lives and something we needed to pursue. What struck the publisher was that his own point of view proved unsupportable. (p36-37)

Though I went to a Catholic high school and have attended mass for most of my 35 years here on this overheated Earth....I really never studied religion, even my own, until very recently. (Recall last year I read the Bible cover-to-cover for the first time.)

Now everyone has to make their own path through life, but I submit that if someone wants to pontificate on religion, or irreligion, then they owe it to Mother Logic, and to themselves, to make of point of researching ALL OF THEM: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, tree-worship, wealth-worship,...

Put them all side by side and dig up the classical arguments. Any faith that asserts the perch of *truth* ought to be unafraid of mere intellectual debate, no? And I'd take that a step further and say that such a claimant ought to actively pursue such dialogue. (Al Gore is an enthusiastic *debater*, right?)

Of course, no one is obligated to undertake such an endeavor. I'm just saying....that I, personally, would never like to be smacked down and Marginalized at a dinner like that. If one is going to assert to be something, they ought to at least have a dictionary-level understanding of the label.

3 comments:

paul mitchell said...

Nicely played.

Anonymous said...

So did you study "ALL OF THEM: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, tree-worship, wealth-worship"

i would say agnosticism is itself a religion. (it would be, if it had a pope, church, mass, etc - all worshipping symbolic agnosticism-symbol/philosophy , maybe a circle or inverted cross?).

i mean, why cant somebody make same dinner table argument against any religion as was made against agnosticism, as mentioned in blog post.

Anonymous said...

Colson's propaganda is clever. But still nonsense. Do I need to disprove the Man in the Moon just because some cultist dreamed up the idea that such a deity exists?

Thanks for marginalizing Colson, he definitely qualifies as a moron.