Atheists, Fundamentalists and the Bible

Chris Hallquist, Libby Anne and James McGrath have been sharing a sporadic conversation about fundamentalism, liberal Christianity and atheism.

Recently, Chris wrote a post titled “No, atheists do not interpret the Bible like fundamentalists”. But that brings up the question, how do the fundamentalists interpret the bible? Peter Enns recently attended a talk by some fundamentalist luminaries and came away with the following definition of biblical innerrancy: “The Bible is true in all that it affirms or teaches according to the author’s intended meaning.”

I see two components to this definition. The first is that the bible is authoritative. Whatever it says is true, is true. The second is about level of meaning. The intended meaning of the author is the appropriate level of meaning, so none of that “multiple interpretations” crap.

So if the Bible implies that the earth was created in six days then it was created in six days, because the Bible is authoritative. However, when Isaiah says that the “mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hand,” (Isa. 55:12), that does not mean that the mountains are capable of caroling. Isaiah intended this text to be poetic rather than literal.

Atheists accept the second component but reject the first. The meaning of the Bible is the author’s intended meaning, which means that the books should be interpreted in a historical manner. However, the Bible is an ancient work like any other with no special claims to truth. So in theory, atheists and fundamentalists should interpret the Bible in the same way – the so-called historical-grammatical method – but fundamentalists should accept the conclusions as true while atheists are under no such obligation.

In practice, things are a bit more tricky. You can’t neatly separate how you’re interpreting the Bible from why you’re interpreting the Bible. Having established that the Bible is true, fundamentalists go looking for truths. Since the world and their traditions have already provided them with truths, they expect to find the Bible consistent with those truths.

But if the Bible is “true in all that if affirms,” then why are we not living on a flat earth? Why did the world not come to an end within a generation after Jesus? If the Bible is true in all that it teaches, then why do so many Christians live like Dives rather than Lazarus? Why do so many Christian men not follow Paul’s advice that “it is good for a man not to touch a woman?”

There’s no single method for resolving these problems. Sometimes fundamentalists deny the evidence of the world around them, as with creationism. Sometimes they deny that the author says what they appear to say, as with the flat earth. Sometimes they argue that the Bible does not really “affirm or teach” something that the Biblical authors clearly believed to be true, such as the morality of slavery.

Regardless, the result is that fundamentalists do not practice what they preach. They are inconsistent in their approach to the Bible. So, in actual practice, atheists do not read the Bible in the same way as fundamentalists. And of course both side are distinct from the liberal Christians, who start with a faith-based preconception that God is loving and let that alter their interpretations.

  • machintelligence

    “The Bible is true in all that it affirms or teaches according to the author’s intended meaning.”

    No. No. No. The bible is true in all that it affirms or teaches according to the readers intended meaning.

    • trj

      The author’s “intended meaning” tends to change according to whichever reader is asked to explain it. So yeah, it’s a rather useless guideline. About as useless as the typical “that Bible passage must be understood in context” followed by jumping through hoops to make the “context” fit some preconceived idea.

  • Hitchslapper

    No, No, No, Atheists interpret the bible as a little bit of history, combined with a lot of Allegory….. who’s best use is as a door stop, or toilet paper.

  • John C

    Yes, atheists employ the very same aspect of the ‘natural’ mind that fundies do when attempting to interpret scripture and so both arrive at equally extreme but polar opposite conclusions. One is ‘literally’ wrong most of the time (fundies) and the other is trying to read in the dark.

    • trj

      Luckily you know the correct interpretation.

      • John C

        Yes, the ‘Word made flesh’ (John 1:14), in our flesh that is.

        • Johan

          All of this is based on your drug induced religious awakening, as you have mentioned before. We get it. Drugs fried your brain until you can only spout nonsense. Why keep spouting the same nonsense when you are so obviously insane?

        • Mark Temporis

          “Each of us is a book of blood. When we’re opened, we’re red.” -Barker 1:1

  • Sunny Day

    Sarcasm Fail!

    (but this isnt your fault trj)

  • John C

    If you’re really interested (and at all open to hearing another perspective), then here’s an excellent discussion on the topic of ‘Fundamentalism’, and ‘Biblical inerrancy’, Calvinism, etc by George MacDonald (1824-1905) if anyone wants to learn from ‘the master’, as CS Lewis called him:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISETAlPYFbg

    • Yoav

      Didn’t Buffy kill the master?

      • Mogg

        I thought The Master died after refusing to regenerate in order to spite The Doctor.

