Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Talk to me about what you believe

I'm interested in what people believe. I appreciate Matt Dillahunty's perspective: tell me what you believe and why you believe it. I think this posture provides a great way for believers to frame their presentations, and it demonstrates the real position of skepticism. It's a reaction to claims made by believers.

When we talk about your beliefs, however, I'll not be convinced of the truth of your claims by arguments from authority, arguments from ignorance, or arguments from personal experience. Your life experience is not sufficient to demonstrate the truth of your claims to someone else. Likewise, the fact that you can't think of a better explanation for something doesn't demonstrate that your claim is true. Finally, appeals to religious authority hold no sway for those who do not accept that authority.

There are other logical fallacies, but those three are the ones that will stop our discussion in its tracks. Let's be open and honest about the issues we discuss. If we are, we'll have a much better chance at creating a mutual understanding.

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