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Galileo Was Wrong: The Hubris of Anti-Science

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Posts

  • Zilla360Zilla360 Spaaaace! In Space.Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    All I know is that seen from a satellite in a geostationary orbit, the Earth doesn't rotate at all. Explain that shit, science.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geostationary_orbit#Derivation_of_geostationary_altitude :P

  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Elitistb wrote: »
    Being irrational simply means they are being irrational and has no bearing on their intellectual prowess.

    Prowess? No. Practical ability? Indubitably.

    Most black people are capable of being objective and reasonable, until objectivity and logic get in the way of pre-established values containing magical thought.

    In those instances, the result is virtually similar to what you would receive from a wholly irrational and ignorant person, so I see little reason to treat it differently.

    Huh. Upon replacing one term in your sentence, your entire argument looks completely absurd. Let's try some more and see what happens.
    Prowess? No. Practical ability? Indubitably.

    Most women are capable of being objective and reasonable, until objectivity and logic get in the way of pre-established values containing magical thought.

    In those instances, the result is virtually similar to what you would receive from a wholly irrational and ignorant person, so I see little reason to treat it differently.

    Still unreasonable. Better keep trying.

    Prowess? No. Practical ability? Indubitably.

    Most Jews are capable of being objective and reasonable, until objectivity and logic get in the way of pre-established values containing magical thought.

    In those instances, the result is virtually similar to what you would receive from a wholly irrational and ignorant person, so I see little reason to treat it differently.

    Damn. What should we try next?

    Prowess? No. Practical ability? Indubitably.

    Most bankers are capable of being objective and reasonable, until objectivity and logic get in the way of pre-established values containing magical thought.

    In those instances, the result is virtually similar to what you would receive from a wholly irrational and ignorant person, so I see little reason to treat it differently.

    Well then. Best to keep going, I guess.

    Prowess? No. Practical ability? Indubitably.

    Most garbagemen are capable of being objective and reasonable, until objectivity and logic get in the way of pre-established values containing magical thought.

    In those instances, the result is virtually similar to what you would receive from a wholly irrational and ignorant person, so I see little reason to treat it differently.

    Oh, I know.

    Prowess? No. Practical ability? Indubitably.

    Most SE++ Regulars are capable of being objective and reasonable, until objectivity and logic get in the way of pre-established values containing magical thought.

    In those instances, the result is virtually similar to what you would receive from a wholly irrational and ignorant person, so I see little reason to treat it differently.

    There. Now your argument doesn't come off as hilariously ignorant and prejudicial. Now it's just hilarious.

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  • Mr_RoseMr_Rose Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Elitistb wrote: »
    Being irrational simply means they are being irrational and has no bearing on their intellectual prowess.

    Prowess? No. Practical ability? Indubitably.

    Most people are capable of being objective and reasonable, until objectivity and logic get in the way of pre-established values containing magical thought.

    In those instances, the result is virtually similar to what you would receive from a wholly irrational and ignorant person, so I see little reason to treat it differently.

    If a man put his hand in a fire because he was stupid, or if he put it in a fire because he figured God would protect him, the hand is burnt either way.

    Oh, hey, now it's just true.

    What was it Kay said?
    A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it. Fifteen hundred years ago everybody knew the Earth was the center of the universe. Five hundred years ago, everybody knew the Earth was flat, and fifteen minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow.
    Turns out, the concept of knowing new things freaks some folks the fuck out. It's disappointing and occasionally dangerous but you gotta roll with it or it'll roll right over you.

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  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Ooh, let me give it a try!
    Prowess? No. Practical ability? Indubitably.

    Most religious people are capable of breathing in space, until breathing in space gets in the way of established values containing magical thought.

    In those instances, the result is virtually similar to what you would receive from a person who can't breathe in space, so I see little reason to treat it differently.

    Breathing in space? What the heck are you talking about, Atomic Ross? Try making an argument that doesn't become absurd if you replace a term, and maybe then I'll listen to you.

  • CervetusCervetus Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Fifteen minutes ago, everybody knew that five hundred years ago everybody knew the world was flat. Then they spent fifteen minutes reading a history book and know better now.

    The libertarian response to anything is, "Sure, that works fine in practice, but it doesn't fly in theory."
  • TagTag Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Semi-on topic to the silly pseudo-flame war, but I would like to hear a well reasoned counter point.

