Tactics Chapter 8: Practical Suicide
by David Stoecker*
Last chapter you learned that some people’s objections you do not have to defend. Instead, you show that their point commits suicide, meaning all you have to do is ask questions about the point that is being made and it will fail. Some views can also be self-defeating, just in a different way. One of those ways is practical suicide.
In this type of suicidal view, "you can hold the view, but you can’t promote it." I used to say that I could not stand prejudiced people. In saying that about a certain type of people, I was showing myself to be prejudiced. So although I may dislike prejudice, saying that I do not like prejudiced people made me a prejudiced person.
Others say that apologetics is not adequate, because it uses reason to discover truth. "In fact, I will give you three good reasons why you can’t use logic to find truth." Another view that commits practical suicide is "condemning condemnation." This is where you state your belief that someone is wrong for doing something. In turn, someone tells you that you are wrong for condemning people like you just did. All you have to do now is ask them why they are condemning you.
When you share with others about Christ, you are following the command that Christ gave us with the Great Commission. You may have others of a different faith tell you that it is wrong to try and change their religious views. In saying this, they are telling you to change your religious views. They want you to abandon your views of evangelism and instead adopt their views.
A moral relativist will push their morals on you, whilst telling you that it is wrong to push your morality on them. Greg Koukl says: The only consistent response for a relativist is, "Pushing morality is wrong for me, but that’s just my personal opinion and has nothing to do with you. Please ignore me."
Hopefully through these examples you can see exactly what a practical suicide view is. It is another view point that will self-destruct. It will not self-destruct due to internal contradiction. Instead, it is a view that one can believe, but they cannot promote it or act on it because they will violate their own convictions, for example, "It is wrong to say people are wrong."
See you next time when we introduce a couple more self-destructing points of view.
*Written for TPE by David Stoecker of Spiritual Spackle.