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Quote# 84845

I have been reading some really interesting dialogue lately between Christians and atheists. For the most part, I've read some great questions and thoughts. Most of what I have read from atheists seems to argue that logic demands that the Christian faith is a farce, or at least highly improbable. I don't seek to address that thought per se, but to take a step back and look at the concept of logic as a starting point. Forgive me for a broad generalization, but it seems that most atheists arguing against the Christian faith are arguing, ultimately, that logic is king. I don't see many atheists arguing that the story of Jesus isn't beautiful. Or that Scripture isn't poetic. Or that Christians are incapable of love. It always comes down to logic. "The Christian faith isn't logical. It can't be true."

I have a thought on this: What if the corridor of "logic" is not the path through which we are intended to arrive at what is "true"? Some people start from a paradigm that says, "Whatever is most logical is most likely to be true," and, for many, their end point is atheism or agnosticism. But what if, rather than logic being king, we were to allow beauty, or poetry, or love to be "king"? Would we find the story and the claims of Christ to be easier to accept? This is not to disregard logic as useless, but to see it merely as a mode of thinking which could potentially be pitted against beauty, or poetry, or love, etc. as a litmus test for what is "true".

So, is the Christian faith "true"? Yes, I believe so. And for me, it is true because it is the most beautiful concept I have ever encountered, Scripture is the most poetic account I have ever read, and Christ displays the highest level of love that I can imagine. I am compelled to embrace Jesus not because I have been argued to Him logically, but because I am drawn to Him as one is drawn to a sunset or to a beautiful song or an act of compassion. Logic has a place in my faith, but it is secondary to beauty, and poetry, and love.

This is where I stand right now. Tomorrow, I may have to re-evaluate my position. But I value your input and your critiques.

TL:DR - For me, beauty, poetry, and love trump logic. This is what draws me to Jesus.

ApologeticKid, reddit.com 99 Comments [11/18/2011 10:47:45 AM]
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D Laurier

So what doubles crop yeilds?
Nice, pretty pictures in church windows? Pretty songs sung by a choir of children?
Or LOGICAL research in plant genetics?

11/18/2011 10:52:00 AM



Actually, he's being pretty honest with himself. Many theists are aware that religion doesn't make sense, and believe for emotional reasons, but insist that faith is logical. They do the most harm, with things like Creationism and witch trials.

This guy seems pretty harmless. Yeah, his dismissal of logic could be pretty damaging, but he realizes, I think, that logic is useful. He's just not emotionally ready to face reality.

Don't get me wrong though - The quote is hilarious.

-Odai

11/18/2011 11:01:03 AM

David B.

So if I say you owe me $20k for making the sky blue today, but write it poetically in really nice copperplate and decorate it in a particularly artistic fashion, you'd pay up, right?

Aside from which, with the exception of the Song of Solomon, most of the bible is either trite, dull or egregiously nasty (Judges 19).

11/18/2011 11:09:10 AM

Anon-e-moose

"I have been reading some really interesting dialogue lately between Christians and atheists. For the most part, I've read some great questions and thoughts. Most of what I have read from atheists seems to argue that logic demands that the Christian faith is a farce, or at least highly improbable. I don't seek to address that thought per se, but to take a step back and look at the concept of logic as a starting point. Forgive me for a broad generalization, but it seems that most atheists arguing against the Christian faith are arguing, ultimately, that logic is king. I don't see many atheists arguing that the story of Jesus isn't beautiful. Or that Scripture isn't poetic. Or that Christians are incapable of love. It always comes down to logic. "The Christian faith isn't logical. It can't be true."

Two words: talking snake.

I love the smell of arguments blasted out of the space-time continuum in the morning. Smells like... victory.

Pinups of Bettie Page. Books by Yeats. Listening to Dr. Karl's science Q&A phone-in on BBC Radio 5.

Moral: Beauty, Poetry and Facts fart in the face of religious Lies.

11/18/2011 11:12:09 AM

OhJohnNo

I agree with the anonymous second guy. Well, I don't really find the quote hilarious (there have been much funnier quotes) but it's nice to see a quote on here which belongs here, and yet still doesn't make me lose faith in humanity.

11/18/2011 11:14:25 AM

Philbert McAdamia

>> I don't see many atheists arguing that the story of Jesus isn't beautiful. <<

Here's one. The story is fucked up. I saw through it at age 5 when my mom tried to put it onto me. I wrote a better (more logical) myth in the 3rd grade.

11/18/2011 11:18:02 AM

Tom S. Fox

In other words, you decide what's true based on what you want to be true. Good luck with that.

11/18/2011 11:20:49 AM

Berny

What point were you trying to make?

11/18/2011 11:26:11 AM

lisamariefan

Honestly, I'm a little sick of Christians pretending they have some kind of monopoly on love and beauty and poetry. Secondly, there are many things that are in the Bible that I wouldn't find beautiful, poetic, or full of love. Of course, I can understand why someone would think this when churches and such CONSTANTLY pound this message into your head.