        • kessy_athena

          Isn’t this like the 20th time the Master has died over the years? He *always* comes back, no matter how inescapable his doom seems to be. Sort of like fundamentalism. ;)

          • Mogg

            Ah, but he refused to regenerate this time, just to spite the Doctor. He can’t come back – except in the abomination which Dr Who scriptwriting has become in the last two series, they can probably think up a way.

    • Johan

      Why would people want to hear old ideas that are based on old definitions of fundamentalism? The preference for old information over new information is usually a mistake, often a deliberate one.

      • John C

        Out-dated, you say? Give me the ancient, eternally true over the latest fad any ‘day’:

        This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ (Jer 6:16)

        • Johan

          Eternally true? Bull. Modern thought a fad? Bull. If you hate the latest fads so much, why the hell are you on Youtube? Are you claiming that one man’s ideas from a hundred and some years ago are eternally true? Based on what?

          You want old sources because the new ones don’t go your way. You prefer an old definition of fundamentalist, presumably because it suits your purposes to not use the modern one.

          Don’t spout your biblical drivel at me as if it would mean something. It means no more to me than it would if I quoted tales of Odin to you. Your drug addled brain may not be aware of it but modern thought, based on older thoughts, tends to be far superior to these old ideas. When you want to discuss fundamentalism with someone in the modern era it is deceptive to use the writings of a guy who has been dead over a hundred years and used a different meaning of fundamentalist.

          Even someone as nuts as you should be expected to accept that fact. If you respond, avoid your nutty evangelism bull.

          The only eternal truth here is that you are always full of shit.

          • John C

            The only eternal truth is the unchanging love of God for His creation, however unrequited it may be, still…He loves, and so, so do I. All the best, Johan sir.

            • Johan

              So you have gone from claiming some old dead guy had an eternal truth to claiming he didn’t? You never deal with questions honestly, you use the kind of evasiveness that honest people simply would not.

              As usual, you are eternally full of shit.

        • kessy_athena

          Even if Yahweh actually did say that, given that this a deity who’s been known to try to manipulate one of his followers into murdering in cold blood that follower’s own child for the heck of it, blowing up cities because he was bored, and wiping out entire civilizations with titanic floods for shits and giggles, why in the world would any rational person listen to a word he says? Yahweh’s repeatedly demonstrated that he’s a liar, a manipulator, and just plain malevolent.

    • Rich

      A fascinating video drawing attention to the fact that when the Bible is read using the “natural” mind only, and no spiritual revelation is expected or considered, a man or a woman will never in a million years understand it, and reconcile its’ perceived inaccuracies. :)

      • Norm

        So,So true.With no understanding or belief in things of the spiritual realm the truths of the bible will go right over your heads.

        • Mogg

          …and never mind the inconvenient fact that for many of us, belief in things in the spiritual realm didn’t make it any more understandable, and in seeking for truth we inevitably left the belief behind.

          • Rich

            Who says something has to be understandable to be true???

            • Theory_of_I

              Is that your argument for remaining ignorant?

            • Rich

              No, it was Mogg’s argument for ceasing to believe in the spiritual realm. I’m just saying that the human mind has limitations, and can’t be relied upon as the final authority as to what is true and what isn’t true.

            • blotonthelandscape

              No, it was Mogg’s refutation of your claim that reading the bible with belief/”understanding” of the spiritual realm makes it true. No amount of posturing about spirituality can make true that which is outright false. The bible (or, for that matter, the extra-biblical beliefs that arise from mental contortions under the guise of “spirituality”) are replete with false claims.

              I would add to her “refutation-by-counterexample” to point out that, whilst “understanding X” isn’t necessary for X to be true, it is necessary to understand X in order to make the claim “X is true”. If you don’t understand it, then your claim is hollow. It speaks not to the truthfulness of your claim, but to your penchant for willful ignorance and willingness to make baseless assertions.

              The human mind is, so far as we know, the only object in the universe capable of and desiring to discover universal truth. Understanding it’s limitations is not an excuse to “insert preferred explanation here” as you seek to do; it’s the foundation to building set of tools for helping to create a more comprehensive and reliable system for discovering deeper, broader truths. Sure we could build tools for making such attempts without accounting for cognitive bias (e.g. theology), but their results are unlikely to lead to truth.
              An example of an understandable truth is quantum mechanics (i.e. you don’t need to understand it, but it is understandable and conforms to nature).

