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The End Of Faith, Or The End Of Hate, And Fear?
Posted: 08 March 2005 04:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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[quote author=“Iisbliss”]I prefer to think of the religious as culturaly and and educationaly disadvantaged, this is because I am a politically correct liberal raised in the 60s by some rocket scientist parents.

It goes against my childhood teaching to call people stupid.


I don’t think preference is relevant, and in this case I think it goes against observation, not just politically correct (or otherwise) teaching.

I’m not sure why some people choose to consider believers (or “the others”) stupid, but it almost always seems to be much more about the observer than the observed.

The capacity for religious belief/faith seems to be an issue of intellectual integrity to me—not necessarily ethical integrity (though that’s very often part of it), but functional or structural. The normal forms and structures the mind uses to interpret reality get all twisted and turned and shaken up when it comes to religious faith. The faithful may be brilliant, but faith acts like a virus on the mind (nod to Richard Dawkins), corrupting its functional integrity, most often in a highly selective manner.

I don’t think the notion that believers are stupid has much merit at all, though—it seems more likely an emotionally rather than critically based perspective, IMO.

Byron

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 08 March 2005 06:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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Bryon wrote :I’m not sure why some people choose to consider believers (or “the others”) stupid, but it almost always seems to be much more about the observer than the observed. I don’t think the notion that believers are stupid has much merit at all, though—it seems more likely an emotionally rather than critically based perspective,

Yes, I think it may be some kind of guilty pleasure stroked with dismay and frustration.  I do call the believers idiots.  I’m usually in the car alone at these times shouting at the radio or at bumper stickers.

Bryon wrote :The faithful may be brilliant, but faith acts like a virus on the mind (nod to Richard Dawkins), corrupting its functional integrity, most often in a highly selective manner.

If a track star has his leg mangled in a car accident, could he still be called fast?  If brilliant mind has had its functional integrity corrupted where normal forms and structures the mind uses to interpret reality get all twisted and turned and shaken up, could it still be called brilliant?  Maybe that is the form of the mangled mind of an idiot…

...and this is coming from someone who a few posts ago defended the believers itelligence.

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Posted: 08 March 2005 06:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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[quote author=“Tom”]If a track star has his leg mangled in a car accident, could he still be called fast? If brilliant mind has had its functional integrity corrupted where normal forms and structures the mind uses to interpret reality get all twisted and turned and shaken up, could it still be called brilliant? Maybe that is the form of the mangled mind of an idiot…

A more representative analogy would be a track star who developed an irrational fear of the track manifest as temporary psychosomatic paralysis, and yes, such a track star would still be just as fast, only not within the particular context of the mental handicap.

The initial analogy would suggest to me a much more severe situation. Believers can typically turn their incredulity on and off at will, which is what we see oh so often with evolution and ID—in fact it’s what we see in virtually all (if not just all) cases of religious apologetics. Typically a believer’s mind works just fine, just not under certain circumstances.

Byron

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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Posted: 08 March 2005 07:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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Very nice answer Bryon.  Thanks.

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Posted: 08 March 2005 11:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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You guys have your sarcasm dectors set too low = )

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Posted: 08 March 2005 11:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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Folks,

I know that calling people stupid is not polite and we don’t like to do it. So choose whatever word you wish, call it a ‘lack of intellectual integrity’ or whatever. I think we all know what we’re talking about.

People who tolerate the diversity of religious peoples’ belief systems and who approve of the right to believe in nonsense are just like the religious moderates that Sam denigrates for creating space for the fundamentialists. If we can’t say what we mean in this forum, then where can we say it.

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Posted: 09 March 2005 01:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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[quote author=“Nietzsche”]I know that calling people stupid is not polite and we don’t like to do it. So choose whatever word you wish, call it a ‘lack of intellectual integrity’ or whatever. I think we all know what we’re talking about.

Maybe it’s just that you could stand to be more mindful of context? I don’t generally interpret “stupid” as anything very close to “the lack of intellectual integrity.” If you use it that way I’m fine with that, I guess (personally, anyway—seems somewhat counterproductive if communicating the apparent idea at hand is the goal though), but I think it’s at a semi-non-standard useage—i.e. you need to explain what you mean. Seems easier to just use another term, but whatever works for you, man.

[quote author=“Nietzsche”]People who tolerate the diversity of religious peoples’ belief systems and who approve of the right to believe in nonsense are just like the religious moderates that Sam denigrates for creating space for the fundamentialists. If we can’t say what we mean in this forum, then where can we say it.


Sounds like you’d advocate standing in defiance with each other on the beach . . . in an effort to try and hold back the waves. Why would we try, and why would we want to in the first place?

But maybe you’re using the terms “tolerate” and “approve the right” in weaker forms than it appears?

I’m confused on your last point though . . . have you been externally prevented from saying what you mean? If so, how? I haven’t noticed any censorship software (which would be entirely Sam’s right to use, I should point out).

Byron

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“We say, ‘Love your brother…’ We don’t say it really, but… Well we don’t literally say it. We don’t really, literally mean it. No, we don’t believe it either, but… But that message should be clear.”—David St. Hubbins

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