Thinking about Believing

May 27, 2021 | apologetics, pride, sexuality | No Comments


Most people operate under the assumption that their beliefs are grounded in facts, reason, and experience. It follows that any error of belief must stem from one of those three. They also become the basis for our efforts to educate or persuade those with different beliefs.

If only facts were so readily recognizable. We face a daily onslaught of misinformation (incorrect information with no intent to deceive) and disinformation (false information intended to deceive). The sheer volume of information pertaining to a complex topic results in information overload, limiting our human capacity to research and process a complex subject.

Decades of research into human cognition reveal that many other factors enter into the mix, including heuristics and tradition but more importantly, emotions and social influences. Of these, emotional influences have been recognized as the primary driver in human belief formation.

Considering the challenges we face, the reasonable response is to remain humble in light of our limitations, but that is the opposite of how we behave. The greater human tendency is toward overconfidence, one aspect of the ancient sin of Pride.

A purely secular model of belief formation overlooks the reality that dark spiritual forces are at work in the battle place of ideas. They have the ability to tempt, to plant ideas, and to recruit.

These principles go to the very heart of contemporary confusion regarding human sexuality; a confusion that is framed entirely within a narrative of false belief.

How did we get here? How do we respond?

These issues form the basis of this talk given to the Paradoxes class at Christ Church Sierra Madre given on May 23, 2021. Enjoy, and please share with others!

About Author

about author

Steven Willing MD, MBA

Dr. Steven Willing received his medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia, completed an internship in pediatrics from the University of Virginia before undertaking a residency in diagnostic radiology at the Medical College of Georgia, and a fellowship in neuroradiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Willing spent 20 years in academic medicine at the University of Louisville, the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). He also earned an MBA from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1997.

During his academic career, Dr. Willing published over 50 papers in the areas of radiology, informatics, and management. He is the author of "Atlas of Neuroradiology", published by W. B. Saunders in 1995.

Now retired from clinical practice, Dr. Willing serves as a radiology consultant to Tenwek Hospital in Bomet, Kenya both remotely and on-site. He is presently the Alabama State Director for the American Academy for Medical Ethics, an adjunct Professor of Divinity at Regent University, and a Visiting Scholar for Reasons to Believe.

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