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Thread: Is Religious Faith just another Religious Myth

  1. Top | #21
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    I agree that woo can be harmful if it's used as a reason not to take action. For example, my neighbor has all kinds of interesting woo beliefs, but she never used that woo to keep her from going to the doctor when her BP is elevated etc. She burns white candles for peace. Of course burning a white candle won't bring peace into the world, but if it gives her inner peace, I see that as harmless. If a Christian finds peace in believing that prayer is real, that's not harmful unless they use that prayer as an excuse not to take action, when it's action that is needed to solve a problem.

    I don't believe that belief in the supernatural will end. It may change over time. New beliefs and religions will arise, but humans seem to have an attraction to believing things without good evidence, and humans often fail to believe things that are backed up by evidence. People deny evolution despite the fact that we it literally continues to happen among microbes, and despite the fact that we share most of our DNA with the great apes. Plus, we look and act like them at times.

    Some people believe that the pandemic is a hoax despite the overwhelming evidence that it's causing wide spread suffering and death. As I write this, an ad for Prevagen just came on. There is no evidence that Prevagen prevents memory loss. At best it's a placebo that tampers worry, but people believe it's keeping their memories intact. I suppose one could say that religion and woo are placebos that help people cope. As an atheist who gave up woo over 45 years ago, I can't say that I totally understand why people believe what they do, but I've also found that I often have the same values as some of my religious friends. That's all that matters to me. Character is what matters, not beliefs.

  2. Top | #22
    Senior Member remez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    I do what I can to avoid believing anything unless it is evidently true …..
    So do I. Aka skepticism. Can be healthy in moderation.
    But…. You run into this self-defeating reasoning every time………….
    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    …… (the way "the sky is blue" and "animals evolved" are evidently true). I don't need conjectural (or what you'd call "plausibly reasonable") answers to anything.
    …… you are using reason to proclaim that reasoning is useless in determining our beliefs. This “conjectural” term you dismiss with a hand wave is reasoning itself.
    Further……….
    You delude yourself into believing that you only believe in propositions that are confirmed empirically, like the sky is blue. But then you extend that to animals evolved which is not empirically evident. Evolution a good theory reasoned as the best explanation from the evidence. Likewise the universe has a beginning is abductive reasoning based upon the evidence that I presented earlier.

    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    Religious or scientific is not the issue for me. Abstracted away from the most evident of things = no good reason to believe. (Which is very different from saying "no reasons" or "no
    You are missing your two big contradictions in your reasoning. First your statement “Abstracted away from the most evident of things = no good reason to believe” is itself abstracted reasoning not = most evident things. Secondly, empiricism (most evident things) is also self-defeating bc it has no empirical evidence for it.

    You are trying so hard to simply dismiss my reasoning because it is not empirical. But you are using non-empirical abstracted reasoning to do so. Your skepticism of my reasoning is inconsistent and self-defeating. Therefore you have not made the case that my reasoning is weak. Thus this premature assertion of victory…….
    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    All that is needed is to show your premise is weak and therefore it's reasonable to "withhold assent". That is, disbelieve. It's not an obliteration of your reasoning, but that there are good reasons to doubt your reasons.
    ….is based upon your abstracted reasoning that is inconsistent (not most evident) and completely self-defeating.
    You have not made the case that my reasoning for the universe having a beginning is weak.
    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    Probably everyone knows your reasoning already. I for one have answered it adequately in the past,……
    That was my point about you earlier. You do this every time. I even referred to you specifically because of your consistent error and blindness to it. Once again you came through for me.

    You think just because you can abstractly reason something against my reasoning, that my reasoning is weak. You must defend your abstracted reasoning. Simply believing that it is stronger than mine is delusional. And once again you never directly challenged the evidence. You just abstractly reasoned that I reasoned abstractly, therefore my reason is weaker than your abstracted reasoning.

    Have a great summer.

  3. Top | #23
    Senior Member remez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Having religious faith requires some combination of ignorance and self-deceit. Either I don't have the information that I require to make an informed decision and so I just go with the teaching, or I do in fact possess a significant degree knowledge to bring to bear but am afraid to face the resulting conclusion, and so I opt to live a lie, namely that I prefer ignorance to truth. In either case I am living an untruth, however comforting.

    So it seems to me that religious faith is largely a myth, hence we hear discussions about "Faith and Reason" owing to the fact that they present opposing methodologies to dealing with a claim. There really isn't any faith, rather ignorance or willful self-deceit that results in an acceptance of a belief.

    A child who believes in Santa literally has faith in Santa.
    But what if I do have the information to make an informed decision that God exists?

