Monday, July 16, 2018

Sometimes ignorance is bliss

Apostates are a funny breed. So many people who deconvert from Christianity have the same zeal as converts to Christianity, even though apostates have nothing to offer up but the maggoty corpse of atheism. Yet they are spoiling for a fight. They start picking fights with Christian relatives. They surf the net to pick fights with Christian bloggers. Yet all they have to offer up is the maggoty corpse of atheism.

Apostates think they've discovered the truth, and they act as if enlightenment is necessarily better than ignorance. But that's a thoughtless perspective. Consider the ethical dilemma of predictive genetic testing. Some people are ticking time bombs. They suffer from a genetic defect that will eventuate in a catastrophic, incurable illness. 

The dilemma is that they may have many good years ahead of them before the disease begins to manifest itself. They may be healthy and asymptotic for many years. 

But if they receive the diagnosis ahead of time, that ruins the good years. Unlike animals, humans are future-oriented. If they receive that dire diagnosis and prognosis, then that casts a shadow of dread over the healthy years. 

If they waited until symptoms appeared before seeking a diagnosis, that would still be devastating, but at a later stage of life. They'd still have had the full benefit of the good years. 

So there are situations in which ignorance is bliss. Situations where ignorance is better than enlightenment. Some people commit suicide after they are diagnosed with a degenerative condition because they can't face that hideous prospect. It will go from bad to worse. Not coincidentally, Christians have emotional resources to cope with a dire prognosis which unbelievers lack. 

A dire prognosis is fatalistic–like an oracle of doom. Suppose the oracle says you will burn alive. But it doesn't say when or where that will happen, so you don't know what not to do to avoid it. If you were doomed but didn't know it, you'd only suffer the actual outcome, but if you have advance knowledge, then your life cursed with foreboding. You can't forget what awaits you. It's always hovering in the back for your mind. You suffer all the way up to the fateful day, in fearful expectation. 

If a professing Christian loses his faith, the intelligent response isn't to leave church, argue with Christian friends, bone up on atheism. The intelligent response is to stay in church, continue to pray, have others pray for you, continue to read the Bible, devotional material, and Christian apologists–because that's the only hope you've got. 


  1. I don’t suspect they think they’ve discovered the truth. Of course I could be wrong, but my hunch is that guys like Gary and Barker crusade as they do because they’re insecure. Realizing that if they’re wrong they’ll be worse off for crusading than had they quietly rejected the faith, their chips are all in. It’s as though they’re saying to God, “I’m willing to believe but none of your followers can refute me. So, how can you find fault with me when your followers have no rational reason to follow you.” In other words, I think there’s a twtsted psychological conundrum from which they cannot extricate themselves.

  2. During my apostasy I was an anti-theist, and I was so because I was angry.

  3. Seeing my ex-wife lose her faith has been one of greatest trials of my life.