In Case You Wondered Why I Care About The Topic So Much…

I’ve said a lot about religion and will say more. There is at times a person who stands up and says something very well, something that deserves to be listened to.

Here is one of ‘those’ posts…

My Inaugural Speech, On the State of the Case for Christianity

By John W. Loftus at 1/14/2013

Here is a short snippet of the post:

As to the state of the case for Christianity, it’s abysmal. It has no more epistemic warrant for it than any other religion. Of that I am sure. The only people who don’t see this for what it is are deluded, indoctrinated, enculturated and even brainwashed Christians. This goes for the highly educated as well as the Bible thumping ignoramuses. This goes for the conservatives as well as for the moderates and liberals.Religious faith is a cognitive bias that overestimates the force of confirming evidence and underestimates the force of disconfirming evidence. Faith ignores the probabilities at every turn in favor of what believers prefer to be true. Faith itself is irrational and dangerous. We should think exclusively in terms of the probabilities when it comes to matters of truth propositions about the nature and existence of the universe and our place in it.

Typically whenever I say such things, believers of all persuasions will pounce on me, arguing that it’s improbable the universe even exists, much less the complexity of the human brain and self-consciousness. What they fail to understand is that this is not thinking exclusively in terms of probabilities after all, even though it sounds that way. For to think exclusively in terms of probabilities means comparing the likelihood of the naturalistic hypothesis with the many others. The question is not whether it’s improbable for this universe to exist as we find it. The question is whether one out of the thousands of god-hypotheses are more probable than the natural explanation. Likewise, the question isn’t whether natural explanations of the so-called “Easter Event” are improbable. The question is whether those natural explanations are more improbable than that a man lived after being dead for three days in the ancient past, an impossible event within the natural order on its own. Not even other non-Christian religious believers think the evidence for the resurrection is good enough to become Christians, even the millions of Jews who believed in Yahweh and miracles and prophecy in the days of Jesus! LET. THIS. SINK. IN. THAT’S thinking in terms of the probabilities and they can best be understood if we become Bayesian’s in our thinking (you can do it without the math).

 

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