The random witterings of Jonathan Morris, writer.

Thursday, 6 August 2009

From Out Of Nowhere


As a follow-up to my earlier post about evidence, and my suspicion of any argument which boils down to ‘because I say so’... I think that’s why I never, not for a moment, ever believed in any sort of religion. Because it is – whether you consider it true or not – based on the idea that something can (and should) be considered to be true without evidence but as an act of faith - and that there is something admirable about this.

When I was five or six, this smacked of ‘because I say so’. Because, really, ‘because I say so’ isn’t so different from ‘because it was written in a book a long time ago’; that’s just an extension of the same justification. Eventually it comes down to taking something on trust, of suspending disbelief, of wanting something to be true so much that your start to forget that it isn’t actually true.

This happens – people do read stories, or watch TV shows, and forget that what happened was a fiction and that it actually happened to them. Stories or TV shows they read or watched when they were young and impressionable.

My other main reason for disbelief, though, was that by the time I was five or six I spent most of my time reading and writing stories – and the Bible just felt like more stories, and not particularly well-written or thought-through ones at that. So many parts of the old and new testament sound like someone making it up as they go along, exaggerating set-pieces and adding unverifiable detail, before writing themselves into a corner so that the only way out is an absurd, cop-out climax where hitherto-unmentioned supernatural abilities are brought into play.

Yes, that’s the problem I have with the resurrection. There wasn’t enough narrative foreshadowing.

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