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Faith, Reason and Truth


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#26 aidakeeley

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 03:54 PM

I'm a superstitious fellow


You certainly are... you've got "God" "yelling" at you in your dreams even while you pretend to be beyond that.

You're quite clearly smack-dab in the middle of it, though. :P

You want "stick" there.

Stick there.

I'll revert to my first assessment of your "moral" "calculations" as well. ;)

Edited by aidakeeley, 22 July 2010 - 04:06 PM.

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#27 demagogue

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 05:02 PM

I think the foundations of objective truth is a much more interesting thing to discuss than creepy feelings about people I don't care about.

On postmodernism, here is a decent blog entry on it for me: http://brianleiterni...party-line.html

I'm with Leiter in thinking postmodernism isn't any challenge to philosophy because no credible philosopher takes it seriously (not a single one posted on Derrida's "memorial" page I recall him noting)... because their position doesn't even understand itself ... The term "Party Line Continental" he uses is a good one; it's not a real continental philosophy since it fabricates its own intellectual grounds, easy enough for anyone who reads the source material to see. It's a partisan fashion that relies on intimidation and fabrication, and ends up looking a lot more like creative writing than anything having to do with philosophy. Another way to put it is: it's not actually about truth, politics or ethics as those terms apply to homo sapiens as they evolved on the planet Earth 1.5 mya, since they go to great lengths to make sure their theories can't be tied to actual mental states of actual homo sapien brains that occur in the space and time of our actual universe. Once you recognize that, you realize they could be talking about the mental states of any imaginable creature in any universe, and if we don't know whether it's us (and there are a billion reasons to think it isn't), then you have to wonder why should we care about these other poor creatures they just made up for partisan reasons to make us feel uncomfortable or whatever. Screw them. It's blatant occultism (and at least the classic occultists understood they were actually talking about a world "beyond" this one; pomo's don't care if they're talking about any world, real or imagined).

Now on the other hand philosophical skepticism *is* a serious issue to epistemology; I don't think it's right, but it's taken seriously by credible people. You have to distinguish that from pomo, though. Pomo qua "Party line continental" is a line including Derrida, Lyotard, Kristeva, Irigaray, Zizek, Lacan. Looking at that list, it strikes me again how ridiculously antiquated they whole thing is, since so many of them are also big names in the Lacanian school of psychoanalysis, which like a Freud meets Marx. I wonder how many pomos really appreciate how fricking *ANCIENT* and debunked Lacanian psychoanalysis is. I mean their basic mental model was already hopelessly out of date by the 1920s, and debunked so many times... Here it is after almost 100 years of advance past their "mistake" and you still have people devoting their lives to it. It's like evolution; when people get some partisan adherence to something. They don't care how many times you show them their theory is wrong and isn't about the real world... They just come right back and say, that's just your bias talking. No, it isn't. Whatever Lacanian psychoanalysis is about, it isn't human brains, so whatever theory of truth & skepticism you establish on top of it is beyond worthless. Mnngngn, and that's just the tip of the iceberg of how out of touch pomo is with reality.

Anyway, what was I saying? But don't confuse that with philosophical skepticism ... Hume, Moore, early Wittgenstein, some forms of pragmitism... And some of the greatest phil minds of the last century like Davidson, Nozick, Dretske, Russell go to superhuman efforts to reply to skeptical arguments, and aren't themselves always confident they fully answered them. Then in the Continental tradition, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Adorno & the Vienna Circle, Foucault... these guys had skeptical ideas that are well respected too. So philosophical skepticism is a rich topic worth exploring and thinking about.

I think the line between what's the good and the bad kind of skepticism is what your motivations are for thinking about it. If your motivations in asking the questions are about what human minds can actually know about our universe, that's the good kind of skepticism. If your motivations are partisan, you just want a way to slap that smile off those cocky bourgeois s.o.b.'s driving around in their Humvees eating Big Macs or whatever, and you don't actually care whether your theory has anything to do with what human minds can actually know or not, you just want them to feel ashamed about something (they won't, then you can feel elevated with the thought that the assholes of the world feel no shame, congratulations), that's postmodernism, and we don't really have to care about that brand of "skepticism" because they don't care whether or not it's about what "human minds" can actually "know", i.o.w., not a real philosophical position.
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#28 jdude

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 05:54 PM

And now we get to the creationism part. It is so wrong! Why teach the religious dogma in school? Why not simply teach the scientific facts and an active and critical mind. They can then add the religious part if they want to. I see the mixing science as a religious dogma adding lies to verified data, so that it is easier to swallow. That is brainwashing and lying. It is lying to say that science is just another belief system. Let the people have OPTION whether to be religious or not! From my point of view, brainwashing is far from the middle spot.

Religion is fine as long as it does not pervert the results the scientific community produces. If a result emerges that is in contradiction to the dogma, conservative religious people will impede scientific progress. And that's not at all fun.



Just because a school teaches that this is what a group of people believes doesn't mean that that school is pushing it on the children. If we can't even talk about what people believe in how can we ever expect to understand each other and even live together?

Could you also be more specific about which religions are adopting modern lines to reference science and please stop using the term brainwashing to refer to people who believe in creationism? Fact is we don't know how it all started and never will all we can do is postulate and some people thing A is more believable than B or C and that's fine imo. What would be the fun in living if we all thought the same thing? :P I also don't get why you think religion would impede scientific process. Please elaborate.

ps: awesome post Dem :)

ps s: Wow! You wrote for The Oxford Handbook? Impressive!

#29 jdude

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 10:23 PM

You don't think it's a big deal that nearly half the population of the United States thinks the world is younger than 10000 years? That requires a stunning dismissal of virtually every single branch of science that there is--geology, physics, chemistry, cosmology, biology, anthropology, paleontology, astronomy, and genetics. How is that not a big deal??

No, what danger does it pose considering there's a separation of church and state in the USA and there's no ban on literature saying otherwise?

:huh: Seriously? Start with Galileo and take a trip to the present state of stem cell research, and see if you find a few answers along the way.


It's not a religion it's the people miss-using one to gain political power.

We're not talking about people's taste in ice-cream here. Religion purports to answer highly significant questions about the universe and our place in it. For the record, I'd have a lot more "fun" living in a world where I didn't have to worry about someone crashing a plane into my city because they believed a god was going to reward them for it.

