Tag: Balance of Evidence

George Horne: Doubts and difficulties

[I]t is an axiom in science, that difficulties are of no weight against demonstrations. The existence of God once proved, we are not in reason to set that proof aside, because we cannot at present account for all his proceedings. The divine legation of Moses, and that of Jesus Christ, stand upon their proper evidence, which cannot be superseded and nullified by any pretended or real difliculties occurring in the Jewish and Christian dispensations. If we can solve the difficulties, so much the better; but if we cannot, the evidence is exactly where it was.

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Richard Whately: The fallacy of objections

This is the main, and almost universal Fallacy of anti-christians; and is that of which a young Christian should be first and principally warned. They find numerous ‘objections’ against various parts of Scripture; to some of which no satisfactory answer can be given; and the incautious hearer is apt, while his attention is fixed on these, to forget that there are infinitely more, and stronger objections against the supposition, that the Christian Religion is of human origin; and that where we cannot answer all objections, we are bound, in reason and in candour, to adopt the hypothesis which labours under the least.

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There are thousands of Christians who see the difficulties

I should say that such a state of mind is one of very painful trial, and should be treated as such; that it is a state of mental disease, which like many others is aggravated by talking about it, and that he is in great danger of losing his perception of moral truth as well as of intellectual, of wishing Christianity to be false as well as of being unable to be convinced that it is true. There are thousands of Christians who see the difficulties which he sees quite as clearly as he does, and who long as eagerly as he can do for that time when they shall know, even as they are known. But then they see clearly the difficulties of unbelief, and know that even intellectually they are far greater.

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