Why People Become Cynics: I’ll Show My Parents

Here’s a simple truth: the greater the cynic, the greater the likelihood they hate their parents. At least, that’s what it seems like with the cynics I know. I’m guessing you agree.

Beyond the simple truth, things get complicated. Does hating your parents cause cynicism, or does being a cynic cause you to hate your parents?

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Why People Become Cynics: I Want to Be Special

At first, this looks like the opposite reason from peer pressure (the subject of my previous post). The peer-pressured become cynics to be like all the other cynics. Today’s post is about the people who become cynics because everyone else is sincere, and they want to be special.

When I think of the people who become cynics to be their own special snowflake, I think of Facebook. My newsfeed is a place where Snowflakes try to out-snowflake each other by proving they are the most cynical about evangelicalism.1

If you’re a Snowflake, here are some things you probably want to be:

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Why People Become Cynics: I Want Buzzfeed to Like Me!

Nobody admits this was the reason they became cynical. But whether people admit it or not, it’s the driving force behind many cynics–peer pressure.

The pressure doesn’t have to come from friends or professors. It can also come from “the culture” at large. Everything from TV to Twitter to the Salon articles that cool girl in your psych class posted on Facebook.

It’s easy to see why peer pressure can turn people into cynics:

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Why People Become Cynics: It’s an Honest Question!

In an earlier post, I talked about the reasons it’s so easy to get cynical about evangelicalism. Now, I’m starting a series on the different reasons people become cynics. My first reason is also the best: honest doubts.

The things that cause people to doubt their faith are so idiosyncratic and subjective there’s no point in trying to catalog them. Some people have a crisis of faith over chronology errors in the Old Testament. Others have a crisis over a church leader’s sex scandal, or their pastor’s political views, or the age of the earth, or string theory, or nuclear weapons, or (this list could keep going for months).

But there are still a couple general points to make about honest doubts:

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