Because I am who I am, I nearly always took these seriously while I held them. I tried to make them work for me.
I pushed them until they failed - and sometimes even-then, I kept-on pushing.
Indeed, the same applies since I became a Christian - since I could not easily find a church to which I could whole-heartedly commit.
For me, with my kind of mind, this meant that I needed to develop some level of primary and insider understanding of the various possibilities.
In doing so, I became aware of the gulf between secondarily knowing-about some-thing - and primarily knowing it from the inside.
Knowing about something is normal, mainstream, official 'knowing' - but I have little respect for it; no matter how much stuff a person 'knows' in this fashion, or how adept they have become at arranging this knowing-about in impressive patterns.
For me, all this is ultimately just a form of 'parroting'.
An example is the mediocre college student who assembles an essay by copying, pasting and arranging paragraphs taken from other-people - other-people who have themselves probably done exactly the same.
Mediocre, lazy students leave the cut-and-pasted paragraphs as they find them and add their own names - and get flagged up for plagiarism. Smarter and more diligent students re-phrase the paragraphs, add references - and get top marks...
(These are the Head Girl types - the middle-managers of life, who pretty much run things nowadays - helped by a smattering of psychopaths and hysterics.)
But both the plagiarist and the Head Girl amount to the same in the end.
And this parroting-process generates a whole vast world of discourse - from gossip and journalism to medicine, academia and science - yet with nobody at any point having any insider-comprehension of what is at issue.
I say this to explain why I am indifferent to the fact that vast quantities of high-status critique can be brought-against my fundamental convictions in relation to Christianity! (Or, indeed, science and medicine.)
It doesn't matter how much, or what names are attached to this deluge of critical commentary - all I see and hear is parroting!
Maybe; way, way-back before the generations of parrots began quoting parrots - there was a real thinker, who experienced what he advocated primarily and from-within - but after so many cycles of parroting, this has become lost among the noise and distortions of uncomprehending repetition.
This is why there is a bottom-line to thinking:
We cannot know more than we our-selves can think; and if we have-not thought, then we do not know.
Note added: Understanding the great mass of public discourse as merely parrots quoting parrots, shows a valid path towards dealing-with the 'information'-overload combined with knowledge-deficit that characterizes contemporary life.