What kind of evidence could convince you that God exists?
I think that if I heard a voice from the sky predicting all that was going to happen to me during the next twenty-four hours, including events that would have seemed highly improbable, and if all these events then produced to happen, I might perhaps be convinced at least of the existence of some superhuman intelligence. I can imagine other evidence of the same sort which might convince me, but so far as I know, no such evidence exists.
How do agnostics explain the beauty and harmony of nature?
I do not understand where this “beauty” and “harmony” are supposed to be found.
Through the animal kingdom, animals ruthlessly prey upon each other. Most of them are either cruelly killed by other animals or slowly die of hunger. For my part, I am unable to see any great beauty or harmony in the tapeworm. Let it not be said that this creature is sent as a punishment for our sins, for it is more prevalent among animals than among humans. I suppose the questioner is thinking of such things as the beauty of the starry heavens. But one should remember that stars every now and again explode and reduce everything in their neighborhood to a vague mist. Beauty, in any case, is subjective and exists only in the eye of the beholder.
From “What is an Agnostic?” by Bertrand Russell, being the first text/essay I have chosen to read for my year of religion texts.
Still looking for suggested religious material to read. Any religion. I’m making religion my 2011 book theme. I want at least half the books I read next year to be based around religion. Gnostic texts, Canonical scriptures, Pagan, Atheist/Agnostic, Buddhist, Hindu, etc., I want to read it. It can be written by the ancients, scholars or nutjobs who think the end is neigh. Even books of literature - The Divine Comedy and the like - historical, philosophical and sociological/psychological.
I already have a list of what I’m thinking so far. And, also, don’t be blunt and just say the Bible, because that’s annoying. There are certain texts in the book that are worth reading and some that are just pointless. Also, it’s too long and I don’t want to waste my time on just one book.
Thanks for the help in advance :)