A conviction is something that actually then in many ways is rooted in your soul. It is in your conscience. To change a conviction will involve a changing of who you are as a person. So, we are really not talking about preferences or opinions, and so when two worldviews collide, when two convictions collide, the best thing one can hope for is at least the cordiality with which we can disagree, and the civility with which we can interact in the midst of that disagreement. –Ravi Zacharias, Veritas Lecture "Is Tolerance Intolerant? Pursuing the Climate of Acceptance and Inclusion
I heard the comment many times in my first congregation, "That's just your opinion."
But it's not just an opinion for many. It's a conviction.
Ravi Zacharias put it succinctly in the above paragraph from his linked Veritas Lecture.
I don't think we are very good at making this distinction in our society today. We love spouting commentary about another's opinion. We actually denigrate their stances by calling them such. For the truth of the matter is, when it comes to many of the things we debate in this day and age, we are dealing with conviction.
And convictions, more often than not, cannot be proven. They are taken by faith.
For instance, a person who is a believer of God believes in two types of knowledge: knowledge gained by reason and knowledge gained by revelation.
A person who does not believe in God believes in one type of knowledge: knowledge gained by reason alone.
Which conviction is correct? (I would also add here, one could call these convictions "assumptions.")
The person of faith cannot prove there is such a thing as revelatory knowledge--at least not by reason alone. He or she assumes that such knowledge is real.
The person who believes all knowledge comes from reason is making an assumption as well. The statement "knowledge comes from reason" is an assumption. It cannot be proved by reason. That's called circular logic and has long been acknowledged as a fallacy.
Both convictions are taken upon faith. Period.
These basic convictions lead to very, very different conclusions about life. Period.
To change these convictions changes the entire worldview a person holds. Period.
And how easy is it to change a worldview? How easy is it to change one's basic assumptions/convictions about life? Very, very difficult. Period.
And so how can we discuss things when people hold vastly different convictions, those convictions are so difficult to change, and they lead to such vastly different conclusions about how the world operates and our place in that world?
...when two convictions collide, the best thing one can hope for is at least the cordiality with which we can disagree, and the civility with which we can interact in the midst of that disagreement.
Cordiality and civility. Two things hardly evident in much of our discourse in these days, especially since we are hardly taught to be humble. Everyone has to win. No one's self-esteem can be harmed. Everything has to be fair.
I call B.S.
If we are to have a civil and cordial discourse in this day and age, a massive dose of humility must be given to each and every person.
Christians, shouldn't have much of an issue as The Man instructed us, "All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted." --Matthew 23:12