Over the last month or so I have been in discussions with a number of Theists. One of these people is using me as an out, a means of increasing his resolve and faith in god. As silly as that sounds, the most recent volley of emails resulted in a very peculiar position being had.
I will be the first to point out to anyone that I am a scientific person, that means I will follow science where it goes no matter how it relates to my current understanding of the world. I wont, necessarily, jump off a bridge immediately after science says humans can fly, but I will at least ponder the altitudes I might reach in doing so.
One question i do have for you is what your views on the shroud of turin and similar icons that have come forward in the last few centuries that are used to add science to the religious curriculum. Given the situation where science steps forward with irrefutable evidence for Jesus’s existence and that he is shown to have actually pulled off the miracles that he is said to have, would that effect your beliefs in any way?
What would you feel if science came forward supporting another belief?
Me – Apr. 12
As for the Shroud of Turin, I am without opinion. I don’t know whether it was truly Jesus’ burial cloth or not, and it really doesn’t matter that much to me… even if it were, it is still merely a physical object, not Christ Himself. The Catholic Church often has the problem of worshipping relics rather than their Savior. The main difficulty I have in taking a firm stand on its authenticity is that if I said it was authentic, then what if it was disproved? It wouldn’t mean Christ didn’t resurrect or died, although it would possibly weaken my faith as well as be a stumbling block to non-believers. As for the scientific support of other beliefs, I will not address because it is hypothetical and irrelevant as well as impossible. However, in a sense, it has supported Atheism (a sort of belief system, although very broad). Science is studied and discovered by a sinful and prejudice man. Also, science is always changing; always being proved and disproved.
Theist – Apr. 14
My immediate response was to bask in the glow of someone who understands that his beliefs are clearly not of this reality, untestable and moreover that they or not logical and to accept that he may be one day proven wrong. Unfortunately that is not at all what he meant.
God took the liberty of creating this world where magic and miracle do not take part in our daily lives, and a brain was given to us to be able to parse through the details and be able to navigate our way through this world. We use our brains to differentiate between red or blue, which detergent to purchase based on our needs and monetary situation, whether to punch a guy out for swerving into your lane, what punishment to impost on a rapist and every other aspect of our daily lives. Yet this situation revolving around religious beliefs is off limits. There are a number of quotes that support your assertion that we are benefited by having faith in spite of our lack interaction with God, but these are words coming from people who actually met god, or if you are involved in the romantic interpretation – written by god…
Me – Apr. 17
[Yes], I understand your analogy. Although Christ can be supported by logic, He can’t be visibly seen or spoken to etc., which, I understand, seems unfair. Especially seeing as Moses got to talk to God and the peasants in Israel witnessed Jesus’ miracles.But, first of all, who are we to say what is fair?
Theist – Apr. 18
The position is basically that he doesn’t think that science applies to his conception of a god, and that is not only derailing me, it means that his god cannot do anything and doesn’t manifest in reality.
- if his god manifested as a sphere and floated over a city in South Africa, it could change our weather patterns.
- If his god were able to manifest as a car, he could making driving absolutely amazing.
- … a pair of dice would allow him to be able to influence our understanding of chance and probabilities.
- This list goes on into infinity
In the comments below i will insert our email exchanges up to this point.