Recently, Hemant forwarded me the following email.
My name is Noah, and I teach at a Christian school in Memphis, TN. The school is called Evangelical Christian School … yes, I know that this sounds like “Christian Christian School,” but the school was founded when Evangelical was a rather new word within Christian circles.
All that aside, I have a random question / request of you that you can either tackle yourself or pass it on to someone who might be interested.
A few weeks ago, I tried to contact the person who has a youtube chanel called Theoreticalbullshit. He’s an atheist who’s posted tons of videos about his issues with Christianity. I’ve watched most of them. I wrote him, because I wanted to know if he would be willing to make a short clip for our school.
A little background. Yes, I teach at a Christian school, and yes, I teach Bible and Philosophy (from a Christian perspective). However, off and on for the last 7 years, I’ve been meeting with a group of atheists in a healthy conversation. We meet weekly, and my level of commitment has been quite high at times to rather low right now – based upon stages of my children’s lives. Over that time, I’ve come to welcome the atheists in the group as close friends; I reference them routinely at school. This relationship has often caused me to defend the atheist … which has to be done regularly with students raised with very narrow, or dogmatic, perspectives: “no, atheists are not anarchists;” “no, they aren’t all ‘liberal;’” “no, atheists don’t hate Christians.” Etc. It’s caused me to be more compassionate, to understand the reasoning for disbelief, and it’s sharpened my own ability to articulate what I believe in a non-aggressive way. All that to say, I love the debate. I love the dialogue. And, I’m also convinced that my students ought be exposed to other views. Cognitive dissonance has to be part of the learning process.
We have chapel every week, and this month we are focusing on technology … how it affects us. One of my goals always is to talk about the good and the bad, and to give the students something to think about which can make them a bit uncomfortable. What I was hoping the gentleman from theoreticalbullshit could do would be to send us a clip where he talks (for 2 or 3 minutes) about his views on technology and innovation … maybe why he thinks it’s vital to the human condition. I also wanted to know what he thought about Christians’ approach to technology and innovation … do we stick our heads in the sand, metaphorically. Is religion a hindrance to technological progress, etc?
I’ve not heard back. I don’t want to ask my atheist friends to do it, because I try to keep boundaries, there. I reference their views regularly, but I try to respect the nature of the relationship that we have and not give them reason to think that I’m trying to put them on display. Yet, I’d still love an atheist to answer such questions. Keep in mind that I, in no way, want this to be a “bash the atheist” type thing. I don’t want you to think that I’m trying to find someone that we can argue against. I’m trying to find someone that could give us a critique that might actually call us to be better thinkers. Quite often, it’s best to hear what others think of you … I’d love our students to hear that.
So, is there any way that I could talk you into doing something like that? Or, do you have a friend that would be willing to. It really doesn’t need to be long at all. And, maybe it could turn into a cool relationship somehow. Any thoughts / interest?
I agreed to make him his video. I did let Mr. Brink know that 99 times out of 100, when a Christian asks for material without the author there to defend it, it is so they can twist what is said without anybody holding them accountable. I told Mr. Brink that I didn’t know enough about him to absolve him of the crimes of his predecessors, and suggested that he allow the students to make response videos to me and that I would answer them. He agreed.
So, here’s my video on how I think technology and innovation look through the eyes of atheists and Christians.