TED Radio Hour: Believers and Doubters

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"We're more than a body and a mind. We are a soul. And there's something inside of us that is beyond our understanding. That's the part of us that yearns for God, or something more." — Rev. Billy Graham

Why do some of us believe, and some of us don't? Can our doubts bring our beliefs into sharper focus? Do we all need to believe in something, and to seek meaning by creating rituals, myths and symbols? And what is the difference between belief and faith? In this hour, TED speakers offer personal perspectives on belief from all ends of the spectrum, from ardent atheists to the devout faithful.

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12 COMMENTS

  1. If Mr. Graham is right and there is something in us beyond understanding, then Wittgenstein points out there is nothing you can say about it, and therefore one ought to remain silent.

    Graham does the very opposite. He tells you more than you wanted to hear about this “soul” claiming absolute certainty.

    Graham was born 1918-11-07 and he is still alive.

  2. Archaeologists have excavated and worked the line of succession of various kings in the middle east. The desert conditions are ideal for preservation. There was no King David. He is a work of fiction, ditto Moses. There was a minor chief named David, but nothing like the King David of the bible. Somebody composed the psalms, but it was not king David.

  3. Mohammed

    In the section Lesley Hazleton: Is Doubt Essential To Faith? she talks about Mohammed.

    I am unwilling to demonise Mohammed for faking the Qur’an. I believe he truly did dictate this, and it truly did appear to be coming from God. In his culture voices in your head had to be Gods or djinn. His science was primitive. There was nothing in the dictation that conflicted with the science he knew to tip him off it was bogus. As a master plan for his society, it was pretty darn good. Had he written it without making supernatural claims, he might be revered as an early political philosopher, and of course people would not stick to it so rigidly.

    I have had similar dictation experiences myself I call “channeling”. I do not ascribe them to God, but I could easily see why someone might. It feels very strange and otherly.

    The real problem came from others taking the dictation far too seriously.

    Milton also wrote by channeling. What if his readers decided to treat Paradise Lost as the literal word of God?

    • In reply to #4 by Roedy:

      Mohammed

      In the section Lesley Hazleton: Is Doubt Essential To Faith? she talks about Mohammed.

      I am unwilling to demonise Mohammed for faking the Qur’an. I believe he truly did dictate this, and it truly did appear to be coming from God. In his culture voices in your head had to be Gods or djinn…

      There is also a good amount of discussion that Prophet Muhammad – peace and blessings of Allah be upon him- suffered from Temporal Lobe Epilepsy or TLE for short, which is interesting because Solly – St. Paul – is said to have possibly been afflicted, too.

      It would certainly account for many of the visions (hallucinations) suffered by both prophets.

  4. “We’re more than a body and a mind. We are a soul. And there’s something inside of us that is beyond our understanding. That’s the part of us that yearns for God, or something more.” — Rev. Billy Graham

    Care to lay out the proof for that astounding assertion, Billy?

    • In reply to #6 by Christiana Magdalene Moodley:

      “We’re more than a body and a mind. We are a soul. And there’s something inside of us that is beyond our understanding. That’s the part of us that yearns for God, or something more.” — Rev. Billy Graham

      Care to lay out the proof for that astounding assertion, Billy?

      “And how do know this, Mr Graham?”

      • God told him?!In reply to #8 by Nitya:

        In reply to #6 by Christiana Magdalene Moodley:

        “We’re more than a body and a mind. We are a soul. And there’s something inside of us that is beyond our understanding. That’s the part of us that yearns for God, or something more.” — Rev. Billy Graham

        Care to lay out the proof for that astounding a…

  5. Boton wants to salvage from religion. The belief in supernatural beings is just the beginning of what is wrong with religion.

    1. it is a con to rip even the poor of their life savings.
    2. The Catholic church is the world’s largest pedophile ring.
    3. Cathedrals are impressive, but they are single purpose buildings. They are wasteful architecture.
    4. they foster ignorance.
    5. the music is dreary

    I don’t think there is anything to salvage.

  6. Devdutt Pattanaik says everyone has their own truth. No. They have their own experience. They have their own beliefs. They have their own point of view, but there is only one truth. If that is not their view, then they are simply wrong. The truth exists even if no knows what it is, even if no one can convince others what it is. Either there is only one life or many. You don’t get to choose the truth with your belief. That is just pompous self deception.

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