A Response.

Before you read the next post, you will need to watch this video by a man named Pat Condell. I found this video online, and I have decided to write a response to it. So, it will make sense for you to watch the video too. It is certainly a brilliant challenge to faith.

Dear Mr. Condell,

The first thing that I need to say is, bravo. Congratulations, Mr. Condell. Your argument is incredible and brilliant, and you have convinced me to never seek sympathy or respect from any atheist in the matter of my faith. The logic in your argument demonstrates that you are a very capable and intelligent man.

I sat and stewed over the arguments in your video and I could not easily conceptualize a response that was neither a straw man attempt nor readily defensible by any refutations you might present. I did, however, take issue with the overall perspective from which your argument is founded.

My only real contention that I can make to your argument (for it is so brilliantly formed) is your localized perception of faith. You bring up examples that are inherent to your argument albeit not overtly stated within the argument itself. It seems that you consider faith a form of slavery; slavery which has produced such horrors as 9/11, the Crusades, and several others that do not presently come to my mind. Of course, faith has generated such terrible events that demonstrate a high level of hypocrisy within religious society. At its worst, faith produces mindless creatures that are capable of incurring senseless travesties as those mentioned previously.

That is, however, faith at its absolute lowest point that, in a way, is not even genuine, true faith at all. At its best, faith produces (at least tangibly produces) brilliant thinkers and poets: the likes of Augustine, Milton, Dante, and Newton. Your argument attacks faith at its absolute worst, and it lends absolutely no relevance to faith at its best.

Consider rationality at its worst. Now, rationality at its very worst (otherwise considered hyper-rationality)  produces something incredibly horrid.

I am not a man of science. It certainly interests me, but  in my studies I found something that did more than merely interest; it captivated me. I am currently working toward an undergraduate degree in English because something about literature and the ideas therein created a sense of passion surrounding the question of what life is all about. Some find that passion and drive in scientific fields or business or politics; I found it in the study of English.

I am also a student of philosophy, and through my journey of books and college classes, I have discovered that a movement towards hyper-rationality is just as dangerous as a leap of totally blind faith. Both cases involve a loss of what it means to be human. At its worst, hyper-rationality produces Plato’s Republic. A notion which sounds good in theory, but the brilliance of men such as Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) and George Orwell (1984) has produced creative demonstrations of the ramifications of following such a strict rationality.

In both utterly, blind faith and hyper-rationality, humankind loses its greatest asset: its humanity. Absurd faith attempts to limit human curiosity and inquisitiveness, (while I would suggest that true faith encourages it). Hyper-rationality (or logic at its worst) aspires to suppress truly human qualities into robotic behaviorisms. Hyper-science believes that the race of homo sapiens reaches its evolutionary peak when humanity transforms into a conglomerate where emotion is eliminated and individuality destroyed, i.e. Brave New World and 1984.

My reason for believing in God is the fact that I am human and that I do ask questions. My hope, Mr. Condell, would never be to sway you from your belief that God is indeed dead, but I will respond by telling you over and over again that my reason for having faith stems from something completely and totally contrary to the basis of your opposition. I do not follow God, go to church on Sunday, and praise the One whom I believe created the universe as a matter of course and blind submission. Nor do I do question some of the practices, the occurrences, and the teachings as a matter of defiant, self-righteousness. I will question and oppose religious ideas, and I will submit to God as a means of seeking out the truth.

And if this makes me an abomination to society and the human race, well, I will continue as such.


Brandon Elrod

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