By David Russell.
Welcome back to the Union blog. I hope everyone is enjoying the new spring season. On my end it has been crazy. With house projects and family time, I haven’t been into that much on the writing side.
In this article I am going to examine something that has been bothering me. You have seen it throughout my blogs. That is the assault on truth. I have learned that when a person can’t dispute the truth and logic of a claim they quickly begin to dispute truth itself. In today’s society, and maybe throughout mans history, people have the hardest time accepting truth. This doesn’t just apply to the God debate, but simple truths as well. We live in an age of pure conjecture and one line quips.
Recently, I engaged in a debate about the world without religion. Where the same old adage was claimed. They argued that religion is responsible for, basically, all the wars and conflicts man has faced. Is that true? Check this out,
Moreover, the chief complaint against religion — that it is history’s prime instigator of intergroup conflict — does not withstand scrutiny. Religious issues motivate only a small minority of recorded wars. The Encyclopedia of Wars surveyed 1,763 violent conflicts across history; only 123 (7 percent) were religious. A BBC-sponsored “God and War” audit, which evaluated major conflicts over 3,500 years and rated them on a 0-to-5 scale for religious motivation (Punic Wars = 0, Crusades = 5), found that more than 60 percent had no religious motivation. Less than 7 percent earned a rating greater than 3. There was little religious motivation for the internecine Russian and Chinese conflicts or the world wars responsible for history’s most lethal century of international bloodshed.
So, what leads to this kind of conjecture? Is it a lack of evidence? Is it the fault of internet MEME’s? No, its the fault of those not wanting do the homework and settling for the status quo.
In response to this data, all I got was; “you have your beliefs and I have mine.” Shocked, at the out right dismissal of evidence and the blood shed of the last century by the hands of the anti religious, all I could do was shake my head. Belief has nothing to do with it. As Ben Shapiro puts it “facts don’t care about your feelings.” So true when it comes to truth. The sad notion is that even with truth staring us in the eye for some reason it is rejected. Why?
Sometimes TRUTH isn’t fashionable. Sometimes truth is unaccepted because it isn’t pretty. Pascal says it best, “People almost invariably arrive at their beliefs not on the basis of proof but on the basis of what they find attractive.” In today’s Post Truth America, people would rather believe the skin of the truth stuffed with a big lie. This explains the data that the Barna Group collected in 2015 and 2017. In 2015, they found that a large number of people believe that truth is something felt, not something known. In 2017, they found that people, one-third of Americans, didn’t trust anything but their own instincts. This goes far in the way of saying “Ignorance is bliss. It expounds on the notion that people would rather believe the lie than except the truth. With truth regarded as relative people fixate on what feels good or sounds good. Who wouldn’t? But as Aldous Huxley so eloquently said, “Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.”
Sometimes TRUTH isn’t what “MOMMA said,” or claimed. Sometimes what we have been taught isn’t how things actually are. Some people will cling onto things passed down by family they really respect, even if untrue. This is seen across an American church culture. We have a right to the freedom of religion, which means we deal with the good and the bad of that position. People can start a church, in this country, with only blind faith.
These are just a few ideas I encounter on a normal basis. The most alarming issue I found in the Barna study are those that never thought about it. Among the trend of this post-truth culture, I am finding the numbers of the unthinking rising. This is frightening, and as an Apologist, hard to tackle. If we don’t even give thought to the nature of truth, how could we possibly build a better reality?
I think as the goal of an Apologist we must build relationships and include apologetic’s in our evangelism. I also think we have to listen more than we talk. People need to know how much you care before caring for how much you may know. Wisdom, knowledge, and character all need to be present when engaging with people. This also works towards presenting your case because you can then formulate questions and guide the conversation. So, stay encouraged and keep putting stones in peoples shoes.