Friday, September 19, 2014


I came across this little snippet today; it's the current Arch Bishop of Canterbury talking about his moments of "doubt" with respect to the existence of God (presumably the Christian one!). I've heard other Christians (particularly Catholics for some reason) talk about doubt and many who seem to suggest that "doubt" is the default position of many religious people and their faith is something that ebbs and flows, some even wear it like some kind of badge of honour intimating that the more unlikely and irrational a belief is the more pious they are for believing it! The whole thing felt oddly schizophrenic to me, on the one hand I can see his point, it's a very rational one, i.e. there is no evidence at all for the existence of his God and Christians cannot explain evil in the world; then in one giant leap he arrives at an utterly irrational conclusion.

To someone with a naturalistic perspective on life (like me), his justification for "God" seems to be like adding 2 and 2 and coming up with 18, not only that but then standing on the desk and proclaiming to the rest of the class that this is in fact the correct answer. No matter how you look at it there are far better (more likely) natural explanations for such emotions, especially since people of different (and contradictory) faiths describe the exact same feelings. Welby himself discloses the true nature of his belief in the comments he makes, i.e. that God is simply not evident to him, "why doesn't God do something" he asks and quickly moves on to say that "God is faithful", without evidence, how would he know? He justifies his doubt and presumably Christianity by claiming that Christians "know about Jesus", of course this in itself is somewhat tenuous point; evidence for the Historicity of Jesus is very weak indeed. To me all of this feels a bit like saying I believe in magic but I have no evidence for it and see nothing that suggests it exists, however, I know about Harry Potter, so....

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