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Thread: Is it possible to "believe" and be rational?

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Is it possible to "believe" and be rational?

    If you met someone who claimed - seriously claimed - that he "knew" he could fly, or that it's possible, if you really concentrate on it and believe you can fly - you'd think he's nuts or putting you on. You'd never take it seriously.

    To put a finer point on it - you'd never give his assertions respectful deference. If the guy continued to insist that he really could fly - but you can't see it because you don't "have faith" that he can - you'd laugh at him.

    Yet we don't laugh when it comes to equally nutty assertions that are draped with a religious mantle.

    Why?

    Isn't it just as ridiculous to accept at face value the assertion that (for example) a man named Jesus was the son of an all-powerful god who created everything and who, though an immortal god himself, "died" and then "rose" from the grave?

    Yes, I know it "says so" in the Bible. So what?

    We don't take the stories in Greek mythology as literally true, either.

    There is no real evidence of Jesus being anything other than a very mortal man who died some 2,000 years ago. He may have claimed to be god (or his son) but is that any more valid than the claims made by various other religious figures and their followers throughout history? Why not Ra? Isis does nicely, too. Or Mithra. Resurrection stories are a common theme in religious belief systems.

    Yet people believe the Jesus stuff as (literally) gospel truth. And even if you don't believe, you're expected to treat the belief as respectable and even legitimate.

    It's bizarre.
    Last edited by Eric; 08-01-2009 at 07:40 AM.

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