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Author Topic:   Did Jesus Exist? by Bart Ehrman
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 348 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


Message 15 of 131 (658500)
04-05-2012 1:52 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Phat
04-05-2012 12:53 PM


Re: Intellectual Pursuit Leads Only To Vapid Uncertainty
People laugh and say that I am willfully ignorant at remaining a believer. My only response is that I dont want my pursuit of truth to lead only to more questions and more uncertainty. And I would be as much of a fool to declare there to be no Historical Jesus ....thus negating the possibility that a universal Creator is real and tried to relate to humanity through a human medium.

Then of course I suppose I can't deny what the facts say.

Can anyone deny anything that they don't want to deny to begin with, however?

You've almost certainly cast aside beliefs you previously held at some point in your life, Phat. They might not have seemed as significant as your religious beliefs, but it's happened nonetheless.

I'm sure you intellectually agree that thing are not true merely because we wish them to be. Any given position is true or false regardless of how we feel about it...which is why we're not all incredibly wealthy model-attractive immortal geniuses, or something along those lines.

False beliefs should be denied. In this case...if Jesus actually existed, then I want to believe that Jesus actually existed. If Jesus did not actually exist, then I want to not believe that Jesus actually existed. Shouldn't we want to hold beliefs that accurately reflect reality more than we want to hold to a belief that we just happen to like?

Emotionally that's hard. It was extremely difficult for me when I denied Christianity and became an Atheist, to use an extreme example...but even small changes in firm beliefs, even when those beliefs aren't particularly "important," can carry emotional trepidation. But what we want shouldn't be to hold a specific belief. What we want should be to hold the belief that most accurately reflects reality...even if that belief isn't pleasant. To do otherwise is simply to lie to oneself, intentionally.

I didn't want to give up Christianity. But eventually, I got to the point where I realized that what I really wanted was to be intellectually honest with myself, and to hold the most accurate beliefs possible given the evidence available to me. That decision, the requirement that my beliefs be backed by evidence, is what forced me to give up Christianity, whether I liked it or not.

I want to believe what has actual bases in fact. I want not to believe what does not have actual basis in fact. What is true is true, whether I believe it or not; acknowledging which belief is true can't make anything worse.


“The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it.”
- Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Phat, posted 04-05-2012 12:53 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by AdminModulous, posted 04-05-2012 3:20 PM Rahvin has not yet responded
 Message 24 by Phat, posted 04-05-2012 9:56 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
Rahvin
Member (Idle past 348 days)
Posts: 3964
Joined: 07-01-2005


(2)
Message 18 of 131 (658504)
04-05-2012 2:07 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by Phat
04-05-2012 1:22 PM


Re: Intellectual Pursuit Leads Only To Vapid Uncertainty
I suppose. My Dad gave me everything I ever wanted...except certainty. He died when I was 17. Looking back, I wanted him...not his money. I wanted him to never leave me.

Then there is jar. Jar used to talk to me in chat. Now, he wants nothing to do with chat or with talking. Frankly it makes me mad! He says he never would accept lotto money...yet the man works every day and has no time for talking? what kind of a worthwhile life is that?

My idea of God is of one who always has time. Who would never leave me alone. I dont need money from God. I need God.

I dont need riches from life. I need certainty. To me, science is vapid and hollow. Yes, they will cure cancer. But what good is 20 more years added to a lifespan that has nothing promised, no certainty, and a certain death with an uncertain conclusion...aside from ceasing to exist?? These people seek to find truth. Yet they only find uncertainty apart from the false god of human reason.

You don't have certainty though, Phat. You have the illusion of certainty, granted through the false confidence of faith. Just because someone promises you something, even if you truly believe them, doesn't mean it's actually going to happen.

We are all plagued with uncertainty. Nobody knows, though many think and many more believe. The ones who say they're certain are fools, insane, or liars - certainty is a logical impossibility.

Remember, what's true is already true. If God exists, then he exists; if he doesn't exist, then he doesn't exist. Your belief is irrelevant; you're either right or wrong, simply believing doesn't make it so, and acknowledging the truth doesn't make anything disappear.

Why is clinging to false certainty more important than finding out if your belief is actually likely to be true at all? If it's true, then you don't have to give up the belief, and if it's false, then all you've given up is a lie, because what the lie promised wasn't going to happen anyway.


“The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion (either as being the received opinion or as being agreeable to itself) draws all things else to support and agree with it.”
- Francis Bacon

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs." - John Rogers


This message is a reply to:
 Message 14 by Phat, posted 04-05-2012 1:22 PM Phat has not yet responded

  
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