Tenuous Justification

By Reuben.

Kath says:

He [Jesus] challenged the hard and fast religious rules of the Pharisees, the leaders of the predominant religion (Judaism) of the time. He showed that the interpretation of God’s words could indeed be subjective.

Let’s skip over the irony of having a subjective book (the bible) preaching the subjective messages of an invisible dictator (‘God’), for an audience whose subjective views espoused off the subjective book are so incredibly diverse, it makes the book seem almost useless as a guide to one’s life.
Nay…that was a cheap shot; the operative term of the above quote is “challenged”. Yes…a tasty word, ‘challenged’. Other great words are ‘test’, ‘counter-intuitive’ and ‘doubt’ – and what does this all add up to?

The erosion of faith.

But no!” shriek religious people, “I constantly test my faith” and “Faith unquestioned, is dogma, it is not real.” Good. I’m glad that believers challenge their faith. But how do they do this? In the face of tangible evidence – or no evidence – ‘faith’ is immediately dissolved. Theologians never tire of pointing out that the whole point of ‘faith’ is to ignore rationality and evidence for a bit whilst we get out our biblical texts and start praying. But then how do they question this faith if not through evidence or rationality?

Enter argumentum ad ignorantiam, guns blazing. If you repeat an idea (e.g. resurrection is possible) long enough to an audience (particularly a susceptible one, like children), they will – in all possibly – believe it. Unfortunately, argumentum ad ignorantiam is a logic fallacy and so, in the eyes of religion, to be shunned. Fortunately, most people re-energise their logic and rationality outside religious settings – possibly why the argumentum ad ignorantiam is employed so readily by the Department of Transport (the DOT). The DOT claim that our rail lines are at capacity, yet when one manages – somehow – to unearth the 1960’s engineering reports regarding the City Loop that show that they’re only a bit more than 50% at capacity with the current timetable, you know the government’s claims are fallacious to the extreme (extreme in the sense that the government – both federal and state – are ready to spend big on a project based on a so-called analysis that excludes the said reports). Shout, inculcate and bombard someone with an idea for long enough and eventually people just accept it. Fortunately in the last example I gave, we have people like Paul Mees reminding us of erroneous government claims; that’s to be expected in politics. The same can’t be said of religion.

The Doctor shouts at a Dalek in the vain hope that it'll just bugger off to Skaro and leave his precious London alone.

The Doctor shouts at a Dalek in the vain hope that it'll just bugger off back to Skaro and leave his precious London alone.

So, now that I’ve gotten that idea out of the way, I pose this question to religious people: What epistemological reasoning do you employ to justify your faith?



20 Responses to Tenuous Justification

  1. Brian says:

    “We think. You learn.”

    I think. You’re wrong.

    Enough of the Jesus stuff. People are knobheads and they’ll believe anything. We know this already. More humorously captioned Dr. Who photographs please.

  2. nlthinking says:

    That’ll be the main source of pictures in my posts, Brian.


  3. Oskar says:

    I agree with Brian, stop posting about the same topic. I’m preparing a post, but it won’t be ready for another day or so. Until then be more creative.
    Also, this blog was not made to give you another forum for showing how much you love TV shows.
    And could someone please tell me how to stop an email being sent to me every time someone comments here (I’m not sure why my email adress was given to wordpress without my permission anyway). My inbox has 104 unread emails.

  4. Reuben says:

    Oskar, you’re the main host – that’s why the emails get sent to you; they could get sent to me if you’d rather that.

    And this post is not a repeat of previous posts…it’s an offshoot of the debate we were having with Kath. It’s not the same topic.

    Re TV shows. Why not? I can’t just find images to suit every-topic. Instead, I’m doing what http://www.caution.wordpress.com does and add images that relate to the topic off a TV show that – in its full form – may not relate to the post. I agree that I was being mildly irrelevant in this image…but we shouldn’t be so rigid and defined.

  5. Hannah says:

    Skaro gone boom.

  6. Oskar says:

    But surely you don’t have to have emails being sent to someone evrytime someone comments. You must be able to automatically allow comments and just delete them if there is something wrong with them.

  7. Reuben says:

    Well I can change it so I receive the comment. Do you want?

    It’s unavoidable otherwise.

  8. Oskar says:

    I’m going to go to a higher source of wisdom before submiting to this ‘unavoidable’ fate.

  9. Brian says:

    “I’m going to go to a higher source of wisdom before submiting to this ‘unavoidable’ fate.”

    Hey…don’t ask me.

  10. Oskar says:

    Is it just a coincidence that Skaro in an anagram of my name.

  11. Sanders says:

    This blog, so far, has been very repetitive. All the posts so far have been about why God cannot exist because it isn’t logical to think that he does :S . Even the sub-title “We think. You Learn.” makes it seem that if you have a different perspective your wrong, which is ironic because you do not have all the answers. Thus, post on a fresh topic like ‘how the universe began’, ‘what is out there in the depths of space’, ‘is there 3 dimensions of the human aspect (physical, mental, spiritual) or just 2?’ or ‘what should we achieve throughout our lives’. Otherwise rename the blog “My opinion on God’.

  12. Reuben says:

    Oskar, take it off if you like. It was the wittiest thing I could think of at 11pm at night.

    Brian, the wisdom Oskar’s referring to is Kath.

    Sanders, it’s only been repetitive if you view it simplistically. Some posts’ ideas overlap, but that’s only to be expected. Admittedly I’ve been doing most of the posts, but we’ve now got a regime where only one person does their post per week, so expect to see more balance.

  13. Sanders says:

    I’ll await the next post.

  14. Reuben says:


  15. Brian says:

    Oskar…I hate to point this out, but Skaro’s also an anagram of O.K. ARS. If I were you I might consider changing my name.

  16. Oskar says:

    Serves me right for having a crazy german spelling to my name.

  17. Reuben says:

    Seeing as we’re way off-topic, I thought I’d suggest Oskar’s new name should be ‘Ulo’.

  18. Oskar says:

    Its already Osark. This doesn’t change the anagram problem, but it sure does sound good.

  19. Reuben says:

    It does sound good; robust.

  20. Brian says:

    I prefer SARKO…sounds a bit like a Japanese drink.

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