The Delusional Mind at Work

People are chiming in against me and reveling in it. At last, "we've got him," they chant as they raise their glasses and sing songs to Jesus. "He's blatantly wrong, ignorantly wrong, palpably wrong, utterly wrong, completely wrong," they chant on into the night. What am I wrong about? That the Christian Middle Ages were the "Dark Ages." I pretty much stand by what I wrote, but here's what some are concluding from my being wrong:

1) I'm ignorant about everything.
2) This is indicative of how I go about researching things.
3) I'll grab anything I can to debunk Christianity, even if it's false.
4) This is an example of why believers cannot take me seriously.
5) You can't trust me with any facts.

This is delusional thinking. If you want to see ignorance then this is clearly it. All of these conclusions are non-sequiturs, even if I am wrong. Who in their right mind would conclude these things when anyone else gets something wrong? Just me, I guess.

There's more. This is a blog. It's not a peer-reviewed journal. I write things and test them against what other more informed people might have to say. From this exchange I learn. I hope others learn from it. And people can make up their own minds from it.

On this blog there are almost 3100 posts, not all by me. I write about God, the Old and New Testaments, the history of the church, and the the universe. I use the disciplines of science, philosophy, theology, apologetics, Biblical exegesis, psychology, and so forth, to provoke discussion and argue against Christianity. In case you wonder, I am not an expert in everything. I never claimed to be. No one is. So I already know I will be wrong from time to time. The odds alone tell me this. But I do think I know a great many things in these areas. The only way for me not to show my ignorance about some things would be for me not to write much at all. But I like writing. It's fun. And I learn by doing so especially when corrected. What exactly is wrong with that? If I'm wrong correct me.

In a chapter by Jason Long for The Christian Delusion he predicts this is what takes place among delusional people. If they can catch us making a weak argument and if Christians can show that argument wrong, then they falsely conclude that the stronger arguments that they cannot answer must be wrong too. But that too is a non-sequitur. For a weak argument should reinforce the stronger arguments, not be an excuse to dismiss them.

How much must I know in order to reject any given religion? How much do Christians know about Islam or Christian Science or the Moonies for them to reject the many other religions out there? I dare say most Christians know next to nothing about other religions. So why must it be different for me when it comes to rejecting Christianity? My Outsider Test for Faith is all a person needs to reject religions, and it doesn't require gaining a Ph.D. in each one of them to do this. All it takes is a healthy consistent non-double standard skepticism applied across the boards. When you apply that same skepticism to your own inherited religion that's all it takes to reject it.

Is salvation really dependent on being informed such that only the informed can be saved? Then Evangelical Christianity has elements of Gnosticism in it after all! I can now see why Gnosticism could easily pull in believers. "We know the secret truths that only the enlightened can know which leads to salvation." If being informed leads to salvation then what about the uninformed? Is salvation dependent on becoming knowledgeable?..that only the educated can be saved? But didn't Jesus come for the weak, the babes, the downtrodden? And how much knowledge must someone have to be saved? What about a one toothed unshaven smelly hillbilly who believes in Jesus but is clearly uniformed about him and the Christian faith? Does he know enough information to be saved? Are Ph.D.'s more likely to be saved? Well, then, Ph.D.'s in which branch of Christianity? One branch calls the other one ignorant too, you know.

Ignorance. We all have this disease. All of us. In a couple of books I've reviewed here, psychologists even say we are not all that rational. But knowing this must not stop us from speaking and writing that which we know. Life and learning are a process. So live and learn.

But this delusional thinking is just that, delusional.