Marina Krakovsky, you have seined a question out of my dank and flooded mental cellar! Unexpectedly your article “Losing Your Religion: Analytical Thinking Can Undermine Belief” surfaced a line of thinking I’ve played with for awhile. Concluding the article with, Joshua Greene’s comment, “If God exists, and if believing in God is perfectly rational, then why does increasing rational thinking tend to decrease belief in God?”, you stirred up a cognitive dissonance.
Why does believing in God need to be irrational? Before shoving that sentence into the nearest trash can, realize that there may be more dissonance in my words for my fellow believers than for non-believers. Looking back over prior centuries it is easy to spot belief-assumptions pasted by the religious onto things we understand differently today. By taking the stance that by so doing believers have been shown that there are no such things as miracles, researchers have actually demonstrated another problem. Many of my fellow believers have seemingly not had that floor pulled out from under them. How could that be? After all, hasn’t it been shown that we have yet to find any demonstrable healings? If we’ve not yet been able to discover at least one healing why are we, Christians, claiming them?
One explanation is the floor supposedly pulled from under those believers wasn’t there in the first place. Belief as usually built in our lives demands polarized vision. For many of us the floor that was pulled didn’t exist in the first place. So, those disproofs become spoofs. Kind of like my being unable hear what my cat hears, or smell what the fox scurrying across the street is trying to catch. Our having no idea of what an animal senses keeps us almost totally unaware of what those creatures living around us know. Likewise, fellow believers please unplug your noses and take those fancy glasses off!
Rather than supposing that I don’t believe in the resurrected Jesus think about me as decrying your handicapping the life you live in communion with God. Rather than fancying that I can’t believe in miracles, realize that I am the one accusing you with refusing to see God’s hands in your life. With that said, I’m laying this down, for today, but just for today.