Going for religion’s throat
Posted: 04 July 2010 11:31 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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First all of, like most of you, I have looked at numerous debates about relgious people defending their delusion. When asked to provide proof, of course it fails. When asked about beliefs the debate becomes pointless.

However, in some cases some people doclaim evidence of god, or fear this evidence being real (so you better believe!)
Yet incredibly in the aethiest/scientific arena I see little being done to show how these are absurd and the evidence faulty. We have a prime opportunity to pull their rug away from their innermost fears and beliefs, thus helping them overcome these deep seated irrational fears or superstitions. And we fail totally ,myself included, by just saying “that evidence looks rubbish” .

I find it amazing how most of the debates follow reasoning over what the bible said or the other book said and how in history this didnt happen. That just a numbers and words game. When religion claims evidence as proof, as it has done as a last resort, why don’t we go for for the throat of that ‘evidence’ ?

Their arguements for supernatural evidence are often reduced down to these kinds of things, to choose 3 examples:

(i) “So how do you explain miracles, they are evidence of god’s power!”

(ii) “How about demons, they are evidence..you can see film of it! And thats proof of hell!!”

(iii) “Holy spirit entering people and speaking tongues. That’s real proof right there!!”


I appreciate not all branches of a religion support all these. And I am not talking about Bob the Mormon who knows god is real because God saved him in a car crash. I am firmly focusing on the evidence put forward by the religious , often when backed into a corner.

So taking each point above:

(i) I’ve seen the claims of miracles and they seem fairly poor, especially those claimed by faith healers. Ive found nothing else which appears unbelievable to me thus far. Perhaps someone else can add to this;  is there anything like an extensive list of miracles that have been shown as nonsense despite being originally believed as real.

(ii) Now you can watch videos of exorcism on youtube (Makari Yunan, Bob Larson) etc.  Now even if you think they are all frauds, can all these crazy reactions all be explained by personality disorders?
I am not saying there are supernatural happenings here,I am saying that there must be some other explanation of this phenomenon. By what method are all these people self-deluded into produced low husky voices and screaming? Auto-suggestion? All of them?
I have found some research but not a lot. I must admit I find some of it frightening.

(iii) Ex-christians have said it was just nonsense and that tongues was just gibberish. The various holy spirit films show people jumping about in joy, sometimes foolishly I think. What’s the psychological explanation of that?


Take away some of these core fears and beliefs, reduces their ammunition. Yes, some ardent defenders won’t believe it anyway, but those would seek to use this stuff as evidence will have their powers reduced.

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Posted: 28 November 2010 05:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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First of all, if you are going to completely disprove any of these things, you would have to actually prove that every instance of the Holy Spirit, demon possession, speaking in tongues, etc. was false and a fraud.  Now I agree, even as a Christian, that many people who claim to be possessed with demons, or speak in tongues, or be filled with the Holy Spirit are frauds.  But that does not mean that all people who make this claim are false and frauds.  Also, you have an even bigger problem.  Pointing your finger and shouting at religion in no way justifies science.  Name calling against Christianity in no way proves atheism or scientific belief to be all there is in the universe.  How would you respond to things such as irreducible complexity described by Michael Behe in the book Darwin’s Black Box?  What can you do to prove that your beliefs are actually true?  I look forward to hearing your responses soon. smile

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Posted: 28 November 2010 06:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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NotAnAtheist - 28 November 2010 10:07 PM

How would you respond to things such as irreducible complexity described by Michael Behe in the book Darwin’s Black Box?  What can you do to prove that your beliefs are actually true?  I look forward to hearing your responses soon. smile


I’d suggest you get with a biologist or other properly skeptical/scientific sources on that. In my experience Behe’s stuff doesn’t survive very much at all in the way of genuine scrutiny. I wrote him off pretty quickly after hearing him speak at UGA a while back (his “irreducible” complexity was clearly quite reducible, for starters—he’d built design into the equation in the way he’d narrowed his parameters far beyond reason—he’d included design in his premises, basically). It wasn’t compelling at all to those who weren’t invested in being compelled. Oddly the members of the fundamentalist sponsoring faculty organization I spoke with didn’t understand why—said my “questions” (which weren’t questions I needed answered, but questions that if answered honestly refuted the points they were making—it’s pretty striking to see the difference in quality of understanding and reasoning between hard core believer faculty, and ... well, honest faculty regarding such things) ... anyway, they said my “questions” would best be answered if I got on the Kool-Aid. They didn’t use quite those same terms of course. They said I needed to get involved with a church in order to understand (they didn’t like my suggestion that the church be the local Unitarian Universalists or even Episcopalians though, oddly enough), as if the 20+ years I’d previously spent very actively involved in a Baptist church weren’t enough to quite do the trick. They were right, of course, but to me the “trick” is about genuinely understanding reality as best I can, and to them the “trick” was getting on the Kool-Aid and compromising my intellectual integrity enough to pull off the faith game—i.e. choosing to believe the franchise dogma regardless of what reason and evidence indicate (if it’s even really possible to choose what you genuinely believe).

Anyway ... I’d recommend you get with credible scientists and/or other scientific sources, and that you do the homework required to understand what that means, exactly, and why.

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