evidence

The Wrap Up – Part 2

My last post was five months ago.  You know, the one that I called “Part 1” and promised a “Part 2” follow-up post?

So, Seth, what gives?

Well… ever feel like you’ve bitten off more than you can chew?  Or that you have so much to say about something, but don’t want to publish a novel on your blog since no one would probably read it?  Yeah, I know the feeling.

So, check this out:  I make a promise to my readers to compile and discuss (in a single post, mind you) all the evidences that I believe exist for the Christian faith.  Yeah yeah, I hear you skeptics chuckling out there — I can hear you thinking, “Well, that should be a short article!”  Go ahead, have your moment… I’ll give you a minute or two to enjoy your cleverness…. (more…)

Is faith evidence-based?

I saw this graphic, and I just had to post a bit of a rant about it — so, bear with me please 🙂 It’s a rather silly graphic, really — though I find it instructive because it shows a misunderstanding I consistently encounter when it comes to what faith is.

As a theist, I have before been accused of imposing my faith upon reality, rather than letting observations of reality inform my worldview.  Regardless of how you feel about the soundness of my worldview itself, this accusation (when it comes to my method, as well as those of many other theists) is patently false, for my faith is based on evidence rather than conjecture, whim or desire.  Contrary to what some would have us believe, faith is not an assertion in spite of evidence, but rather a belief based upon incomplete evidence.  An archaeologist could claim no better.

Does this mean that my reasoning is entirely infallible and airtight?  No way, I have no delusions that my mind is the paramount of rational thought.  Does it mean that I believe I have had the opportunity to gather and comprehend all the evidences available and thus make an impeccably well-informed decision?  Not in the slightest — I can only do the best with what I have so far.  What it does mean is that I believe the evidences that I have found support Christianity being true more than they do any competing theory.  It is evidence that brought me to my faith, and it is a consistent increase in evidence that has kept me there. (more…)

Response to Comment: Are we SURE naturalism could find God’s fingerprints?

I have been incredibly pleased and delighted at the discussions that spun off from my last post about naturalism — in fact, my involvement therein can serve as a kind of explanation for my recent absence from writing, for the discussions have been engaging and taxing (in a good way!).  Deep thanks to both tildeb and Gino for raising the quality of this blog by weighing in with such incisive and insightful discussion!

And I’m not just blowing smoke, either — I am always most thrilled when met with individuals who are both capable and willing to engage in civil, rational discussion about something as divisive and provocative as religion — such individuals, in my experience, are rare, and I’ve has the immense privilege and honor to have engaged with several such individuals during my short course as a blogger.  My hat’s off to all of you!

I found these discussions and points about naturalism especially fruitful, so I thought I’d devote another post to summing up the results of these discussions.  I shall try to be as fair as possible when representing my opponents’ positions, and I give either of you full permission to castigate me vehemently if I misrepresent you 😉 (more…)

Response to Comment: Evidence for miracles

In my recent post about naturalism, I mentioned a debate where blogger Matthew Ferguson defended naturalism to a Christian radio host — and doggone it if he didn’t respond to my post!  I was honored to attract the attention of such a learned and established writer, but perhaps more than that I was impressed with the clarity and thoroughness of his case. I figured such a response deserved a whole post of its own in answer to it 🙂

The rest of this post will be in response to Matthew’s most recent comment: (more…)

“Yellow-dog” naturalism

Mr. Lake was a great teacher, one of my all time favorites — he taught my A. P. Physics class in high school.  He once described himself as a “yellow-dog Democrat,” explaining that he would vote democrat “even if the only Democratic candidate in the running were a yellow dog.”

In this post (inspired by this debate where blogger Matthew Ferguson defends naturalism to a Christian radio host), I would like to challenge what I call yellow-dog naturalism, which is illustrated in the following statement: “A naturalistic explanation — even a far-fetched one — is always better than a supernatural explanation.” (more…)

Is evidence enough?

Happy Valentine’s Day, readers!  I have a thought that maybe, someday, barely loops back around to the Valentine’s Day theme 🙂

One need not read anything beyond the title of my blog to know that I have a high regard for evidence — it’s a big part of my worldview.  A philosophy not based on evidence, I believe, is one that is ill-founded, and I would expect any reasonable person to be able to back up their beliefs with evidence.  Every one of us here, I think, would like to be able to say that we would be willing to change our worldview at the drop of a hat, given sufficient evidence to warrant such a decision; not to do so would seem symptomatic of some deep-seated bias — a word which finds a comfortable place among other four-letter words, at least insofar as the intelligentsia are concerned.

But, I repeat the question asked in the title: Is evidence really enough to convince someone to take up or abandon belief in God?

(more…)