What I Believe is written by Anthony Kenny. Anthony Kenny is one of the leading philosophers of the post-war years. As he recounts in this book, he abandoned the Roman Catholic priesthood to set out on an intellectual journey which led him to become a professional academic and philosopher of distinction. Kenny responds to the request to write personally and honestly about his own struggles with belief with attempts to argue for the existence of God.  He displays how he has developed a non-position.  He is neither theist nor atheist.

What I Believe says

Faith in God and the claims of divine revelation is a vice unless belief in God can be shown to be reasonable and the historical claims of faith can be verified as much as any anything else in history. One cannot take God’s word for it that he exists and so one needs evidence PAGE 9, 59

My Comments

If you take God’s word for it that he exists then why not take somebody else’s word for it that they are a prophet of God and they want you to kill people for God? Which God can you take the word for? God is serious business for God claims to be the all-good king of all and the most valuable. Your life is not as important as he is.

Belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is unreasonable because the gospels cannot prove the resurrection for they only put forward an interpretation of events. Christianity should believe in the resurrection not in an interpretation which is a different thing altogether. Jesus didn’t look the same when he appeared so it seems likely that the witnesses could have had some kind of weird experience that they interpreted as visions of Jesus. There is evidence that the visions of Fatima in 1917 were similar to visions involving aliens and UFOs and over time the Catholic element took over and they got a Catholic flavour and used for Catholic propaganda.

Simon Weil stated that if the bulb lights up the room, you do not look at its brightness to work out how powerful it is but you simply look at the objects it lights up to work that out. She said that Christian faith and faith in God are reasonable in the sense that they make sense of what we observe and experience. This is really saying that having a theory that seems to account for the kind of beings we are and the kind of universe we have and our existence and its existence is reasonable. That view is correct. But it does not follow that the Christian faith and faith in God are the best theories or that they are good theories or even coherent theories. The biggest problem is that they are actually incoherent. Take for example how Christians teach, "The reason Jesus' tomb was empty was because he rose from the dead. The empty tomb is evidence that he rose for nobody had reason to steal the body". But we cannot assume nobody had a reason. And the gospels do not say that when the tomb was opened that the body had already gone. In fact they suggest the tomb opened and there was nobody about until the women came and found the body missing. The body could have been taken after the tomb was opened. If we can come up with a faith theory to make sense of what we observe and experience then surely the theory should be atheistic? We cannot observe and experience God creating. And if we think we experience God, it is only because we have put that interpretation on the experience. That is not experiencing God but experiencing the perceptions you have made of God.

Kenny is right to say that God is a very big claim so you need evidence.  If you have God's word for it that he exists you need evidence that it is God's word.  On the human level it is not fair to have people serving a being who they believe loves them totally if that is not true.  They have no duty to a myth or to a creator entity that is nothing like a personal being.


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