Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Desire and truth

If you want to believe in God, Jesus, the Bible (or the Koran, the Book of Mormon, or Lizard People, or whatnot) then go believe. I'm not interested in discussing the issue, not because I'm close-minded, but because if you want to do something, that's sufficient justification for doing it, and when it comes to matters of belief, I have no interest in stopping anyone from believing anything. Believe what you want, say (mostly) what you want (but no lying!), read what you want, associate with whomever you please. I have nothing to say because, in a narrow sense, you win.

But the thing is, there are a lot of people who believe in God not because they want to, but because they mistakenly believe they have to: They believe because they think it's the truth, and they — like me — want to believe the truth, regardless of how they feel about specific truths.

I believe evolution, gravity, quantum mechanics, meta-ethical subjective relativism, that I live in California, not because I want to believe these things, but because I have to believe them: they're true... or so I think. I might be wrong, in which case, I'll change my beliefs. And I believe there's no God not because I want to believe there's no God, but because I have to, because it's the truth.

If you want to believe in God, fine. Do what you want; you don't need to justify yourself further. But if you think you have to believe in God because it's true that God exists, then we have something to talk about, because we both want the same thing, to believe what's true, and I think you're mistaken.

5 comments:

  1. Yes. I hit Publish by mistake. It's all there now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm not sure I understand: Are you asking why evidentiary support is a better way of justifying knowledge than other forms, such as faith?

    Yes, I am asking why and/or even if you, or other readers think one form of evidentiary support is superior to another.

    One must ask: With no disrespect intended, why would someone want to talk to you if they wanted a relationship with God? Couldn't they just talk to God directly?

    No disrespect taken. Someone, I will call them “the lost”, may or may not want to talk to me, you, or anyone for that matter about God. If they did want someone to talk to, and approached me with questions, I am saying that I would make myself available and be ready to try to answer their questions. And yes, they could talk to God directly if they desired to.

    What do you need to be ready for?

    The lost.

    J & E: "Since you adhere to personal choice = no room for discussion then is that not in and of itself judgmental from the lexis you used?"

    I was getting ahead of myself when reading your response and I was thinking that you were “going there” with a generalization about my opinion. In other words my belief or opinion was going to eventually be or is becoming judgmental which, as I said, in and of itself would be judgmental statement. I do not expect anyone to be or not be judgmental, except, of course, myself. ; )

    As far as persuading you to believe in God, I will just let our conversations and posts marinate for a while since we both probably have other things we need to tend to for now. In fact my upcoming replies and posts, much like yours as of late, will be sporadic at best for the next few weeks as I will be traveling on business.

    I will leave you with this though. I don’t care about getting a "win" for my "display of faith" in this discussion, I am interested in everyone “finishing well”.

    "It takes a lifetime to just begin to understand the truth. It's a long journey, and one that is filled with adventure. To not go is to become mostly bored, and resigned to finding entertainment as stimulus to ease the soul ache." -- D.J. Chuang

    ReplyDelete
  3. (J&E quotes from this comment)

    I am asking why and/or even if you, or other readers think one form of evidentiary support is superior to another.

    There's only one form of evidentiary support that I know of: actual facts.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Superior evidentiary support would be those that easily lead one to the correct conclusion obviously.

    ReplyDelete

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