I have written about this topic before, but I do think it bears repeating now in the context of the mission we are on to decide how we ought to promote a culture that enables people and encourages them to choose that which is right.
We need to reverse engineer the process here because, as you well know, I am a Christian, and I do believe that a world in which everyone was committed to pursuing God as best they could would be about as good as we could get in this fallen world.
Am I suggesting then that we force everyone to say they are Christians or else? Absolutely not. That would not achieve my purpose at all, and in fact, that would violate my embraced principle of the good of freedom. We want people to freely choose to do that which is right, so any talk of governmental compulsion is strictly contrary to that end. It would not be freely choosing to do what is right.
However, like I said before, I do believe that Christianity is true, and I do believe that it is the most comprehensive worldview for explaining not only our human nature but the universe at large. I believe that evidence to support that claim that I’m not necessarily going to get into here, but I have made that case in other places. I don’t want to divert our focus right now.
We then should proceed logically. Because I do believe that Christianity is the truest worldview that is the most consistent with human thriving, think about the consequences of allowing for a totally free marketplace of ideas. Ideas are going to be able to be discussed, debated and deliberated.
Some people might be afraid of this kind of freedom. Some people might argue that this could lead down a very dark path. For example, you see the horrors of ISIS, and as hard as it is to believe, there were originally some people who freely chose to follow that path. Now, I understand they use severe brainwashing and harsh punishment to keep their followers, but there was one person who made the decision to follow this worldview, and look at all the evil that was created. Allowing for this type of freedom can allow evil people to embrace evil worldviews.
I realize that is a risk of allowing for freedom, but keep in mind that we have already established several goods, and one of the goods is the good of life. When a violent ideology of that nature arises, there is a responsibility for the government to interfere and preserve the life of the other people. This is not limiting the freedom of religion but rather protecting the good of life.
This type of understanding of freedom then is how we can begin to create a society that allows people to choose the good. We need to allow them to have the freedom to discover that which is good. I do believe that this type of freedom of speech, religion and belief allows the best ideas to rise to the top. While not everyone will come to the same conclusions, by and large, I’m not afraid of open debate especially as a Christian. That which is true is going to ultimately triumph.