Wednesday, November 30, 2005

A note from Mr. Schellack

Mr. Reppert,
I write to you on an impulse, and I hope you will forgive any  incoherence on my part.  I have appreciated your work on Mr. Lewis'  argument from reason.  I actually used something like it a few weeks  back at a debate held by the Vanderbilt Socratic Club.  Oddly enough  the response by my interlocutor was "Of course, I accept all your  arguments.  My thoughts are merely functions of my brain and are  neither rational nor reliable sources of knowledge, reason, or sound  beliefs."  He was OK with that.  Does not all communication break  down at that point!!

VR: Aristotle responded to this kind of position this way. He said "Either you are saying something or you're not. If you are, then the rules of logic and reasoning apply. If you're not, then we should treat you as a plant, because you don't really have a statement to be considered.

S: I have been pondering that point, as well as a good many other  thoughts deriving from my prayer time and Scripture reading on how  Agape should look in daily life of a Christian, and I am hard pressed  to believe that rational arguments hold much sway these days.  They  are very important for me, but it seems for a great many, if not the  majority of people my age are not at all interested in whether or not  Christianity is true.  Rrather they are interested in whether or not  they need it.  The logical response is "Of course you need it!  If  its true, you will have to face it!  Not to mention you will be  living your life in spite and contraposed to the fabric and flow of  the universe."  But their response is, "I get along just fine without  believing; why does it matter?"  Once again, they are not interested  in truth or falsehood.  Even when proved they shrug it off.  The  modern post-Enlightenment period benefited a good bit from rational  argument--people understood the rules and could generally recognize  (as I think Lewis says in the Screwtape Letters somewhere) when an  argument had been defeated.  So I am beginning to believe that the  power and relevance of Christ these days must be demonstrated in and  through our actions.  The message of Jesus is the 'transvaluation of  all ideals", and I am beginning to think that is the only thing that  will wake people up to the truth of who God is.

Grace and Peace,
Benjamin Schellack

No comments: