A Response To John Wisdoms Article, "Gods"

1895 words - 8 pages

"Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to." This quote captures in many ways what Wisdom is trying to get across in his essay about religion. Religion, and the belief in it, cannot be logically justified in the same way the law of gravity can. It cannot be proven through a scientific experiment, or deduced through a set of premises. Science has dominated our acceptance of "facts" for many centuries, which has resulted in the rejection of most things that cannot be proven scientifically. By things I simply mean explanatory theories of all possible physical or metaphysical states. Therefore, the majority of society basis their belief system around science, and rejects or accepts things on the basis of proof. I use proof in its ordinary sense defined by the dictionary as evidence.Wisdom uses his essay to illustrate how the belief in a God cannot be rejected using the present belief system based on science. He insists that religion is on a separate realm and is not susceptible to logical criticisms or rationality as most other things are. I will try to reiterate his reasoning to the best of my ability to bring about a general understanding, and to defend his line of thinking.Does a God exist? And please, lets for simplicity sake stay away from arguments disputing the truth validity of this sentence. This question is perhaps one of the few questions that have prevailed through all of time, as we know it, without a definitive answer accepted by all of mankind. Presently, if we wanted to confirm the existence of something we would collect various facts and observations to support or refute its existence. Using Wisdoms example of the gardener, we see how even after becoming familiar with all the same facts and observations, two people can produce different conclusions.The gardener example can be summarized as follows. After months away, two homeowners return to find their garden in seemingly good condition considering the time it had been left unattended. One initially assumes a secret gardener has up kept it, while the other disagrees. At this stage the dispute becomes experimental. The two confirm with neighbors that there has been no gardener, they sit up for weeks on end waiting to catch a gardener - to no avail, and they even observe other unattended gardens for comparison. After months of being presented with the same observations and evidence, one still believes a secret gardener attends the garden, and the other does not. This belief in a secret gardener is no longer based on reason derived through their experiment. It is this specific subtlety that Wisdom tries to emphasize.What makes this one person still believe in a secret gardener? It is obviously not direct evidence; it is something more of an innate feeling, or a result of his life experiences that produced a different set of beliefs. Wisdom is also quick to point out that this difference is not the same as two mathematicians producing different answers from the same...

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