    Notice, you are only asserting there is no evidence or good reasoning for God’s existence. I’m sure such reasoning has been presented to you. We have battled over it in the past, Joedad. And you have rejected my evidence with less plausibility than I have to hold it. But you ignore that and deceive yourself to you feel informed enough to assert that theism has no evidence and reasoning. That is the picture of ignorance and self-deceit.

    Well, I reject your unsupported premise that I don’t have good reason to believe God exists. Thus it is your burden to show me where my reasoning and evidence is weaker than your reasoning and evidence against it. You don’t just get to counter. You have to make the case that your counter, that your reasoning against is better than my reasoning of support. This is where your assertion above breaks down. Like abaddon, you simply reason that any presented counter eliminates my reasoning. It doesn’t and is a self-delusion. You would need to show your counter is more reasonable than by premise.

    For example, based upon the available evidence, I reason that the universe (the space time continuum to include all time, space and matter, not Uncle Karl’s pantheistic everything there is, or was or ever shall be.) began to exist. Evidenced by the 2nd law of thermodynamics, expanding universe, cosmic radiation background, the galaxy seeds, relativity, the BGV theorem, etc. So how is that an “uninformed decision?” Seriously it requires more blind faith (belief w/o or against the evidence) to reason that a past eternal universe is remotely plausible. Thus the theistic implications (decisions) of a past finite universe are not “uninformed.” Good luck arguing against the reasoning for a beginning universe.

    Also before you start shouting the virtues of “I don’t know” agnosticism. Aka IDKism. You have to stay consistent. If you can’t know something with absolute certainty then you cannot concurrently hold your “decision” as rational. For example…..your assumption….”Having religious faith requires some combination of ignorance and self-deceit.”

    bump

  4. Top | #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.G.G. Moogly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I'm just going to sit back and enjoy this world I live in through my peep-hole while I still can, without the grandiose notion that I can affect it meaningfully.
    I take that to mean you have not given up the discussion but have in deed given up on any expectations. That's pretty safe.
    Sometimes I also feel there's more going on with activism than meets the eye. So many of us have deeply held beliefs that we care about, and are eager to express, but we don't as readily consider the impact of the things we say and do. To me this is because there's rarely a risk when we try to 'affect change'. Most of us are usually repeating approved talking points to people who already agree with us - minimal to no impact, but it makes us look good. I'll sound like a cynic but I think there's a bit of dishonesty, and lack of awareness there.

    If people really, and truly believed that they could make a meaningful difference in the world, and they truly wanted to, they would be doing more than expressing their viewpoint on the internet.

    Don't get me wrong, if that's what you want to do more power to you, but to me there's more power in the realization that the strongest forces of the world are going to do what they're going to do, regardless of what I do. So rather than spending my life in the belief that the world is broken and needs fixing, and that I'm immoral if I don't spend my whole life shouting - moving beyond that and recognizing that the world just is what it is, and that I'm better off if I just accept it.

    I believe this is what most people unconsciously already do, and it's really only the wings of the left and right that are actually vocal. Most people are more intuitively rational, in a sense.

  5. Top | #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by remez View Post
    So do I. Aka skepticism. Can be healthy in moderation.
    But…. You run into this self-defeating reasoning every time…………. you are using reason to proclaim that reasoning is useless in determining our beliefs.
    And yet again, as always when any attempt to talk with you is made, you rely on mischaracterizing what I say and then attack that. You think you're drawing the logical conclusion of what I've said but you're so intent on finding what's wrong that you skip the understanding-what-was-said part of the process.

    I inevitably, and with awareness, use abstract reasoning to differentiate between what I have thought about to determine as "evident" and what I find too far out there into the realm of fantastical conjecture to assent to believe. Twisting that into a rejection of all abstract reasoning is either dishonest sophistry on your part, or intellectual incapacity, or a mix of both.

    Fantastical conjectures become "reasoning itself", in your twisted world. And evolution is conjectural and not empirically confirmed. And you're on about "victory" yet again, as if arguments about things beyond anyone's knowing can for once and all be established.

    That you keep insisting nobody's answered your KCA argument, and keep trying to draw people into a repeat, is typical creationist zealotry. Every creationist does it, we know you can't help your "reasoning" self but do that irrational obsessive behavior over and over and over and over and over again too.
    Last edited by abaddon; 06-27-2020 at 08:16 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    Faith is believing something that you know ain't true. Mark Twain

    Is that what the OP is proposing? That people say they have faith but they really know the things they believe aren't true?

    I don't think that's the case for most Christians. They really believe the shit they say they believe, but since they don't have the evidence to back up their claims, they say that they believe these things through faith. When they have doubts, friends or ministers tell them they need to have more faith.

