Journey Of Belief: Introduction

Doubting Thomas

I believe every Bible believing Christ follower has been to a point where we begin to question what we believe and why we believe it. Are we merely just continuing the faith of our parents because that’s how we’re brought up? Can the Bible be trusted? Is God real? Does prayer work? Is the creation account accurate, mythology, or some kind of symbolism? If God is real and he is good, why does evil exist. What IS evil? Are there absolutes?

The following blog series is my journey (which I am still on) to answer some of my own questions. I know reading is a lost art on most. They are looking for podcasts, videos, and moving graphics to catch their attention. I’d prefer distraction free reading. So if you’ve had questions, doubted, or maybe even don’t believe, consider journeying with me. I am don’t have a PHD and I am no theologian. But all the knowledge that we have gathered as a species–about God, science, and nature–is available if you are willing to look for it. You also have to be willing to look in places that come from places that are sometimes opposite of your beliefs, values, and world view.

So buckle up and come along or, if this is silly or offensive, feel free to get off here. I do not take offense either. But neither will I apologize for the conclusions I arrive at if it is counter to what you, the reader, might believe. Which brings me to:

Tolerance is a Myth

I need to get this out of the way from the beginning. Those who are pushing for an all-inclusive, tolerant society, do not understand what they are asking for. “Well that’s an ignorant thing to say.” But consider the following:

Let’s say a society values freedom, liberty, free speech, and in the same breath, claims to be all-inclusive and tolerant of all views. Well, we know this isn’t true. We would not tolerate slavery, servitude, and the abridging of our “self-evident” rights. In some countries and cultures today, woman are not allowed to drive a vehicle except for special circumstances. Thus, we are not tolerant of belief that women should not be allowed to drive. We would not allow that rule to be a part of our legal or cultural narrative. Thus, we can’t say we are all-inclusive because we would not include or accept that as law. We the people would work to strike down an attempt at such a law and most likely, even a conservative leaning court, would find the law unconstitutional and the law would be struck down.

So now we are stuck with how do we decide what values and morals to tolerate. This is where my journey started, still is, and probably won’t end. How can we have moral superiority while claiming to be tolerant when we clearly are not? Is there moral reasoning to not be tolerant of all views? Is there an objective moral law? Is it absolute?

Absolutely Absolute

It is important for anyone reading this to understand that these writings assume that absolutes absolutely exist. The argument against absolutes is self-defeating. If the rule is “there are no absolutes”, then we either have to make an exception for that rule which means that there is actually at least one absolute making the statement false, or absolutes do exist and the statement is false. Excepting itself does not make it true. It simply becomes a statement built on sand that can’t really stand up when the storm hits.

So if there are absolutes, where do they come from? Well, if absolutes are objective and exist, they must come from somewhere that transcends the human experience. Therefore, the rules that make certain truths absolutely true must be true whether or not humans are part of the equation. The fact that the earth orbits the sun is true whether or not we are here to witness it. That is absolutely true.

When it comes to moral absolutes, it becomes a little trickier. In order for there to be moral absolutes however, there must be a transcendent standard for morals. Whether it is God, or some other unknown entity or just the “laws of nature” itself has to be examined.

Alternatively, if there are no absolute truths, then there is no absolute good or absolute evil. Thus evil wouldn’t really exist because it would be up to the individual to determine whether or not the action was justified.

As we explore this concept further in later posts, you will begin to see how understanding truth and it’s foundation is essential to understand what makes an action and person for that matter good and what makes an action or person evil. We’re not just talking about moral gray areas either such as lying in order to protect the innocent. We are talking about blatant “evil” verses perfect “good”. Consider what you see as the most evil thing that could ever be done and then consider that there are things that are worse. We are going to go there. Down deep. Good vs Evil. Real evil. Does it exist absolutely or is it just in the eye of the beholder?

Not an Expert

This not the work of someone with a PHD. I am not an expert. But I do read and research on my own free time. Maybe you are on a similar journey and have resources to share I didn’t think of. If so, please leave links in the comment section so I can look at them.

So welcome aboard my quest for truth. The absolute truth.

If Guns Don’t Kill People…

I know what you’re thinking. You are probably rolling your eyes because you think this is another anti-gun rant. There are millions of these on the internet and it’s quite popular right now so it would be smart for a struggling blogger like myself to capitalize on it. This is not one of those however. For those in the anti-gun camp that just let out a groan, allow me to elaborate.

