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Why people believe in religion.
Posted: 03 July 2009 01:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]  
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The question becomes “which christian worldview”?  Which one is it Clay?  Because there certainly is no unified christian worldview that is embraced by all christians.

Well, mine, of course…......

That was a joke.  The simple answer is that there doesn’t really have to be one unified view in order to contrast Christianity with atheism.  There are generally fundamental differences.  But you know that I stick with the historically biblical faith, usually. 

So really what we’re dancing around is the human tendency toward self-deception based on preferred mythologies and comfortable traditions that don’t really cleave to ‘truth’ or ‘evidence’ very closely.

Certainly…the problem I have is when the atheist says they’re the only ones that aren’t victims of self-deception.  I really do think there is a tendency towards human self-deception, especially when emotion is involved.  According to a recent Gallup poll I came across, atheists are often times more likely to believe in the paranormal and pseudosciences than Christians.  In fact, the poll says that the more conservative and evangelical the Christian, the less likely they are to subscribe to these kinds of myths and superstitions. 

One difference between many of those who cling to religion, and many of those who don’t is how open one becomes to new information.

Well this is a generalization.  But in many cases I would agree with you, and the lack of quality Christian education is a thorn in my side.

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Posted: 03 July 2009 05:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 03 July 2009 05:27 PM

. . .
According to a recent Gallup poll I came across, atheists are often times more likely to believe in the paranormal and pseudosciences than Christians.  In fact, the poll says that the more conservative and evangelical the Christian, the less likely they are to subscribe to these kinds of myths and superstitions.

Subscribing to the idea of a fictitious and amoral force of nature and visualizing fictitious tools of a magical Satan (via paranormal forces) are two subtly different things, Clay. So you’re correct yet being deceptive just the same.

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Posted: 03 July 2009 06:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]  
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You structure your argument around the precept that atheists are too rigid to understand the meaning of life.  I will grant that I see no need that life should have any meaning.  I see no inherent purpose in life, and no need for any purpose. 

But I have an intellect, a mind, and a body of emotion.  I have empathy and judgement.  These traits allow me to ascribe value to life, whether or not it has any meaning or purpose.  You might say this is the Holy Spirit moving within me, I would say that I am a social primate.

It doesn’t have anything to do with rigidity, musick, it has everything to do with presuppositions.  How can you consistently hold that there is no purpose or meaning to life and yet make judgments?  It seems that value is too closely tied to meaning or purpose to be separated the way you do.  What gives you the right to say that your intellect, your mind, your emotions help you to arrive at better conclusions than anyone else, given the presupposition that life is meaningless?  It certainly is not the Holy Spirit in you, but I would argue that you are made in the image of God, which is why you are self-aware and have moral indignation, etc. etc..  I just think you’re borrowing from the Christian worldview.  No I don’t believe you are an uber-evolved primate.

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Posted: 03 July 2009 07:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 03 July 2009 10:27 PM

You structure your argument around the precept that atheists are too rigid to understand the meaning of life.  I will grant that I see no need that life should have any meaning.  I see no inherent purpose in life, and no need for any purpose. 

But I have an intellect, a mind, and a body of emotion.  I have empathy and judgement.  These traits allow me to ascribe value to life, whether or not it has any meaning or purpose.  You might say this is the Holy Spirit moving within me, I would say that I am a social primate.

It doesn’t have anything to do with rigidity, musick, it has everything to do with presuppositions.

Who is presupposing what here?

How can you consistently hold that there is no purpose or meaning to life and yet make judgments?  It seems that value is too closely tied to meaning or purpose to be separated the way you do.  What gives you the right to say that your intellect, your mind, your emotions help you to arrive at better conclusions than anyone else, given the presupposition that life is meaningless?

Who made that claim? Certainly not nachtmusick.

  It certainly is not the Holy Spirit in you, but I would argue that you are made in the image of God, which is why you are self-aware and have moral indignation, etc. etc..

You cannot argue this; you can only proclaim.

  I just think you’re borrowing from the Christian worldview

.
Of course. Your Christian blinders are well affixed.

No I don’t believe you are an uber-evolved primate.

Are you arguing this? This was not a point against which to argue, and anyway, it is irrelevant to the conversation. It was not a claim. Another non-sequitur. Try answering nachtmusick’s last question, which you avoided:

Atheists see the same things that theists see, and feel what theists feel.  You say that we lack religion, and thus have no context within which we can appreciate the wonder of creation.  I say that we are free to wonder.

Who is being more rigid?

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Posted: 03 July 2009 07:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]  
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Try answering nachtmusick’s last question, which you avoided:

“Atheists see the same things that theists see, and feel what theists feel.  You say that we lack religion, and thus have no context within which we can appreciate the wonder of creation.  I say that we are free to wonder.”

This question is based on a false premise.  I never said anything about atheists being rigid, that was musick’s claim:

You structure your argument around the precept that atheists are too rigid to understand the meaning of life.

Who is presupposing what here?

