whoosanightowl wrote:Well I might have a category for miracles if one were ever verified as valid by several dependable, reputable, objective sources who were not connected to each other in any way. However, not if the sources have personal ties with or investments in the person involved or the claims made.
You need to have a category for miracles before you can amass "evidence" for them.
As an example of someone not tied to the church who testified to the resurrection of Jesus, I would suggest Saul of Tarsus. He made a career out of killing Christians before something happened to him on the road to Damascus. Whatever it was that happened to him, it was enough to turn the sworn enemy of the church into its greatest missionary. Saul claims he saw Jesus.
whoosanightowl wrote:You could just as easily say that if someone doesn't have a category for magic words, lucky charms, etc. then it would be impossible for them to have meaningful dialogue with people who make those types of claims.
This would be true, though, wouldn't it? Could you have a meaningful conversation with an African witchdoctor whose worldview centered on the legitimacy of totems and charms and magic words? If you are going to have meaningful dialogue, you have to be willing to take the other position seriously.
whoosanightowl wrote:Allowing oneself to have categories for belief in supernatural realms without evidence that even supports their existence seems rather naive and gullible to me. And possibly dangerous as well
It is dangerous. VERY dangerous. Taking Jesus seriously is the most dangerous thing you could ever do.
whoosanightowl wrote:This is quite an assumption to make, Matt. If God implanted innate knowledge of himself in every person, why do parents invest so much time teaching and reinforcing their beliefs in their children? And why do missionaries find it necessary to proselytize? The reason I don't worship God is because I don't believe there's a God to be worshiped. Period. The deity I believe may exist is not something that desires worship. Also, I do not reject God out of ignorance any more than you reject all the deities you do not believe exist out of ignorance. We reject them because we do not see ample evidence to support belief in them.
I am sorry that I left you out of my blanket response to his question. You, Spongebob and Jim asked the same thing. I didn't mean to leave you out, but I don't want to repeat myself. Please read my response to them.
whoosanightowl wrote:Furthermore, I could not force myself to believe something that I considered not real any more than you could. If someone held a gun to your head and said you must believe in Santa Claus or die, well you'd probably say you believed just to spare your life, but chances are very strong that you would not really believe in Santa. Is that because you are ignorant? Is it because you don't want to worship him? No, it's because based on what you perceive to be true, you believe he is imaginary, not real.
I agree. You can't believe what you don't want to believe. But I think we would be naive to think that reason was the only thing at play here. Emotions play a strong role in the things we choose to believe or reject.