Tag: Avoiding Evidence

A general indisposition towards believing

A motive, however stronger in itself than another, may yet make a weaker impression, when employed, after that the motive of less, tho’ sufficient, strength hath already been resisted. For the mind doth, by every degree of affected unbelief, contract more and more of a general indisposition towards believing: …

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I know of no one fact

[T]he evidence of our Lord’s life and death and resurrection, may be, and often has been shown to be, satisfactory; it is good according to the common rules for distinguishing good evidence from bad. Thousands and ten thousands of persons have gone through it piece by piece, as carefully as ever judge summed up on a most important cause: I have myself done it many times over, not to persuade others, but to satisfy myself. I have been used for many years to study the history of other times, and to examine and weigh the evidence of those who have written about them; and I know of no one fact in the history of mankind, which is proved by better and fuller evidence of every sort to the understanding of a fair inquirer, than the great sign which God has given us, that Christ died and rose again from the dead.

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To neglect and despise plain and sufficient evidence

There is, to my apprehension, nothing more unreasonable than to neglect and despise plain and sufficient evidence before us, and to sit down to imagine what kind of evidence would have pleased us, and then to make the want of such evidence an objection to the truth, which yet, if well considered, would be found to be well established.

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It is not for want of strength

The evidence they had before was enough, amply enough, to convince them; but they were resolved not to be convinced: And to those, who are resolved not to be convinced, all motives, all arguments are equal. He that shuts his eyes against a small light, on purpose to avoid the sight of somewhat that displeases him, would (for the same reason) shut them also against the sun itself; …

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George Berkeley: Your men of sense are hard to please

Euphranor. It seems then they reject the Revelations because they are obscure, and Daniel’s prophecies because they are clear.

Alciphron. Either way a man of sense sees cause to suspect there has been foul play.

Euph. Your men of sense are, it seems, hard to please.

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Richard Cecil: I was afraid to read

When I was sunk in the depths of infidelity, I was afraid to read any author who treated Christianity in a dispassionate, wise, and searching manner. He made me uneasy. Conscience would gather strength. I found it more difficult to stifle her remonstrances.

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George Berkeley: One would think it very rash …

Euphranor. To an extraordinary genius, who sees things with half an eye, I know not what to say. But for the rest of mankind, one would think it very rash in them to conclude, without much and exact inquiry, on the unsafe side of a question which concerns their chief interest.

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John England: The rejection of evidence must be irreligious

When … sufficient testimony has been adduced, to withhold belief would be unreasonable—unreasonable rejection of evidence, where there is no question as to the revelation of God, cannot be innocent. The refusal to examine is plainly against the first principle of religion; contrary to the plainest maxims of reason. A mistake honestly made is pardonable, but the rejection of evidence must be irreligious.

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