My latest post on agnosticism seems to have elicited much attention and response — my sincere thanks to all who weighed in! I was especially pleased by the variety in the kinds of responses I received — often it seems I am disposed to attract comments chiefly from those who vehemently disagree with me 😉
One response in particular came from Vinny, whose recent addition to our community here has been most welcome — I appreciate his consistently fair-minded and non-inflammatory approach to these discussions, and I always welcome what he has to say. Something he said in this particular discussion caught my attention so powerfully that I felt compelled to devote a post to its response. I’ll quote the comment in its entirety below, but first a quick synopsis of our discussion up to this point: (more…)
It seems of late the most common objections I seem to come against when it comes to my faith have to do with my methodology: Apparently, I lack a compelling link between the God in which I believe and the evidence I claim supports Him. Sure, things like the fine-tuning of the universe, the complexity of life, miracles, prophesy, personal religious experiences, etc. may, to the simple mind, lead to a prima facie acceptance of some divine Agent behind it all — but the superior mind (I’ve come to understand) refuses to accept such hypotheses without an airtight, no-wiggle-room, universally-accepted case that unequivocally and unquestionably shows that X body of evidence leads (and must only lead) to God Y. Until that happens, the rational mind can reasonably — nay, needs must — be confined to the realm of agnosticism.
It’s a neat little case — but I’m not convinced that this is actually how people make decisions. If I wait until I’m absolutely sure about something before I jump, then you can be assured that I will lead a very uneventful life, because I’ll never do anything. Good decisions are not predicated upon certainty — they are founded on a reasonable analysis of the available data coupled with an assessment of the applicable risks. I would posit that this is a far more pragmatic approach when it comes to making decisions — including those having to do with God. (more…)
I think most of my readers can agree on one thing at least: Blind faith is a bad thing. You know what I’m talking about — it’s the kind of faith that holds onto belief not only in incomplete evidence, but in a complete absence of evidence, and sometimes even in the face of contrary evidence. If we were to set up a belief spectrum, where as you move more and more to the right you are willing to accept claims with less and less evidence, then blind faith would fall to the rightmost extreme — and if Aristotle taught us anything, it’s that extremes are bad, right?
Here are some of the things that make blind faith lame: (more…)
Throughout my recent leave of absence from blogging to pursue theatrical interests, I continued to read the dozens of comments that continued to trickle in (thanks for those!). This practice led, somewhat unexpectedly, to a greater sense of clarity of my purpose of starting this blog in the first place.
You see, I tend to be detail-oriented when it comes to answering objections and counter-points, and this can sometimes make me myopic concerning the bigger picture — now, having been able to take in the body of such objections and counter-points as a whole rather than immediately taking the time to comb through each response one-by-one, it’s shown me some things that I’m not sure I would have been able to see otherwise, some patterns in the types of points people tend to make that reveal somewhat more clearly the essence of the disagreement that lies between myself and others of our race whose conclusions about the divine are contrary. There are, in fact, three such patterns I would like to address in this post — my apologies for its length, but I felt this was important 🙂 (more…)
Howdy fellow recovering intellectuals! My apologies for being so scarce here lately — all of my theatrical endeavors have finally concluded! It’s been awhile since I’ve done a play, and boy I forgot how taxing it can be! For the past three months or so I’ve felt like life has just sort of been happening to me, and it’ll be so nice to get on the front-side of things again — also, I can devote more energy into getting the home ready for the baby. (Did I mention my wife was expecting?? Our first, a son 😀 So happy!) Perhaps I’m getting too old for this theatre thing!
In the meantime, I have been reading the excellent comments and responses that you all have been leaving here — I have my work cut out for me! There are some great points being made. I look forward to diving back in! Thanks for your patience with me. Talk to you all soon!