Thursday, 24 May 2012

I'm *not* going to believe it - and *you* can't make me


The phrase above pretty much sums up my own attitude to Christianity through most of my life. All I knew for sure was that I didn't want to be a Christian (I wanted to be and do, what *I* wanted to be and do); and I defended this rather specific unbelief by a fluid mixture of reason and emotion.

In general, I thought of myself as far more intelligent and rational than Christians, far more honest and tough-minded.

Yet I always knew and sometimes said that if a Roman Catholic apologist (I always assumed that this would be a Jesuit, for some reason) could ever pin me down, then I could be defeated by logic - because these guys had memorized and practiced all the answers to every possible objection.

But I still knew that I was right because Christian rationality was, I believed, a facile achievement of post hoc reasoning - reasoning from the result to the premises. So I would reject all this scholasticism, without even meeting it, because I knew in my guts that they were wrong.

It was a heady feeling to know that nobody could persuade me of Christianity, that I could always find reasons not to believe, whether reason or gut feeling, and that therefore I would remain un-defeatable as the master of my own private destiny.

I was, in fact, a case history of the overmastering power of pride: pride revelling in pride; and this not just by accident but as a matter of highest principle and core conviction.

Pride as the primary Good, the highest value.