    Whatever......
    But if they know they lack evidence and often know there is much evidence against their belief, then either they fundamentally reject the importance of evidence for the probability of a claim, or on some level they know that by the same standard they use evidence to determine what is true in most of life and when it really matters, their faith-based beliefs fail. That isn't psychologically identical to "knowing what you believe is false" but it has lot's of overlap. The Bible talks repeatedly about how evil doubt is (and how misleading thinking, knowledge, wisdom, and evidence are), because it's writers knew that doubts are always under the surface when there is nothing but faith to support a beliefs. The sectarian violence that religion always has and inherently breeds is likely tied to this deep-seeded suppressed doubt that breed insecurity and fear, which triggers anger and violence at those whose words or actions remind believers of the irrationality of or just alternatives to their views.

  7. Top | #27
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    It's enough to look at the creationist's posts here for a demonstration of the doubts they suffer. "It's not blind faith! It's not!" And "I have my reasons and you haven't eliminated my reasons!"

    A person who's interested in actual truth will try to obliterate his own reasons: "Oh oh, there's a pretty good reason to doubt this belief of mine. Alas, I will therefore not believe it". <-- THAT is what reason demands.

  8. Top | #28
    Senior Member remez's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    It's enough to look at the creationist's posts here for a demonstration of the doubts they suffer. "It's not blind faith! It's not!" And "I have my reasons and you haven't eliminated my reasons!"

    A person who's interested in actual truth will try to obliterate his own reasons: "Oh oh, there's a pretty good reason to doubt this belief of mine. Alas, I will therefore not believe it". <-- THAT is what reason demands.
    Lets reverse the order there.......

    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    A person who's interested in actual truth will try to obliterate his own reasons: "Oh oh, there's a pretty good reason to doubt this belief of mine. Alas, I will therefore not believe it". <-- THAT is what reason demands.
    I concur. Within reasonable moderation of course. You can certainly press skepticism too far.

    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    It's enough to look at the creationist's posts here for a demonstration of the doubts they suffer. "It's not blind faith! It's not!" And "I have my reasons and you haven't eliminated my reasons!"
    Please explain the doubt I suffer. Because the reasons you just dishonestly attributed to me don't line up with the actual reasoning I gave to counter the blind faith notion of the OP. I gave evidence and reason for my belief that the universe is past finite.
    and...
    Your dishonest......."I have my reasons and you haven't eliminated my reasons" infers that I simply and arbitrarily chose my beliefs and none of your superior reasoning will ever penetrate my senseless beliefs.
    So............
    Quote Originally Posted by abaddon View Post
    It's enough to look at the creationist's posts here for a demonstration of the doubts they suffer.
    ....make explicit your implicit assertions.

    Be Fair.

  9. Top | #29
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    So the years of repeating the same basic point (that you're not an idiot blind-faith believer because you have clever reasons and they have not been defeated by atheists) is not to shore up any creeping doubts? It looks like you badly want it acknowledged that you're not just any believer.

    But, the dogged persistence... on one single point over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over... is because you're very sure?

    Well, ok then.

    BTW, I don't care if I penetrate your senseless beliefs. Like I said a couple posts back, go ahead and believe whatever you want. LOL.

  10. Top | #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by southernhybrid View Post
    Faith is believing something that you know ain't true. Mark Twain

    Is that what the OP is proposing? That people say they have faith but they really know the things they believe aren't true?

    I don't think that's the case for most Christians. They really believe the shit they say they believe, but since they don't have the evidence to back up their claims, they say that they believe these things through faith. When they have doubts, friends or ministers tell them they need to have more faith.

    Whatever......
    But if they know they lack evidence and often know there is much evidence against their belief, then either they fundamentally reject the importance of evidence for the probability of a claim, or on some level they know that by the same standard they use evidence to determine what is true in most of life and when it really matters, their faith-based beliefs fail. That isn't psychologically identical to "knowing what you believe is false" but it has lot's of overlap. The Bible talks repeatedly about how evil doubt is (and how misleading thinking, knowledge, wisdom, and evidence are), because it's writers knew that doubts are always under the surface when there is nothing but faith to support a beliefs. The sectarian violence that religion always has and inherently breeds is likely tied to this deep-seeded suppressed doubt that breed insecurity and fear, which triggers anger and violence at those whose words or actions remind believers of the irrationality of or just alternatives to their views.
    Or it could be that they lack the cognitive tools to make sense of all the stimuli. I think this is what happens in most cases, particularly in today's world where one can be scientifically illiterate but still enjoy all the benefits that scientific literacy brings. There's no cost.

    Having "faith" is admitting that reality as scientifically measured and quantified just doesn't make sense and I'd rather trust instead in a magical reality like when I was a happy child. It's a heck of a lot easier than trying to reach an unreachable bar given my genetic inheritance.

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