Christian Agnosticism & Touching Earth

English: Arabic Question mark 한국어: 아랍어에서 사용하는 물음표

I have recognized a repeating pattern from my past conversations, both in person and online, which I believe lies at the very bedrock of believer’s objections to investigative discussions regarding belief, Christianity, and the Bible. Once evidential discussions have run their course, and once a retreat is beaten from that battlefield, believers will very often default to the inner keep of last resorts:

You cannot evaluate the truth of Christianity with analysis or reason or rational argument: you must either believe it on faith or not at all. It is about belief. It requires faith.

I have come to call this a “retreat to grey”, the falling back to a proposition that faith knowledge is different by category from other knowledge – as different as living organisms and dead stones. Things of the spirit cannot be interrogated by the same means as other truth claims. At bottom is an agnostic claim: we simply cannot “know” things in this realm, nor prove them, and certainly not disprove them, by any path of critical thinking or evidence.

But why do we think this? [Read more…]

Quotation: Michio Kaku on Galileo & Bruno

English: The trial of Giordano Bruno by the Ro...

In my conversations, some have doubted that what a person specifically believes about Genesis matters. Many believers take a casual approach to the text today and cannot imagine that martyrdom has ever been joined to Genesis. Jesus perhaps, but not Genesis. To the contrary: it has carried sufficient gravity to not only execute dissenters, but to do so with leading figures, as an example. There can be little doubt what fate would have befallen Galileo had he not recanted.

From “Parallel Worlds”:

The mixture of science, religion, and philosophy is indeed a potent brew, so volatile that the great philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in 1600 in the streets of Rome for refusing to repudiate his belief that there were an infinite number of planets in the heavens, harboring an infinite number of living beings.

Galileo’s and Bruno’s sin was not that they dared to divine the laws of the heavens; their true sin was that they dethroned humanity from its exalted place at the center of the universe.

It would take over 350 years, until 1992, for the Vatican to issue a belated apology to Galileo. No apology was ever issued to Bruno.

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