Thursday, February 3, 2011

is it possible i'm wrong?

Have you ever considered something you believe in and asked yourself: "Is it possible I'm wrong?"

If you're an atheist, have you truly considered whether there might really be a God despite what you think? If you're a christian, have you ever considered that you might be fooling yourself?

How would we ever know if we are really being honest with ourselves?

I don't suppose any of us can be perfectly honest about these things. But I thought I'd try to consider how I'd have to think differently if I decided I was wrong to believe in God.

  1. If I am wrong about God, I'd have to be able to believe either that space, time, energy and matter appeared out of nowhere for no apparent reason or that they have always existed. And that this randomly occurring universe is so amazingly suited for life to form. But a causeless reasonless event seems to me to be impossible, and I cannot believe physical matter has always existed because if it had, everything would have run down by now. And cosmologists have shown that it is virtually impossible that our universe is the way it is by chance. So to conclude I am wrong about God, I'd have to somehow find a solution to that dilemma.
  2. If I concluded there is no God, I would have to also conclude that matter is all there is, and I could find no basis for believing in human freewill, or the self. And I would have to believe that ethics are illusory - there is no truly right nor wrong (not even things I feel are really evil, like pedophilia, genocide, rape, etc), only what we have been programmed biologically to think is right or wrong. I would have real difficulty with that.
  3. When I read of people who experience God through healing, or guidance, or help, and even when I experience something modest along these lines myself, I would have to conclude that every single one of these apparent interventions by God are illusory. I could believe that most of them are imagined, but I doubt I could ever confidently say that they all are, so that would be another difficulty for me.
  4. Finally, if I was to stop believing in God, I would have to conclude that Jesus was mistaken, just a poor deluded visionary. He was clearly a real historical person, but it is difficult for me to accept that explanation for his life and teachings.

So those are the views I'd have to be willing and able to change before I could conclude I was wrong about God. It just doesn't seem realistic to me. It is possible I'm wrong, but it doesn't seem likely.

What about you? Is it possible you're wrong? Perhaps you'd like to comment on what would have to change in your thinking?

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