Marcus wrote:Yes, I do know what you mean by evidence, nor can I, in terms of your definition of evidence, prove the Resurrection or the Exodus—but you knew that. But I can prove both events occurred using what I call evidence.
When I said "prove the resurrection" I meant PRECISELY prove that it occurred, not "prove the resurrection itself", and I meant 'with persuasive evidence". My only claim is that NT, as the only evidence, cannot persuade: it would be a violation of physical laws, many historical analyses of the period and of the events described in NT and of the NT itself demonstrate that it was xtremely unlikely, to understate the case, to have happened. So unless and until better evidence emerges, I treat it as if it did not happen. I do not make strong claims, religionists do.
Marcus wrote:And, yes, faith is the substance of hope, and everyone uses it daily.
I agree. But substance of hope is not evidence. And faith does not require evidence, BY DEFINITION. As long as these are not confused, it's OK.
In fact, it is a principal argument of mine that it's the psychological convenience of hope that interferes with people's reasoning faculties. It is much harder pyschologically to live based on reason than on faith, but if the latter is allowed to override the former on a systematic basis, it's a recipe for suicide. Last time I looked, the church frowned on that.
Religion has had such a powerful effect over the ages precisely because it helps them to deal with aspects of reality they cannot cope with, such as death, pain, defeat, etc. It's a psychological clutch. But understanding the psychology -- which I do -- does not negate the crucial importance of reason.
Fata morgana in the desert helps psychologically, but unless water is found...
Marcus wrote:Finally, you know "it's the only thing humans have" how? If you'll answer that question honestly instead of ducking it, we can end this dog-and-pony show and move on to better things.
Can you answer honestly the question Is there ANY evidence that will cause you to lose your faith and stop your religious beliefs and, if so, what is it?" It should be easier than having to explain why knowledge and reason is the only tool humans have to survive in the long run".