Thursday, November 17, 2022

Witnesses In Every Generation

People often underestimate how much Christians of earlier generations were concerned about having evidence for Christianity and how much evidence they had access to. For example:

"if they [non-Christian Jews] had only been in their own land with that testimony of the Scriptures, and not every where, certainly the Church which is everywhere could not have had them as witnesses among all nations to the prophecies which were sent before concerning Christ." (Augustine, The City Of God, 18:46)

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Why is there such a hurry?

Near the end of my last post, I briefly discussed our culture's recent pattern of rapid changes on a series of moral issues. As the sexual revolution and other cultural developments have unfolded, we've seen major changes on moral issues (and other significant issues) happening with a lot of speed. In other contexts in life, that sort of pattern, or even one event without a pattern, would make us suspicious. Why does this man who wants you to sign some paperwork about a financial transaction keep pressuring you to do it sooner rather than later, insisting that you don't need more time to look into the details? Why is the used car salesman trying so hard to get you to buy the car so soon, and why is he so evasive in response to your questions? We consider it shameful to be misled by efforts to get us to make an overly quick decision in contexts like those. But an overly quick decision is even worse in the sort of moral context I referred to above. Yet, few people in our culture seem to have much of a sense of shame over how rapidly they've changed their positions on so many moral issues (and other significant issues) with so little justification.

It's predictable that the pattern will continue. Polyamory, incest, pedophilia, and other issues will become more prominent, and there will be an ongoing process of trying to get people to rapidly change their views without thinking much about it or doing much research. In the future, we ought to point out to people that they generally consider it shameful to behave that way in other contexts in life and that they ought to be more consistent by applying that sort of reasoning to these moral contexts as well.

For example, let's say somebody is undecided about something like abortion, same-sex marriage, transgenderism, or polyamory. He should take more time to research it rather than giving in to the pressure to change his mind too quickly. Getting people to take more time to think through these issues is good and will have a lot of positive short-term and long-term results. If we want somebody to not support a particular candidate or referendum or piece of legislation, for example, convincing him of our position isn't the only way to accomplish that objective. We can also accomplish it by persuading him to withhold his support until he's looked into the issue more.

I suspect one of the mistakes Republicans and others have made when issues like abortion and same-sex marriage are being evaluated by voters (and in non-voting contexts) is to neglect some of the options on the table. People ought to be pro-life on abortion, for example, but you don't have to convince somebody of a pro-life position in order to convince him to refrain from supporting a pro-choice referendum, piece of legislation, or whatever. Just convince him to withhold his support for either position (pro-life or pro-choice) until he's done more research. Sometimes it's appropriate to pressure people into making a binary choice. But we need to also be open to the possibility of trying to persuade people to refrain from supporting either side until they know more about the issue. To convince people to not support a pro-choice referendum, all you need to do is persuade them to hold off on adopting a pro-choice position. The large majority of people don't know much about subjects like the moral issues I've mentioned in this post. We should take advantage of that ignorance by reminding them of how hesitant they are when they're ignorant about something in other areas of life. And we should point out how the speed with which proponents of these new moral positions are trying to get people to make changes is suspicious, just as we're suspicious when people act that way in other contexts.

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Joe Rogan's Discussion With Matt Walsh About Same-Sex Marriage

I'm going by the video here. I know the discussion was lengthier than what's in the video just linked, but I've only seen some brief clips of the remainder of the discussion. I want to respond to the portion of the exchange in the video I linked, which has already gotten more than two million views. It's the portion of the discussion Rogan's YouTube channel chose to highlight. Walsh made a lot of good points, but I want to reinforce some of those and make some points of my own.