In my last post titled, The Nature Of Belief, I strove to be very fair and open about the essence of belief. To actively believe in something, anything at all, is in fact a form of reliance, trust, or faith in some kind of authority or sets of authorities. I gave the examples of religion, science, and politics.
It may come as a bit of a surprise to some of my readers that this is how I describe the process of belief. With that in mind I believe that I have good reason to say this. I say this because I am of the persuasion that people need to discern between good belief and bad belief. In other words, it appears to me that there are good ways to come into a belief and there are also rather poor ways of doing so.
Theists are not without a line of reasoning when it comes the question of God. In fact, what I appreciate about classic Theistic arguments is that they certainly make a concerted effort to impress the need for an intelligent designer or there being an uncaused, spaceless, timeless mind behind the workings of our universe.
There is no harm in admitting that we as truth seekers feel the tension when it comes to the ultimate question of our origins. It is good to hunger for the right answers and this is why I advocate the usefulness of skepticism. When it comes to the God question I think skepticism is a promising way to get at the root of this matter if ever there is going to be reason to believe in a particular God.
What must be acknowledged by Theists in the present is that there is extremely relevant data that just is not available to humanity. At the most basic level if it is said to be the expectation of any particular existing God to be known by humanity then what are the chances that we would be quibbling over such questions right now? What are the chances that many honest believers within their trials would be doubting that their God is even there?
Now, I’m not doing a reverse argument that asserts that just as many Theists seem to think that Atheists still secretly believe in God, so the reverse may be true. I understand the ebbs and flows of our existing ideas and beliefs. My point is simply that to some level many Theists admit that God is not readily available to them in a truly relational sense. Many Theists willingly admit that God is at the very best a beautiful idea that they ascribe to. There is otherwise no adequate form of certainty or confirmation that these people possess with regard to God’s presence or existence in their lives.
Even in the case of those who do claim that God has done miracles or even appeared to them in a vision it is important to realize what is missing. Namely that there is no way for these folks to confirm the source of their own claims. I mean, if one is going to claim that their God does miracles wouldn’t they be the least bit concerned with whether it was actually Jesus, Allah, or perhaps a God yet unknown to them? Perhaps there would be less reason to wonder if only one religion claimed unique miracles, but this is simply not the case! It seems that the nature of most religions involves some kind of claim to the divine. Not only this but miracles are really not all that unique in the end. It appears that this is how many religions seek to establish their authority.
So, if one religion is going to claim its authority based upon past miracle claims then what is preventing Theists from accepting all or most of the ones outside of their own tradition? It is hypocritical in my mind for such people to garner favoritism. This illustrates a lack of concern to dig deeper and more of a preference to just pick a religion and stick with it.
At the end of the day it is all about establishing a proper basis for belief and if this is unable to be done then this signifies a very important difference between religious beliefs and beliefs that are otherwise formulated through life experiences, through the sciences, and through in depth investigation and observation.
What we are being told by our Theist friends is that it is wiser to rest more upon authoritative statements than it is to rest upon a solid basis for belief in the here and now. This is why my personal judgement is that the God question is posed as the most important question with the least amount of relevant data that could serve to establish even a basic case for the existence of a God or gods.
If this doesn’t warrant skepticism and doubt, I don’t know what would! Thanks for taking interest in my posts and don’t go away because I now intend to establish a case for why it is justified to lack belief toward certain claims. You probably guessed it by now, I’m alluding to religious claims. Have a good night!