Oversimplification of the motives behind 911, I believe this video I'm linking and it's clear there's a political motive:
Israel vs Pakistan


#30 stumpy

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Posted 22 July 2010 - 11:20 PM

Well there's the real truth, and the fake truth and the current world is closer to the fake truth than the real truth, and if you knew what the real truth actually was then you'll be nutz. Actually the truth has been re-writen so often that its currently impossible to tell which is which.

#31 demagogue

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 12:13 AM

ps s: Wow! You wrote for The Oxford Handbook? Impressive!


The blog I linked to isn't mine, just a professor I like that I thought summed it up well. He's the one that wrote for the Handbook.

Philosophy is close to my heart, so I feel a little moved to come to its defense ITT. Part of that is distinguishing the credible from the fluff. No mainstream department takes postmodernism seriously.

Looking at some of the other reasons people knock it in this thread, I think part of the issue is that there's an extremely high learning curve to participate in the arguments, though that's not always clear (some people might think they're qualified to express an opinion just because they're human; but often being human might actually make it harder to know how they think; critical detachment from your own experience is tough!). So you see people having understandable misunderstandings and then holding it against the field. Usually I'd blame the teacher for not being clear or interesting enough to get people motivated and drawn into the topic before I'd blame the student. But anyway, even if they do see the learning curve, then people aren't sure what the payoff is to all that work learning it (as opposed to something like General Relativity, also high learning curve, but then you know something special about the universe.) What do I gain in looking for answers to questions that don't have answers?

I think if you're going into philosophy looking for "what it can do for you" or some insight to some new truth, then you're barking up the wrong tree. Science is in the business of finding new truths and being practical. Philosophy is in the business of, once science has established certain truths, putting them in context about what it means for us in the grand scheme of things, the big questions like what is it to be human and conscious; are we really free and what does our freedom mean; what is a virtuous, moral and good life; what is the universe, where does it come from and where is it going; what things exist, and how do (or even can) we know about them. Things like that. It overlaps with the truths of science, most especially physics and cognitive science (the two foundational sciences to being and knowledge), but it puts the emphasis on what they mean for humans, and for its own sake. A person pursues philosophy for the mere sake of engaging ancient questions in light of new insights, because pursuing them makes for happy living.

As for moral philosophy, the question of how moral truths are established without religion isn't really interesting to any philosopher these days, since that's sort of the starting point. The major philosophical debate is whether the moral rules we follow have their foundation in (1) reason (Kant), where we use rational arguments about welfare or freedom or autonomy or rightness and that reason itself establishes the rightness of a moral rule, or the wrongness of a crime, VERSUS (2) emotion (Hume), where our moral norms are actually feelings that our gut inexplicably has towards certain behavior, and then we just post-hoc come up with "reasons" to justify why the "good feeling" twitches are "right" and the "bad feeling" twitches are "wrong", but the feelings are doing all the work, not the "reasons" themselves. What makes it such a rich debate is that, after centuries of exploration, it's still not entirely clear what grounds moral behavior in humans... Humans absolutely feel inexplicable moral feelings that can be well explained by evolutionary theories, and that explain a lot of otherwise hard-to-explain human behavior. But humans are also quite capable of recognizing and transcending their own feelings and acting based on reasons, even when they seriously contradict their natural intuitions, and in fact the reasons in many cases seem to direct what one feels. So which side is (or just as importantly "should be") at the ultimate "root" of moral judgments and behavior isn't clear, even when you find good empirical evidence of one or the other contributing. And it's a very important question for what moral behavior *means*, and what value "rightness" has to us. That's why it's a very rich debate that's important to pursue and that goes beyond what science can do by itself. And even when you struggle to understand "wrong" theories, philosophical reflection often has the virtue of being insightful even when it's wrong; you still gain insight into how the topic works.

Actually the truth has been re-writen so often that its currently impossible to tell which is which.


I think Russell had a good response to this: "If one holds that nothing is certain one must, I think, also admit that some things are much more nearly certain than others."
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#32 Sotha

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 01:34 AM

First of all, wow! Never thought that this thread would get so declamatory.

You don't think it's a big deal that nearly half the population of the United States thinks the world is younger than 10000 years? That requires a stunning dismissal of virtually every single branch of science that there is--geology, physics, chemistry, cosmology, biology, anthropology, paleontology, astronomy, and genetics. How is that not a big deal??


No, what danger does it pose considering there's a separation of church and state in the USA and there's no ban on literature saying otherwise?


What danger does it pose that nearly half the population of the US, the nuke-wielding top-world-politics world-economic-superpower country, has a deliberately distorted views on the world around them? I can think of many problems, and this is the thing I am really worried about.

It's not a religion it's the people miss-using one to gain political power.

Might be, but I'd say that it was religious conservatism behind the problems. In either case, your or mine, please think about how much easier it is to misuse religion to gain political power, if you have the backing of <insert-half-the-population-of-the-US> deliberately lie conditioned (avoiding the word brainwash here) people? Might a lot more difficult if the people's views were correct and they thought about it themselves, with the proper information.

That's the thing that is dangerous. There is strength in numbers. A few mistaught people is not a problem but if there is a horde of them, there may be dangerous consequences. In the end creationism is really doing a big disservice to the world and it may take a long time to repair the damage. They even have their own wikipedia to aid misguiding people.

On morality:
Well, simply put I basically agree with Springheel on this one (post #73). I've not much to add there. I just got to mention that Springs morality here arises from science, not philosophy. Just to point out that morality, empathy and good life are programmed in some extent in us. Maybe it is -at least partially- evolutionary? People with certain traits have survived.
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#33 Sotha

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 03:07 PM

Firstly, it's not like there's been a surge of religious people in the USA, they've existed there since the start of the country so why now would they use Nukes on countries that believe other than them? It's a strawman argument imo. But your allowed to form a conspiracy theory that this is going to happen


I'm really sorry but you are responding to an argument that was never made.
My original point was:
You say: it is not a big deal that a huge portion of the population dissmisses stunningly virtually every branch of science.
Then there was the point of religious people doing unnecessary damage to scientific progress as it has done so many times before.
You dismissed the argument saying that it was a political decision and had nothing to do with religion.
And now we get to my point. It is that you can more easily do such political maneuverings when most facts are withheld from the people.
Political maneuverings to impede science. Maybe a political decision to start filtering more religious propaganda with science teaching to make things even worse.

