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Jun. 21st, 2009 @ 08:46 am life's little mysteries
(As opposed to life's big mysteries, which were all solved a couple thousand years ago.)

If you swore to someone that you just moments ago had witnessed several impossible things, culminating in oh say someone being slain and then rising from the dead, almost anyone would deem you to be crazy - the exceptions mostly to be found in institutions.

And yet if your beliefs are identical, held with the same certainty as if you had just witnessed them (in fact higher certainty than if you had witnessed them, as presumably even if you are religious you have been conditioned by reality to doubt the impossible in your actual day-to-day life) but instead of being a witness, you read about them in a book or someone told you about them - then, your beliefs are unremarkable.

I'm sure it sounds like I'm ragging on religious people here (and things being as they are it's hard not to sound like that at all times, even if I'm just reading a shopping list) but I say this to ask a specific question about the epistemology of the rapturous: what is the calculus by which the second version is LESS crazy than the first? Shouldn't believing something impossible happened because you were there and saw it be LESS crazy than believing it happened and NOT having personally witnessed it?
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