    Isn't selectively ignoring parts of a religious text as they appear to become out-dated or incorrect just a funny twist on the "God in the cracks" fallacy? That is, you start on the assumption that the text is true and, as science progresses and cultural norms change, the amount of literal interpretation gets squeezed into ever smaller and smaller "cracks". Eventually even the most rational, level-headed observer is left with a text of (sometimes) moral fables that somehow also serve as proof for absolute truths (even as basic as, "there is a god" or "there is an afterlife").

    If you're ignoring so much of the text as fiction, why does it get these slivers of information passed off as fact? I think that is the cognitive dissonance that Ross finds infuriating. I find it pretty frustrating as well, but I just don't care enough as long as people keep it to their own lives. I could maybe understand if there were other sources of context, but in all but maybe Scientology*, these texts** serve as the sole source of authority to dictate the laws, values, and rituals of their various religions.

    *Only because their founder was alive during a recent period. I honestly have no idea how or what proof he used to justify their belief system.
    **Or tales, don't want to leave out illiterate cultures or religions that existed from oral tradition.

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  • FencingsaxFencingsax Bondage Discipline Spider-Man Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Fucking Washington Irving came up with the idea, by the way. Yes, the Rip Van Winkle guy.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • DracilDracil Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    gotta love it when a specific group of Christians try to disprove science. these guys must be so insecure to make shit up like this,\.

    You see that bolded part right there? That's really important. In the same way that not all Muslims are fanatics, not all Christians are absurdly stupid.

    Yeah I know I was over-generalizing.

    but then again.... I actually do think that religious people are intellectually deficient. (Sorry if that includes you)

    ITT: All US Presidents and most Americans were/are intellectually deficient. Well, that explains a lot.

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Dracil wrote: »
    gotta love it when a specific group of Christians try to disprove science. these guys must be so insecure to make shit up like this,\.

    You see that bolded part right there? That's really important. In the same way that not all Muslims are fanatics, not all Christians are absurdly stupid.

    Yeah I know I was over-generalizing.

    but then again.... I actually do think that religious people are intellectually deficient. (Sorry if that includes you)

    ITT: All US Presidents were intellectually deficient. That explains a lot.

    SO many of them just pay lip service to religion to get in office.

    sig.jpg
  • ChillyWillyChillyWilly Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Tag wrote: »
    Semi-on topic to the silly pseudo-flame war, but I would like to hear a well reasoned counter point.

    Isn't selectively ignoring parts of a religious text as they appear to become out-dated or incorrect just a funny twist on the "God in the cracks" fallacy?

    Fundamentalists will obviously disagree with me, but I really think the only two truly permanent ideas in the Bible are "Love God" and "Love people" (maybe there are some tiny exceptions, but you get what I mean). As far as I'm concerned, those two things are really all a good Christian (define that however you want :P) needs to please God. Jesus Himself calls them the greatest commandments of all and I really believe that everything else falls into place if you just go with those two ideas.

    It's important to realize that many things in the Bible were both written in a different time and written to a different audience. People miss the idea of "context" on a regular basis. I have some relatives that were mad at me for getting a tattoo because of Leviticus 19:28 - "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD."

    Seems pretty straightforward, I suppose. But the two verses right above it say not to eat meat with the blood still in it and not to clip the hair from the sides of your head or clip the edges off your beard, which my relatives are guilty of. I did not bring this up as I didn't feel like getting into an argument, but my point stands. Some ideas fade away with time. Some go away because the Bible says that Christians are not bound to the old law. In fact, I'm inclined to believe that part of the reason cutting yourself and getting tattoos in that day and age was considered a bad thing is because medicine was shit and people would likely die from the smallest of infections. So maybe it had nothing to do with serving God and more to do with health.

    Not really sure if I answered the question there. Feel free to call me an idiot and ask me to be more specific.

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  • TagTag Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Thank you Chilly, though it doesn't fully answer my question, which I guess might boil down to something like "why do you take the book's postulate that there is a god to 'love' at all as fact, while ignoring the vast majority of the rest of the book as outdated or fiction?"

    A follow up might be, if you ignore everything in the book except for what you feel to still be justifiable, isn't that just some form of deism rather than Christianity? Or alternatively, isn't it your own personal religion that used Christianity as inspiration to build it, rather than the supposedly divinely inspired Christianity itself? If not, where do you draw the line between altering the text so that rules / beliefs you feel are outdated or wrong can be ignored without altering the diving truths the text claims to contain?

