A reader emailed me a question from a loved-one who has fallen away from Christianity. He forwarded me his relative’s question, and asked if I had any thoughts to offer. The good news is, I have tons of thoughts on this subject! The bad news is, I’m so scattered right now I’m having a hard time putting together a coherent response.
Since it worked so well last time, I asked permission to post this for my brilliant readers to get your responses. Not only am I guessing that we’ll get some great comments, but I thought that this email was worth sharing because it offers some intelligent, thoughtful questions about religion. He writes:
I have two main objections to the idea of one religion (Christianity) being more true than others:
ONE: If the ultimate argument for your beliefs is “I take this on faith, I believe this because it has been my experience and therefore I know it’s true, ” what does that say about people who say the same thing with respect to their experiences who have different beliefs? They’ve gone through the same process as you, but have had different experiences, which have led to different beliefs. In the end, in defending your beliefs you have nothing more to offer them other than, “this is my experience, I take it on faith.”
Doesn’t that lead to relativism? Everyone has their own experiences, thus their own evidence and their own belief. And if “my experience” is the framework for determining what’s true, then everyone is left with legitimate beliefs. You can never find the absolute.
TWO: More importantly, if one is to say that the quest for truth is important above all else, how can you possibly rest until all the evidence has been considered? That’s impossible. We don’t stop a court proceeding half way through because someone offers a really good sounding argument — you hear all the evidence. My belief is that we can’t rest, ever. It is impossible to consider all the evidence, so it always remains possible that we may be wrong, so we always have to continue searching.
I would like to hear your thoughts on this.
I ask my Christian readers in particular: If a loved-one asked you these questions, what would your response be? Can’t wait to read your replies.
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