By Rabbi Daniel Lapin
March 31, 2011
Occasionally, discretion really is the best part of valor. The endearing heavyweight boxing champion, George Foreman, won over 90% of his matches. He is slightly bigger and has a four inch longer reach than one other heavyweight champion, David Haye, who has also won about 90% of his matches. Nonetheless, George would be well advised to stick to marketing his cooking grills. There is only one reason I discourage a ring engagement with Hayes. George Foreman is 63 years-old and David Hayes is 30 years-old. The way that the world really works, 63 year-old boxers do not beat 30 year-olds.
Here is another competition to avoid. Someone in your own age group and athletic league challenges you, “Let’s see who can complete a marathon more quickly.” You accept because you’re easily up to the twenty-six mile challenge but your friend goes on to explain, “Just to make it more interesting, I’ll be running the Tri-Cities marathon in Richland, Washington, while you do the Pikes Peak marathon near Colorado Springs, Colorado.” While it is true that both races are of equal length, the former is a smooth, flat course, while as the name suggests, those running the Pikes Peak marathon have to climb over a mile of elevation during the first half of the race. The way that the world really works, runners do not run Pikes Peak nearly as quickly as they can run Tri-Cities.
For my final example, I present one more contest. Team A has to demolish a multi-story office building while team B must erect a similar structure. Team A wins because, as we all know, the way that the world really works is that it takes years to build a skyscraper and only minutes to destroy it.
You see, there are many contests that appear to be fair but in fact, contain features that utterly distort them. The reason I told you all that is in order to tell you this:
Debates about God and Faith are intrinsically biased in favor of the atheist because they contain features that distort the fairness. I recommend you remain out of the ring.
The rules and restraints of Bible-based faith that confine and channel the instincts and appetites of humans are an amazingly complex structure that has been at the root of all of western civilization to which folks still aspire by voting with their feet.
These institutional structures that Faith built are far easier to knock down than they are to develop and put in place. In the same way that a contest between a builder and a breaker is biased in favor of the breaker, a debate between a supporter of Bible faith and a shatterer of that faith is intrinsically biased. When atheism debates faith, the major part of its arsenal is the rhetoric of ridicule which can be quickly deployed and as devastatingly destructive as dynamite.
Happy is the individual
who does not walk
among the counsels of the wicked,
and who doesn’t stand in the path of the sinners,
and who doesn’t sit in the gatherings of those who ridicule.
King David is describing destructiveness in ascending order. Occasional wickedness is bad but not as bad as habitual sinning. Both however, are not nearly as destructive as ridicule. What is worse, it is the most tempting. I might be tempted to walk past the wicked to catch a word or a phrase of their destructive chatter. I could quite possibly be tempted to stop walking and remain standing among the sinners so I can be titillated by what they are up to. But the ridiculers are so inviting that I could easily be persuaded to sit down. They are funny and engaging and while I sit in their gatherings, whether in real life or by watching entertainment that ridicules faith, they erode my soul.
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In most competitions of life and love and of money and marriage, mouths are our main advantage. There are ways we can harm and hinder our capacity to communicate and there are powerful ways to enhance it. Learn to give yourself a competitive step up in my audio CD The Perils of Profanity: You Are What You Speak.
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Rabbi Daniel Lapin, known world-wide as America's Rabbi, is a noted rabbinic scholar, best-selling author and host of the Rabbi Daniel Lapin Show on San Francisco’s KSFO. He is one of America’s most eloquent speakers and his ability to extract life principles from the Bible and transmit them in an entertaining manner has brought countless numbers of Jews and Christians closer to their respective faiths. In 2007 Newsweek magazine included him in its list of America’s fifty most influential rabbis.
You can contact Rabbi Daniel Lapin through his website.
Web Site: www.rabbidaniellapin.com