Why I am not an atheist

jeffery lynn mullins (jmullins@wam.umd.edu)
Tue, 9 Apr 1996 10:38:27 -0400 (EDT)

The replies to Fred's queries have been excellent, but I would like to
give my 2 cents worth from a different perspective.

We should not worry if there are some seeming problems with the Bible
that we cannot resolve if the problems do not outweigh the positive
evidences for the veracity of the Scriptures. I am not saying that we
should ignore problems or that problems of a certain magnitude or
quantity will not count against Biblical Christianity, only that one must
weigh the positive evidences versus the negative. For example, an
excellent case can be made for the life, death, and ressurection of
Jesus, his divinity, and thus his authority, and thus the truthfulness of
the Bible due to His saying so. Also a good case can be made for the
historicity of the Bible in 99.9% of all it talks about. Thus, if we
cannot resolve .0001%, this should not outweigh the 99.9999%. This is
what is done in science all the time, and no one rejects theories out of
hand due to small discrepancies. No one rejected the Big Bang theory
after it was established after the late 1960s due to the isotropic nature
of the cosmic background radiation that gave no "seeds" for galaxies to
form. The scientists just looked for the anisotropies that they knew had
to be there. When the previous evidences are overwhelming, then a few
negatives do not necessarily overthrow a theory, especially if it becomes
an overarching unifying theory which explains and unifies many previously
diverse sub-fields of a science and directs that direction of future
research. This is why the general theory of macroevolution cannot fall
with even a great many empirical holes -- it just accommodates or tries
to resolve the problems like was done when the Darwinism became the
neo-Darwinian synthesis, which then became puctuated equilibrium theory. If
science can work this way, why can't our reasoning about Christianity be
the same? We are within our epistemic rights to believe that
Christianity is true even if we cannot satisfactorily resolve 100% of all
of the problems that we encounter, as long as they are not major, like
evidence that Jesus never lived or that he never rose from the dead.