Re: Self-deception, faith, and scepticism

From: Iain Strachan <>
Date: Fri Feb 17 2006 - 07:31:45 EST

On 2/15/06, Bill Hamilton <> wrote:
> --- David Opderbeck <> wrote:
> > Ok, I think we are on the same page. But about this: "*Apart from
> invoking
> > the fine tuning of the universe (which you could say is a weak form of
> the
> > Intelligent Design hypothesis), there isn't any evidence I can offer
> him"
> > *do
> > you mean evidence from natural science?

Yes, that's what I meant. Hardened atheists seem to value scientific
evidence above all other things.

The point I was making was that, sure you can argue self-deception if what
you believe in doesn't have any hard scientific evidence, but that everyone
indulges in self-deception - the honest approach to everything seems to lead
to despair and dread, as in the case of the poet Philip Larkin, because
ultimately you'd never be able to reconcile the fact that you will
inevitably lose everything that you gained. Another line in the Monty
Python "Life of Brian" song goes "what have you come from? Nothing! Where
are you going to? Nothing! So what have you lost? Nothing!", which is a
self-deceptive argument, because it ignores the bit in the middle, described
by Larkin as "The million-petalled flower of being here". What you gained
by being born you are surely going to lose, and in order to survive without
falling into despair, you either have to have a religion, or live your life
ignoring the fact of the inevitable.


 There certainly are many more
> > evidences apart from natural science that support theism. In addition
> to
> > the argument from design / teleological argument / and cosmological
> argument
> > (which are strong even apart from the particular arguments of ID), there
> is
> > the moral argument, the argument from religious need, the argument from
> joy,
> > the ontological argument, historical arguments concerning the life,
> death
> > and resurrection of Christ and growth of the Church, and experiential
> > arguments from the lives of individual believers, among others.
> >
> All of these arguments are valuable and should be known by every
> Christian.
> However, if one of them convinces a nonbeliever, then he simply has made
> an
> intellectual assent to the existence of God (ala Anthony Flew) Perhaps he
> will
> take the next step: a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but just
> intellectually acknowledging God doesn't guarantee it. Here is where
> personal
> testimony comes in.
> Bill Hamilton
> William E. Hamilton, Jr., Ph.D.
> 586.986.1474 (work) 248.652.4148 (home) 248.303.8651 (mobile)
> "...If God is for us, who is against us?" Rom 8:31
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Received on Fri Feb 17 07:33:04 2006

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