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Thread: The Great Contradiction

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    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    ... snip ...

    So for many people religion is just what works for them in the context of their day to day lives. There is no incentive to change their mind.
    It is true that it works for them. However, sacrificing virgins to appease the volcano god worked for those who believed that too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skepticalbip View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    ... snip ...

    So for many people religion is just what works for them in the context of their day to day lives. There is no incentive to change their mind.
    It is true that it works for them. However, sacrificing virgins to appease the volcano god worked for those who believed that too.
    I'm a firm believer that if you want to improve something - in this case minimize the impact of religion - you have to actually understand that thing and why it manifests itself. One can't solve a problem if they don't know the parameters of the problem.

    So it's fine to throw rocks at religious thought, that it has negative consequences goes without saying, but understanding what it is helps us aim the rocks better.

  3. Top | #13
    Formerly Joedad
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I should add another element to the conversation: metabolic activity.

    When contemplating where we came from 'there was a creator' is a simple, satisfactory answer that doesn't take a lot of effort to conjure up. In almost the entirety of our history people didn't have the time or energy to contemplate these matters seriously, and it wasn't until they did have the time and energy that we were able prove a real alternative (materialism).

    But even today, many people are happy to land on the simple, uncomplicated answer that resolves their dissonance. It's win-win: psychological problems are solved and they don't have to spend any more effort on the problem.

    Enter science and there are people who will go 'yea, fair enough', but the mind still works the same way. The world is still filled with a multitude of other lies, and most of us won't try to go beyond what's working for us in the present moment.

    So for many people religion is just what works for them in the context of their day to day lives. There is no incentive to change their mind.
    That reminds me of a conversation with my Mother decades ago when we happened upon the subject of evolution. After a few statements she gave me that deer in the headlights look and said, "But Jesus gave us our bodies." Conversation over. Mom didn't know or care about the difference between evolution and a freight train.

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    Veteran Member James Brown's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    It feels good to believe that God exists, that's pretty much the long and short of it.

    From the Notebooks of Lazarus Long:
    History does not record anywhere at any time a religion
    that has any rational basis. Religion is a crutch for people not
    strong enough to stand up to the unknown without help. But,
    like dandruff, most people do have a religion and spend time
    and money on it and seem to derive considerable pleasure
    from fiddling with it.

  5. Top | #15
    Fair dinkum thinkum bilby's Avatar
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    Either complex stuff needs a more complex creator to make it; Or complex stuff can arise from simple stuff via some simple iterative process.

    In the first case, you have an infinite regression of more complex creators that can only stop via special pleading. In the second case, you have a progression of less complex precursors, that can stop whenever you reach something so simple that you are prepared to accept that its spontaneous existence is uncontroversial.

    Philosophically, I prefer the latter. Not least because natural selection is an observable, measurable, and excellent candidate mechanism for that path. While special pleading is arbitrary and ugly - "God created everything, but God requires no creator" seems stupid to me, while "everything can be built from photons, which either exist spontaneously, always existed, or arise from simpler entities that spontaneously arise" seems far less unreasonable.

    If hugely complex entities can spontaneously (or eternally) exist, then a creator isn't needed to explain the complex universe we observe. If they can't, then positing a creator makes the problem worse, not better. But natural selection allows us to explain complexity as an emergent behaviour of entities sufficiently simple as to be acceptable candidates for either spontaneous or eternal existence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    The existence of everything has to be explained. The existence of my creator being does not have to be explained.

    Apart from compartmentalization, are there any other more compelling explanations for how a human brain can be so self contradictory and unaware of same?

    I understand natural selection, is this the simplest and most convincing explanation? I guess I'm asking an intellectual question, maybe such a brain simply lacks the neural connections to make such a contradiction obvious. That's not really so mysterious. And if the behavior has been selected for over generations it will be there like any other behavior. Maybe we can call it a passive behavior.

    It's probably just this simple but thought to see what others think. It's still a behavior that fascinates me.

    The existence of lots of things can't be explained.

  7. Top | #17
    Contributor skepticalbip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Random Person View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    The existence of everything has to be explained. The existence of my creator being does not have to be explained.

    Apart from compartmentalization, are there any other more compelling explanations for how a human brain can be so self contradictory and unaware of same?

    I understand natural selection, is this the simplest and most convincing explanation? I guess I'm asking an intellectual question, maybe such a brain simply lacks the neural connections to make such a contradiction obvious. That's not really so mysterious. And if the behavior has been selected for over generations it will be there like any other behavior. Maybe we can call it a passive behavior.

    It's probably just this simple but thought to see what others think. It's still a behavior that fascinates me.

    The existence of lots of things can't be explained.
    ... yet.

    But in another thousand years? Who knows?

    You seem to have missed Moogly's point. That point being how peculiar it is that theists insist that everything needs to be explained except the most important thing for them... their god which they claim to be self evident.

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    Yeah. The way I got it told to me is that everything that exists in space and time needs a creator. God exists outside space and time. Whatever the fuck that means.

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    Elder Contributor Keith&Co.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly_Penguin View Post
    Yeah. The way I got it told to me is that everything that exists in space and time needs a creator. God exists outside space and time. Whatever the fuck that means.
    Soecial case with extra steps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jolly_Penguin View Post
    Yeah. The way I got it told to me is that everything that exists in space and time needs a creator. God exists outside space and time. Whatever the fuck that means.
    It means it doesn't count if you're magic. Those arguments are so terribly clever. There's the other one along the lines "Everything that began to exist..."

    Is it just me or does it seem they've dropped the creator argument based on design and complexity and intelligence? If it were my argument I'd drop it too. It's so easily countered with simple logic. Maybe the creator being will be outside logic and reason too in the future.

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