Thursday, May 13, 2010

An excellent blind spot

An exceptionally good analysis of of many religions and their problems is on the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry Site.  It offers an excellent examination of Mormonism, Catholicism, Bahai, and other religious movement large and small, from an almost anthropological perspective of skepticism.
The one exception is the part of the site that explains their own beliefs.  So, for example, Jesus fulfilled a long list of prophecies, but:
Some state that the New Testament was written and altered to make it look like Jesus fulfilled Old Testament prophecy (but there is no evidence of that).
 Their view is the default position.  In the site's analyses of other beliefs, those other followers had to present evidence that their positions were true.  Now the onus is once again on the others, who must present evidence that the site's beliefs are not true.  And:
Therefore, we can believe what Jesus said about Himself for two reasons:  one, because what He said and did agrees with the Old Testament; and two, because Jesus performed many convincing miracles in front of people who testified and wrote about what they saw Him do.
 Yet more:
Buddha did not rise from the dead.  Muhammad did not rise from the dead.  Confucius did not rise from the dead.  Krishna did not rise from the dead, etc.  Only Jesus has physically risen from the dead, walked on water, claimed to be God, and raised others from the dead.  He has conquered death.  Why trust anyone else?
The logic is completely circular:  we know the Christian Bible is true because of what's written in it.  What they really mean to say is:  we know the Christian Bible is true because we want it to be true. 
But don't read this site just from the perspective of haughty derision.  See this instead as a particularly clear example of a type of thinking we all sometimes follow and could use an occasional reminder of its pitfalls.

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