2021-03-31

Another Sceptic Bites the Dust — Becomes a Believer

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by Neil Godfrey

I enjoyed this interview with Hercule Poirot actor David Suchet. I have set it at about the beginning of the section in which he describes how he came to become a Christian. His background was both Jewish and Catholic (not religiously committed in either case). The critical moment that interested me most is his account of how he suddenly asked himself why he kept thinking of his late grandfather as still in some sense being with him when did not believe in life after death.  I wonder what direction he would have taken had Pascal Boyer published his book, Religion Explained: How to Make a Good Religious Concept, twenty years earlier. [the link is to my post that in my view gives a very good explanation for the universal propensity of people to believe the dead are still with us]

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12 thoughts on “Another Sceptic Bites the Dust — Becomes a Believer”

    1. I couldn’t believe it when I read Dylan had become a Jesus believer. I thought him to be an intelligent person. Made me think ‘there’s something wrong with that guy.’ But during my life’s searching I have gone through periods that I would go through some religious rituals, reading books, saying prayers which never attained what I was wanting. Not that I even knew what I wanted. And never really believing what I was doing. I think it was wanting to be a part of something.

  1. People throw-away good lives on drugs and chance without any forethought. They let their feelings drag them into the hell of divorce and disenfranchisement from their life’s work. This is not sane, or science, or rational, but it is human. The road back to sanity is rocky.

  2. It always amazes me when someone abandons reason and evidence and suddenly believes the creator of the universe had to have a human son born of a virgin so he could be tortured to death to save us from what he’d do it he didn’t have a human son tortured to death. Mind-boggling.

    1. It never amazes me how philosophically naive plebs who talk about “reason and evidence”, but whose epistemological principles of “reason and evidence” are neither consistent with nor provable from themselves, construct straw men of Christian soteriology based solely off of modern Protestant doctrine of forensic justification and penal substitution while totally ignoring the near 2000-year-old Orthodox teachings on the ontological view of salvation as theosis. It’s mind-boggling but expected.

      1. This is normally the sort of comment I redirect to spam but I’m feeling generous tonight, generous enough to allow it to stand as a foil to the good sense of those who avoid the sort the mentality it demonstrates.

  3. David Suchet blames Paul’s letter to the Romans for his fall, attributing to that same book many other casualties ever since Augustine. And many of us are aware of its influence on Martin Luther. (In one of those tv quiz shows one of the contestants stood with her special subject “the book of Romans”.) So what is it about Romans? Another investigation for Poirot’s protégé here!

    1. Per an investigation see: “David Suchet – In the Footsteps of St Peter – Episode 1” @ https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ltee0

      • Kemp, M., Suchet, D., CTVC (Firm), Athena (Firm), British Broadcasting Corporation., & RLJ Entertainment. (2014). In the footsteps of St. Paul. United States: RLJ Entertainment.

      • Williams, Rowan (2015). Meeting God in Paul: Reflections for the Season of Lent. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 978-1-61164-672-6.

      “This is a most important and much-needed book. It releases St. Paul from the box of popular misconception and introduces us to Paul as a powerful evangelist who welcomes all who want to follow Christ and wishes to bar none.” —DAVID SUCHET, actor and presenter on the television series “In the Footsteps of St Paul” [Back cover page]

    1. David Suchet said he could never shake off that common worry, “Is this all there is?” Where does such a poor view of human existence come from? I can understand it but it is surely a more positive response to work to make things better or at least more comfortable and satisfying for one another than to believe in a dimension that promises escape or release both now and post-mortem.

      I’m reminded of the “this worldly” functions of certain religious experiences and how anthropologists seem to see them as somehow healthier than the dominent model of religion most of us are aware of: https://vridar.org/2021/03/23/changing-function-of-religious-beliefs-trajectory-from-primitive-to-advanced-societies/

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