With All I Am: Against Scorns

Think“Philosophy is hard.” wrote Peter van Inwagen, “Thinking clearly for an extended period is hard. It is easier to pour scorn on those who disagree with you than actually to address their arguments.”(van Inwagen 2006, 61-2)

It is easier to lump opposing views together and dismissed them even without carefully examining the arguments offered. It is also easier to circle the wagons and shout slogans. It is equally easier to discredit an opposing view by attack the character (ad hominem) or the group an individual is associated with (guilt by association) of a person offering it. It is easier to offer ridicules and scorns.

Van Inwagen put it better:

And of all the kinds of scorn that can be poured on someone’s views, moral scorn is the safest and most pleasant (most pleasant to the one doing the pouring). It is the safest kind because, if you want to pour moral scorn on someone’s views, you can be sure that everyone who is predisposed to agree with you will believe that you have made an unanswerable point. And you can be sure that any attempt your opponent in debate makes at an answer will be dismissed by a significant proportion of your audience as a ‘‘rationalization’’ — that great contribution of modern depth psychology to intellectual complacency and laziness. Moral scorn is the most pleasant kind of scorn to deploy against those who disagree with you because a display of self-righteousness—moral posturing—is a pleasant action whatever the circumstances, and it’s nice to have an excuse for it. (ibid, 62)

With All I Am blog believes that ideas matter. Though committed to classical reformed Christian theism, I (Prayson Daniel) believe different views should be fairly presented and discussed out in an open marketplace of other competing ideas with gentleness and civility. I believe atheists and theists, reformed and non-reformed Christians, Protestants and Catholics can be open and tolerate each other, even when we strongly disagree.

With All I Am blog believes we can restore the capacity to dialogue with those holding different and opposing views, by addressing each other’s difficulty but honest critiques in a respectable manner.

With All I Am blog believes you (readers) can present more than your mere personal opinions by concisely comment where you think the authors are uninformed, misinformed, illogical or incomplete.

With All I Am blog believes it is possible to hold strong views on a particular subject yet be open and committed to honestly listening and critically evaluating opposing views.

It is time we listen. It is time we reason together. Think. Reason. Follow

Van Iwagen, Peter (2006) The Problem of Evil. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Ignatius’ Understand Of Christ Jesus

Ignatius of Antioch writing between c. 105-115 A.D

St Ignatius of Antioch

Letter to the Smyrnaeans:

 I give glory to Jesus Christ the God who bestowed such wisdom upon you; for I have perceived that ye are established in faith immovable, being as it were nailed on the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ, in flesh and in spirit, and firmly grounded in love in the blood of Christ, fully persuaded as touching our Lord that He is truly of the race of David according to the flesh, but Son of God by the Divine will and power, truly born of a virgin and baptized by John that  “all righteousness might be fulfilled” by Him, truly nailed up in the flesh for our sakes under Pontius Pilate and Herod the tetrarch (of which fruit are we — that is, of His most blessed passion); that “He might set up an ensign” unto all the ages through His resurrection, for His saints and faithful people, whether among Jews or among Gentiles, in one body of His Church.(1:1-2)

Letter To Rome:

Ignatius, who is also Theophorus, unto her that hath found mercy in the bountifulness of the Father Most High and of Jesus Christ His only Son; to the church that is beloved and enlightened through the will of Him who willed all things that are, by faith and love towards Jesus Christ our God; even unto her that hath the presidency in the country of the region of the Romans, being worthy of God, worthy of honour, worthy of felicitation, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy in purity, and having the presidency of love, walking in the law of Christ and bearing the Father’s name; which church also I salute in the name of Jesus Christ the Son of the Father; unto them that in flesh and spirit are united unto His every commandment, being filled with the grace of God without wavering, and filtered clear from every foreign stain; abundant greeting in Jesus Christ our God in blamelessness.(0:0)

Nothing visible is good. For our God Jesus Christ, being in the Father, is the more plainly visible. The Work is not of persuasiveness, but Christianity is a thing of might, whensoever it is hated by the world.(3:3 )

Conclusion: Ignatius of Antioch viewed Jesus Christ as his Lord and his God.

Apostolic Fathers, Lightfoot & Harmer, 1891 translation(Note: I added emphases and replace “” in place of _)

For Full Letters  to the Smyrnaeans and to Rome

Guilt: Reason Why I Was An Atheist

Calvin & Hobbes

As a young teenager with Christian upbringing, ethical/moral guilt was one of the reason I rejected the belief in Christian God. The guilt was too consuming. I knew well my do-not  laws of God, to which none I kept. Every time I stole something, or told a lie, or explore my manhood, my conscience bored witness to the moral wrongness of the acts. The only way I could fight against my moral guilt was to eliminate the Christian God from the picture.

As Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky’s character Kririllov put it:

“If God exists, all is His will and from His will I cannot escape. If not, it’s all my will and I am bound to show self-will.”