“…The Jew saw them all, survived them all, and is now what he always was, exhibiting no decadence, no infirmities of age, no weakening of his parts, no slowing of his energies, no dulling of his alert but aggressive mind. All things are mortal but the Jews; all other forces pass, but he remains. What is the secret of his immortality?” – Mark Twain: September 1897 (Quoted in The National Jewish Post & Observer, June 6, 1984).
If you are not already aware, the focal point of this article is to introduce the importance of apologetics and its role in all major modern religions. This is precisely why the aforementioned quote has been utilized to introduce it. The seemingly provident immortality of the nation of Israel stands as a powerful apologetic in and of itself. Although, what exactly is an apologetic or apologetics as a whole? Simply put, apologetics is the discipline by which one defends a faith or belief system.
The term apologetics is a derivative of the original Greek root, apologia. Apologia simply means to defend. Well, why is such a discipline important? Without it, no argument is verifiable nor is any falsifiable. Such a predicament is quite detrimental for religion as a whole. Without finite evidence to back up claims made, religion is nothing more than, in the words of Han Solo, “a bunch of mumbo jumbo.” Therefore, in order for apologetics to be effective, there needs to be a background of plausible evidence outside of the realm of personal experience. While personal experience is indeed important for one’s own faith, any claim can be made in the name of religion with no means to test the legitimacy.
If you have made it this far, you are probably asking yourself, “why is the title of this article Can‘t We All Just Get Along?” This is a valid question to which I shall respond with a question in return. Do not all faith systems have relevant evidence upon which they support their claims? Yes, of course they do. In the Judeo-Christian modern world, some may seem to hold more weight than others, but that does not eliminate the fact that we are all apologists in our own right. Instead of allowing words to fall upon deaf ears and desiring only to speak, we should all be willing to hear the stances and viewpoints of others. The true apologist does not force beliefs or arguments upon those around them. On the contrary, they defend what they hold true. Embarking on a crusade of words and interjections makes one only seem ignorant and lacking a willingness to remedy said state of unlearned objection.
In conclusion, the defense of one’s faith does not need to be rude or overwhelming. In contrast, it should be welcoming and humble. The defender of beliefs need not embarrass with regurgitated facts but be willing to converse with open-mindedness. When one truly listens, the opposing perspective will be more inclined to listen as well. Let us all reflect on how we could improve upon stepping into our roles as defenders of faith.