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Letters to a Doubting Thomas Overview

12/06/2010

So despite my many objections, I found this book very enlightening, or at least stimulating and readable. What struck me as well is that at the very end, Thomas isn’t even convinced! From page 249:

You’ve given me a lot to think about! As you know, I’m not a person that changes his mind very easily or often, so, frankly, I’m still in a state of doubt. I can’t affirm that the preponderance of evidence favors Theism over Naturalism.

Humble way to begin a book. I learned quite a bit about cumulative argumentation, and about the nature of explanations themselves. I certainly want to see more, and find the philosophy of explanations (I guess that falls under epistemology) to be fascinating and important. That it’s even an issue seems to be something that people gloss over for their whole lives. Thanks to reading, I am not glossing it over.

So, there were some things that did cause me to think, and think hard. I have some unresolved questions that I’ll have to keep my eyes opened for in future books.

  1. Should I accept the Starting Principle in regards to religious experience?
  2. Is a mostly good/ mostly mighty God as good an explanation for an experience as an almighty/all good God?
  3. Is introspection testable as truth? Is religious experience really testable, and if not, is that okay?
  4. If naturalism cannot account for contingent beings, then does it on that same note fail to account for evil?

Still, over all, the arguments were unconvincing to me. I really do find apologetic appeals to free will to be so insufferably illogical. Am I the crazy one? I think I can say that my stance isn’t obviously wrong. Some chapters were better than others, but over all, each chapter failed to convince me that Theism is a better explanation for what is than Naturalism.

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