‘Nuff Said Award Winner: Jeff Dale

Jeff Dale’s ‘Nuff Said Award is for his reply to the following passage from Drew Dyck in which Dyck accuses young defectors from Christianity of being motivated to leave their faith because of their “sinful” sexual behavior:

So 20- and 30-somethings are leaving—but why? When I ask church people, I receive some variation of this answer: moral compromise. A teenage girl goes off to college and starts to party. A young man moves in with his girlfriend. Soon the conflict between belief and behavior becomes unbearable. Tired of dealing with a guilty conscience and unwilling to abandon their sinful lifestyles, they drop their Christian commitment. They may cite intellectual skepticism or disappointments with the church, but these are smokescreens designed to hide the reason. “They change their creed to match their deeds,” as my parents would say.

I think there’s some truth to this—more than most young leavers would care to admit. The Christian life is hard to sustain in the face of so many temptations. Over the past year, I’ve conducted in-depth interviews with scores of ex-Christians. Only two were honest enough to cite moral compromise as the primary reason for their departures.

In reply, Jeff writes:

I’d like to introduce him to a church that preaches that setting one’s hair on fire is the highest moral virtue, the way to communicate with Burninghead, the supremely virtuous supernatural overlord of all. These pious churchmen, facing apostasy in their own ranks, would gladly echo back his words to him:

Tired of dealing with a guilty conscience and unwilling to abandon their sinful lifestyles, they drop their Haironfireist commitment. They may cite intellectual skepticism or disappointments with the church, but these are smokescreens designed to hide the reason. “They change their creed to match their deeds,” as my parents would say. I think there’s some truth to this—more than most young leavers would care to admit. The Haironfireist life is hard to sustain in the face of so many temptations. Over the past year, I’ve conducted in-depth interviews with scores of ex-Haironfireists. Only two were honest enough to cite moral compromise as the primary reason for their departures.

Oh, those backsliding, hedonistic apostates who just want to enjoy the not-on-fire lifestyle. If only they knew how much we care, they’d come back and light up again.

This should be enough to highlight the unrecognized false assumption on which his whole line of thinking is based. But maybe he still wouldn’t get it.

‘Nuff Said.

Your Thoughts?

About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • http://www.davehitt.com Hittman

    If they really want to live a corrupt lifestyle they’d become priests.


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