It was a mistake to mention the nukes. I was referring to the power and might of the US and not proposing they'd go to war. It was until after I read your post I understood that yes, my writing could be understood differently as I planned. My apologies. The point is that things that happen in the US typically spread to the world after a while. American culture is almost omnipresent in this planet.

I'm not abolishing religion, I'd just like people to have the correct facts first, and then they can decide whether or not believe the bible-stuff. You comparison with internet abolishment is not fair, since you can pretty much *choose* what to read here. But if school spreads lies, you cannot avoid that. Your kids have to eat lies, even if the parents would prefer otherwise. A generation after generation is systematically lied to. Shivers.

It should be obvious why spreading incorrect information should be shunned upon. It is blatant manipulation, in my opinion. Dangerous manipulation, since it perverts the way science is perceived. The most awful result is the thought that science is considered an alternate belief.

It certainly would improve the world a great measure if people could trust that the information which is given in schools is reliable. Creationism makes darn sure it is not.

I hope I cleared the point.
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#34 jdude

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 05:40 PM

It was a mistake to mention the nukes. I was referring to the power and might of the US and not proposing they'd go to war. It was until after I read your post I understood that yes, my writing could be understood differently as I planned. My apologies. The point is that things that happen in the US typically spread to the world after a while. American culture is almost omnipresent in this planet.

I'm not abolishing religion, I'd just like people to have the correct facts first, and then they can decide whether or not believe the bible-stuff. You comparison with internet abolishment is not fair, since you can pretty much *choose* what to read here. But if school spreads lies, you cannot avoid that. Your kids have to eat lies, even if the parents would prefer otherwise. A generation after generation is systematically lied to. Shivers.

It should be obvious why spreading incorrect information should be shunned upon. It is blatant manipulation, in my opinion. Dangerous manipulation, since it perverts the way science is perceived. The most awful result is the thought that science is considered an alternate belief.

It certainly would improve the world a great measure if people could trust that the information which is given in schools is reliable. Creationism makes darn sure it is not.

I hope I cleared the point.


I agree almost 100% :laugh: I'd imagine in whatever school would be teaching creationism they'd say something along the lines of this is what some religions believe this is what the latest scientific theory is, not CREATIONISM NUMBER ONE! If the school was saying creationism is number one and this other theory should be dismissed I'd agree that school needs to be reworked. Unfortunately school are run by people. And I think as a society we tend to forget we're all imperfect and we imagine that there should be a strict robotic type of education system that would be perfect which simply cannot exist imo.

I think much of everyone's misconceptions we're taught comes from television too, which is too bad really. Just watch a news channel, your told stories that are provocative like the church in the USA that was praying to have Obama die or that Haiti deserves the earthquake it had... Wtf. Then people start generalizing and forming stereotypes about other religious people thinking they will be the same. And it goes far beyond religion obviously. There's misconceptions on both sides though about religion and about sciences and unfortunately nothings is ever black and white and there's (imo,) never going to be 100% truth to the big issues because I think as humans there's always going to be some part we F up even if it's just in communication of the 100% truth.

It could also be perhaps we've grown up in far different societies which has given up different perspectives on the topic. I'm in Canada, and where I am there's never ever been pressure on me to study a religion, in fact I've been taught by the society I've grown up in that Atheism is the way to go and I'm dumb and ignorant if I prescribe to a religion, and I've never had a group or organization or even person try and push something on me about any religion other than a random pamphlet like 4 times in my entire life which I don't consider pushing at all really. Infact now that I think about it I've seen much MUCH more anti-religious advertisements and spokespeople than religious.

But from what I'm getting from you is the theme that your afraid someone of power or authority will tell you or your children that your beliefs are wrong and theirs are correct and I completely understand that and agree it's not right. It's up to each person individual to develop their own and their own understanding imo, unfortunately the subject doesn't interest much people. But I do think the father and mother of a family are in the right if they decide to do something like send their child to a religious school or teach their children a belief.

#35 Springheel

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Posted 23 July 2010 - 07:38 PM

No, what danger does it pose considering there's a separation of church and state in the USA and there's no ban on literature saying otherwise?


In discussions like this it's important to keep track of what is actually being claimed. You've now gone from "big deal" to "danger", which is changing the focus somewhat. It may not be physically dangerous for half of the US to be willfully ignorant of science, but it's far from desirable. When people are encouraged to believe in irrational things, they tend to become less rational (go figure). Having an irrational population IS dangerous in a democracy; people who don't think rationally can easily be manipulated (as any good televangelist or faith healer knows). It means they are far more likely to vote against their own interests, or support causes that are harmful to themselves or others.

Seriously? Start with Galileo and take a trip to the present state of stem cell research, and see if you find a few answers along the way.

It's not a religion it's the people miss-using one to gain political power.


I would disagree that those examples have to do with political power, but it doesn't matter. The "misuse" of religion is still religion.

. For the record, I'd have a lot more "fun" living in a world where I didn't have to worry about someone crashing a plane into my city because they believed a god was going to reward them for it.

Oversimplification of the motives behind 911,


Well yes, any one sentence is probably going to be an "oversimplification". However, the letters left behind by the 9/11 hijackers make it clear that religion was a major motivating factor. It's not difficult to see why the suicide bombing community is almost entirely religious--it's a lot easier to get someone to blow themselves up if they don't value this life and think they're going to be rewarded in paradise.

I'd imagine in whatever school would be teaching creationism they'd say something along the lines of this is what some religions believe this is what the latest scientific theory is, not CREATIONISM NUMBER ONE!


Creationism is not science, and therefore does not belong in a science class. If schools want to teach it in a comparative religion class alongside the Cherokee myth of the great water beetle, then that's perfectly fine. Creationists are pushing to have it taught as a scientific theory, however, and that's a problem.

For an eye-opening look at a "science class" that includes creationism, see:

And it goes far beyond religion obviously. There's misconceptions on both sides though about religion and about sciences and unfortunately nothings is ever black and white and there's (imo,) never going to be 100% truth to the big issues because I think as humans there's always going to be some part we F up even if it's just in communication of the 100% truth.


As Demagogue quoted above, "If one holds that nothing is certain one must, I think, also admit that some things are much more nearly certain than others."