              In addition, your distinction between the “natural” and “spiritual” minds, aside from being baseless, fail to overcome the problem of discovering truth. The statement must be true in the natural mind as a minimal constraint for it to be true at all. Natural truths are the simplest and most obvious truths (in my view the only truths we can discover), so a “spiritual” truth cannot contradict a natural truth, it can only extend it to a broader application. You would have the former, but it simply isn’t an option for an intellectually honest seeker of the truth.

            • Rich

              It was not possible for Mogg to refute my claim that reading the bible with belief/”understanding” of the spiritual realm makes it true because I did not make such a claim.

            • Mogg

              That wasn’t my only reason, Rich. The complete lack of evidence for the claims of the Bible had far more weight. I studied physics, among other things, at uni, so I know and work with of plenty of things that “don’t make sense” at one level, but have plenty of supporting evidence in both abstract proofs and practical application. Christianity does not fall into that category.

            • Mogg

              In any case, I was addressing Norm’s claim that belief is required to understand the Bible, not anything else. I even specifically used his words.

            • Rich

              Thanks Mogg, it’s good to know you didnt leave spiritual belief behind without some investigation first.
              Many past and present physicists would not have come to your conclusion though. :)

            • Sunny Day

              So?
              Argument from authority fail.

            • blotonthelandscape

              Apologies, that should have read “Norm’s claim”; I’m getting you confused.

              On “scientists who are also christians”, I’ve been privileged enough to know some of the best (I used to live in a part of England near Oxford that had a huge population of scientists, many of them christians). Their conclusions are not only different in terms of the actual truth value of spiritual claims, but in the quality of what “spiritual” means. They are, by and large, liberal christians who have had spiritual experiences in their past that they can’t reconcile with the physical order they know well.

              When I converted away from christianity they were the people who were around to challenge my convictions, and the best they could muster was a hand-wave in the direction of cosmic fine-tuning, or “no, that simply isn’t true”. Their scientific understanding could lend nothing to actually convincing me to return to the faith, and I reckon it’s because it’s a completely separate issue.

              If I were you, I wouldn’t put my stock in the existence of scientifically minded christians. Whatever informs their beliefs in the spiritual is completely separate from what informs their scientific conclusions.

          • Erik

            Mogg said …and never mind the inconvenient fact that for many of us, belief in things in the spiritual realm didn’t make it any more understandable, and in seeking for truth we inevitably left the belief behind.

            What do you need in order for something to be true? What are the essential components?

        • Sunny Day

          LOL!
          When you can prove the spiritual realm exists, then we can move on to how it relates to the truths of the bible.

          But then again I’m forgetting who I’m talking to. When given a whole forum post to explain your reasoning, you couldn’t come up with anything other than because you said so. http://www.patheos.com/forums/unreasonablefaith/topic.php?id=3693

          • Norm

            Well Sunny the forum isnt called Unreasonable for nothing!!!Noone is as deaf as those who dont want to hear.LOL

            • Len

              Actually, Norm, we do want to hear. You’re just not telling us. Repeatedly. Is it a secret?

            • Brian K

              Well…who’s fault is it that we don’t “want” to “hear” or are unable to do so? The Bible itself says that Yahweh is a fountain of illusion and lies for those He has decided are unworthy of His “love”*.

              *In the case of the monstrous entity you worship called Yahweh, “love” has to be placed in scare quotes. It is certainly not love in any real, moral sense.

            • Erik

              In response to Brian K
              2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
              2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
              2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
              2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
              2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

              In verses 9 and 10 it is stated that Satan is the one who works with deception not God. Verse 10 then states that because people don’t love the truth then they are, by their own choice not by God’s, deceived by Satan through one of his agents. It then says in verse 11 that because of one’s choice to not be a lover of truth then God sends them strong delusion to believe a lie.
              How could a loving God send strong delusion to someone? How can you make someone love you? Can you hold a gun to their head and say love me now or else? They might then tell you they love you but I doubt that there is true love inwardly. It is the same in this situation. If someone does not love the truth, God cannot then force them against their will to believe truth. Therefore, because of personal choice, he allows us to believe a lie because he will not violate our personal freedom to choose.
              The delusion that is sent to one is a result of their own personal rejection of the love of truth. The real issue is not intellectual but moral. In verse 12 it says that the deceived will be damned, not because God delights in damnation because of one’s unworthiness but rather because of one taking pleasure in unrighteousness rather than righteousness.
              You said that the Bible itself puts the blame on Yahweh. If that is true please find the solid evidence so that we can be objective.