11/18/2011 11:30:46 AM

JSS

Only problem with that is that the ancient Greco-Roman tales are beautiful and poetic too, along with the ancient African tales, the ancient Egyptian tales, the ancient Chinese and Japanese tales, etc. Therefore I'm inclined to accept those as part of my faith as well. You see my dilemma...

11/18/2011 11:41:03 AM

breakerslion

I agree enough with the second guy to be kinder than I usually would be.

1. Aesop's fables. Just as poetic, just as "true". Maybe a little more since they aren't contradictory or cryptic enough to justify any position. Nobody worships them though.

"For me, beauty, poetry, and love trump logic. This is what draws me to Jesus."

2. History lesson: The four suits of the modern deck of cards derive from the four suits of Tarot. Spades/Swords trump all, except in "opposite" games. Hearts/Cups are the weakest suit. Swords represent Thought, Challenge, Observation. Cups represent Love Emotion, Empathy. While both aspects are important to a well-rounded individual, the ancient humans that believed in this mysticism valued one above the other because the one represented DOING and the other FEELING. And that should teach you to use the word "trump" in a sentence where I can get a-hold of it!

11/18/2011 11:47:54 AM

Doubting Thomas

I don't see many atheists arguing that the story of Jesus isn't beautiful.

What's so beautiful about the story of an all-powerful god who refused to remove a curse he put on people until he had his own son die in a brutal, horrendous, and painful manner?

What if the corridor of "logic" is not the path through which we are intended to arrive at what is "true"? ... But what if, rather than logic being king, we were to allow beauty, or poetry, or love to be "king"?

In other words, "I can't argue my faith with logical arguments, so I'll just say that it's true because it looks pretty to me."

And for me, it is true because it is the most beautiful concept I have ever encountered

If that works for you, great. But don't condemn the rest of us to hell because we have to have actual proof.

Actually, I can think of an even more beautiful concept of god, life, & creation that doesn't involve suffering or a place called hell.

11/18/2011 12:02:41 PM

Agahnim

So you dislike logic, huh? Does that mean you think 1+1=15?

11/18/2011 12:14:44 PM

ergo

Not lying, this kid is probably rolling in the pussy. That shit was poetic.

11/18/2011 12:14:46 PM

Joe Mama

For me, beauty, poetry, and love trump logic.

Is this where the term "ugly truth" comes from?

11/18/2011 12:26:14 PM

Vesus

"Some of us care whether or not our beliefs are true." - Matt Dillahunty

11/18/2011 12:27:09 PM

Auratwilight

Reality, unfortunately, is not controlled by what is pretty or lovely. It is not determined by what we wish to be true. However, logic is consistent and self-evident regardless of what we choose to believe about it. It is a transcendent idea that exists without any minds to observe it just like math and physics, and UNLIKE beauty, love, poetry, or morality.

But thank you very much for your honesty. I have great respect for you even if I don't respect your beliefs.

11/18/2011 12:27:39 PM

Wehpudicabok

Well, logic got us science, and science got us technology, without which we couldn't be talking right now. So I'll stick with logic; it seems to be working well so far.

That being said, the fact that the OP is even willing to consider the idea that they might be wrong puts them streets ahead of pretty much everyone else quoted here.

11/18/2011 12:36:05 PM

Freethinker

Funny quote by someone not entirely up into that 'critical thinking' thing.

Not fundie though. Misinformed, but not fundie.

I admire his honesty a bit. Perhaps ApologeticKid has some use for this advice:

"It really doesn't matter if you have 'embraced Jesus' and we tend to use logic to disprove the existence of the same said 'Jesus'.
The trouble starts when people like you, and a whole lot more fanatical, want this Jesus figure protected by law, and want to create laws forcing other people to accept this Jesus figure as boss.
Because we can't accept someone's imaginary friend as boss, we tend to get a little iffy.

Believe what you want. Every kid has an imaginary friend up to some time and most kids believe in Santa Claus as well. Just keep it to yourself and live a happy life."

11/18/2011 12:40:05 PM

Canuovea

Hmm. I'll be honest, I kind of agree with this fellow.

No, I'm not Christian, or any of that, but he has a point about logic.

Logic is only one of many ways of "knowing" something. Some people have "faith", "revelation", or "intuition". But there are other, more well used, methods of "knowing" or "belief" that aren't necessarily logic based.

Take observation, for instance. Observation tells us that a desk is solid, but science (and hence reason) tell us that, while it appears solid, it is mostly empty space. There are many such examples.

Even intuition is often used. Though that may just be our subconscious picking up on observations we don't consciously notice. Are you being watched? Do you feel like you are being watched? Hmm.

Personally, though, I think logic is the most reliable way to arrive at the truth of a matter. This is simply because of the way that logic works. In order to have a fair discussion with ApologeticKid, we would have to engage in a kind of "meta-argument". An argument about reason and argument. Pretty high up stuff.