Even if what you're saying was true (and I don't agree it is), there's no justification for just throwing your hands up and giving up. We may never have 100% justice or peace either, but we should still work to get as close to it as possible.
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#36 jdude

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 12:18 AM

In discussions like this it's important to keep track of what is actually being claimed. You've now gone from "big deal" to "danger", which is changing the focus somewhat. It may not be physically dangerous for half of the US to be willfully ignorant of science, but it's far from desirable. When people are encouraged to believe in irrational things, they tend to become less rational (go figure). Having an irrational population IS dangerous in a democracy; people who don't think rationally can easily be manipulated (as any good televangelist or faith healer knows). It means they are far more likely to vote against their own interests, or support causes that are harmful to themselves or others.

MMM I'd say this is debatable.


I would disagree that those examples have to do with political power, but it doesn't matter. The "misuse" of religion is still religion.

I don't believe so. If a religion in of itself is not dangerous, someone warping it to their advantage is something else and not the religion itself.

For example you could say democracy is dangerous because there's the possibility to manipulate the voting procedure, thus stolen elections are still democracy. (Well I wouldn't)

Well yes, any one sentence is probably going to be an "oversimplification". However, the letters left behind by the 9/11 hijackers make it clear that religion was a major motivating factor. It's not difficult to see why the suicide bombing community is almost entirely religious--it's a lot easier to get someone to blow themselves up if they don't value this life and think they're going to be rewarded in paradise.

It's not a motivating factor it's a delivery factor imo. The motive is to damage America for supporting Israel. Suicide is a means to deliver the damage.

Creationism is not science, and therefore does not belong in a science class. If schools want to teach it in a comparative religion class alongside the Cherokee myth of the great water beetle, then that's perfectly fine. Creationists are pushing to have it taught as a scientific theory, however, and that's a problem.

For an eye-opening look at a "science class" that includes creationism, see:

I think debating it in-class is all a part of teaching evolution. How else would you reach these people without opening a debate and letting them choose after having both sides? Should you not address the current (obviously in the video it's very current,) theory to better explain the new one? Obviously to get the best out of the evolution side you'd want someone who's probably more in touch with the theory like a science teacher. I don't think it's possible to teach something using a fixed blueprint, you wont be able to reach your audience unless you address their questions and it's obvious the people going to this school have influences outside of the school. I'm not saying there's nothing wrong with the video but I'm getting the impression you don't want the creationist view to ever be mentioned in-side of any science related class even if its just for debating or questioning. You couldn't teach anyone if you ignored their questions or comments.

As Demagogue quoted above, "If one holds that nothing is certain one must, I think, also admit that some things are much more nearly certain than others."

I agree.

Even if what you're saying was true (and I don't agree it is), there's no justification for just throwing your hands up and giving up. We may never have 100% justice or peace either, but we should still work to get as close to it as possible.

I never said to throw our hands up and forget it, but I was addressing that there seems to be a thought cycle that we should only teach or discuss that which is 100% accurate which is impossible to impart on all others. I'm saying you get many truths from a single sentence, sciences and mathematics may have the ability in some instances to be to be black and white but the same doesn't apply for other areas at all.

#37 Springheel

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 07:47 AM

When people are encouraged to believe in irrational things, they tend to become less rational (go figure). Having an irrational population IS dangerous in a democracy; people who don't think rationally can easily be manipulated (


MMM I'd say this is debatable.


Which part would you debate: the claim that irrational beliefs make someone less rational, or the claim that irrational people are more easily manipulated?

I don't believe so. If a religion in of itself is not dangerous, someone warping it to their advantage is something else and not the religion itself.


That's begging the question. If we're trying to establish whether religion IS dangerous, you can't just assume it isn't and therefore dismiss any contrary examples as being "warped". (note that you've also shifted your position again from "impeding science" to "being dangerous")

That part of the thread started when you said, "I also don't get why you think religion would impede scientific process". Those examples I posted (and the others in between) are examples of precisely that--religion impeding scientific process. Whether or not you think that is a "proper" use of religion is irrelevant.

I think debating it in-class is all a part of teaching evolution. How else would you reach these people without opening a debate and letting them choose after having both sides?


Substitute "evolution" with "the holocaust" and see how that statement sits with you. We're not talking about two equally valid theories here. Just because a group of people believe something ridiculous doesn't mean it should be presented as a valid alternative to established facts.

I'm getting the impression you don't want the creationist view to ever be mentioned in-side of any science related class even if its just for debating or questioning.


No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying it should not be "taught" in science class (ie, presented as a valid position). I have no problem with discussing holocaust denial in a history class either, but it certainly should not be presented as a valid alternative to "believing" in the holocaust.

I'm saying you get many truths from a single sentence, sciences and mathematics may have the ability in some instances to be to be black and white but the same doesn't apply for other areas at all.


Yes, some subjects, like literary criticism or art theory, have a lot of room for subjectivity. But we're not talking about value judgements. We're talking about how people determine what they should believe about the world around them. For that purpose, reason and rationality are the best tools we have, and faith does little more than get in the way.
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#38 jdude

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 05:14 PM

Which part would you debate: the claim that irrational beliefs make someone less rational, or the claim that irrational people are more easily manipulated?

Here's an example, one could think perhaps there's other life on another planet somewhere in the universe. Just because this isn't based on fact doesn't mean that person is a sponge for any dumb idea.

That's begging the question. If we're trying to establish whether religion IS dangerous, you can't just assume it isn't and therefore dismiss any contrary examples as being "warped". (note that you've also shifted your position again from "impeding science" to "being dangerous")

I'm not sure why you keep mentioning my shifts of topic I'm only trying to reply to the statements and questions in the thread.
But if your going to use your standard then you could say anything is dangerous. Medical drugs are dangerous, TV is dangerous, internet is dangerous, spoons are dangerous, where do you draw the line? You generally wouldn't stab someone with a spoon or overdose on Tylenol so a spoons and Tylenol shouldn't be considered dangerous. In addition you use the blanket word Religion to cover, all religions and you seem to refer directly to Judaism and Islam which are different.

That part of the thread started when you said, "I also don't get why you think religion would impede scientific process". Those examples I posted (and the others in between) are examples of precisely that--religion impeding scientific process. Whether or not you think that is a "proper" use of religion is irrelevant.

Maybe in your view but not in mine. I think it has more to do with politics.

