Every reasonable person admits that some of their beliefs may be wrong. But no-one knows which they are, for if they did, they would no longer be beliefs. It is only in the robust clash of honest argument, that we see their weaknesses exposed.
I like argument. Constructive argument. I like receiving criticism, though I reserve the right not to accept it. This quote more than any other summarizes why.
I strive to be someone who can reject former beliefs when new arguments refute them. I strive to be someone who seeks out the strongest arguments to face. I don’t always succeed, but that would be my goal.
At various points in my life I’ve wanted to be a believer. Sometimes I have succeeded, at least for a while. But fundamentally my atheism comes down to this: atheism just seems to have the stronger arguments.
The quotation above is somewhat elusive. I thought I remembered it. I may have made it up. If I did remember it, it is likely to be John Stuart Mill (It seems consonant with his views, and is related to the line of argument he uses for free speech in “On Liberty”). But I can’t find it exactly, even searching with various combinations through his writings. And I may be thinking of him simply because I share most of his views, and would want to hang such a cool sentiment on him. If you can tell me where it comes from, please do. Otherwise I’ll claim it as my own!