To say that all rodents have tails is the same as saying: ‘Every rodent has a tail’, or ‘Any rodent has a tail’, or ‘No rodent has no tail’. To say that most rodents have tails is to say that more than half of all rodents have tails, or that there are more rodents with tails than there are without them. But what about ‘Some rodents have tails’? What proportion of rodents must have tails for that to be true? In fact, that is a bad question. Such a statement does not tell you what proportion of rodents have tails.
i sometimes (ok, ok, at the times when i do, which of late happens not less than once a week) think of this example in the context of the ongoing debate about christianity being a false religion. the argument i heard yesterday was this – only the weak people need christianity. (implied: i am strong.) i don’t need religion.
this was followed by a comment – some christians are such hypocrites, i don’t want anything to do with christianity. (the inferences being: i consider myself not to be a hypocrite/i do not want to be labelled hypocrite)
i think this sort of arguments invalid. because of the vagueness of ‘weak’ and ‘strong’, and the impossibility to define ‘some’ and ‘hypocrite’. and also, because the truth and belief notions are permanently mixed in those statements.
but in two senses these statements are true – in not needing religion, and in not wanting anything to do with hypocrites (or wanting to be labelled as one). religion is a framework, void of meaning, unless one meets the deity in question. hypocrisy is a form of hiding the truth, pretending to be someone else or other than one is – and as such must be avoided by those who want to be transparent and sustain integrity.
so, what can i conclude from this? nothing.
or maybe, this (totally implied): truer followers of Christ make for fewer needless religions. for we lead by example, with our blood we testify of the blood of Christ that gives life to the strong and strength to those weak.
transparent and integral spiritual life becomes more important as a means of showing Christ to those that are searching for a meaning of life, an axis to build the vertical of their system of beliefs, or stability in a shifting world. it is time the followers of Christ stopped feeling guilty for what they have not done, and revealed their source of joy, peace and security to the outside world.
you might ask: and what if there is nothing to reveal? i might answer: do we speak of followers of Christ then?