General Introduction for Non-Believers Part 1: Are Your Beliefs Consistent with Your Worldview?
by Rich Deem
This is the first part of a three part introduction to the evidence for belief in the God of Christianity. This first part considers what people believe and why. The main point is that we must consider the possibility that our beliefs are wrong, in order to realistically examine the evidence that contradicts our beliefs. This principle applies to both believers and skeptics alike. For myself, having grown up as an agnostic atheist (one who doesn’t believe in God, but doesn’t claim that no god exists), I have undergone a couple paradigm shifts as an adult. The first occurred as an undergraduate at USC in the early 1970’s, when I went from atheism to deism (a belief that a god created the universe), as a result of my perception that science had failed miserably in its explanation of the origin of the universe and the origin of life on earth. My second, more difficult paradigm shift occurred in the late 1980’s, when I determined that Jesus Christ was the God who created the universe and life in it. If you are ready to consider the possibility that your beliefs might be wrong, and look directly at the evidence, feel free to skip ahead to part 2. However, I feel it is important for skeptics to recognize that not all their beliefs are based upon physical evidence, and are even consistent with their own worldview.
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Do skeptics have beliefs?
Most skeptics take pride in their intellectual ability and like to think that they have no “beliefs.” However, modern science has shown us that everyone has beliefs, since this is how our brains work. A good introduction to this field can be found in Andrew Newberg’s book, Why We Believe What We Believe: Uncovering Our Biological Need for Meaning, Spirituality, and Truth. Although we would like to think that everything we believe is based upon evidence and logic, this is simply not true. In fact, we become emotionally bound to our worldview, so much so that worldview changes occur rarely, if at all. Since I am asking you to consider a worldview change, I am going to ask you to dump your emotional attachment to your worldview and consider the evidence apart from your emotional attachments…
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