10/15/2012 | Share this article: View CommentsBy WizenedSage (Galen Rose) ~
“One day it’ll all make sense.”
I have heard this phrase many times from Christians, even pastors and apologists. But I’ve never been able to make sense of it. When they use this phrase, they are arguing that if something in their religion doesn’t make sense, like some Biblical event or claim, one shouldn’t be troubled by that fact. One should just go on believing, because it’s in “The Book.” It will all be explained to you after you die.
Is this some sort of “argument from ignorance?” I think the epitome of this attitude is found in what Tertullian said about the Resurrection: “I believe because it is absurd!” This is a man who has been called the “founder of Western theology,” and he seems to have believed that the less believable a claim, the more likely it is to be true. By any reasonable standard, this guy was barking mad! By this standard, it is more likely that JFK was killed by 6 elves and a dragon than by Lee Harvey Oswald. Well, which is the more absurd?
“One day it’ll all make sense.” So, should we just accept that it’s okay if something about our religion doesn’t make sense now? We should just ignore that piece of evidence – as if it’s not evidence?
Would this approach be okay for Judaism, Islam, Hinduism? If people are exposed to those religions and they don’t make sense, should they just believe in them anyway, because one day it’ll all make sense?
Is this the way a real god would have us think whenever we are exposed to a religion?
How can one examine various religions and choose the right one if none of them have to make sense to be believed? What other possible criteria could there be? Is it that we should believe whichever religion we were taught as children? Or should we believe a religion if it makes us feel good? That seems an odd stance to me. As a teenage boy, it made me feel good to believe that Marilyn Monroe was in love with me. It made me feel all warm and mushy inside, like life was good and it had a purpose. But I’m pretty sure that didn’t make it true. And I’m pretty sure that I was better off after I learned the truth.
If it’s written in a so-called holy book that Zeus is the chief god and he lives on Mt. Olympus with many other, lesser gods, should we just believe it – because it is written? If it’s written in a so-called holy book that Mohammed ascended to heaven bodily, seated on his white horse, should we just believe it – because it is written? If it’s written in a so-called holy book that one will be tortured for eternity in the fires of hell if he doesn’t believe in god’s infinite love, should we just believe it – because it is written? None of these have to make sense by any criteria in order to be believed?
If it’s written in a so-called holy book that Zeus is the chief god and he lives on Mt. Olympus with many other, lesser gods, should we just believe it – because it is written?I guess religion will have to do without me then, because I cannot think that way. In every facet of my life, for all of my life, I have judged things by whether they made sense to me. No, that didn't always lead me to the truth, but it worked far, far more often than it failed. It has saved me from believing in monsters when I was a kid, and it has saved me from believing in far-fetched conspiracy theories and trickle-down economics as an adult. I can see no reason why I should discard such a well proven method when it comes to religion.
This idea that you should accept that your religion, or any particular claim of your religion, will all make sense some day is clearly a very stupid idea. It’s an insidious attempt to convince you that you shouldn’t use your head to decide things. It simply doesn’t make sense to accept a religion that doesn’t make sense. Could anything be more obvious? It doesn’t make sense today, it won’t make sense tomorrow, and it never did make sense - except to fools like Tertullian.