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Reasoning April 5, 2006

Posted by amybeth in Christianity, Old Blog.
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I was reading in my cognition textbook today about reasoning. It was talking about a confirming bias in that we prefer to collect evidence that confirms what we believe and rarely look for what evidence might disprove it. A fundamental principle of science is to consider how any theory might be falisifiable and then test such a possibility.

I began to ponder how this relates to arguments about the existence of God. Christians argue that there is so much evidence for God (confirming) while scientists argue that his existence cannnot be falisifiable (disconfirming) and therefore isn’t a valid proposition. Did God create us with a natural tendency towards confirming evidence? Is this the ‘good’ in the knowledge of good and evil that the tree in the garden represented? By testing God’s words about surely dying was Eve departing from this paradigm and entering into a new way of looking at things, testing to see if God’s words could be falsified? What might this mean for how we should approach the search for truth?

I realize that I’m stretching the analogy a bit, but I thought it was an interesting way to ponder the story. The same chapter talked about how we are biased in the arguments we consider valid, giving preference to those that confirm a belief we already hold. In light of this, do we as Christians need to stretch ourselves to consider evidence outside the box? Not for the purpose of losing our belief, but for the purpose of honestly evaluating which arguments for and against our faith are truly valid. 

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