Many of us have heard of the need to make a “Leap of Faith” in order to go from the evidence that we can take in with our senses and process with our brains in order to get to a belief in God in general or the specific faith–or lack thereof–that we hold. There is no clear and convincing proof of the existence of God, or of the validity, superiority if you will, of any particular religion. And atheists can’t prove their positions, either. No one on earth knows for sure; the assumption is that everyone who is no longer here–dead, that is–does know. Having faith requires a leap, a crossing of the irreducible gap, from where reason leaves off and belief begins. We use facts and reason to narrow the space that must be crossed by faith to the smallest possible gap.
In purely earthly matters, it does not take a leap of anything to understand the Pythagorean Theorem that in a right triangle A2 + B2 = C2. Or to believe Boyle’s Law of gasses. We can prove these things beyond any possible doubt.
Unlike with science, in our day-to-day earthly lives, more than ever taken up by politics, we all too often take a stand, grabbing onto what we believe, then fudging the facts until they agree with our beliefs. Here, instead of starting with the best facts and clearest reasoning, taking the narrowest possible leap to get to belief, we are starting with slogans and cliches, plus a few selected facts and opinions drawn from entirely sympathetic sources, requiring a huge Leap of Agenda to get from there, where minimal reasoning left off, to our political beliefs. And that’s the subject of today’s 10-minute podcast.
As an undergraduate philosophy student, I was drawn to Soren Kirkegarrd’s struggle to close the gap that needed to be crossed by faith in order to fully embrace his Christian belief. He did not simply state that he was a Christian, then go from there, picking up whatever supportive evidence and reasoning there was along the way.
How many of us who have strongly held convictions on controversial and important topics have aggressively ferreted out the pertinent facts, then applied sound, non agenda-based logic to those facts? Let’s start with some of the big issues:
- Climate Change. “The world will end in 12 years if we don’t aggressively address climate change.” Of the people who believe that, and want to completely upend the world as we know it in order to save it, how many actually have the facts (courts call real facts evidence) that would support such an Armageddon-like prediction? During the Vietnam War, an unnamed United States major, referring to the bombing of Ben Tre, South Vietnam, when asked by reporters why the village he bombed had to be virtually destroyed, replied, “In order to save the village, we had to destroy it.” Are we headed to a repeat of that kind of lunacy on a dramatically larger scale with climate change?
- Abortion. “My body.” “My choice.” Well is it your body? Science is giving us more and more evidence that it is a separate human. And given that if it is human abortions would be murder, real clarity is demanded here. With the “my choice” part, no one is free to do what they want just because they are using their bodies to do it. Like pushing on the accelerator with your foot to hit 60 mph in a school zone. Of punching me in the face after listening to this podcast…:).
- No Border Wall. If you want open borders, step up and say it. And give some real thought to what it would mean for the US to have the same type of borders with the US and the other 194 countries on the planet as we have among the 50 states. Crossing a state border, unimpeded with the intent to stay, means virtually instant citizenship, with access to all of the rights and benefits that new state provides. Is that free and immediate granting of rights and benefits what you want with the US and all the other countries in the world?
I was greatly amused to see “See also: Jumping to conclusions” in the Wikipedia article on Leap of Faith. With respect to Wikians and Wiki fans, I do not see these as at all related–save as opposites. A Leap of Faith is made after exhausting all logic and reason, making that leap from reason to faith as small as possible. Jumping to Conclusions means that we take scraps of facts and data from similar, unquestioned sources, leaving a Grand Canyon-like gap to be crossed, not by a Leap of Faith, but by a Leap of Agenda. Jumping to Conclusions and Leaps of Agenda are the same thing.
A Leap of Faith is required to close the unreducible gap between reason and belief in God or a specific view of God. Almost by definition, it is completely impossible to prove either the existence of God or the validity of a particular religion. A Leap of Agenda is used to close the entirely unnecessary gap between reason and political beliefs and policy. Facts (evidence), data and common sense are all that we need to completely solve the puzzle, to close any gap between reason and political policy. Common sense, buttressed with facts and non agenda-based reasoning, can lead us to realizing the common goals that we all have and can so easily discover.
Today’s Key Question: Why do we use Leaps of Agenda when they are not at all necessary, and likely to be dangerous? Answer. 1. We arrogant enough to believe that we are right, and there is absolutely no need to challenge our thinking. “My mind is made up; don’t confuse me with the facts.” 2. We are lazy. Research and thinking are hard.
Segueing from the specifics of today’s topic to overall principles, the core, driving principles at Revolution 2.0, are:
- Personal Responsibility; take it, teach it and,
- Be Your Brother’s Keeper. The answer to the biblical question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” is a ringing, unequivocal “Yes.” There is no other answer.
And do it all in love; without love, these are empty gestures, destined to go nowhere and mean nothing.
If we apply those two core principles, personal responsibility and brother’s keepers, simultaneously, never only one or the other, we will always be on the right path. Depending upon what we face, one principle or the other may appropriately be given more emphasis, but they are always acted upon together.
The Founders, Revolution 1.0, were declared traitors by the British Crown, and their lives were forfeit if caught. We risk very little by stepping up and participating in Revolution 2.0™. In fact, we risk our futures if we don’t. I am inviting you, recruiting you, to join Revolution 2.0™ today. Join with me in using what we know how to do–what we know we must do–to everyone’s advantage. Let’s practice thinking well of others as we seek common goals, research the facts that apply to those goals, and use non agenda-based reasoning to achieve those goals together. Practice personal responsibility and be your brother’s keeper.
Let’s continue to build on the revolutionary vision that we inherited. Read the blog, listen to the podcast, subscribe, recruit, act. Here’s what I mean by “acting.”
- Read the blogs and/or listen to the podcasts.
- Comment in the blogs. Let others know what you are thinking.
- Subscribe and recommend that others subscribe as well.
- Attach links from blogs into your social media feeds. Share your thoughts about the link.
- From time-to-time, attach links to blogs in emails that mention related subjects. Or just send the links to family and friends.
Revolution 1.0 in 1776 was built by people talking to other people, agreeing and disagreeing, but always finding ways to stay united and go forward. Revolution 2.0 will be built the same way.
Join me. Join the others. Think about what we are talking about and share these thoughts and principles with others. Subscribe, encourage others to subscribe. Act. Let’s grow this together.
And visit the store. Fun stuff, including hats, mugs and t-shirts. Recommend other items that you’d like to see.
Links and References
As we get ready to wrap up, please do respond in the blog with comments or questions about this podcast or anything that comes to mind, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google, or Stitcher.
Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act. And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.
Know your stuff, then act on it. Knowing your stuff without acting is empty; acting without knowing is dangerous.
Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.