Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tempted to Troll

Some time ago, there was a Youtube video of a girl who was praising Jesus because of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan not too long ago. There was quite the backlash about it, and everyone from atheists to Christians reacted and posted all kinds of angry rebukes. It got so bad that she eventually posted a new video where she admitted that she was just trolling.

Here's the thing - she had me fooled, and a whole lot of other people. Now, this blog isn't an explanation of Poe's Law, which states: "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won't mistake for the real thing." However, her blog did get me to thinking about trying my hand at trolling myself, just as an exercise to see if I could pull it off.

Of course, I could easily pose as a convincing extremist. All I'd have to do is regurgitate Pascal's wager and the creationist propaganda from Answers in Genesis. There's no challenge in that. But could I successfully pose as a more mainstream Christian - even one who is thoughtful about his beliefs? Could I fool not only the nonbelievers but the believers as well?

To what end? Well, part of it comes with my frustration with debating Christians where they can never seem to even articulate what my point of view is. Not only that, but many of them wind up writing long screeds where they essentially sum up Christianity 101, as if I hadn't heard all of those arguments before. I always feel like I have no problem getting what they're saying, but they are utterly clueless as to what I'm saying - either because they're too dense in some cases or because if they completely acknowledged my point, they'd have to confront the weaknesses in their own.

I don't feel like carrying on some extensive, protracted act of duplicity. I just want to see if I can get a few blog posts out there and see if I can convincingly make the case for the Christian viewpoint. Obviously, I won't ever be able to write something where every Christian agrees, but can I do something where no Christian questions my sincerity or whether I understand the basic philosophy?

It's an interesting idea, and as of right now it's only that - an idea. I haven't been blogging much lately, but perhaps this will inspire me to write some more.


Anonymous said...

Wow.I can't believe you are wasting time considering such nonsense. Why do you care about what other people believe? What I am more curious about is why you need others to explain and justify their beliefs to you. It seems like someone with your intelligence and gift for articulating your thoughts would be better off spending your energy on more worthwhile pursuits. You could even put your efforts towards a Master's Degree or PhD with all of you knowledge and interesting arguments. Just my opinion.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I guess I just want to prove that I can understand the other side of the argument.

Also, something that I didn't mention in the post is another thing that prompted this. I was writing a story once where I had a Christian as a character debating another non-Christian over the nature of God. I wanted the character to sound authentic and not just a straw man.

And I think that this little exercise wouldn't take up even a tiny fraction of the time that it would take to get a Master's or a PhD. How much time do you think it would take me to write a couple of blog entries?

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Also, I don't get this comment:

"What I am more curious about is why you need others to explain and justify their beliefs to you."

They don't, unless their beliefs have an impact on my life, as religious beliefs sometimes do. Beyond that, sometimes I get in conversations - nobody HAS to explain anything to me, but they choose to do so as we engage in conversation.