Bags of Bran

Apologia 16
April 16, 2012, 10:27 pm
Filed under: Apologioi

From: Curt Ames []
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 7:16 PM
To: Christopher Ames
Subject: Re: Quote from Pascal

So… what? God is “hidden”… did you read my example about the IRS?  I am afraid that by this and many other actions ascribed to the character of ‘God,’ he is then (assuming, for the sake of argument, His existence) culpable for the sin of nonbelief both in people who have never heard the ‘truth’ and those who have heard and rejected it based on a lack of evidence.

In essence, were God to exist, given the portrayal of his character he would not be ‘good.’ This is, I will agree, an ‘internal’ critique of Christianity, but I feel like I have qualified it much better this time. It is also a major logical flaw and one that has led many “persons destitute of faith and grace” to find a more cohesive worldview that doesn’t appeal to the unknowable as explanatory.

Yes, when you try to tell someone who is asking for proof that there is no proof and they should believe your side based on a total and complete lack of evidence, they have a tendency to get miffed. The reason, you may find, is often that they feel like their time has been wasted- time which we have a very finite amount of and should not be squandered in leading one another down the garden path. We tend to feel, at that point, as though we’ve been ‘trolled.’

After many a conversation with believers who claimed to have some kind of evidence, I often find that I’ve come away with a similar feeling to opening a successively smaller series of wrapped packages within another-the paper is brightly colored, the bow is prettily tied, the whole thing is made to look inviting as all get out. As you unwrap further and further you feel like there must be something worthwhile after all this, that somewhere at the center there’s got to be something- then on opening the last box you find: Nothing. What would you feel like? Now what if the giver told you that the gift really was there, but you had to believe in it to be able to see it?

I believe a certain amount of righteous indignation would be warranted.

I find that a lot of this kind of thing just comes down to people playing games with one another. I know you don’t have much time but you should watch the Transactional Analysis series (3 parts) on TheraminTrees’ YouTube channel if you get a moment.

Also, do you notice the rhetoric with which Pascal colors his argument? I feel dysphemized… 😉



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