  • Keulan

    Fundamentalist Christians cherry-pick the Bible just as much as liberal Christians do. The difference is that liberal Christians admit that they cherry-pick, while Fundie Christians like to pretend that they don’t do that. Meanwhile, I don’t cherry-pick any of the Bible. I read the book as written. I’m an atheist so unlike both groups of Christians I don’t think that any of the Bible is true, which means I can accept the contradictions in it instead of trying to hand-wave them away by claiming that certain passages are metaphorical.

  • smrnda

    Everybody cherry picks the Bible. People who say that the story is ‘god’s love for humankind’ or whatever are still cherry picking, the only difference is they say ‘hey, god gave me this great spiritual illumination so i’m able to read this thing correctly, with the aid of about a thousand years of commentaries by people who, just like me, had the right illumination.’

    The Bible is a pretty morally defective book. It’s got its priorities all backwards – apparently dictatorship, women being chattel, slavery, exploitation (things we would recognize as serious moral issues today) aren’t really that important. I’m very happy to walk in new, post-Enlightenment ways that value things like equality, human rights, and demand that moral judgments be based on practical considerations rather than taboos of ignorant and ancient cultures. If this way of thinking is a ‘fad’ then it’s doing pretty well. I’m sure that back in the day fire and the wheel were seen as fads and outrageous innovations that people had been doing just fine without.

    Fundamentalism is idiotic since the book contradicts itself so openly. The problem with any other attempt to rehabilitate the Bible is that the Bible is a pretty vile book – any book that suggests the right thing to do with a rape victim is to sell the damaged merchandise to the rapist, or that can be used to argue that slavery isn’t wrong, is a totally defective book. A morally sound book should not be able to be used to back something immoral.

    The whole idea that ‘well, you’re reading with the Natural Mind and are not open to the spirit’ – the alleged ‘spiritual’ person is reading with the same natural brain/mind, just they’re predisposed to drawing certain conclusions.

    • Brian K

      The person reading with the “spiritual” mind reads Job, or the story of Yahweh hardening Pharoah’s heart to make some obscure point or the concept of eternal damnation does not react in horror but merely gibbers about how Yahweh, despite being a right bastard by any human moral code, is Love.

  • http://religion-science-peace.org walk tall hang loose

    The compiler of Genesis did NOT take the story of the creation in six days literally. We know this because there are TWO creation myths in Genesis, with the division between them being after Chap.2 v3. The first story is the one with the creation in six days, and the second story is the one with Adam and Eve. Taken literally, THE TWO STORIES ARE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. And yet, the compiler puts them back-to-back, without any comment or attempt to reconcile them. Clearly he includes both because they both convey SPIRITUAL TRUTH.

    • Nox

      The compiler(s) of Genesis probably would not have recognized the distinction between history and allegory. But they clearly did mean six actual days. That’s why it actually says six days, and breaks them into alternating periods of light and darkness.

      The day-age reading was added in much later. And only as a way to justify how a story about the Earth being created in six days could be reconciled with evidence that it was not. Some people know better than to actually believe the creation account(s) in Genesis, but don’t want to believe the bible could just be wrong. So they come up with a way for it to say something completely unrelated to what it says. This is what is meant by spiritual truth.

      The standard liberal reading is still a fundamentalist reading. They just start out with slightly different fundamentals. The fundamentalist says everything in the bible must be true on its face. The liberal says everything in the bible must be true in some sense. Both begin their reading by ruling out that the bible could actually be wrong.

      One insists that Genesis 1 is correct on the six day creation, because to admit the bible was wrong about this would undermine their dogmatic attachment to believing a literal reading of John 3:16.

      One insists that Genesis 1 does not really refer to a six day creation, because to admit the bible was wrong about this would undermine their dogmatic attachment to believing a literal reading of John 3:16.

      It is not atheists who read the bible like fundamentalists.

  • Sunny Day

    When you cant reconcile two different stories that you want to be true, just invent a whole new category of “Truth” to explain it.

    Other people would just call it making stuff up, or lying.

    • http://religion-science-peace.org walk tall hang loose

      Believing that everything in the bible is true is some sense, literal or figurative, is the traditionalist point of view, expounded very clearly by St. Augustine of Hippo in A.D 430 [religion-science-peace.org/?p=291]. He criticizes fundamentalist Christians precisely because they claim as literal truth things in the Bible that are clearly contradicted by reason and experience, and should therefore be interpreted in a figurative sense.

