I have not always been a Christian. Having been extremely disillusioned by traditional religion as a child, I could be at best a skeptic at worst agnostic. I accepted parts of different belief systems; picking and choosing a path based on my own faulty logic and whim. It was almost like I was putting on a bunch of random clothes before getting the weather report. I wore a winter cap and swim trunks, a white shirt and a blue shirt with one purple sock, a soccer cleat, and so on. I wore all sorts of beliefs.
Beliefs are strong motivators and we wear them like trendy outfits or the newest gear: a man who believes it is snowing outside will dress for snow, etc. If his beliefs are based on reality, then he will be warm and comfortable; better suited and prepared. If they are inconsistent with reality, then he will be hot and sweaty; perhaps even slower and less effective. I began to notice that my beliefs had not always lined up with reality (let’s share the assumption that reality is knowable) and those beliefs had real affects on my life. I believed that it was legal to drive through a yellow light. I believed it was not illegal to drive barefoot. I was wrong and it cost money- real money. Not symbolic money, or imaginary money but physical money from which lowered my bank account. My beliefs were beginning to have an affect.
Although some beliefs proved beneficial, a series of beliefs came crumbling down and I began to wonder what else I was believing that didn’t line up with reality. I didn’t want to live my life based on assumptions. I wanted to live what I could positively identify as a logical belief system and what would be illogical. I wanted this new belief system to perhaps help me to navigate reality a little better. In addition to learning the traffic laws, I decided to comparatively analyze religious belief, non-belief, and I don’t knowism.
Like any reasonable person, I knew that I would never be able to know everything about a given subject but I did know that I could read and learn and search a given subject till I was blue in the face. I knew at least that I would be able to evaluate enough data to make a logical decision based on empirical evidence. If there was a god there would be (positive) evidence for that god or (negative) evidence against that god. By reasoning through that evidence I would be able to establish a belief system based on something real- not a feeling or a theory.
I would also be free to deny that evidence and believe whatever I wanted to believe. In other words, I would be free to interpret that evidence in any way that I chose. I could connect the dots in any way I saw fit (which I was already doing) and not care if those dots revealed any meaningful interpretation of the world or simply my ever-changing opinions and volition. My goal however was to find a reasonable explanation for the World that would enable me to know and navigate the World better. The next few blogs will illustrate that journey and how I came to know Jesus and reject evolution. I will describe what evidence I looked for, how I examined that evidence, and how I interpreted that evidence to arrive at my conclusions.
You may agree with them, you may not. However, I don’t believe that a reasonable person can arrive at a different conclusion without ignoring the knowable laws of nature and the laws of logic upon which the principles of math and science are founded. In other words, a person with a volitional desire to remain an atheist or agnostic after reviewing this data will do so based on more faith then I need to remain a Christian.
After all, “the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” (ps 19:1)