debates

19 08 2006

My wife and I just finished watching a DVD that portrayed the differences between C.S. Lewis and Sigmund Freud.  There were actors playing the main parts, along with a narrator.  Most (if not all) of what the actors said were actual quotes from the men.  Interspersed through this was a debate by a group of intellectuals.  They discussed a number of the important issues dividing Christians from atheists or agnostics.  But a few of the people had mixed beliefs in that they combined various religions and ideas to form their own spiritual worldview.

The DVD was produced by PBS, and it was 225 minutes long.  We watched it over several nights, and it sparked some good discussion between us.  I just wish they had taken the character portrayals a little further, as well as the discussion.  Some of the issues they discussed (such as why God allows pain and why there is death) were explained well by Lewis in his books but not covered in the DVD, and so they left them too open.

Overall, it was interesting, although I decline to recommend it because they didn’t represent the Christian side very well, and there were a few “art” pictures that were somewhat inappropriate.  (I suppose that was because of some of Freud’s crazy beliefs, but it wasn’t necessary to get the point across.)

After I finished watching the DVD, I wondered why there aren’t more debates these days…  I’m referring to well-thought-out debates by people who are educated and experienced.  I’m sure some still happen, but why are they seen so seldom?  I rarely see them on TV or even hear about them in the news or in magazines.  I’m afraid it’s becoming a lost art.  A lot of people these days don’t care about the real truth — what is “real” to them are their opinions.  In the process of exalting our own logic and reasoning to the highest authority, we end up discarding a lot of insight and wisdom that has been passed down through history.  And in doing so, we are no longer building upon the foundation of what was before us, but we are starting new.  That does not make us smarter but actually more ignorant.  I see this mindset prevalent in the Church, which saddens me.  A lot of church-goers say things like, “God doesn’t do that anymore”, because they haven’t seen it.  Never mind that for thousands of years something has been happening (like healings), some churches have modified their doctrine to explain away miracles and such because they aren’t seeing them.  And so we sit in the dark (spiritually), telling everyone how well we see, that we are the smartest generation in the history of mankind, yet not even aware of our own ignorance.

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