“A man with a conviction is a hard man to change. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point.”
–Leon Festinger, Stanford University psychologist
Someone who has “come to faith in Jesus the Christ” due to an emotional crises or due to a perceived “miracle” is rarely ever going to give up this belief due to evidence. Emotion-based beliefs are practically immune to evidence. Ever try to convince a friend that his girlfriend is cheating on him? If you have, you know that your evidence is almost always rejected. So maybe we non-supernaturalists should give up trying to prove religious supernatural beliefs wrong using evidence, but rather focus on the unreliability of emotion-based decisions. Maybe we should stop debating Christians regarding the authorship of the Gospels or the historicity of the Empty Tomb and instead talk to them about the events that led to their conversion.
How many times have you heard a Christian state that he or she converted to Christianity after a thorough review of the evidence? Ever? You can find such believers if you look hard enough but they are a small minority. Google the testimonies of many Christian evangelists and apologists and you will often find their conversion occurred due to a life crises. Is it wise for people to decide the veracity of fantastical supernatural claims when they are in an emotionally vulnerable state?
Maybe that is the issue we should be discussing with Christians.
Check out an excellent article that goes into more depth regarding the phenomenon of evidence vs. convictions: here
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