Jesus

Positive Assertion #1 – I Love My Wife

What would I like to see from you?  More positive assertions.  You are a positive and gentle person who loves his wife and daughters.

Good morning, my friend. On this Easter day, many of us will be reflecting on what we view as God’s righteous plan of love for us. Others, like my wife and I, may experience mixed feelings of joy and sadness at the loss of this belief. The loss of comfort and hope and once anchored our lives. Are there powerful notions of hope and love that have made it through the fire of doubt about the Bible? Yes!

For me, the answer is my wife and children. You. Our friendships with the active community of readers on this blog – some of whom have since become sincere friends in person. Today, my thoughts are on my bride, CC – the one I call J. I’m honestly tormented by how my doubts have affected and will impact my family, yet I can’t imagine going through them alone. I can’t put into words how deeply my failure to fulfill my vow to be J’s spiritual leader has hurt me (I did not and do not take that vow lightly), but I must briefly tell our readers more about her and the impact she’s had on me.

So thoroughly does she have my heart that I truly believe it is unconditional. I know here so deeply, what she hopes for, feels, who she is and who she wants to be, that as I consider her and how my actions might affect her, the lines between us blur. As we’ve walked through doubt together, the struggle has carved us together into something strong, fused together by these graphene rods of mutual support where we’ve push against each other so long.

J is as righteous, intelligent, beautiful and driven today as I’ve ever seen her, despite our attached roving anchors that each struggle for purchase. She’s a medical student, a mother of two sweet girls, a brilliant writer with a quick wit and intellect, a deeply compassionate person with a hilarious sense of humor and the brightest and warmest smile I’ve ever seen. Everything about her style and her physical appearance is mesmerizing to me. I can stare at her face for hours while swimming in the warm fuzzies. She lights up the room and I can see how her arrival and warm welcome causes our children’s hearts to soar. She’s simply enchanting. She loves our sweet daughters and she makes me proud of her character and choices on a daily basis. She makes me better in so many ways, and her spirit forces me to consider and love others more deeply. As we head off to church to celebrate Easter from our perch of heavy skepticism, I can only hope that there is a God that cares for all of us as deeply as I care for J. I absolutely love her.

Go hug your spouse or closest human and tell them your heart. Whether you’re a Christ-follow or not, let it be that “love is risen” today.

Gentleness and respect,
–Russell

P.S. I can’t share a picture of J due to a potential loss of anonymity, but here’s our youngest. You can extrapolate from there because she looks just like J, but shorter and fatter. πŸ™‚

image

4 Things That Would Turn This Atheist Into A Believer

I honestly feel like the options are essentially limitless, but I’ll pick 4 for discussion.

1 β€” A falsification of the Copernican Principle

If I see sufficient compelling evidence to convince me that it is likely that the earth is at or near the center of the universe, I will believe in the existence of some God. I haven’t seen The Principle documentary yet, but it could conceivably provide the beginnings of this evidence.

2 β€” Waiting for 1

Just in case God limits His manifestations to the shadows of probabilities (the clumpiness of randomness) so as to avoid robbing us of free will, I created a random number generator that’s been running for close to two months. It will continue to generate a new random number every minute and record the lowest number. The odds for the generator were very carefully calculated so that the chance of it coming up with exactly the number “1” by the end of the year 2075 are very close to 1 in 100, or a P value of .01 which is the minimum level of statistical significance that would be compelling for me in this single, non-repeatable case (thus plausibly disproving the null hypothesis). I’m not asking for more than I would ask for in a scientific conclusion, and it’s less than would be required to convince most who truly didn’t want to believe. It could still be a lucky chance, but if I see a “1” from that random number generator in my lifetime, I’d find it in me to believe in a God. I check it almost every day. I may blog about it more later if you’re interested.

3 β€” An obvious (objective) miracle that I could verify.

It would have to be convincing to me and break the laws of physics as I understand them. Stars aligning to convey information about God, the sun standing still, my mom appearing from the dead and talking to me (descriptions of Jesus or another concept of God would sell me on that specific God concept), etc.

4 β€” A personal (subjective) revelation that I believe is from a supernatural mind (God).

Sure, the immediate cause for any of these could be advanced aliens, or a God-like non-creator God, or many other things (see iMultiverse). However, I want to believe and I admit that I’m primed for it. I’ll believe in some supernatural God if I can. The notion that, “To be an atheist means that one cannot be convinced of God’s existence,” is incorrect. Most of us ultimately care more about truth than about being right the first time and holding that position in spite of new evidence. In many cases it’s just the evidence that we lack β€” not the character to adapt to it when we find it. Some of us are actively seeking it.

Your turn

If you’re an atheist/agnostic, what are some things that would convince you of the existence of some God? What about a specific God?

If you’re a believer, what would convince you that another God is real and yours isn’t? What would convince you that no God exists?

Gentleness and respect,
β€”Russell

Image: Heliocentric model from Nicolaus Copernicus’ De revolutionibus orbium coelestium. Public domain.