      John 3:16 has no possible literal interpretation. All religious language is poetic, symbolic, metaphorical, allegorical, figurative: otherwise it would not be religion, it would be science.

      You haven’t answered my point about the two creation stories. In the first story, creation takes six days, with humanity coming last. In the second, it takes one day, with Adam coming before all the other animals, and Eve coming last. It is blindingly obvious that the compiler could not have taken them literally.

      • Sunny Day

        Fundie’s don’t know how to use the reply button.

        • Sunny Day

          darn accidental apostrophe

      • Nox

        It is blindingly obvious that the two creation accounts are two different stories. It is not at all obvious from this alone that the compilers could not have believed them or intended for others to.

        To the degree that we can really say what the authors of the Torah intended, it is more likely that the final compiler of the Torah had copies of the Yahwist account and the Elohist account, no way to know which one was older, and pressure from competing jewish sects to include both.

        These are intended as folk stories designed to teach lessons, but they are also intended as history. The lessons in Genesis are mostly on the subject of “this is where the jewish people came from”. And the only position that has ever been orthodox in judaism is that the Torah describes real people and events.

        John 3:16 does have a literal interpretation (which is not to say that god’s son or salvation through belief are coherent or unpoetic concepts). One which expresses a central tenet of christianity that the vast majority of christians and christian denominations literally believe. But that was kind of sloppiness on my part. In referring to “a literal reading of John 3:16″ I was using the verse as shorthand for the whole set of central tenets of christianity (the basic creation, fall, birth, death, resurrection, salvation scheme). Obviously not all of that is really described in that one verse. I figured it was safe since christians have been using John 3:16 as shorthand for this set of beliefs for hundreds of years. But the mistake there is mine. My point could perhaps be better illustrated this way

        “He criticizes fundamentalist Christians precisely because they claim as literal truth things in the Bible that are clearly contradicted by reason and experience, and should therefore be interpreted in a figurative sense.”

        That is the special pleading I was talking about. This was my point with the John 3:16 thing.

        If the bible contains something that is contradicted by reason and experience, there are two possibilities.

        (A) It means something besides what it says.
        (B) The bible is contradicted by reason and experience.

        Augustine (and most christians) arbitrarily rules out B as ever being a possibility. And he does so not because it is impossible, and not out of concern for authorial intent, but to maintain security in his fundamentals.

        It is more important to christianity to maintain belief that scripture is true than to maintain belief in any one point of scripture. The church will discard every verse of the bible before they abandon biblical inerrancy.

        Aside from desiring it to be true in some sense, there is no reason to suppose the author wasn’t actually wrong. If you interpret the author’s intent with the rule “anytime the bible is obviously wrong it must mean something else”, how would you ever detect if the authors of the bible were actually wrong about anything.

        Besides, the literally untrue statements and negative ideas which can be gleaned from a literal reading are not the only problem with the bible. They are just the easier problem to demonstrate. The deeper messages are every bit as poisonous as the surface reading.

    • http://religion-science-peace.org walk tall hang loose

      Of course there are other kinds of truth (or perhaps it would be better to say Reality) than literal, factual truth. That’s why we have poetry, symbolism, mythology, allegory, drama, religion, music, art, literature… ). To understand my use of the word ‘spiritual’ please see spiritualprogressives.org

      • Sunny Day

        Ok then you’re just making stuff up. Thanks for clarifying.

  • ORAXX

    The most fundamental philosophical concept I ever arrived at was the very simple realization that no one gets to decide what’s true. Declaring the Bible, or any other book, to be the word of God is, simply, a decision that no one gets to make. Either it is, or it is not, and what anyone thinks about it, is irrelevant. If the Bible is the word of God then, it begs the question: Why would a being, capable of willing the universe into existence, communicate the most important message imaginable, in such a haphazard fashion? This question is especially pressing in light of the horrific consequences biblical interpretation has had for humanity.

  • Erik

    Premise A: The New Testament is historically accurate; it is a basically reliable and trustworthy document.

    Premise B: On the basis of this reliable document, we have sufficient evidence to believe that Jesus rose from the dead as He predicted He would, and that He fulfilled dozens of other Messianic prophecies.

    Premise C: Jesus’ Resurrection and fulfillment of prophecy show that He was who He said He was: the Messiah, the Son of God-God in the flesh.

    Premise D: Because Jesus is God, He is infallible-What He says is absolutely trustworthy.