I’ve been researching guns, gun violence, and the second amendment quite extensively for a few months. Let me start by saying I absolutely agree that we should keep the 2nd Amendment in tact and we shouldn’t get rid of it (cue groan by anti-gun groups). the discussion about guns usually gets distorted because everyone is so passionate about their view, they refuse to listen to the other point of view.

Let me encourage you. Do what I did and read some books and articles from people you don’t agree with. I’ve done this on a number of subjects from the creation of the universe to the use of stem cells for medical and research purposes. Knowledge of the opposition is not only important when putting together counter arguments, but also to understand why that side feels as strongly as they do. This is where I have been.

I feel as if nobody really wants to address the elephant in the room. Gun violence and what causes it sets off a firestorm of debates and arguments all over social media and the internet. What I’ve learned from reading, research, and participating in these debates is that both sides actually have a common ground.

Guns are not the root cause of gun violence.

OK, the anti-gun camp doesn’t necessarily use those words exactly, but it’s quite clear that both sides of the debate feel as if broken people are the problem. Those who wish for harsher gun laws argue that limiting the access to these guns will keep these broken people from acquiring them. Those who wish for more relaxed gun laws argue that guns are necessary to protect us from the bad, broken people that will hurt and kill regardless of any laws.

The reality is, neither side is willing to take responsibility for any of it.

The Walk-outs and Marches against gun violence were cute and encouraged political activism. But outside of that, the message was empty and hollow. So we get rid of guns. That’s great, but what about all the lonely, broken people that still are broken, lonely, and violent? Did all that go away because guns are harder to get? “I want to feel safe at (fill in the blank).” That’s cute. We all do. But what have you done to make sure everyone feels not only safe, but welcomed and loved? I’m not saying you have to agree with everyone or everyone’s lifestyle, but you should still treat them like a person. Where was the “anti-bullying” walk out or marches.

Now that I have the gun lobby back, where are your massive demonstrations against bullying? It was a news clip about NRA supporters that made me wonder about this very thing. They were saying how guns aren’t the problem and they should be standing up against bullying and what not. But nobody on that side was willing to plan a protest or walk out against bullying. They instead wanted to criticize and make fun of kids. Regardless of your beliefs, it was nice to see them engaged in the process however misguided it might have been. Wouldn’t it be better to lead by example? Instead of bullying these kids and hurtling insults, what if we staged our own rally? Our own walk out and march on bullying.

Not surprisingly, there is pretty much zero coverage about the massive anti-bullying march because there isn’t one. I searched and searched and while I did fine smaller rallies with a similar theme, it was difficult to find because not one major media outlet thought it was worthy enough to talk about. This includes not just the alleged “fake news” outlets, but the “trusted news sources” as well (I used both terms loosely and don’t necessarily agree with such titles as all news is biased).

So what I am saying? We don’t actually have a gun violence problem. We have a violence problem. We have a bullying problem.

If you are anti-gun, then you are part of the problem. By focusing on the guns, you are deflecting and avoiding the root of the problem. Maybe that’s because most anti-gun arguments come from the left and it’s hard to admit sometimes that true liberalism, the idea that we have to tolerate everyone and everything, does not actually work. I’ve got news for you. Gun control is like weed control. When your answer to ending violence is to take guns away, you are just pulling the top of the weeds while leaving the root system in place. The problem is still there. It grows back and brings friends with it. But the problem with killing the root of the problem is that you have to be able to tell people when they are wrong. Liberalism down’t like to do that because you might offend someone. You might trample on their belief. You would have to admit that their are absolutes and that morality is objective regardless of one’s belief or feeling on the matter.

If you’re pro-gun, you are also part of the problem. I get it. You want the ability to defend yourself. You want the ability to fight off the government that is coming for your guns (which probably a drone strike, but hey, good luck with those bullets). Guns are NOT people. When you care more about your gun than you do people, gun violence gets worse. I find it interesting that gun advocates will tell me how they have a “God given right” to a gun but people don’t have a right to life-sustaining, clean drinking water (I’m looking at you Flint). When people are second to your gun, you’ve lost the argument in mind mind. But those who are pro-gun tend to be conservatives who think that a corporation often has more rights than citizens. Case and point, if they had it their way, they would be OK with all the water in the nation being under the control of private companies. I quote one as saying “private companies handle everything better than the government”. Yes, for a fee. And they don’t care about rights because unlike a government (that work for the people), they don’t have to honor the constitution. Like sell guns. They don’t have to. They are not the government.

So think about these things. I realize I made some broad generalizations to certain groups. I realize that there are those on both sides that don’t fit into those groups exactly. That’s great! Let’s move forward then and work on the root of the problem instead of just clipping the stem.