Substitute "evolution" with "the holocaust" and see how that statement sits with you. We're not talking about two equally valid theories here. Just because a group of people believe something ridiculous doesn't mean it should be presented as a valid alternative to established facts.

No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying it should not be "taught" in science class (ie, presented as a valid position). I have no problem with discussing holocaust denial in a history class either, but it certainly should not be presented as a valid alternative to "believing" in the holocaust.


I never said to bring it up as a viable alternative I said if they have questions pertaining to it based on what they've grown up being told it should be discussed and not dismissed or banned from the classroom. Again, if you we're teaching a science class and a student says 'But my parents taught me that creationism is how the Earth was made' What would you say? And what if another student follows up with 'Wait, what is this guy talking about what IS creationism?"

Yes, some subjects, like literary criticism or art theory, have a lot of room for subjectivity. But we're not talking about value judgements. We're talking about how people determine what they should believe about the world around them. For that purpose, reason and rationality are the best tools we have, and faith does little more than get in the way.


I'm not trying to argue weather or not faith is a good or bad view of the world, I'm arguing that people shouldn't treat it as taboo, ignore it or think of people who use it as lower than one's self or ignorant. You keep mentioning understanding the world around you, but you seem to forget the world consists of people who we need to understand as well. What good is understanding the history of the Earth if we have no one to share it with? And if you can't understand their viewpoint because it makes you uncomfortable to even mention it in a classroom or you don't even want to give it the light of day because your 'above it' and their 'ignorant', how will you understand why the make the decisions they make and why their the people they are? I'm talking Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Athiesm, Hinduism and so on which are ALL belief systems. IMO it's completely unreasonable to just write them off as idiots and assume because they don't believe the same things you don't that their dangerous to society.

#39 Springheel

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 08:07 PM

Which part would you debate: the claim that irrational beliefs make someone less rational, or the claim that irrational people are more easily manipulated?

Here's an example, one could think perhaps there's other life on another planet somewhere in the universe. Just because this isn't based on fact doesn't mean that person is a sponge for any dumb idea.


Sorry, that example doesn't work.

How is thinking "perhaps there's life on other plants" irrational? While we don't have any evidence that proves this is the case, there's no evidence that suggests it is unreasonable either. The examples we've found of "extremophiles" (living organisms that can live in conditions we once thought inhospitable to life), as well as the recent discovery of earth-like planets around other stars, makes the possibility of life on other planets well within the bounds of reasonable speculation. If someone said that he "knew" that there were intelligent aliens on the 4th planet of Reticuli, THAT would be an irrational claim.

But if your going to use your standard then you could say anything is dangerous. Medical drugs are dangerous, TV is dangerous, internet is dangerous, spoons are dangerous, where do you draw the line?


It doesn't take a lot of common sense to see that a spoon is less dangerous than, say, a gun. Some things cause harm more easily than others. But I don't want to spend much time arguing about the definition of dangerous, as it's not really relevant to the main discussion.

Those examples I posted (and the others in between) are examples of precisely that--religion impeding scientific process. Whether or not you think that is a "proper" use of religion is irrelevant.

Maybe in your view but not in mine. I think it has more to do with politics.


Would you care to explain how religious opposition to evolution is primarily political?

I never said to bring it up as a viable alternative


But that is exactly what creationists want. That is what Sotha was objecting to in his first post, and you seemed to disagree with him. No one has ever suggested that creationism can not even be named in a classroom. If someone asked me about the "moon landing was hoaxed" theory in my class I would certainly discuss it, but I would make sure my students knew it was an unscientific theory with no valid evidence to support it.

I'm not trying to argue weather or not faith is a good or bad view of the world, I'm arguing that people shouldn't treat it as taboo, ignore it or think of people who use it as lower than one's self or ignorant.


If you accept the claim that reason and rationality are the best way to understand reality, then by definition, faith is less effective, less desirable and therefore, less respectable.

You keep mentioning understanding the world around you, but you seem to forget the world consists of people who we need to understand as well.


When I say "the world around us", I mean *reality*, not the physical Earth.

And if you can't understand their viewpoint because it makes you uncomfortable to even mention it in a classroom or you don't even want to give it the light of day because your 'above it' and their 'ignorant', how will you understand why the make the decisions they make


Wow, every clause in that sentence is a blatant misrepresentation of my position. Do you really not understand what I'm saying or are you misrepresenting it on purpose?

I'm talking Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Athiesm, Hinduism and so on which are ALL belief systems.


Quick aside: atheism is not a belief system. It is a position on a single issue: your belief in a god. If you have one, you're a theist; if you don't, you're an atheist.

IMO it's completely unreasonable to just write them off as idiots and assume because they don't believe the same things you don't that their dangerous to society.


What a complete straw man. When did I ever advocate writing people off as idiots, or claim that people who don't believe the same things I do are dangerous to society?

Given that you're totally misrepresenting my position, maybe I'd better clarify your position a bit more:

1. Do you agree that reason and rationality are the best tools we have for understanding reality? If not, what is the best tool, in your opinion?

2. Do you believe that people can have beliefs that are dangerous to society?
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#40 jdude

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Posted 24 July 2010 - 10:57 PM

Sorry, that example doesn't work.

How is thinking "perhaps there's life on other plants" irrational? While we don't have any evidence that proves this is the case, there's no evidence that suggests it is unreasonable either. The examples we've found of "extremophiles" (living organisms that can live in conditions we once thought inhospitable to life), as well as the recent discovery of earth-like planets around other stars, makes the possibility of life on other planets well within the bounds of reasonable speculation. If someone said that he "knew" that there were intelligent aliens on the 4th planet of Reticuli, THAT would be an irrational claim.

I gotta disagree, but no point in arguing about it because we obviously wont meet up and I don't feel like having this discussion go on forever about what's rational and irrational since it's such a large subject and we won't get anywhere with it.

It doesn't take a lot of common sense to see that a spoon is less dangerous than, say, a gun. Some things cause harm more easily than others. But I don't want to spend much time arguing about the definition of dangerous, as it's not really relevant to the main discussion.

Well then consider most mainstream religions to be a spoon, and for the times they've been warped to be the times someone's been stabbed with a spoon. Does that help clarify what I'm saying?

Would you care to explain how religious opposition to evolution is primarily political?

