The word belief should never be used in a religious context- A Socratic dialogue

Blaise Pascal: “What have you been up to, Bertie?”
Bertrand Russell: “Oh you know, mainly logical mathematics and stuff, you Blaisey?”
Blaise: “Why, it’s Sunday morning I have been in my house of worship, praising the God above for all of his work!”
Bertrand: “Like ebola and mass hunger in Africa?”
Blaise: “No Bertie, this is not God’s will but he has given us the tools to help us overcome these scourges. And, I believe that those who die, so long as they believe in God, will be saved, so it all happens for a greater good!”
Bertrand: “If I may ask, Blaise, Why do you believe in God?”
Blaise: “I just do, and I am of the opinion that I should believe because if I’m wrong…”
Bertrand: “For once, Blaise, can you stop banging your ‘wager’ drum! But that’s not why I ask the question.”
Blaise: “Well, as I say I just do; I feel it to be true therefore I believe.”
Bertrand: “Do you believe that some apples are red?”
Blaise: “Why, yes of course I do”
Bertrand: “And why do you believe in this?”
Blaise: “Because I have seen apples, Bertie, obviously.”
Bertrand: “just so, my friend. You see them. Do you believe that you like the smell of coffee?”
Blaise: “Why yes, the smell of coffee is most pleasing to me, so I believe this to be true, where are you going with this mon ami?”
Bertrand: “Bear with me old sport. Do you believe that a loving mother, on hearing her baby cry will come running?”
Blaise: “If she is able to, of course a mother will do this!”
Bertrand: “If someone was to cut you, do you believe that this would hurt?”
Blaise: “Of course, I pricked my finger just this morning, and it is still sore now!”
Bertrand: “You believe all of these things based on what?”
Blaise: “Well as you have obviously alluded to, based on what I see, hear, feel, smell. You did not say taste, but you could have, eh? I believe these things based on my senses. Ah, I see where you are going now, you wily old fox Bertie! You are saying I can only believe these things for which I have sensory evidence!”
Bertrand: “Well since you mention it, yes this is what I think.”
Blaise: “Any my belief in God is unfounded!”
Bertrand: “Unfounded from a sensory evidence perspective, yes. But, who knows, you may be right. But can you say you believe in a god?”
Blaise: “I have faith, which is to believe. Also, I feel it, like the knife stabbing in to my skin; here is your sensory evidence!”
Bertrand: “OK, Blaise, will you join me for a thought experiment? Yes? I would like you to imagine that you have suddenly got head lice, that even as we speak they are crawling about your head, you want to scratch your head to try and get rid of them as their small legs scamper about on your scalp. Blaise, you have actually raised your hand to scratch your head, why so?”
Blaise: “My scalp! It feels itchy, you have made me feel itchy all over with your mind Games Bertie!”
Bertrand: “You feel that you have head lice, do you believe this to be true?”
Blaise: “Well I’m pretty sure I do not!”
Bertrand: “So you’re feelings deceive you at times! You believe the knife hurts because you see it enter the body, you see evidence of an injury, or a doctor does, and you feel it. Can a doctor see evidence of god touching you when you feel his presence?”
Blaise: “I do not think so, no.”
Bertrand: “And this is my point, dear friend, without measurable sensory evidence, whether our purely with our five senses, or through using equipment, like a microscope or an X-Ray, we cannot believe anything, we can only think it to be true, to be of the opinion that it exists, to have a religious conviction. Do you not now agree?”
Blaise: “This is purely semantics, I feel like I am talking to old Ludwig W!”
Bertrand: “It may be semantics, but it is an important difference. We should therefore avoid using the words believe, and beliefs when talking of religious conviction as these are not believes. You are fully entitled to hold your convictions about the existence of a god, as much as I am the existence of a teapot circling around the sun between Earth and Mars, but in both cases belief does not enter in to it.”
Blaise: “OK Berite, I will bend to your logic. I think that God exists.”
Bertrand: “That is most accommodating of you Blaise!”
——————————————————-
If you enjoyed that one then try this one:
https://sayitin500.wordpress.com/2014/12/25/harry-potter-isnt-really-a-magical-wizard-but-maybe-jesus-is/

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