    Premise E: Jesus Christ taught that the Bible was the Word of God (Matt. 5:18, 15:4; Mark 12:36; Luke 24:44-46). He also taught that He was the only way to God. (John 14:6)

    Conclusion: If Christ said it, we must believe it-The Bible is the Word of God, and Jesus is the only way to God. Therefore, Christianity is true.

    • trj

      Ha, good one.

      Oh wait, you’re actually serious…

      • UrsaMinor

        Circular reasoning remains circular, you know?

        • trj

          Circular reasoning, special pleading, argument to authority, you name it. Not to mention that most, if not all of the premises are invalid in and of themselves. Truly a masterpiece of apologetics.

    • Sunny Day

      Erick I can save you a whole lot of typing for the next time you want to post something like that.

      “The Bible is true because it says its true.”

      This way you get to save some typing.
      As a bonus you’ll also get to stop confusing yourself with hard to understand words and concepts like premise

    • Edward

      Contraposition to Premise A: Is the New Testament ‘historically accurate’, ‘a basically reliable’, and ‘a trustworthy’ document indeed? A competent arguer must be aware that these too are claims, and as such need sound support from their proponent.

      In order to ultimately expect an audience to accept a premise as sound, it is rather evident that its arguer must first successfully persuade the same audience of its acceptability (formal logical validity, that is, it does not presupposes as facts what is clearly absurd, such as ‘cows swim in the ocean and eat clouds’), relevance (it addresses the issue at hand, that is, it doesn’t come up with simple factual correlation and nonsensical causality, such as ‘the grass is green, therefore you can’t go out tonight’), sufficiency (it provides broad coverage to variables to the same issue, and that would require a couple of very consentaneous and cohesive paragraphs), and perhaps high irrefutability (it remains consistent after hidden variables had been made apparent and countered by an opposition). Only after this, can that audience further listen to a new premise with new claims made with basis on the previous premise.

      One must remind that ‘truth’ is a concept belonging in the realms of the Exact Sciences, such as Mathematics and Formal Logic (both belonging in the Formal Sciences), Physics and Chemistry (both belonging in the Physical Sciences). Regarding petty things of lay discussion as ‘trustworthy’ or ‘truthful’ is too much presumption on the first place, it is preposterous as to the discoursive object of persuasion and agreement, and it is indiscriminate disrespect to the very essense of ‘truth’: its endurance to time and spatial variations (that is, in order to be true, whatever is true here and now must have always been, and continue to be, true anywhere).

      Gravity, for instance, is true, because either neutral or charged large bodies of matter (such as the Earth) attract and are attracted to either neutral or charged smaller bodies of matter (such as humans), because what is called ‘gravity’ is mass to mass attraction, to a higher or lesser degree of intensity, depending on the masses involved. That is true to any material thing (a car, a river, the wind), and false to immaterial things (love, hate, life), must have always been true, and must continue to be true, anywhere. That’s why it is a law, and not ‘just a theory’: it is a human observation of natural phenomena, or better yet, it is nature speaking for itself. That same line of thought doesn’t apply neither to the supernatural nor to pseudoscience. It isn’t nature speaking for itself in these cases, but rather human beings attempting to pass on claims bordering the unknown and the unknowable, without acceptable, relevant, or sufficient evidence for their claims.

      That’s the case of religious apologetics, because when one is used to assume as true what one has always believed to be true, since before even having maturity and philosophical basis to grasp seemingly plain and unambiguous, but instead complex and overtly misused (causing the situation to be even worse) conceps such as ‘truth’ and ‘falsity’, it must be expected that one will tend to stick to his beliefs, possibly despite his own judgement, and for various reasons. Especifically with religion, people are introduced to the customs and traditions of their family or community religion very early in life, unprepared to counter these overwhelming odds with critical thinking and logical reasoning, supported by a decent baggage of scientific and philosophical formal knowledge, that is, without any skepticism on what their family and community impel them to passively accept. To worsen things up, later in life, the image of familiarity and comfort and hope religion turns out represent to them denies them the possibility that this lifelong experience has its sole foundation on belief. Confronted with diversity, some tirelessly seek to confirm their bias through pseudoscientific ‘evidences’ and ‘explanations’, other simply ignore this whole exchange of counter views and carry on with their certainties.

  • Brad breaux

    The reason there are atheist is because there are people in this world that don’t think there is one person that created all this and plus the bible criticizes people who are not a Christian!! They believe that there is no god or there are more than one god!!


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