I moved on from faith a while ago. It took a long time, but I finally came to the conclusion that I could make better use of my time, come to better conclusions about the world, and make life a lot less stressful if I left faith behind and disaffiliated myself with religion altogether. I read books and weblogs, performed many different reflections, and concluded that faith didn't work for me. I prefer the naturalistic approach to life and my inner life has improved immensely since I started to allow myself to think for myself.
This post from PZ Myers really reminded me of some of the reasons I moved on from faith. The article highlights a recent article posted in The New York Times by Christian apologist Alvin Plantinga. PZ's annoyed at Plantinga's "rejection of Russel's teapot."
<blink, blink> Seriously? He rejects the Russell’s Teapot idea because he can only imagine a methodologically natural process for launching it into orbit, and because we lack concrete physical evidence of the technological apparatus for putting it in space, we have evidence that it doesn’t exist?
I fully understand the need for epistomological arguments. I fully understand that our way of knowing what exists is fraught with complications and whatnot. But this is just silly. Religious faith traditions cannot stand to naturalist scrutiny because they depend on faith and outmoded epistemology.
So why argue at all? Doesn't the very existence of apologetics prove that faith traditions don't have a foundation? I mean, if they need a specific group of people to argue for their legitimacy, doesn't that prove that it's too unfounded to bother?
When I took part in Christianity, I heard apologetics-based arguments all the time. In my early teens, I attended a Bible Study where I learned that apologetics is a matter of defending my faith. However, whenever I practiced these apologetics, I couldn't help but admit that the other side won almost every time. It wasn't that I was bad at apologetics; it's that I was too rational to keep on defending something irrational. I was told over and over again by Christian culture that my faith was rational and matched the natural world, but just a little studying proved the opposite every time. The world made less sense with spirituality's involvement; spirituality overcomplicates everything.
I do my best to avoid "flipping" my standards for reality, but I'm sure I have a few ideas with faulty philosophical underpinnings. However, I do my best to shift my perspective when new evidence appears and also do my best not to jump on philosophical bandwagons. Sure, we can't know that the teapot is there or isn't, but the idea's intended to be ridiculous.
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