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September 02, 2009

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ChunLing

You know...actions speak louder than words, but there is something to be said for using your 'indoor voice' in a classroom setting. So to speak.

Which is just to say, I usually raise my hand first and remain seated. It's true that usually I don't need to to anything more dramatic to make a point. But it's also the case that, if you're too dramatic, the point can kinda get lost in the shuffle.

Of course, the fact that I exist at all is sufficiently discomfiting to most people. I suppose it must be nice to be the sort of person that other people don't instinctively fear. But even so...advancing on some old guy and forcibly taking his instructional material out of his hand does seem a bit much.

Colette Moran

If you actually watched the video, you'd know the prof in the parable asked anyone who still believed in God to stand up. And then he said if there was a God, He would stop the chalk from falling to the ground.

The prof was challenging his students and God -- stepping forward and saying "I believe in God and will do His will to fight those who would deny Him" and taking the chalk from his hand wouldn't be "a bit much" it would be totally appropriate.

Point being: How often have people stood by hoping for divine intervention or someone else to do the right thing -- when they have the power within themselves?

ChunLing

I don't believe it's God's will to fight those who deny Him. And I wouldn't stand up at the behest of some guy whose business it is not to find out my opinion on God. I'd raise my hand and ask him why he thought it was appropriate for him to ask such a thing. I might or might not suggest that he hand out little felt badges to pin on the believers, while he was at it. But I wouldn't be addressing his lack of faith. I believe that it is the God-given right of every human being to believe what they will about God. Which cuts both ways.

By the way, why is this story now a parable? I'm a little curious. I always thought it was just a sort of anecdote, an illustration of what is clearly the primary topic of the story itself.

My eventual answer to the professor's challenge would be epistemological, what is the basis for believing that God doesn't want the chalk to fall. At that point I'd turn the chalk into a sort of a parable for the professor's soul, what reason does he have to believe that God wouldn't want him to fall into disbelief? I might make a snarky comment about how, if I were God, I might not try all that hard to keep the professor around me for eternity either.

I just think that sometimes people start missing the point in all the controversy. If God wanted to force people to believe in Him, He could do that easily enough without your help. But as Christ pointed out, there's no virtue in belief unless it is voluntary. The devils also believe, and tremble (because they won't be saved by that belief). But you can stand for the freedom to believe...and in this particular case that would mean remaining seated...and challenging the real offense.

Of course, it's always easier to win an argument if you can make the other party look like a Nazi. That's why Go...what's his name who said that eventually any internet discussion will bring up Nazis. But the thing to remember is that there are some specific things that the Nazis did which makes us all remember them ever so fondly as we do.

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