Monday, July 28, 2008

Self Defense! In that warm Christian kind of way :-D

I had a conversation with a friend and it started off on the whole prayer/divine plan paradox. The dialogue went a little something like this:

Me: What's the point of praying if God has a divine plan for everything?
[pretty common question]
Him: God is always willing to listen to you, and he'll always answers prayers! It's all about having a relationship.
[pretty common response which hardly answers the question]
Me: Wait, God doesn't always answer prayers... What about a cancer patient in the hospital who eventually dies?
Him: God's answer would be 'No' in that case.

Haha! Ok! So, ignoring the prayer/divine plan problem, we have a new one: God amounts to nothing. My friend's argument is that God answers all prayers regardless of what they are. However, the catch is, his answer isn't always what you want it to be. This is a nifty little self-defense mechanism my friend has fallen for. Normally a person would have reason to doubt god if their prayer hadn't been answered favorably, but now God has the option of declining to answer the prayer (similar to the 'God's will is mysterious' response). Now both possible outcomes are covered, so whatever happens can be credited to god. Pray to God or do nothing, the outcome is the same. However, my friend fails to see here that the same two outcomes exist even if god doesn't exist. I'm sad to say that his belief only reinforces his delusion.

Another little defense I've seen is popular among my peers: your best friends should be your Christian friends (and in some cases you should get rid of any other friends). And the reasoning given for this is that you can have better relationships, get closer to Jesus, etc. by having your closest friends as Christians. The real motive though is to keep doubters from straying too far from any idealogy. Obviously, if your closest/only friends are believers, then whenever you begin to doubt anything, you'll be brought back down to... uh... well you'll just get redeluded by your friends.

So far these are the only self-defense mechanisms I've really seen coming from Christianity (next to 'God is mysterious!') It irks me quite much to know that my peers can't seem to see past these little tricks to keep them in line and quiet. It must take a very seriously deluded person to not be able to see past these decptive devices.

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