Monday, April 17, 2006

"What if" versus "I believe"

I've read a few books or seen a few books lately that really got the cognitive juices going.

Did anyone read, The Intimate Life of Abraham Lincoln? I was simply blown away at even the idea of the late President Lincoln being gay, or bi for that matter. It is a really interesting read. There are lots of letters, etc. that back up some of the authors conclusions...but so many folks who read the book (even more that have never read it) simpy say, "I don't believe that!".

How can they deny the evidence...sure, ignore the conclusion...but to not acknowledge the evidence is really frightening. Isn't being open minded about gathering all the facts you can and then form your conclusion...leaving room that others may conclude things differently?

How about, The Jesus Papers? Some of the concepts are simply astounding. The history of how the Bible came into being, etc. really revealed some ignorance on my part. "I believe" tended to get trumped quite often with "the fact is this". I wouldn't say it shook my religious beliefs as much as it made me ponder many of the things that are quoted completely out of context.

I had one Christian tell me, long, long ago, that she didn't believe in "thermal dynamics" simply because she refused to believe that God would create anything she didn't understand. She was obviously very young in her faith and knowledge of both the Bible and the world. There are hundreds of millions of things that we'll never be able to grasp. The fact that she is still on spiritual milk, rather than meat, wasn't a surprise to me. :)

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