You're misdirecting my statements. My argument was that the past examples you've sited, with 'religious impedment' to scientific progress have actually been more political than having anything to do with religion. I'm saying that the moves to ban things which are contrary to one's interpretations only has actual effect from a political leader and is more a game of politics than enforcement of a belief. Average Joe isn't going to have any effect on weather or not a scientific article gets published, what will is any political repercussions. Nor will Average Joe have any say in if it gets accepted into the scientific community.

But that is exactly what creationists want. That is what Sotha was objecting to in his first post, and you seemed to disagree with him. No one has ever suggested that creationism can not even be named in a classroom. If someone asked me about the "moon landing was hoaxed" theory in my class I would certainly discuss it, but I would make sure my students knew it was an unscientific theory with no valid evidence to support it.

Well way to blanket and stereo type. Did you see this on CNN too Spring? This is exactly what I was talking about in that if you don't know enough about the people around you, you end up just forming your opinions not based on what you've experience in your real life but rather media which screws up everyone's conceptions. Or maybe you saw a group of people protesting outside a school saying teach creationism, even so that's no reason to stereotype all those who view creationism as legitimate?
Maybe you found some website or a youtube video which enforces your thoughts, but did you ever stop to question the validity, and scope of this information?

Any way you've justified this belief to yourself, that all people who believe in creationism have this same motive is not true. All your doing is making an invisible enemy for yourself. This is what I don't like.


Wow, every clause in that sentence is a blatant misrepresentation of my position. Do you really not understand what I'm saying or are you misrepresenting it on purpose?

Apparently I don't get what your going at :P

Quick aside: atheism is not a belief system. It is a position on a single issue: your belief in a god. If you have one, you're a theist; if you don't, you're an atheist.

I consider the denial of the existence of a supreme being to be a belief, the belief that there is no supreme being. It's a belief maybe belief system isn't the right term I don't know; but there is overlap in that it probably has the same amount of influence on one's life as choosing a religion since there's always going to be differences in society and justifications one has to make to reinforce those beliefs.

What a complete straw man. When did I ever advocate writing people off as idiots, or claim that people who don't believe the same things I do are dangerous to society?

Given that you're totally misrepresenting my position, maybe I'd better clarify your position a bit more:

Well in terms of your underlined statement. You've been communicating to me that all religious people are irrational and sponges for false information which results in a danger to society. So that leaves 2.3% (according to a quick wiki search of % of atheism in the world) of the entire population of the world who you feel are rational and not sponges nor a danger to society. If that isn't supremacy through ideology then I don't know what is.

Furthermore some of what I write is not only directed towards you. When Sotha says something such as "it's all nonsense," basically saying 'these people believe in nonsense' what other way of interpreting that should there be? It obviously has an insulting tone to it.



1. Do you agree that reason and rationality are the best tools we have for understanding reality? If not, what is the best tool, in your opinion?

2. Do you believe that people can have beliefs that are dangerous to society?


Look spring, this details finely what I'm trying to talk about, which is what I think people shouldn't do.
You for your beliefs of the universe and life through the scientific journals you read and that's fine. But you should not just assume all others who think differently then you are inferior or dangerous. (being irrational would be an inferiority) Their beliefs may be irrational to you, but they aren't to them and there's probably been more thought put into it than you give them credit for. And to assume only those that share the same beliefs as you are rational beings capable of making correct choices and distinguish right from wrong is ridicules.

For the record I answer Yes to each question, but since you see what I think as irrational we obviously aren't looking at the question through the same lens.

#41 Sotha

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 02:19 AM

I gotta disagree, but no point in arguing about it because we obviously wont meet up and I don't feel like having this discussion go on forever about what's rational and irrational since it's such a large subject and we won't get anywhere with it.

Yeah, I really is a mystery to me. It is like we speak the same language but we don't speak the same language. I understand every point Spring has made thus far and they make perfect sense to me. Your responses, on the other hand, seem very.. interesting. I suppose since you're on the opposing side of the mystical field, our messages to you seem garbled as well. Please check signal cable. But I have to agree, forgive me for saying this, that you're (deliberately?) misinterpreting Springs words. But why? Data obtained with science are often incompatible with religious dogma. A defence mechanism for the dogma? I'm just curious. I think we are approaching something really interesting here. I want to understand.

I consider the denial of the existence of a supreme being to be a belief, the belief that there is no supreme being. It's a belief maybe belief system isn't the right term I don't know; but there is overlap in that it probably has the same amount of influence on one's life as choosing a religion since there's always going to be differences in society and justifications one has to make to reinforce those beliefs.

Well in terms of your underlined statement. You've been communicating to me that all religious people are irrational and sponges for false information which results in a danger to society. So that leaves 2.3% (according to a quick wiki search of % of atheism in the world) of the entire population of the world who you feel are rational and not sponges nor a danger to society. If that isn't supremacy through ideology then I don't know what is.

It is easy to make the mistake that atheism is a belief. You cannot devise a scientific experiment which would show whether or not god exist. You can believe she exist, or that she doesen't. The only result science and rationality can give you is agnosticism.

But here is the catch: in science you need a "positive signal" to prove whether something exists or not. There is no need to prove whether god exists or not, since there is no rational starting premise to begin with. The only starting motivation for this kind of experiment is the fact that there has always been the religious community which thinks that of course god exists. But we have to take into account the fact that we descend from a really primitive origins so primitive irrational thoughts are embedded in our culture.

Furthermore some of what I write is not only directed towards you. When Sotha says something such as "it's all nonsense," basically saying 'these people believe in nonsense' what other way of interpreting that should there be? It obviously has an insulting tone to it.

Oh, I thought we covered this already? Well, no problem it is not difficult for me to write this again. I was evaluating the bible as the thing it is to me: an outdated storybook. Usually people can freely express whether they like the plot on a book or not. But of course a true Tolkien fan will get upset if you criticize the lord of the rings. I can only imagine what the result will be if you're, instead of fandom, taught to revere the words in the storybook. Should have taken that into account. But I'll not change my way of handling something only because others have been <I don't know what word to put here>. What I can do is to mitigate the effect and use softer words.

Look spring, this details finely what I'm trying to talk about, which is what I think people shouldn't do.
You for your beliefs of the universe and life through the scientific journals you read and that's fine. But you should not just assume all others who think differently then you are inferior or dangerous. (being irrational would be an inferiority) Their beliefs may be irrational to you, but they aren't to them and there's probably been more thought put into it than you give them credit for. And to assume only those that share the same beliefs as you are rational beings capable of making correct choices and distinguish right from wrong is ridicules.


