Credulous Christians

Certain secular beliefs demand much credulousness on the part of their 'believers'



The goal of Australia’s Dawson Centre, of which I am director, is not evangelization: that is a task for others to undertake. Our role is to revive and justify the Christian intellectual tradition, to argue for the essentially rational nature of belief based squarely upon Faith and Reason. Faith is not at odds with the things of the mind and the brain.

In 2003 an Oxford philosopher wrote, “If there are long-lived technological civilizations in our universe, and if they run computer simulations, there must be a huge number of simulated realities complete with artificial-intelligence inhabitants who may have no idea they’re living inside a game — inhabitants like us, perhaps…These beings might imagine themselves real but would have no physical form, existing only within the simulation.”

Beliefs such as this to my mind go beyond the sensible and the rational. Yes, they confine themselves to physical reality and implicitly deny the dimension of the soul, but they demand at least as much credulousness on the part of their “believers” as orthodox Christianity, and they don’t come close to answering the big questions about good and evil, blessing and suffering, pain and redemption. These are secular fantasies.

I have been unkind to the writer, but his piece struck me as a perfect example of that kind of “would, should, could” theorizing that is the refuge of those who have no faith or enduring hope.

Those of us who are Christians are about to celebrate Christ’s rising from the dead. It too, we believe, is a physical event, though it has immeasurably far-reaching and spiritual consequences. Our faith in this awesome, overwhelming reality has been shared by some of the best minds and wisest souls in the world. It is no fantasy. It occurred at a point in time but it opens the door to eternity.

We at the Dawson Centre wish readers every blessing and great joy at Eastertide.


David Daintree was President of Campion College (Australia’s only Catholic liberal arts college) from 2008 to 2012. In 2013 he founded and is now Director of the Christopher Dawson Centre for Cultural Studies, under the patronage of the Archbishop of Hobart.

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