Tired Old Saws

At the risk of beating a dead horse, there’s one more point of interest I’d like to visit from my latest interaction with Pastor Chuck. During his latest ad hom, he said the following:

No matter which expert or scholar I bring into the equation of our discussions, you immediately presume to know more and immediately rush into a character-bashing mode.

Apparently it ticks him off that I seem to think I have all the answers.

I don’t have all the answers. And in fact, unlike Christians, I don’t even think I have all the answers. But you know what I do have the answers to?

Right. The experts and their assertions that he proffers. Does he, or anyone, really think I haven’t striven with these ideas in the past? Does anyone really think I didn’t already read and contend with these ideas? Does Pastor Chuck think he’s the first guy to drop this or that idea on the table?

Hell, the experts and the ideas on offer are things I used to believe, trust and say to other unbelievers for years! I already leaned on those ideas in trying to bolster and preserve my faith and found that those ideas broke under the strain of reason and rationality.

And I don’t jump into character bashing mode. I dispute and often refute the arguments presented because they don’t hold water. I dispute them with the arguments that knocked those ideas out of contention for me when I first had to truly deal with my doubts. Now I may speculate at the motivation of an individual to come up with an idea that is found wanting by the rational thinker. But that’s again because I experienced that motivation as a Christian myself.

For pete’s sake, you’d think Chuck and co. thought that I’d never even been to church before.

There’s been nothing new offered, which is why I contend. I’m sorry if Chuck or anyone wishes I would just accept what they say at face value. I’m not that sort of person. If you offer up an expert and his or her idea, and I’ve not only heard of it, but am able to refute it, then you need to get better arguments, or rethink your faith. Don’t treat me like this is my first rodeo. It’s not. I fought the battle already, and I fought it when I still believed my eternal destiny was at stake, which is far more significant than anything Chuck or anyone else could ever have at stake in this particular conversation.

I don’t presume to know more. What I know, I know. If you try to slip an idea past me, and I already know why it’s a bad idea, you’re going to hear it, direct and true.

There’s really not any other way to operate for me.

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10 thoughts on “Tired Old Saws

  1. “If…I’ve not only heard of it, but am able to refute it, then you need to get better arguments, or rethink your faith.”

    Outstanding. Unfortunately most people of fervent faith will continue to recycle the old saws rather than apply the sharp, painful examinations that you (and to a much lesser extent I) have performed . Well, give them an ‘A’ for economy…

  2. Let’s be self-aware here. We all have a tendency to sound as if we know it all (even you, and even me). My grandfather used to use the phrase “always positive, sometimes right” to describe the methods used by his in-laws in discussions. We can all come across heavy-handed when we think we are right. Simply because one has examined an idea in the past and found it lacking does not mean that said idea is forever and always unworthy of re-consideration. Just speaking of tone here, not debating the “rightness” of an idea. Thanks for listening.
    btw, as I read this post, I can see that I am sounding as if I know it all. Sorry about that. 🙂

    • I don’t disagree. We all express our ideas from a confident position, if the idea is something in which we’re confident. The important difference is that I’m more than willing to have my ideas challenged and tested. I have begged a number of my believing readers to treat my articles like a debate. Go point by point and provide actual evidence or logical argument that negates each one, or any one. I don’t get nearly enough of that. If I do, I’ll gladly capitulate. That has not happened yet.

      But I do appreciate your point, and the spirit in which you shared it 🙂

  3. “For pete’s sake, you’d think Chuck and co. thought that I’d never even been to church before.”

    Psst ive never been in a church ever… Its not a bad thing 😉

  4. “I fought the battle already, and I fought it when I still believed my eternal destiny was at stake, which is far more significant than anything Chuck or anyone else could ever have at stake in this particular conversation.”

    This is why theists don’t understand deconverts. They. Just. Don’t. The agony it is to lose god and what we thought was our salvation. We don’t lose those things without a terrible internal war…a war which they have no inkling of. They can’t see our scars and so assume we’re just ignorant. That’s a bad, bad assumption to make.

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