I have had fun, today.
Today’s top article on WordPress was entitled, “Don’t Ask Me to Read Your Holy Book“. The post has now generated almost 200 responses in less than a day! The author, Simen, is a self-proclaimed Skeptic.
I couldn’t resist reading it.
In summary, the article was an insightful look at the way that some Christians (and other Theists) engage in circular arguments in “support” of their faith. Simen specifically attacked those who use the Bible to prove “show” that God is its author, then use assumption of divine authorship as a reason to trust the Bible.
In conclusion, he wrote:
This is some elementary advice to theists who wish to justify their faiths to nonbelievers or believers of other faiths: never rely on your conclusion to prove your conclusion. No matter how much you obfuscate and complicate matters, if your logic can be traced back from your conclusion to your conclusion, you have built a circle, and circular reasoning is never justification for the assumption it seeks to prove. The moment someone discovers this in your reasoning, they will recognize that you have nothing to come with. So, please, rely on outside resources, if you’d be so kind. It will save you lots of embarrassment.
Of course, Simen is right on the button. We stand justly accused of foolishness when we base our faith on such fragile logic. It is all too easy for us to fool ourselves into believing that we have a sound intellectual justification for our faith, while tying ourselves up in logical knots that turn in on themselves like a benzine ring (Here Kekulé said that he had discovered the ring shape of the benzene molecule after having a reverie or day-dream of a snake seizing its own tail).
Fortunately for those of us who fall into this trap, faulty logic does not necessarily imply a false conclusion. We can have good faith despite our rotten intellect.
Those who know me will not be surprised to hear thar I that couldn’t help engaging in debate with the post’s author. He seems to be a very thoughtful, clear-thinking individual, who handled my question with style and grace. I take my hat off to him.