Who Knows?

There is a challenging intellectual exercise that few people ever attempt, precisely because it is so difficult. Make a list of the things you believe to be true. Then, the hard part: divide that list into things you believe versus those you confidently claim to know. A theist is a person who believes God exists. An atheist is one who believes God does not exist. With either category, it is an open question whether the belief in question qualifies as something genuinely known. Most people believe what they were raised to believe. Just because one believes something, it does not follow that this belief constitutes knowledge. Knowledge requires evidence and justification. In matters religious, knowledge is hard to come by, whereas belief is very easy. The believer who has accepted the challenge of analyzing whether a belief is really knowledge is quite rare, precisely because the task is so difficult.

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