Arguing the existence of God is a red herring, and detracts from the cause of liberty.Submitted by fiodax on Tue, 08/30/2011 - 10:17
When the issue of God comes up there always seems to be a great divide among the believers and non-believers. This divide is a red herring. For true believers or true non-believers arguing the existence of God is tantamount to arguing the color of the sky, the conclusion is obvious and anyone trying to force the argument is trying to mislead you, hence the red herring. Considering that the purpose of our association is the promotion of liberty especially with respect to the activity of election Ron Paul as president, we should not let the red herring of whether or not God exists detract us from that purpose.
I enjoy stating my case for the existence of God, but I have found that I have changed very few minds in doing so. This is because generally people are pretty well entrenched in their belief systems and it generally takes more than just a pithy argument for them to abandon it. As a Christian I believe that Liberty is not the end, but yet another means to people being free to find God, and since I believe God is real I am confident that if they are free to search for Him, then they will find Him, in this thought I justify my passion for promoting liberty. However, in the context of our association with each other in the liberty movement, liberty IS the end we are seeking together, and what we need to recognize is what arguments are serving to accomplish liberty and what are not.
Some people, for instance Ron Paul, believe that we were created by God and because of that we are all valuable and have rights. By using their minds they reason that if this God is real then He must have all the power necessary to affect his will as he pleases, and if we desire others to know Him then we should follow His advise of loving them, showing grace and God will make Himself known without our having to resort to acts of force or coercion. I like people like this because I feel like they think I'm valuable and have rights, and they aren't going to use any position of authority they may have to force their will upon me, not only because they see me as valuable, but also because they realize that they don't have the right to do it. People like this seem to be passionate about the cause of liberty because they are confident about the reality of God and the value he has placed on all people.
Some people, for instance Jesse Ventura, don't believe that we were created by God. However by using their minds they come to the conclusion that the best way to achieve the most happiness in life would to concern yourself with your own actions and not to attempt to force your will on to other people. I like people like this, I feel like they think I am capable of making my own decisions and they aren't going to use any position of authority they may have to force their will upon me because they respect me as a free thinking individual and they see the value in allowing me to be responsible for my own actions. People like this are valuable to the liberty movement because they value their own liberty and realize that other people's liberty must be at least of equal value.
I enjoy having intellectual arguments about God, politics, and many other subjects with both of the groups of people mentioned above because I find them to be thoughtful as well as respectful of other people's positions, without feeling that they have to abandon their own position. These are generally people who are confident in their beliefs, but often very willing to change, as their primary goals is not to win the argument, but instead to know the truth.
Some people, for instance __insert_random_neocon__, believe there is a god and they believe this god has chosen them from among the masses, or they believe they have chosen this god in spite of the ignorance of the masses. They believe it is their job to force their understanding of Gods will on all the people who either haven't been chosen or haven't chosen. They aspire to positions of authority in a quest to force their understanding of the will of God onto others. I don't like these people, they are not good for the cause of liberty.
Some people, for instance Big Brother, don't believe there is a God. They believe that they have a superior understanding of science, technology and morality. They believe that people are not capable of taking responsibility for their own lives due to a lack of understanding of advanced scientific and sociological principles. They believe they should be part of a scientific oligarchy that determines the best course for humanity. They aspire to positions of authority in order to force their understanding of what is best for everyone else upon everyone else. I don't like these people either, they are not good for the cause of liberty.
I cannot have intellectual arguments with the people in either of the last two mentioned groups. Their arguments are generally not based in logic and they often use straw men, red herrings, and personal insults to bully their point. These kind of people do not care much about the truth, they mainly just want to win the argument.
If we recognize the argument we can ignore the red herrings that are attempting to force or coerce us into someone else's belief system and stay focused on the unifying cause of liberty, which we all believe to be a true and noble cause. On the issues that divide us, let us develop friendships that can endure and even enjoy each other's arguments, and as people who hold each other in high esteem, and as people who are seeking the truth, many minds will be free to change, or not.