11 January 2013

Where apologetics may falter

Andrew Wilson points to an article by Jeff Cook on why the New Atheists are winning the public battle despite being wrong.  Essentially, they appeal to emotion by employing ridicule rather than dealing with reason and truth. 

Cook wrote, “Blaise Pascal said, ‘Men despise religion. They hate it and are afraid it may be true. The cure for this is first to show that religion is not contrary to reason, but worthy of reverence and respect. Next make it attractive, make good men wish it were true, and then show that it is’ (Pensees 12).
“All too often (especially online) those of us who like arguing for Christian Theism jump to the end of Pascal’s list. We think we have wiz-bang arguments to offer. Unfortunately, we don’t have a worthy foundation for showcasing such arguments. We have not established that Christianity should be revered, nor that it is attractive, nor that it is worthy of affection. We prefer to pull out our five proofs for its 'truth' and argue our misguided interlocutors into the Kingdom cold. This is a mistake, for most of our audience see such arguments as power plays, as manipulation, as simply another advertisement out there trying to entice them to buy something."

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