Still. "I believe it because it feels true. And I want it to be true" just doesn't convince me. And it won't convince anyone but the person who believes it.

11/18/2011 12:41:56 PM

Mudak

The big problem is that beauty is completely subjective. Take me, for example: I'm a straight man, and I'll turn 40 in March.

Some people my age would argue that Britney Spears is beautiful. I disagree; I think she's quite homely. Ditto for Julia Roberts, Winona Ryder, and Lindsay Lohan before she went insane. There's no shortage of female celebrities whom I do consider beautiful (Tori Amos, Keira Knightly, Emma Watson before she cut her hair short) but it's all a part of my very subjective opinion. And that has literally nothing in common with any objective facts or even reality.

11/18/2011 12:48:55 PM

Osiris

So what you're saying is that it doesn't matter if the Gospels don't make any sense, contain factual errors, or even contradict one another. None of that matters because as long as you read it and get a warm, fuzzy feeling, that means it's true.

Sorry, that's not good enough. I don't care if the story of Jesus is beautiful or the poetry of it's writing is nice. There's plenty of books out there that contain wonderful prose and beautiful imagery. But those books also aren't true, they are works of fiction. If you want to convince me that the Gospel is more then a work of fiction, which it very well could be, you need something better then; "It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling." Watching The Lion King gave me the same feeling as a kid, that doesn't mean lions can talk or have hornbill advisers.

Beauty, poetry, and love can not trump logic because they are subjective. What is beauty to one person can be considered ugly to another. Some people think Twilight is amazing and I think it's a piece of shit. This is why atheists want your arguments to be logical, because logic is objective. But you're right, if not for the reasons you think, that logic only can go so far. Logic is meaningless if it's not supported by evidence.

For example here is a logical argument that is also completely false. My friend is from Detroit. All people from Detroit are green. Therefore my friend is green. That argument is perfectly logical, but it is also completely wrong because the assumption, all people from Detroit are green, is wrong. In the end what atheists ask for is evidence. We want evidence that the Bible is factual right, not that its prose is poetic or its message beautiful. That's meaningless, both because it's subjective but also because you have to compete with other religious texts. The prose of the Baghavad Gita is just a beautiful as the Bible, but you don't believe in it even though millions of Hindus get that same fuzzy feeling reading it as you do from the Gospels. You want us to believe in your holy script above all others as a factual truth, but for 2,000 years you have failed to provide us with any objective reason to find it true.

11/18/2011 12:52:06 PM

farpadokly

This is a perfectly cogent argument and is similar to a sort of Kierkegardian leap of faith. The objections to it, though, are very serious.
1. How much "beauty, poetry, and love" is really found in the Bible, and in the history of the practice of Christianity? Some, but it's outweighed by, and used to obscure, the ugly realities.
2. Emotional responses are subjective. My reaction against Christianity was equally subjective and an emotional response. I saw quite clearly as an adolescent that the churches are power institutions which serve to bolster up a hierarchical social control. This central fact, which was experienced as a sort of disgust (a subjective, emotional response) when allied with the intellect, distilled itself into a very powerful critique.
Which is better, the heart or the head? Answer: The heart and the head working together.

11/18/2011 12:55:01 PM

Horsefeathers

"But what if, rather than logic being king, we were to allow beauty, or poetry, or love to be 'king'? Would we find the story and the claims of Christ to be easier to accept? This is not to disregard logic as useless, but to see it merely as a mode of thinking which could potentially be pitted against beauty, or poetry, or love, etc. as a litmus test for what is 'true'."

Fine. Explain how you determine something is "true" based on any of those.

Just because some idea is "beautiful" does not make it true. However, if it is the only possible outcome and you've determined so through application of logic then, whether it's beautiful or not, it is "true."

"So, is the Christian faith "true"? Yes, I believe so. And for me, it is true because it is the most beautiful concept I have ever encountered, Scripture is the most poetic account I have ever read, and Christ displays the highest level of love that I can imagine."

Substitutional sacrifice is not "beautiful" at all. It's immoral.

Your precious Scriptures are anything but poetic. They're mostly a list of claims that can't be verified, accounts of some of the most brutal and barbaric events you can imagine, threats of Hellfire to just about everyone for just about everything imaginable, incomprehensible nonsense, incorrect facts, and a smattering of statements that are so obvious as to not need writing down in the first place.

"I am compelled to embrace Jesus not because I have been argued to Him logically, but because I am drawn to Him as one is drawn to a sunset or to a beautiful song or an act of compassion. Logic has a place in my faith, but it is secondary to beauty, and poetry, and love."

Then your faith is both weak and pointless since it cannot be defended except through appeal to emotion, nor can it be shown to be intrinsically true.

11/18/2011 1:09:16 PM

anevilmeme

Evidence, have you heard of it?

11/18/2011 1:41:11 PM
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