July 10, 2009

Christian Sophists

Delusion. It is the lifeblood of you Christian apologists, you sophists. Wherever you go, whatever you do—you live and breathe and have your very being in delusion. You, who are always talking about “objective truth.” You, who are always speaking of “rationality” and “open-mindedness.” Always “proving” this, always “demonstrating” that.

You fools! Haven’t you heard that Zeno proved motion impossible? Yet that hasn’t stopped your lunacy from traveling the globe, from seeping into every bookstore, every internet chat room.

You always see the glass as half-full, I’ll give you that. You can look at starving refugees huddling around fires, at bullet-ridden children dying in hospital beds. “But the cosmological argument,” you tell me, “haven’t you heard? A nifty little syllogism—irrefutable.” You can look at floods and tsunamis and Alzheimer’s patients. “But the design argument,” you tell me. “Two simple premises, clockmaker analogy—so easy even a child could get it.” You can turn on the Discovery Channel and watch the animal kingdom tear itself to shreds—sharks, cheetahs, even your precious lady bugs, always looking for their next victim. “The problem of evil?” you ask, your smile broadening. “The problem of evil? Hah, yet more proof for a loving creator! Haven’t you heard? Have a seat, let me buy you a cappuccino. Chocolate topping?”

Yes, you always see the glass as half-full. Even if there’s nothing in your glass at all! I’m reminded of a young man. Bates, I believe his name was. N. Bates. A pleasant-looking lad who continued hearing from his mother even after the corpse had been ripped from his boney fingers.

But you find your arguments so convincing. And your friends do, too. “Darwin?” you say. They erupt into laughter. “Natural selection?” More laughter. “Apes?” By now they’re in stitches.

But your arguments don’t change anyone’s mind. Sure, the guys at Bible Study think they’re just wonderful, but who doesn’t look at his child’s water-painting and get teary-eyed? Of course, tell them that the picture before them was done by the neighbor’s kid. See how touched they’ll be then.

But you find it all so comforting. Just utter the words “ontological argument” and you get all goose bumpy. And who am I to separate thumb-sucking Linus from his dirty blanket? Maybe I should just leave you and your sophistry alone.

After all, who am I to interfere? Who am I to point out that you’ve become entangled in your own web of illogic. Yes, the saints of yesteryear had their faith. Yes, the saints of yesteryear had their humility. But you, you evolved men, you with your sophisticated arguments, you with your intellects of steel. Maybe I should just let you alone. Just step back, let the naked emperor continue on his stroll.

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