Why believe

AN APOLOGY

If you’ve taken the trouble to read through this Doubters’ Club

website please accept my thanks for reading it, but if it has offended

or, worse, enraged you, please accept my apologies.

 

Please understand that, in my world where there is no god (until evidence indicates otherwise) there can be no blasphemy or heresy.

If you don’t like it please forgive me because I don’t mean any harm. I’m only trying to reduce killing in the name of the gods whose very existence is not supported by evidence.

 

I realise that, if you’ve been raised in a religion, Doubters’ Club asks you to open your mind and re-evaluate your world view. It’s effectively expecting you to recognise that you’ve been wrong about practically everything until now! That’s a lot to ask. And your parents were probably wrong too! A very big ask indeed!

 

The other problem you may be facing (and I can readily understand this one as well) is bemusement over the alternative I am offering: Science. Science is a very difficult mouthful to swallow. It takes away religion’s (groundless) certainty and replaces it with facts (based on convincing evidence but not proven) that actually work! And you’ve got to become comfortable with the knowledge that, at the frontiers of Science, the answer to many questions is:  we simply don’t know! Far from being the arrogant creed that Science is often accused of being, the default position for Scientists is, ‘We may not know yet, but let’s find out!’ Then they set out to collect cold obstinate facts.

 

But exchanging religion’s black and white certainty (albeit unfounded) for the complicated grey nuances of Science cannot be done overnight. It takes  a while to absorb and internalise the new thinking. Remember how you learned the alphabet or your three times table? Being told once was not enough, was it? You had to repeat and repeat it until it had become fixed in your mind and only then could you move forward and build on the new knowledge. It will be the same with learning to accept the absence of a god. It took me most of a lifetime to realise that faith is an unquestioned belief and a belief is merely a personal choice as insignificant as whether or not to put sugar in your coffee. Coming to the understanding that nothing is as important or as valuable as evidence is a journey of indeterminate length.

 

So, this website is a bit of a crash course. If you really want to get up to speed more quickly, follow Science items in the serious media. Stop watching the repetitious romantic dramas on satellite channels and check out programmes like Stargazing Live or Horizon on BBC 2 - you might be pleasantly surprised how entertaining they are!

 

I’ve had Believers (Choosers) proof-read this website and come back to me saying that it has made their faith stronger. Well, that’s fine. I don’t expect to convert anyone who is not open to conversion. Faith is often in a strong box in the owner’s memory and they’ve lost the key! Maybe you are like them and not ready for Doubters’ Club yet. Feel free to visit again; the website will be here for future study (god willing!*).

 

Do join in with our Facebook response group and Twitter newscasts.

 

* Yes, That’s tongue in cheek!

                    The Bible:

                    a

        Reliable Source?

 

In case you’re still having difficulty shaking off belief in the Bible, take a look at a historian’s view of old writings. The following example is from New Scientist (25th Dec 2010) which reports on attempts to trace the development of gunpowder weapons after that explosive was introduced into Europe in the second half of the 13th century.

 

‘In the siege of Oran, for instance, were the fire arrows really so effective or was the story concocted as a piece of early Spanish PR? Medieval chroniclers, the war reporters of their day, are rarely to be trusted. “They wrote what they were told to,” says Kelly DeVries of Loyola University, Maryland. Even serious accounts may have been distorted by translators. The only way to know for sure is to test the weapons first hand.’

 

So, over ten years of research, they learned Medieval techniques and made and tested fire arrows for themselves.

 

Academics obviously regard 750 yr old writings as unreliable, let alone 2000+ yr old Biblical material (1400 yr old in the case of the Qur’an). How would the story of the feeding of the 5000 stand up to that level of scrutiny?

 

However, the Holy Bible and Qur’an are good story books!

 

P.S. What does ‘holy’ mean?

Yours truly, Hon. Sec.

23a

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