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Law Bob Esq.

Google bomb eh? Well to be honest the only reason I know this site exists is because I once googled for "Pop Christianity."

Intellectual responsibility is a good thing, though, I'm not sure at this time how to explain that I wish to be intellectually honest and responsible while embracing a faith that reason did not and cannot lead me to.

(Because hey, if reason could lead you to faith, it wouldn't be faith, would it?)

Any suggestions?

Leighton

Sadly, Google's databases (as well as those of most search engines) don't discriminate on the basis of capitalization; further, Google in particular tends to rank repeating phrases lower than if the phrase appears just once (so if you said "Rotten Apples rotten apples" you'd be a little less likely to appear on a search for rotten apples).

Intellectual responsibility is a good thing, though, I'm not sure at this time how to explain that I wish to be intellectually honest and responsible while embracing a faith that reason did not and cannot lead me to.

The intellectual irresponsibility of (say) STR and RTB comes in when they claim--or strongly imply without giving explicit disclaimers--that faith proper can be discovered, preserved, explored and/or adequately defended by doing nothing other than reasoning. The problem isn't holding to things non-rationally (as distinguished from irrationally); everyone does that. It's when you try to convince people that you can take reason farther than it actually goes that the question of dishonesty comes up.

There's also the socially irresponsible insinuation that if you start from scratch and use nothing other than pure reason, you'll arrive at their version of orthodox evangelical Christianity as sure as 3 + 3 = 6. (Lutherans need not apply; I first learned of "On the Jews and Their Lies" from STR fans, and though I very much doubt that the depravity of Martin Luther is an official STR position, they tend to be more non-denom than traditional Protestant.) I tend to think of this as a bigger concern than fudging evidence, as it tends to exacerbate the problem of subcultural isolation among the membership.

My (albeit very limited) experience with STR acolytes in college was that they're a group of well-mannered, very decent, caring people who are honestly and deeply puzzled at why anyone on the face of the earth could conceive of disagreeing with them. I think a satisfactory explanation is that they get their information about what others think from STR and related groups rather than from the living, breathing people themselves, but it doesn't do much good to point this out.

Monk-in-Training

Well, after reading that 60 second Theodicy, all of a sudden my wife dying in my arms, my brother's cancer, a friend's child born with a horrible genetic issue, and a mother and her four children killed in a car accident on the way to school all just smooth out, and things are just DANDY! ARGH, why can't people admit that some problems take depth and engagment?

Laura

My favorite part is at the end where he concludes that the question of suffering can only be raised by a theist. So what he is saying is that if you have questions about character (in this case, the character of God), you should get more involved to find your answers. That's good advice. I have a boyfriend who gets really angry for no reason. He throws things a lot and tends to be insanely jealous. I think he might be a wifebeater. I guess I'll marry him and see. The question of his character can only be raised by someone who is committed to him.

Adam

Leighton,
Thanks for the tip, I just deleted the extra phrases. Hopefully I will here something from someone. If they can even get past the curse words.

I don't think that I have ever heard of STR before yesterday. I have always hated Apologetics ever since I started studying Philosophy and have heard of Norm Geisler and the like, but never STR. I sometimes feel bad for having such ill feelings toward well-intentioned people. But well-intentioned people have done plenty of terrible things in the past. So that makes me okay with it.

McKormick

Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see where your Google bomb was. You need to create a link with a normal title that points to the wrong place.

ie, George Bush. When if thousands of people make this link with this title, then google will index 'george bush' with the associated bombed link. When people search for George Bush, the top result will be www.hell.com rather than what George bush may have intended.

Otherwise.... I'm not sure what I think about modern apologetics, nor where that study fits into my life anymore. I want to say 'let the Holy Spirit convict and convince' but that seems like a bit of a cop out; even though i think i believe it.

maryellen

Now, now Mr. Heretic, I think in your anger you have given way to some rather gross generalizations about us
conservative Christians...or is that just your way of not waging war against us???
When we come face to face, do we start throwing punches, or walk away in disgust, or sit down and have a drink together and look for some common ground. Sounds like we both pretty much hate evil right?

Laura

I find it interesting that the word heretic, in its strictest definition (and let's be honest, what other definition is there besides the strictest?), refers to someone who has an incorrect belief about Christ. I find it equally interesting that Adam (a.k.a. Mr. Heretic) didn't say anything about Christ in the above article. He did mention Christians and Christianity but I think we've all been around Christians and Christianity enough to know that those things have nothing to do with Christ. So, I'm unclear on why he is a heretic except that I suspect that it has something to do with a word's descent from concrete meaning to emotive meaning.

Scott Jones

They rob the religious experience of all its mystery! They fundamentally don't get it.

Leighton

I think Adam posts as "The Heretic" at other sites (outchurched maybe? I don't remember), kinda like how I usually post as Resident Atheist on Greg's blog out of habit. Dunno if that's where her usage comes from, though.

zalm

Heh. I didn't even realize that was Adam on the other sites. I'm sure that doesn't reflect too highly on my powers of observation.

Adam

McK,
Thanks for the tip. I didn't know I needed to do that. I will create a link to Stand to Reason that links to my blog. I knew I should have paid more attention in my computer class.

Laura,
Leighton is right. I use the name "The Heretic" on other sites as a pin name when I don't feel like using my name. I think that is what Mary Ellen was referring to.

Mary Ellen,
Again, my intention is not to offend you but to be honest, just about every interraction I've had with consevative christians has turned out to be a negative one. There is no dialoguing with them. They are so hell bent on being right that they will start condescending and treating you like a child to discredit anything that you have to say. What I say here is a bit reactionary, and I probably should be more constructive with my words. However, I have irreconcilable issues with the American Conservative Christian Ideology. I find it to be fear and shame driven which leads to prejudice hate and manipulation. So I will do what I can to stay away from it and deconstruct it whenever possible. And NO, I'm not waging war against you, I'm simply not that excited about continually being made out to be "The Other".

maryellen

PAX
I really do enjoy reading your point of view, and in many cases I have to agree. I'm not actually offended. And I am sorry that you have had so many negitive experiences with my type. I think I fall under the label of American, Conservative Christian but fear, shame and hate are not elements in my self or in my realtionship with Christ.

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