If musick is presupposing that life is meaningless and without purpose, then how can he arrive at the conclusion that life has value, or how could he make judgments?  That’s what I’m asking… 

What gives you the right to say that your intellect, your mind, your emotions help you to arrive at better conclusions than anyone else, given the presupposition that life is meaningless?

Who made that claim? Certainly not nachtmusick.

Yes, he did:

But I have an intellect, a mind, and a body of emotion.  I have empathy and judgement.  These traits allow me to ascribe value to life

The implication is that he can derive values, and moral standards, and judgments because he has an intellect, a mind and a body of emotion.  Now, we could all probably agree that everyone has an intellect, a mind and a body of emotion.  However, not everyone has the same judgments or moral standards…so when they clash, how can nachtmusick support his position?  How could he or Sam Harris or anyone speak with sertitude about the evils of religion, or the difference between good and bad?  I think its because he does really know, somewhere behind his espoused worldview, that life isn’t really meaningless and there is purpose and binding principles and not just his “intellect, mind, and body of emotion” leading to arbitrary judgments and values. 

You cannot argue this; you can only proclaim.

I can argue it insofar as I can show that humans being made in the image of God is a better reflection of reality than other alternatives.

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Posted: 03 July 2009 08:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]  
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Which Christian worldview? Hmm….

Well, as Dennett has pointed out-when you have 10,000 religions in the last 10,000 years of human history, all claiming to be the absolute truth, you can pretty well surmise that they are all wrong.

I think Clay portrays this view rather well. Does not every religious person think that THEIR religion is THE religion?

Christian worldview. Yeah, that’s one. Or as Jefe points out, one of many within christianity itself.

Lets all just face it, Clay is not the most critical thinking of folks here.

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Posted: 04 July 2009 07:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]  
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Well, as Dennett has pointed out-when you have 10,000 religions in the last 10,000 years of human history, all claiming to be the absolute truth, you can pretty well surmise that they are all wrong.

Not only is that a ridiculous statement, it also has nothing to do with the conversation.  None of us here are prepared to compare and contrast 10,000 religious claims.  This is a red herring to avoid my direct questions concerning the atheist claim to meaningless and existence without purpose, and yet has value, meaning and moral standards.  It doesn’t matter whether I’m Catholic, Lutheran, Presbyterian, or Baptist, I can easily show the irrationality and inconsistency in the predominantly secular worldview of the atheist.  In fact, I’m essentially putting myself in the worldview of the atheist to show the inconsistencies. 

It’s still amazing to me how people like Dennett can decry the intolerance or sertitude that religious people have, and yet they have the most arrogant, intolerant view of all.  They (Dennett and many others) claim to be able to look at everything from the outside, presuppose that all religion is futile, and then claim that their unbiased view, based on reason or science or whatever, is the only right and neutral way to view reality.  At least Christians are honest about their assumptions.  And the fact of the matter is, one of the many religions that Dennett refers to could actually have an accurate view of reality.  Dennett simply assumes a priori that none are…why?  Because he is religiously devoted to his presuppositions.

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Posted: 04 July 2009 07:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 03 July 2009 11:41 PM

Try answering nachtmusick’s last question, which you avoided:

“Atheists see the same things that theists see, and feel what theists feel.  You say that we lack religion, and thus have no context within which we can appreciate the wonder of creation.  I say that we are free to wonder.”

This question is based on a false premise.  I never said anything about atheists being rigid, that was musick’s claim:

You structure your argument around the precept that atheists are too rigid to understand the meaning of life.

Where is the word rigid here? You’re projecting your own premise and then calling it false, thus avoiding, once again, answering the question.

Who is presupposing what here?

If musick is presupposing that life is meaningless and without purpose, then how can he arrive at the conclusion that life has value, or how could he make judgments?  That’s what I’m asking…

I don’t think you’re ever honestly asking that question. You continue to demonstrate a willful ignorance in accepting any meaning outside of your Christian worldview. Your stunted worldview has blocked your faculty of empathy.

What gives you the right to say that your intellect, your mind, your emotions help you to arrive at better conclusions than anyone else, given the presupposition that life is meaningless?

Who made that claim? Certainly not nachtmusick.

Yes, he did:

But I have an intellect, a mind, and a body of emotion.  I have empathy and judgement.  These traits allow me to ascribe value to life

The implication is that he can derive values, and moral standards, and judgments because he has an intellect, a mind and a body of emotion.  Now, we could all probably agree that everyone has an intellect, a mind and a body of emotion.  However, not everyone has the same judgments or moral standards…so when they clash, how can nachtmusick support his position?  How could he or Sam Harris or anyone speak with sertitude about the evils of religion, or the difference between good and bad?  I think its because he does really know, somewhere behind his espoused worldview, that life isn’t really meaningless and there is purpose and binding principles and not just his “intellect, mind, and body of emotion” leading to arbitrary judgments and values.

Stop being a child, Clay. Look at the red text above. Address it.  What you seem to be avoiding is facing the fact that nachtmusick is probably as moral, and possibly a better, person than you are, and all without Jesus. You’re not sure how that could be possible, but you will not accept it. Blinders of Christiianity.

