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Common Sense, Science And Christianity

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Oct 6, 2017, 4:36:51 AM10/6/17
Many people consider themselves Christian yet constantly go on about “common sense.” I do not see how such a thing is possible. It is common sense that, if someone punches you, you punch back; yet Christ says turn the other cheek. It is common sense that you hate your enemies; but Christ says love your enemies. It is common sense that an emperor of a huge nation is a winner and that a carpenter who dies on the cross is a loser; yet Christ outlasted the Roman Empire and is worshipped by people in much more powerful countries than Roman Empire ever became.

In science, common sense is known as bias. There is a reason for that as well. It is common sense that saving is good for you and spending is bad for you; yet in economics spending increases the GDP and as such adds to the country's economic might. There is nothing commonsensical about quantum physics or game theory; yet they are very much real. People think it common sense that a race that has had political success is better than the race that has not, but the reason for that has nothing to do with racial superiority and everything to do with superior methodology.

As for common sense itself, it is not nearly as sensible as it thinks that it is. It is common sense that “life is not fair”; it is common sense that “you get what you give.” These two statements are mutually contradictory. If life is not fair then you don't get what you give, and if you get what you give then life is fair. Two mutually contradictory statements are seen as part of the same mentality, which mean that the mentality is not nearly as sensible as it considers itself to be.

I have heard a priest say that common sense is something that God gave people to help them in having a moral compass. I find statements of that sort to be hypocritical. There is the line of thought that God created people rationally and with rightful capacities, and there is the line of thought that human nature is poisoned by sin. Which parts of human nature are good and which parts of human nature are bad? Why see common sense as better or worse than reason or feelings? I see no reason at all why common sense would achieve better outcomes than either of the above. Reason is responsible for most of what we have, and feelings are necessary all around. Yet many of the same people who demonize feelings and cast doubt on reason worship common sense – in some cases in the name of Christ, when we just saw that Christ's statements are anything but commonsensical.

I have been accused all my life of lacking common sense, and I came to the conclusion that I do not need it. There are many better things out there than common sense. Christianity is better. Science is better. Poetry is better. Who is a better moral guide: Jesus or a six-packer? And what is a better source of knowledge, Harvard or the school gym?

So I prefer Christianity, science and poetry to common sense. And I advocate the same for others.
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