imageDan Arel has posted The Desire to Believe Anything at the Secularite. Just for fun, I’ve noted a few corrections. I don’t mind the grammar mistakes or even factual errors. I make such mistakes every day. What got my goat was the charge that, as a theist, I will believe anything and that “[i]t may be easy to forgive such ignorance of history stemming from what is often a lifetime of indoctrination and improper education.”

Dan Arel writes:

Atheists often proclaim theists will believe anything and this is this is [sic][repeated] an understandable position when one thinks about all the silly things in the Bible that are often references from [sic][recte to] talking snakes, a virgin birth, a man walking on water and later this same man rising from the dead. Why would we not think theists believe anything?

However, there [sic][recte their] willingness to believe anything seems to stretch further than that. It may be easy to forgive such ignorance of history stemming from what is often a lifetime of indoctrination and improper education. There is [sic][recte are] though, new discoveries in our lifetime that drive this willingness to believe anything to whole new levels.

First we have the shroud of turin [sic][recte Turin]. This academically accepted forgery still hangs  in a church today, on display as the shroud Jesus [sic][recte Jesus’] dead body was covered in [sic][recte with]. Christians simply refuse to accept any scientific evidence this is a fake and use it often as evidence for Jesus existence. [Christians, implying all or most? simply refuse?]

Now even more recently, a burial box discovered in Israel that supposedly has the words “”James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.” carved into the side. [supposedly?  An inscription, “Ya’akov bar-Yosef akhui diYeshua” (Aramaic) meaning "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus" is actually carved into a side of the box.]

A group called the Israel Antiques Authority seized the box and tested it, finding it to be a forgery.

The forger was put on trial for the forgery but was found not guilty. Those who believe this is evidence of Jesus’ existence are using this trial as their proof that this is a real burial box of the brother of Jesus Christ. This is regardless of any anthropological evidence that this is an authentic artifact. [I would like to see an example]

“There is no doubt that it’s ancient, and the probability is that it belonged to the brother of Jesus Christ,” said [sic omit] Prof Gabriel Barkay of Bar-Ilan University tells The Guardian.

How can he state this probability when there is zero evidence that Marry, Joseph, Jesus or James even existed to begin with? Hundreds of other probabilities could be listed that hold more water than what this professor simply wishes to be true. His claim is based on nothing but faith and his claim is intellectually dishonest. [zero evidence? possibilities hold water? intellectually dishonest?]

It is often stated by theists that they would abandon their faith if the bones of Jesus were found and it was shown he did not rise from the dead. I must wonder however how quickly these theists would dismiss science as inaccurate if they found some way to verify the identity of these bones.

This suspension of reality is purely dangerous and stifles the critically thinking mind. Faith based thinking must be abandoned and the promotion of ration [sic][recte rational], critical and logical thinking must be endorsed and encouraged.

This was in fun and a response to Arel’s suggestion that as a theist I suffer often from a “lifetime of indoctrination and improper education” Would it surprise Arel to know that I am completely in favor of rational, critical and logical thinking. Faith should have no fears in this regard and benefits by such good discipline.

imageAccording to the staff page at the Secularist, Dan Arel is a freelance writer, speaker and secular activist residing in San Diego, CA. He writes on secular and humanist values on subjects such as secular parenting, church and state separation, education reform and secularism in public policy.