Source: Brian Holdsworth via YouTube
Music written and generously provided by Paul Jernberg. Find out more about his work as a composer here: https://pauljernberg.com
Spanish translations by Vélez Translations, https://www.veleztranslations.com
Both atheists and theists alike, on the question of God’s existence, like to portray their position as the more rational one.
Atheists will say, prove it to me. You’re making extraordinary claims, therefore give me irrefutable evidence such that it would be impossible to deny. This, btw, is a standard of proof far in excess of anything science has ever had to demonstrate.
Not only do they expect a perfectly sound argument, but they expect it to be the exact kind of evidence that each subjective examiner needs to satisfy his or her own particular hang-up.
And theists love to try to rise to those occasions. They’ll say things like, “Well, I know some arguments. I heard this one called the cosmological argument one time. Here’s how it goe…”.
Or, “I know one called the ontological argument; it’s very clever.” And so they will begin until they eventually end, both self-satisfied that theirs is the more logical position – without having found any common ground.
But if both were more honest with themselves, they would have to admit that their reasons for believing or not believing have far less to do with reason than they’d like to admit – as do most other reasons that influence major decisions in our lives.
Yes, we are rational beings with an intellect, but we are also emotional beings with passions and it is our passions that tend to dominate a far greater portion of our decision making than we like to admit.
Take the person you vote for. Very few people vote, consistently, on purely coherent and rational grounds.
You may have seen those street commentary videos where someone will ask a random person what they think of a given political candidate and they’ll say, “Oh I hate him.” Then they’ll ask them if they agree with a litany of policies to which the brave respondent will reply, “Oh yes, I agree with that.” Only to eventually have the trap closed on them when it’s revealed that all of the policies they agreed with originate from the candidate that they don’t like.
People, as far as I can tell, don’t tend to vote for the person that they agree with. They tend to vote for the person that they like, and their reasons for liking them tend to be based, more, on an emotional response than a rational one.
What about the car you drive – why did you buy that car? Was it a purely rational choice? Did you rationally survey all the variables and choose the exact right car that fits your life and needs and budget?
Or did you get talked into something by a smooth salesperson who preyed upon your passions? Did you choose the white one because you like white? Did you get the one with bigger rims, because you thought, hey, that’ll make me look cool? Did you get talked into a certain trim package because of the way it made you feel – with little regard for whether it made rational sense to spend the extra money on it or not?
What about when your significant other said, “I love you.” Did you cross your arms and say, that sounds nice, but I’m withholding judgement until you can empirically prove that to me. I’m going to need to see microscopic love proteins swimming through your veins before I act on that information.
Or did you go, “really? Me? You love me?” And yet, how many of us were manipulated by those words when we should have been more shrewd about that confession.
But when it comes to the question of God, we want a purely rational explanation for all of our questions and objections and if we don’t do that for all the other important decisions in our life, then isn’t that an indictment of our own insincerity?
Why do we do that? Is it a defense mechanism? It sure seems like it to me. I know for a period of my life it’s an excuse I used among those who wanted to inspire an appreciation for the divine in me.
The truth is, the difference between those who sincerely believe in God and those who hide behind a rational façade, is the difference between humility and pride not rational and superstitious.
People who sincerely believe in God often go through an experience where they admit to themselves that they aren’t smart enough to riddle out a theory of everything or the singularity behind all that exists, which is what you’d have to do to have God proven to you.
They experience enough of a twinge of humility that they can say something like, “God, I don’t know if you’re out there, but if you are, I’d really like to know you.” Something like that traces my own experience.
Read the rest at https://brianholdsworth.ca/digressions
Header image: Brian Holdsworth via YouTube