I'd say that it is okay to succumb to irrationality if:
  • you are given a choice to do so.
  • you're filled first with the correct unaltered facts which peer reviewed science has to offer.
But it is not ok if people are misguided with mixing propaganda with the science. I'll just leave it at that.
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#42 jdude

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 03:30 AM

I'm approaching from the viewpoint that we all have our own interpretations of reality and give deeper meaning to some things in life which others cannot or will not understand and this does not force the exclusion of the existing world from one's perception.

Where as you guys seem more along the viewpoint of because science has evidence for this, this is what and the only thing which everyone should believe lest they be put into a stereotype as ignorant, brainwashed and irrational. And I think that's a petty and closed minded way to go about thinking tbh.

I'm not arguing if it's right or wrong to believe A or B.
And tbh I forgot how we got caught up in creationism vs evolution which in the scope of life is so greatly irrelevant.

I'm not arguing for or against creationism, but rather trying to argue that people who believe creationism aren't ignorant of the world around them, or a danger to society. Talking about the topic of A vs B is not forcing it upon another neither is confession of one's beliefs. If people are going to label all religion as irrational nonsense then I think they themselves are being irrational since it has a role in the world. It's not even about Religion VS Science for me, it's more about having respect for one another and trying to see the world through their viewpoint and understanding why they came to their conclusions without the assumption that their mentally undeveloped or have been tricked by a group of conspirators. Because you don't see a rational premise from your viewpoint doesn't mean there isn't a rational premise at all.

#43 Springheel

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 08:12 AM

I gotta disagree, but no point in arguing about


Well, there would be a point if you actually wanted to explain your reason for disagreeing. If you don't, then I agree that there's not much point.

My argument was that the past examples you've sited, with 'religious impedment' to scientific progress have actually been more political than having anything to do with religion.


Maybe we're not using "religion" in the same way then. When I see large groups of religious people working to impede scientific progress because that science contradicts their religious beliefs, I blame it on religion. You could argue that because it involves a group of people trying to influence policy, that it is also political (you're correct that a single individual is not likely to impede anything, but groups of individuals can and do).

I would suspect the number of NON-religious people trying to put stickers on textbooks claiming that evolution is "only a theory" is rather small.

Well way to blanket and stereo type. Did you see this on CNN too Spring?


Wow, you're very quick to attack any sentence that uses a generalization to get a point across, and then you totally fail to respond to the actual point.

We're talking about teaching creationism in school. The proponents of that idea are (probably without exception) creationists. When I refer to "what creationists want" in the context of teaching creationism in school, I'm talking about the proponents of the idea, not necessarily every single person who believes in creationism. Is that more clear?

Can I now ignore the paragraph and a half that follows where you try to tell me what I actually think?

I consider the denial of the existence of a supreme being to be a belief, the belief that there is no supreme being


Atheism says "I don't believe in any gods". That's a lack of belief. It is not the same as saying, "there are no gods".

You've been communicating to me that all religious people are irrational and sponges for false information which results in a danger to society.


What I said was, as simply as I can make it: Reason and rationality are the best ways to create an accurate worldview. Faith is NOT a good way to do that. If you accept irrational beliefs, you are going to be prone to less rational thought. Irrational thoughts CAN be dangerous. As you state further down, you've already agreed to at least two of those three premises.

Furthermore some of what I write is not only directed towards you. When Sotha says something such as "it's all nonsense," basically saying 'these people believe in nonsense' what other way of interpreting that should there be? It obviously has an insulting tone to it.


If you're responding to Sotha, then quote what he wrote. If you quote what I write, I'm going to assume you're responding to me.

for your beliefs of the universe and life through the scientific journals you read and that's fine. But you should not just assume all others who think differently then you are inferior or dangerous. (being irrational would be an inferiority)


There you go misrepresenting my position again. I never said anything about "scientific journals". You need to spend less time telling me what I think and focus on clearly explaining what YOU think.

I'll spell it out again. I'm claiming that the best way to understand the universe is through REASON and RATIONAL THOUGHT. Anyone who "thinks differently" and decides NOT to use reason and rational thought to understand the universe is NOT using the "best" method. If you're not using the best method then you're using a less effective method. I'm not saying such people are inferior as people, but they're using an inferior tool.

If someone is trying to dig a ditch, and they're using a spoon instead of a shovel, then I will immediately wonder why they're using a clearly inferior tool. Maybe they have a good reason--maybe they don't have a shovel, or they don't care if it takes a long time. That's fine...until they start trying to tell me that a spoon is actually a better tool (or even just as good) for digging ditches. At that point, they're being irrational.

For the record I answer Yes to each question


Then what exactly are we arguing about?
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#44 jdude

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 12:36 PM

Maybe we're not using "religion" in the same way then. When I see large groups of religious people working to impede scientific progress because that science contradicts their religious beliefs, I blame it on religion. You could argue that because it involves a group of people trying to influence policy, that it is also political (you're correct that a single individual is not likely to impede anything, but groups of individuals can and do).


If political policy were to impede scientific research then, and I still think, it would be more a matter of gaining support from a select group of people. And there's many factors outside of religion that contribute to the formation of policy. For example earlier you cited Stem Cell research. I can easily see how this would be controversial for reasons outside of religion. Even religious components aside, abortion is still a moral dilemma imo.

We're talking about teaching creationism in school. The proponents of that idea are (probably without exception) creationists. When I refer to "what creationists want" in the context of teaching creationism in school, I'm talking about the proponents of the idea, not necessarily every single person who believes in creationism. Is that more clear?


Much more clear, and as I've said before I too don't think it should be taught in public schools. From what I was interpreting from your statements was that this group of people pushing to get it in schools was a representation of all creationists which apparently wasn't the message.

What I said was, as simply as I can make it: Reason and rationality are the best ways to create an accurate worldview. Faith is NOT a good way to do that. If you accept irrational beliefs, you are going to be prone to less rational thought. Irrational thoughts CAN be dangerous. As you state further down, you've already agreed to at least two of those three premises.


