Friday, October 21, 2005

What i like about Betrand Russell

In his essay "Can Religion Cure Our Troubles?", Russell wrote:

"I can respect the men who argue that religion is true and therefore ought to be believed, but i can only feel profound moral reprobation for those who say that religion ought to be believed because it is useful, and that to ask whether it is true is a waste of time."

At National University of Singapore, as some of us (Christians) gathered after a talk by someone on some topic, there came an student who asked us for our reason why do we think that our belief is true. At first, everyone hesistated to give an answer, then there was this young lady voice out that the reason why she thinks that Christianity is true is because she believes the bible is the word of God, and the word of God helped her whenever she was struggling with decision making. The bible provided her solutions, therefore she believes that Christianity is true.

That's pragmatism. Christianity is no longer true because it is true in itself, but because it's workable. What kind of rubbish is this?

Christianity is true, therefore it works... not it works, therefore it's true!

Alot of time we do not know what are we talking about. Does that lady's answer demonstrates the truthfulness of Christianity? Far no. How would the inquirer have thought? "Well, after all, Christianity is just the same as other religions that are true because they works."

Christians are called to become lights and salts in this world not ONLY in our life style, in our thoughts as well! Life style alone can't demonstrate the truthfulness of a claim without a firm reason for doing it. Mere radical life style that attracts non-believers doesn't show that the attracted ones are interested with Christian truths, it only means they prefer our life style. There is no extrinsic differences between a morally good atheist and a morally good Christian. Sometimes the former can be morally superior than the latter. If this is the case, then the atheists are the lights and salts, not Christians.

Those who tried to look into this matter of truthfulness very often be labelled as non-practicals. Nothing can be worst than this. Whenever these 'non-practicals' tried to raise awareness of the issue, immediately they will be viewed as showing off and proud, and will be shut off with "WOW, so 'chim' (in-depth), we can't understand, so, we should stop talking about it, and by the way, it is not practical, therefore doesn't really matter." Betrand Russell, the famous agnostic, will just shake his head and say,"i can only feel profound moral reprobation...".


~audrey~ said...

Christianity does happen to be remarkably practical and useful, though ;)If it weren't one would be inclined to sniff at it as just another philosophy and say "What good would that do?"

Nao said...

Absolutely agree with ya on the truth of the Word leading to its application for victorious Christian living. Else, one wouldn't have to be reminded to daily transform one's mind and be conformed to Christ. To a lover of theology, the female audience's response must have touched a raw spot inside of u. As a female, I must say, do have mercy and pray for that lady. Christians that are not grounded in the Word are not rooted in truth and can be easily swayed and fall into unbelief / doubt when circumstances do not seem to agree with the Bible.

rudolf said...

hi josh,hey er..I cam across a muslim blog which totally whoops christianity.Maybe you oughta take a look,and then write something on it.

Anonymous said...

The good news must be substantiated by our living response towards it or else it will remain good news or some wonderful ideas or even, God forbids, a bluff. Communism is an idealistic philosophy, but that is nearly all it is. Christianity is an idealistic philosophy, but if divorced from praxis, idealistic will be all Christianity ever is.

Ah, another bout of apologetics awaits you...count me in when the going gets tough...


Comrade Kenny said...

Hey y'all,
I'm sure you guys haven't heard from me since the last time I blurted out something stupid and had the whole world come down hard on me. Anyways, hi once again.

Just wanted to know when you guys gonna pop down in Malaysia next time to talk on something or another. I'd be interested to observe, if not at least participate in it. Wanna see why Joanne raves about it so much =)

jacksons said...

Hello Comarade - it will be our pleasure to interact with you further.

Sze Zeng said...

Audrey: Thanks for commenting. Guess humans are relational in nature, thus we would only care for whatever that has to do with us; be it good or bad.

Nao: Thanks for sharing a feminine view on this. Will pray for her. I hold no grudge towards her. It was in fact a reminder for myself to do what God has for me to do.

p/s: by the way, this is not a sexist issue.

Rudolf: I've checked out the site. It appears that the blogger has no threat to REAL Christianity. She/he is just shooting strawmen. Strawmen that she/he built for her/his own contendment. My friend, Jack, has looked into it and invite her/him to a serious non-strawmen discussion. If she/he is really serious in seeking for truth, then hopefully she/he will take part in the discussion.

Jack: Can see Wright's language in u.. hahahaha

Comrade kenny: Nice to have u drop by here. Talking about stupidity, you are not alone. We are all stupid from time to time. I remember Leon Jackson's remark on theology: "..we all heretics in one way or another..."
As long as we stick to the fundamentals of our faith, then it's more "safer" for us to be theologically adventurous. And from solid foundation, we stucture our views.

Hey, you should join the Agorians. They are having a series of talk on various issues.

As for me, i seldom go 'up' to KL to get around. Only on invitation basis... hehe

Leon: Actually i experienced the reality of "substantiation" or "examplification" when i saw ur baby Christian for the first time.... hahaha.... before that, i was just looking at pictures but when i first saw him, it became clear n firm that Christian really EXISTS.

hahaha.. i shared about it in my presentation for Christ Seminar...

Leong Tien Fock said...

Check out Dr Leong's piece here: