I had an interesting Internet reaction to something that I had written recently. I periodically write a series of articles called Letters to Joshua. One of these got picked up on a website called TheFatherLife. I was writing a letter to Josh about Proverbs 1:7, which says “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline.” I had a gentlemen disagree with me and was a little surprised by his strong opinion of my mental abilities.
Here is what he had to say: “Wisdom and religion are two separate things. Having religion makes you no more wise than having wisdom makes you religious. This is yet another example of the contradictions that have become the modern Bible. In the passage quoted fear of the Lord is necessary yet in many other passages throughout the Bible the Lord is referred to as loving and a benevolent being. Why would you fear a loving and benevolent being? This kind of logic is false logic and contradictory. What is important is to teach our children what is wrong and right, not because religion dictates it rather because it is what we believe is morally necessary to function as an evolving and enlightened society. Lastly on another note your profile statement claiming yourself as a thinker is an insult to thinkers and freethinkers everywhere. A thinker wouldn’t teach children they need to be morale because of a fear of the Lord. They would teach them being morale is out of respect for our fellow human being. Religion while it can have a place in morality is not and should not be a means to an end. If history has taught us anything about religion it is that religion does not and has not brought us morality any more than it brought righteousness. We can teach morality but ultimately cannot dictate it.”
What would you say to that?
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One comment on “What Would You Say?”
I think your actual response was appropriate.
There is the old debating technique called *reductio ad absurdum* (reduction to the absurd), where an opposing weak argument is carried to its logical and absurd conclusion. For example, if someone tells me I should accept the political opinion of [insert your favorite rich businessman here] because he makes more money that I do, then I can use the reductio ad absurdum technique and ask if I should also heed the advice of drug dealers because they are richer than me.
Unfortunately, so many have individually turned their backs on fear of the Lord, and therefore on wisdom, that our society is itself becoming *reductio ad absurdum*. I am more and more hearing things said by supposedly normal, intelligent, sane people that in the past would have been said only by cartoon bad guys and melodrama villains.
Turning our backs on wisdom, the God of Abraham has given us over to folly. Many people spread their folly in responsible-sounding deliveries and words. When they do, they also spread injustice masquerading as compassion.
“Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.” (Romans 1:22)
Meanwhile, “The just shall live by faith.” (Romans 1:17, quoting from Habakkuk 2:4)