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Cognitive Dissonance for Skeptics: More from David B. Marshall

Dimageavid B Marshall has posted the third installment of his review: Shroud III: Cognitive Dissonance for Skeptics. He writes:

At the beginning of Part IV, Seeing Through the Shroud, DW tells us about the distress he felt upon realizing, as a secular person, that the Shroud seemed to be the actual burial cloth of Jesus.  His account reads like a classic conversion tale:

One hot, bright morning in the early summer of 2004 I ambled out into the orchard behind my house in Cambridge, lay down on the grass and immersed myself in The Turin Shroud by Ian Wilson.  Overhead, white blossoms clustered along the sparse branches of the apple tree in whose shade I settled . . .

As an agnostic . . . I was extremely uncomfortable with the with the idea that the Shroud might be an authentic marvel . . . I couldn’t avoid the conclusion: from a purely historical point of view, the death and burial of Jesus seemed to be the best explanation for the Shroud.

For a skeptical agnostic, this was a suffocating thought . . . It was as if the Shroud, backed by the vast weight of Christian tradition, was pressing down on me, threatening to stifle my secular worldview.  Instead of enjoying a quiet lull in the summer sun, I found myself battling with a fierce metaphysical adversary, like Jacob wrestling with the angel. (192)

And then there is this gem:

A philosopher might remind DW that valid reasoning and true premises are two different things: belief in miracles might be an error, but not bad reasoning per se. A Christian might find it a strange definition of "rationality" that excludes the likes of Origen, Augustine, Aquinas, Anselm, C. S. Lewis, or Alvin Plantinga, simply because they doubt the universe is a closed system.

Read all of it at Christ the Tao: Shroud III: Cognitive Dissonance for Skeptics

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