Sunday, August 15, 2010

Degrees of belief

Richard Dawkins giving a lecture based on his ...Image via Wikipedia

This is one of my favourite quotes. From the God delusion by Richard Dawkins::
”There is something distinctly odd about the argument, however. Believing is not something you can decide to do as a matter of policy. At least, it is not something you can decide to do as an act of will. I can decide to go to church and I can decide to recite the Nicene Creed, and I can decide to swear on a stack of bible that I believe every word inside them. But none can make me actually believe it if I don’t. Pascal’s Wager could only ever be an argument for feigning belief in God. And the God that you claim to believe in had better not be of the omniscient kind or he’d see through the deception. The ludicrous idea that believing is something you can decide to do is deliciously mocked by Douglas Adams in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, where we meet the roboti Electic Monk, a labour-saving device that you buy ‘to do your believing for you. The de luxe moel is advertised as ‘Capable of believing thingsthey wouldn’t believe in Salt Lake City’.

It gives me an understanding why evangelism doesn't work. Some people will hear the Gosple and it just washes over them. They may understand the concepts but its something in the heart that dosn't click. They arn't been difficult, just honest.

One of the things through reading of Marcus Borg and looking seriously at textual criticism as well as looking deeper into the 'Quest for the historical Jesus" is that there are cross roads through out your walk where you have to make decisions. Did this really happen? It is for me a case of intellectual honesty. It comes back to the above quote. There are some things that you belive and can never be taken away and other well you just have to let them slide.

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