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Featured Is Defense of the Gospel a Legitimate Activity?

Discussion in 'General Religious Debates' started by thomas t, Feb 23, 2021.

  1. thomas t

    thomas t non-denominational Christian

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    I'd like to ask all atheists of this board... do you consider this a legitimate activity?
    Or do you think it is lying?

    The Defense of the Gospel is usually called apologetics.
     
  2. aketo

    aketo Member

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    Defense of any opinion is legitimate.
     
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  3. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि
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    I'm a transtheist, but I'm still compelled to offer my thoughts here.

    If you believe it's the truth, defending the Gospel isn't lying. But I think unless someone is actively attacking your Gospel, I think defending it from a position that doesn't require defense is a colossal waste of time and energy.
     
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  4. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि
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    What if no one is actively attacking or opposing it?
     
  5. Altfish

    Altfish Veteran Member

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    No problem with it.'

    BUT I'd rather it not be taught as fact in schools.
     
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  6. SigurdReginson

    SigurdReginson Well-Known Member
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    Eh... I find apologetics tiresome as an activity. It feels to me like an exercise in mental gymnastics to make something work that otherwise just wouldn't. The conversations are predictable, and it gets boring to me.

    Maybe others find enjoyment in it, but meh... I'm interested in getting to the core of the truth, and I value differing opinions, but there comes a point when defence of certain points devolves into self delusion on full display.

    Besides, everyone knows nothing gets accomplished at the end of the day. No one seriously entertains the thoughts of the people they talk to, and the only thing that can possibly come about at the end is the thought that "Hey! That guy brought up a new point I hadn't thought of. I need to find out a way to defend THAT point."

    I guess I'm just more interested in learning why people believe what they do, not why it's ok to believe that way. We all have varying degrees of reason driven by our life experiences. That's what I find interesting. I'm interested in the person, not the position.
     
    #6 SigurdReginson, Feb 23, 2021
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  7. loverofhumanity

    loverofhumanity Well-Known Member
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    I used to consider myself an irreconcilable atheist and was highly critical of all and any religion which believed in a God, especially Christianity.

    Thank God the people I harassed for so long stood firm because to my horror, I discovered I had been gravely mistaken and now I uphold and defend all Faiths because I believe they are telling the truth.
     
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  8. aketo

    aketo Member

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    You can hardly call that defense, then.
    If there weren't opposition then a field like apologetics wouldn't need to exist in the first place.
     
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  9. Twilight Hue

    Twilight Hue The gentle embrace of twilight has become my guide

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    It's reasonable that people would want to explain their beliefs. In fact, it's rational and sensible in that respect.

    It's actually a bit like science in itself way that attempts to prove something is a good way to go about it.

    Unfortunately, it ends at that point once the conclusions are made first, and proving them follows. That's why apologetics has a terrible time imo and science dosent.
     
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  10. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि
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    Why do you feel there is opposition and the need for apologetics?
     
  11. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Everyone needs a hobby.

    And I'd much rather that Christians spend their time arguing with each other than, say, picketing the funerals of LGBTQ people or blowing up abortion clinics.

    And if a Christian is going to try to convert me, I'd rather they do it with arguments than at gunpoint or swordpoint.

    Why would it be lying?

    I see apologetics also covering Christian discourse aimed at figuring out what the message of "the Gospel" actually is.
     
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  12. aketo

    aketo Member

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    Apologetics has risen to answer doubts about the theological concepts that a religion teaches. If no one opposed it there would be no need to defend it.
     
  13. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium अहम् ब्रह्मास्मि
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    You didn't answer the first part of my question. Why do you think there is opposition?
     
  14. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Just to step back a bit: it depends on what we mean by "legitimate."

    - do I consider Christianity in general a good use of a person's time? No... but my decision shouldn't carry any weight.

    - do I consider it a better use of time than many other Christian activities (e.g. Eucharistic adoration)? Yes.

    - given that a person is a Christian, is it good for them to explore and reflect on what they believe and why, and try to approach their religion in a rational way? Yes, IMO.

    - do I think that apologetics is a noble pursuit that we should celebrate with awards, tax breaks, etc.? No - absolutely not.
     
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  15. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    Christianity is a proselytizing religion. Part of its ethos is to seek out people who don't accept it and engage with them.

    For Christianity not to have this sort of opposition, it would have to be a very different religion.
     
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  16. thomas t

    thomas t non-denominational Christian

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    I recently saw that standpoint in a debate.
    An atheist called all apologetics from the Christian side flat out lying.
    I think it is not, obviously.
    But I wanted to ask the rest of the atheists here first.
     
  17. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    I think it depends how apologetics are approached.

    Sorting out all the contradictions in the Bible can certainly involve intellectual dishonesty. I don't think that apologetics necessarily has to be dishonest, but I would agree that it is dishonest frequently.
     
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  18. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    Not quite sure what you mean by "legitimate" in this context tbh....

    If asked what I think of that activity, it is rather words like "pointless" and "waste of time" that come to mind.

    Watching 2 theists quibble over scripture, to me, looks like 2 generals trying to fight a war with action figures.


    upload_2021-2-23_15-28-47.png
     
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  19. TagliatelliMonster

    TagliatelliMonster Well-Known Member

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    proper context would be helpful.........
     
  20. 9-10ths_Penguin

    9-10ths_Penguin 1/10 Subway Stalinist
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    It looks that way to me as well, but I don't fault people for playing, say, Warhammer 40K, so I'm not going to fault apologists for doing it.
     
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