Thursday, May 24, 2007

Why do you believe?

Think about why you hold your religious beliefs. List out the kinds of evidence.

  • Personal experience: Muslims and Christians both point to personal experience as proof of their religions. Islam and Christianity are mutually exclusive. Therefore, although some personal experiences may be true, we cannot use them as evidence for validity of belief.
  • Literature: If being published written with the claim of validity were proof of truth, then the Koran, the Bible, and the book of Mormon would all be true. Since they are mutually exclusive, we need a better standard. In academia, that standard is being published in a peer-reviewed academic journal. Remove everything that has not been published or supported in a peer-reviewed academic journal.
  • Personal accounts of others: If written, see Literature. Otherwise, we have no way of holding people accountable for what they say. Therefore, we cannot base our beliefs on them.

Now look at the evidence you have left. Does it still convince you that your beliefs are true? If so, please describe your beliefs and share your evidence. Be sure to cite all sources.

7 comments:

A. Thinker said...

Funny that I post this here then message you about it elsewhere, dear, but do you mind if I use this same approach to my family?

One more thing: Many Christians would consider the Bible to be a peer-reviewed source. Take from that what you will.

Grey said...

A summary of how I come to my beliefs is on the left hand side

jackal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jackal said...

Yes, Honey, go ahead and use it on your family.
Thank you, grey. Very amusing.

Al said...

None of the above. Literature in the sense that I hold Scripture to be inspired and hence a font for doctrine, but I don't see that as justifying itself (as that would clearly be circular). I know there is a God because I can rationally demonstrate His existence. I know He exists and that my happiness lies in union with Him and hence I expect Him to reveal Himself. Then, I find that a religion exists which was founded by Him and offers His grace to me for my salvation - Christianity. I know it is from Him because those who act in His name act demonstrably with His authority by performing miracles. And so I have faith that Christ was truly God and truly man and that His Church continues today in order to bring the Gospel and His grace to all mankind. That's my two cents.

jackal said...

al, please demonstrate rationally that your god exists. So far you have not given any evidence. You have simply stated your beliefs.

John said...

I think people tend to believe things (without evidence) that they fear might be true, and things that they want to be true. This applies to more than just religious belief also. I have been thinkong a lot on this lately, and may make a post about it soon.