Reason, belief and Occam’s Razor.

Claiming the mantles of both Christian and rationalist probably disturbs rationalists more than it does Christians. I’m okay with that. Rationalists believe that all questions can eventually be answered (although it will probably open up new questions in the process, of course), and that is, fundamentally, the core of their rejection of religion. I believe that the universe will always have some mysteries; specifically origins. That alone is sufficient evidence (leaving aside my personal experiences) in my mind to require  a God. Again, leaving aside my own experience, Pascal’s wager and the nature of most world religions implies that there are very few religions that are appropriate to choose. The overwhelming majority of belief systems do not require salvation in itself, merely good behaviors. Only a very few demand some form of redemption for man. At that point, if there is some immortal part to me (and I don’t know that there is, necessarily, much as I like the idea) then it makes sense for me to choose a way that leads to maximal utility.

So, we start with three beliefs, and I think you will see how starting down this path leads to Christianity.

A) The universe has unanswerable questions.

B) God, by His nature, is unknowable in any complete sense. (A topic for a later, MUCH longer post)

C) Only a few religions demand some sort of penance for being human.

There are more aspects to my specific choice for Christ, of course, some of which are much more telling (for me) than these, but they are for another time.

  1. #1 by Constant Reader on September 16, 2011 - 3:16 pm

    I have often wondered at how athiest legitimize their position through logic. They begin with the premise that science will answer everything, thus there is no reason to believe god or God exists. It sounds to me that they begin with the the assumption that god doesn’t exist run through a series of ‘since we you cannot completely describe god to me, he cannot exist’ arguments and conclude he does not I fact exist.

    I fear that me inability to see the logic in their train of thought. Perhaps it would be wiser if I explain my own train of thought and see if it follows.

    First, we must assume that life exists, since we know from the experiments of M. Pasteur that spontanious generation is false, life must have come from life. I call that life God, how he came to be is something I do not believe science can answer. Therefore, there must be questions that science cannot answer.

    • #2 by thesmokingfrog on September 16, 2011 - 3:22 pm

      The atheist/rationalist/naturalist position is actually quite logically sound, based on a single premise, which is where the thinking Christian (or any other believer, for that matter) and the rational atheist disagree. The atheist holds that repeatable observation alone is the only means by which to make a decision. The believer holds that subjective observation also has a place in decision making. When fully distilled, this is the essence of the disagreement. Also, your last point is flawed; non sequitur and proof by assertion. The demonstration of this is left as an exercise to the reader.

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