There's no one authority on what is RATIONAL and was is not RATIONAL and despite that you think you're methods of thought have the closest mind to a purely rational being on the world I still disagree. and I assumed scientific journals of the constant references to evolution which obviously would be best explained in one, assuming you were rational enough to read them.

When you make statements in this conversation your assuming your viewpoint is the only rational viewpoint, so to agree with rational is to agree with your perspective on life.

But it's pretty clear you will never budge on that view so really what's the point of discussing this?

Basically your saying:
One cannot rationally believe in a religion.
I'm saying:
One can rationally believe in a religion.

#45 Springheel

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 05:25 PM

there's many factors outside of religion that contribute to the formation of policy


Yes, no one has said otherwise. The only claim made by Sotha or me was that religion has, on multiple occasions, been an impediment to science. Unless you're going to argue that groups of religious people, urged by religious institutions, acting in support of religious belief, somehow does not qualify as religion, the point stands.

Much more clear, and as I've said before I too don't think it should be taught in public schools


Ok, then it appears we're in agreement on that issue.

There's no one authority on what is RATIONAL and was is not RATIONAL


Rationality is not primarily about what you think; it's about how you think. It's about making decisions based on critical thinking, logic, and solid evidence. If you're trying to argue that two rational people can come to different conclusions about something, I wouldn't disagree. Beyond that, I'm not sure what your point is.

despite that you think you're methods of thought have the closest mind to a purely rational being on the world I still disagree


I have no idea what you're trying to say here.

When you make statements in this conversation your assuming your viewpoint is the only rational viewpoint, so to agree with rational is to agree with your perspective on life.


Please tell me where I said my "viewpoint" is the only rational one. Maybe you should stop trying to tell me what I think and what I assume, as you continually get it wrong.

Basically your saying:
One cannot rationally believe in a religion.


Actually, I never went so far as to claim that you cannot rationally believe in a religion. It may be possible. It would depend on what exactly the person believed and why he or she believed it.

I'm saying:
One can rationally believe in a religion.


Then provide me with a rational reason to believe in a religion of your choice.
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#46 Mortem Desino

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Posted 25 July 2010 - 09:38 PM

Ha! I love it! :D I just like to think of the religious this way: the religious man goes the next step from agnostacism by saying that he/she believes that there is a higher being(s) that does not remain silent, but wants to reveal himself.

Don't you think Uber-beings do what they do for reasons beyond puny human minds? That's the comfort behind my faith. If we could understand God, then we could find 'fallabilities'. Since He is obviously far beyond my understanding, he's got to be a really powerful guy.

I don't quite understand y'all. Eliminate irrational thinking? Are you insane? Irrationality makes us ethical. It makes us HUMAN. Purely for example, emotions are beyond reasoning. I can't explain every thing rationally, and neither can you. Knowledge isn't purely based on logic. We also base it off of experience, even though it might go against logic. Ever read Kant's "Critique of Pure Reason"?

Religion, while I don't think it's Opium of the People, I believe it's quite important to man finding his purpose and meaning for life (which has been lost in modern materialism.) Isnít that a humanís duty to himself?
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#47 stumpy

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 08:53 AM

To an invading force the way to control things is to introduce 'limits', so if you percieve limits it also means an external force is imposing them and you are being controled.

#48 Springheel

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 09:11 AM

I think I'm misinterpreting some of what your saying then


Yes, I think that's a fair statement.

Your answer, imo, implies that religion = irrationality because of how your using the term faith which I interpreted to be a replacement word for 'religious people' from my post.


"Faith" does not equal "religious people". "Faith" is a way of thinking, which can be applied to just about anything. The only point I've been making, over and over again, is that it is an inferior way of developing a realistic worldview. You've basically agreed to every premise I've presented on that point, but then you continue to argue with the conclusion (you've agreed that reason is the "best" but then you argue that I shouldn't claim faith is somehow "inferior" to the best).

One can rationally believe in a religion.


I'm still very interested in this statement...what rational reasons are there for believing in the claims of religion?

the religious man goes the next step from agnostacism by saying that he/she believes that there is a higher being(s) that does not remain silent, but wants to reveal himself.


That's a fair definition of theism. The question is, what rational decision makes the religious man take that "next step"?

Eliminate irrational thinking? Are you insane? Irrationality makes us ethical. It makes us HUMAN. Purely for example, emotions are beyond reasoning.


First of all, I never said we should eliminate irrational thinking. But irrational thinking should always be subservient to reason. (I would, however, support eliminating most irrational beliefs). Humans have plenty of irrational instincts, and some of them are certainly beneficial. Others are very harmful and destructive. It is our use of reason that allows us to determine which is which.

Religion, while I don't think it's Opium of the People, I believe it's quite important to man finding his purpose and meaning for life


In what way?
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#49 Mortem Desino

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 04:50 PM

I'll try to sum this up rather succinctly:

There is no rational decision to join a theistic faith. If there was, then it's not your childlike 'faith' any more than your decided 'following'. A leap of faith into theism is an irrational decision.

In what way is religion important to finding a man's purpose? I really couldn't tell you; That, my friend, is for you to find out via a leap of faith. 'Knowledge by means of Experience' over 'Knowledge by means of Logic'.
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#50 jdude

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 05:46 PM

I think there are many things that can allude to the existence of a higher power. And I think much of the Bible is much more grounded to reality than what people give it credit for, meaning it tells you dates, places, and provides a story which would indicate lots of witnesses to the claims it makes. Then you get much of it backed up by archeological digs. One could argue, perhaps some guy named Moses lead 600,000 Israelites out of Egypt, but all these references to divine intervention didn't occur. The common argument is made "well people were dumb back then" is used to try and refute divine intervention. But what the Bible tells would be a matter of common sense and intuition which lead to weather one believes it or not imo. And I think the degree to which one has these has remained the same through the last 10,000+ years. Because technology and scientific discoveries have nothing to do with common sense imo. (you can use a computer and have no idea how it works) I'd think that if someone claimed that 600,000 people crossed water then when this book reached a new continent someone would travel to the site or to the city of Israel and say something like "ok I want witnesses to back this up to make sure it's not some conspiracy."



@spring
And you say faith isn't a good way to live your life, but faith is used by everyone always. You have faith the school system wont corrupt your children, that the government wont turn on you, that your wife is faithful to you, that your children and family are honest to you. If you had no faith you'd have no life because you'd spend it trying to confirm everything around you.




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