Tag Archives: Hell

Logical Gal doesn’t like YOUR view, so there!

28 Jan

“I find the view of Hell so utterly offensive, that I can’t believe it!” 

So there!

A lady actually said this the other day on the radio.  I don’t quibble with her assessment of the Biblical description of Hell.  There’s nothing pretty or compelling about a dark place of everlasting separation from anything good, lovely or true!

But what struck me with the force of a 2 x 4 plank was her unspoken presupposition.  To wit:

Anything I don’t like, I don’t believe

Can you see that if you are consistent and approach other situations with the same guiding premise for testing truth that you might run across other ‘facts’ that qualify as equally unbelievable?

  • cancer
  • war
  • terrorist beheadings

How do you think Radio Lady might respond to those situations, if you were to ask her gently?

Might she possibly qualify her decision-making process by adding something like this:

“Well, we have evidence of those 3 horrid situations. There are news reports, videos…… you know PROOF!”

“Oh, I get it,” you might respond, “You only believe in things you can see? Whatever is invisible doesn’t exist. Is that it?”

Assumptions are powerful filters that we use on a regular basis, often unconsciously.  I find it far easier to spot them in others than in myself.  But now that I am aware of them, I can practice being just as ruthless on myself as I tend to be with others.  After all, what’s good for the goose should be good for the gander!

Assumptions

 

 

Logical Gal dismantles those pithy rhetorical punchlines

3 Mar

Rhetorical Devices

Sometimes an opponent will zing out a line so clever, so smooth that you swallow it whole and wonder what hit you.  That’s the power of rhetoric.

Not all rhetoric is bad.  In fact, if you want someone to be persuaded by truth, you have to package it, or present it with rhetorical skill.  Aristotle taught his students how to employ effectively LOGOS, ETHOS and PATHOS.  The logos is the actual content, the ethos is a combination of the accuracy of both YOUR authority/credentials or those of the experts you draw upon as well as the quality of your character. Finally pathos is the ‘why you should care’ factor.

But long are the days when an audience listened patiently as an orator skillfully presented a case. Today, in our sound bite culture, we swing snatches of words.

So how does a Logical Joe or Jane parse out one of those ‘fly-by’ explanations that masquerade as arguments?

Sound Bites and Slogans

Last week we took apart the clever line, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary explanations!” (see preceding 28 Feb 2014 post)  Today I would like to address a criticism against God as He is presented in the Bible:

How is eternal punishment for a temporal crime fair?!

At first glance it doesn’t seem fair.  This question is short enough for someone to thrust out there, pause and just let settle in.

The seeming injustice comes from our idea that a punishment should fit the crime.  So we must actually think a bit deeper.  The responses I heard today in a podcast interview made sense.

I offer them as a way to get a handle on a sensitive and difficult issue.

First, time of punishment v. time it took to commit the crime is irrelevant.  How long does it take for a speeding bullet to kill an innocent person?  Yet if convicted, a criminal may spend a lifetime in prison.

Second, whom the crime is committed against makes the difference.

Let’s say one person slaps another.

Slapping

In the first instance, a big brother might get TIME OUT!…. as a punishment.

But what if an employee slapped his boss?  The stakes would be higher.  I’m pretty sure he’d be fired on the spot!

Well let’s suppose a more risky situation.  You’re at the White House for a State Dinner.  As you approach the President in the receiving line to shake hands, you haul off, intending to slap him. Probably even before your hand neared his ear, you’d be wrestled to the ground and hauled off to jail and charged with something serious.

Do you see what is happening?  The severity of the crime DEPENDS  on the one it is committed against.

So now let’s consider the Creator of the entire universe.  One of His created beings whom He lovingly fashioned in His image rebels all his life and refuses to have anything to do with the One who gave him life. Despite messages and countless ways to get his attention, God’s overtures are ignored or even scorned.

Just like citizens cannot expect to ignore a court summons and get away with it, neither can we turn our back on God and not expect a consequence.

Yes, eternal punishment is categorically different than life in prison, but God the Creator is in a different class all together from any created thing or being.

It takes some time to think through pithy lines, but it’s worth it.  The more we practice the skill of thinking, the better we get at it.

Question:  Which arguments are you having difficulties unraveling?

Knots