I have noticed a couple different behaviors in people. First, people who are so caught up in reality that they reduce it to a cold-hearted survivalistic, "this is reality- live with it!" world, that they forget that humanity has dignity, and the world has beauty. Second, people who are so blinded by their fantastic and utopianistic ideas of what the world could be that they forget that they live in a reality of hardship, pain, and suffering.
I've tried many times to express that there is a middle ground on this that many people don't like to hear (yet, many have also found). (Side note: I think that people like to be polarized on issues for a few reasons: Belonging to a group, having a "higher" purpose, or the shear thrill of having an emotional debate with an opponent (see Thrilled to Death). I also think that the media (and people who's careers depend on other people following them) propagates polarization on many topics, including this one, for increased attention by the same people as mentioned above- but I digress).
John Snider of In The Public Square recently put up a podcast (same name) episode entitled "Lizards and Wizards". Snider describes this whole false dichotomy so much better than I could think to. Anyone who listens to the media (any of the networks, not just news) or anyone who feels pulled in either direction (knowing that neither is correct), needs to listen to this episode. It is under an hour long, so it can be burned to CD and listened to in the car, if you can't set at your PC for the time to listen (click the title to download it).
Here it is:
What does this have to do with Christian apologetics? What Snider describes is the attitude of many people; he also provides a "middle ground" that is found in the Christian worldview. A correct worldview must be fully compatible with (if not encourage) behavior that is between two non-exclusive extremes. I would also like to posit that a correct worldview will be able to further explain why people behave in these two extreme ways. I believe that Christianity explains the noble side of both behaviors by recognizing the pain and suffering in the world; it explains the extreme, laser-focused behavior of both by appealing to the human desire to fix the pain and suffering; it explains the ridiculous opposition to the other position by appealing to human pride.
Both "Lizards" and "Wizards" are driven by hedonism (the quest for ultimate pleasure) to such a point that they disregard other concerns. The main difference is that "Lizards" take the existential road (focusing on the present); while the "Wizards" take the utopianistic road (focusing on the future).
On the Christian worldview, both "Lizards" and "Wizards" are wrong because of their common goal (hedonism). Christianity gives man a different goal that allows him to pay attention to both the present and the future without completely disregarding one or the other. This is a much more balanced way of living in the universe we are stuck in.