You cannot argue this; you can only proclaim.

I can argue it insofar as I can show that humans being made in the image of God is a better reflection of reality than other alternatives.

You cannot show this. I’m sorry, Clay, but you lose.

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Posted: 04 July 2009 12:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 03 July 2009 11:41 PM

You cannot argue this; you can only proclaim.

I can argue it insofar as I can show that humans being made in the image of God is a better reflection of reality than other alternatives.

The mystery to me is what Clay thinks gives him the power and knowledge to interpret Christianity to others. Does he have wisdom and mental powers that other Xtians (let alone unbelievers) do not? Did God sprinkle some “Special Spice™” on him when he was a wee one? Or is he merely extremely narcissistic?

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Posted: 04 July 2009 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]  
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‘Not only is that a ridiculous statement, it also has nothing to do with the conversation.  None of us here are prepared to compare and contrast 10,000 religious claims’

Oh sure it does. You Clay, portray your personal christianity worldview as being THE best view. To raise your children with, to promote the healthiest lifestyle etc.,

Yet, as everybody points out here there are thousands of religious worldviews and thousands of christian worldviews. What makes you sooo… special in your view?

Should we be in honor of your particular faith?

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Posted: 04 July 2009 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]  
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What you seem to be avoiding is facing the fact that nachtmusick is probably as moral, and possibly a better, person than you are, and all without Jesus. You’re not sure how that could be possible, but you will not accept it. Blinders of Christianity…

...You cannot show this. I’m sorry, Clay, but you lose

Oh for pete’s sake…who said anything about winning?  I’m avoiding facing the fact that nachtmusick is more moral than I am?  What do I care if he’s more moral?  Seriously, where are you getting this stuff?  I was just trying to talk about why I “believe in religion” over and above the alternative (which is the thread topic, in case anyone was wondering) and you guys are trying to one up me on the moral meter.  I’ll happily concede right now that nachtmusick is probably more moral than I am, whatever that means, if that’s what you want.  What exactly does this have to do with anything?  Maybe you should call up Pat Robertson or something for this moral superiority b.s., that’s not really my style. 

The mystery to me is what Clay thinks gives him the power and knowledge to interpret Christianity to others

Should I not defend my own faith?  What would make you say something like that?

Yet, as everybody points out here there are thousands of religious worldviews and thousands of christian worldviews. What makes you sooo… special in your view?

Nothing at all.  I’ve been open and honest about my sources and commitment to historical, biblical faith.  In fact, I wouldn’t say that there’s anything innovative at all about what I’m trying to talk about.

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Posted: 05 July 2009 06:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 04 July 2009 10:40 PM

The mystery to me is what Clay thinks gives him the power and knowledge to interpret Christianity to others

Should I not defend my own faith?  What would make you say something like that?

 

Reading comprehension problems again, Clay? Jefe has pointed out to you numerous times that you appear to be badly confused by the criticism that your religion receives and project it into the notion that somebody wants to prohibit you from having a religion. The problem, of course, is that you cannot practice your religion without “defending it”, unless you restrict yourself to preaching to the choir, since your principles are so vacuous. What you’re defending is your right to spout nonsense about your imaginary God-man to people who don’t believe in it. This includes delivering your interpretation of Xtianity to other people as if it was the only one possible. In fact, you do not have to “defend” your faith, except that you believe that your imaginary God-man wants you to perform like a trained seal before an audience of unbelievers. Most believers do not do this; only the ones addicted to internet forums do it, and a few nutcases with bullhorns on busy city street corners.

You are an empty-but-noisy barrel, you weren’t invited here, you delight to tell us stuff you cannot prove, and the mystery remains concerning where you think you get your “correct” knowledge of Xtianity. If someone asked you to demonstrate that your knowledge is “correct”, how would you go about it, except by repeating your bona fides?

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Posted: 05 July 2009 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]  
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Traces Elk - 05 July 2009 10:59 AM
clayforHim648 - 04 July 2009 10:40 PM

The mystery to me is what Clay thinks gives him the power and knowledge to interpret Christianity to others

Should I not defend my own faith?  What would make you say something like that?

Reading comprehension problems again, Clay?


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Posted: 06 July 2009 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 03 July 2009 10:27 PM

I would argue that you are made in the image of God, which is why you are self-aware and have moral indignation, etc. etc..  I just think you’re borrowing from the Christian worldview.  No I don’t believe you are an uber-evolved primate.

Fuck off, Clay. Your argument counts for shit. Self-awareness doesn’t imply god. “My moral indignation can whip your moral indignation.” Isn’t that the way you would like to say it?

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Posted: 07 July 2009 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]  
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clayforHim648 - 03 July 2009 05:27 PM

In fact, the poll says that the more conservative and evangelical the Christian, the less likely they are to subscribe to these kinds of myths and superstitions.

That’s a laugh. Why bother with the small stuff when you can subscribe to the mother of all myths with its myriad superstitions, including astrology. You keep trying to sound rational but you never do.

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