Monday, December 19, 2005

Excellent Randi Forum Post

Thanks to Ranson for this link to a post on the JREF Forums. It's extremely well written, and says many good things. The thing that really jumped out at me was this passage:

And while Pastor Lawson would have said, simply, "I don't have an answer for you," that wouldn't have prevented him from listening to what you had to say, and it would have been something which gave impetus to him inviting you over for chili dogs so the two of you could sit down and figure it out. It's a far cry from bludgeoning people to death with incessant declarations of God's glory, declarations which have no weight due to the lack of courage, love, faith, and integrity on the part of those making the declaration.

I'm a firm believer in the "I don't know" answer to a question. If you don't know something, then admitting it is ever so much simpler, more decent and definitely more honest than blustering like an idiot because you don't want to admit to ignorance. Ignorance is not necessarily a bad thing. I try to treat it as an opportunity, myself. That's why I lllooovvveee the Internet. All that easy access to information.

The next passage kind of stuck with me, as well:

See, one of the funny things about me is that now that I have some serious grounding in the real world, I understand that there's nothing wrong with demanding evidence for why you choose to believe. I don't have a real answer for that, and I'm trying hard to find it. While I'm still nominally a Christian, I'm also someone looking for solid evidence for why I should believe. I may never find the evidence I'm looking for, and the reality is that I might have to admit that it simply does not exist. It might even mean, to be completely honest, that there is no God to be searching for. I have to admit that if I'm an honest man, which I would rather be, than one deceived.
This is the essence of the scientific attitude, even if it's not being applied to a typically scientific topic. Having reasons for believing something is the cornerstone of rational thought. This guy has taken major steps in that direction. And what's better, he knows it and can endorse it as a way of life.

Kudos. :)

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"Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul..." -- Mark Twain

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Fire does not wait for the sun to be hot,

Nor the wind for the moon, to be cool.

-- the Zenrin Kushu