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← [Update 1/27] Closing Statements - Richard Dawkins at the Jaipur Literature Festival

Steve Zara's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Steve Zara

comment 13 by Daisy Skipper

That guy who speaks at 18:30 is particularly funny. But Richard had the take-home point: 'it doesn't matter what feels right to you... what matters is what's true. And the only way to decide what's true is by looking at the evidence!

I wish something so obvious didn't need to be said!

But it does repeatedly need to be said because it's pretty revolutionary. Looking at the evidence can be very hard to do when it points to a reality that is far from that you want to be true.

One way to look at this that I think is useful is to consider the evidence for atheism to have the same emotional impact for some believers as a diagnosis of a fatal illness. They don't want there to be any evidence that points to the fact of their ultimate mortality. They don't want this to be true so much that they can enter a state of flat denial. It just can't be right, can it?

I'm saying this with some confidence as this was my personal experience. It can be very, very hard to accept something as world-shattering as evidence that all your beliefs are painfully false.

As far as I know this emotional rejection of truth is a quite typical and normal human response.

Fri, 27 Jan 2012 04:54:40 UTC | #911924