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  • emnmnmeemnmnme Heard about this on conservative radio:Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Dracil wrote: »
    gotta love it when a specific group of Christians try to disprove science. these guys must be so insecure to make shit up like this,\.

    You see that bolded part right there? That's really important. In the same way that not all Muslims are fanatics, not all Christians are absurdly stupid.

    Yeah I know I was over-generalizing.

    but then again.... I actually do think that religious people are intellectually deficient. (Sorry if that includes you)

    ITT: All US Presidents were intellectually deficient. That explains a lot.

    SO many of them just pay lip service to religion to get in office.

    If that were true, former Presidents wouldn't go to church after they leave office. Jimmy Carter would look at his hammer and nails and say, "I build these houses in the name of SECULAR HUMANISM! Not Jesus!"

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  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    You know what I love?
    Ezekiel Bread. By which I mean, the food items made following the instructions from the book of Ezekiel.
    "Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself.
    Oh man, that sounds wholesome and delicious.
    Eat the food as you would a barley cake; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement for fuel.
    D:

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  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    emnmnme wrote: »
    Dracil wrote: »
    gotta love it when a specific group of Christians try to disprove science. these guys must be so insecure to make shit up like this,\.

    You see that bolded part right there? That's really important. In the same way that not all Muslims are fanatics, not all Christians are absurdly stupid.

    Yeah I know I was over-generalizing.

    but then again.... I actually do think that religious people are intellectually deficient. (Sorry if that includes you)

    ITT: All US Presidents were intellectually deficient. That explains a lot.

    SO many of them just pay lip service to religion to get in office.

    If that were true, former Presidents wouldn't go to church after they leave office. Jimmy Carter would look at his hammer and nails and say, "I build these houses in the name of SECULAR HUMANISM! Not Jesus!"
    Well I doubt Carter was one of them.

    sig.jpg
  • juice for jesusjuice for jesus Registered User
    edited September 2010
    Hmm they sell Ezekiel bread making kits on Amazon; looks like you gotta supply your own excrement though.

    Lanlaorn wrote: »
    That's just insulting, I think DBZ is bad but I'm not going to insinuate that it only appeals to people who are equal parts retards and psychopaths.
  • Void SlayerVoid Slayer Very Suspicious Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    What if the excrement was made by eating banned foods?

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  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Tag wrote: »
    Semi-on topic to the silly pseudo-flame war, but I would like to hear a well reasoned counter point.

    Isn't selectively ignoring parts of a religious text as they appear to become out-dated or incorrect just a funny twist on the "God in the cracks" fallacy? That is, you start on the assumption that the text is true and, as science progresses and cultural norms change, the amount of literal interpretation gets squeezed into ever smaller and smaller "cracks". Eventually even the most rational, level-headed observer is left with a text of (sometimes) moral fables that somehow also serve as proof for absolute truths (even as basic as, "there is a god" or "there is an afterlife").

    If you're ignoring so much of the text as fiction, why does it get these slivers of information passed off as fact? I think that is the cognitive dissonance that Ross finds infuriating. I find it pretty frustrating as well, but I just don't care enough as long as people keep it to their own lives. I could maybe understand if there were other sources of context, but in all but maybe Scientology*, these texts** serve as the sole source of authority to dictate the laws, values, and rituals of their various religions.

    *Only because their founder was alive during a recent period. I honestly have no idea how or what proof he used to justify their belief system.
    **Or tales, don't want to leave out illiterate cultures or religions that existed from oral tradition.

    Reading a text, especially a religious text, is no easy feat. It's why hermeneutics exists in the first place. To think that you can simply open up the Bible or the Koran or the Pali Canon or any other religious text and start reading it like you would a grocery list is naive and unsophisticated. Such texts are generally written in languages which are not contemporary, in time periods which are not current, and can only be understood or made sensible within a larger historical and theological context. Yet very often this complexity is not recognized or respected by the very religionists who take a particular text to be holy or important.

    And so when some perhaps earnest but incredibly misguided fellow picks up the Christian Old Testament and reads the story of Sodom and Gomorrah (in a contemporary English translation) and discovers that, according to the words on the page, gays are evil it's really no surprise. What is more unfortunate is when some hitherto "enlightened" and rational individual turns around and reads the text in the same meaningless way and then proceeds to use this reading as the basis for an argument against that religion or perhaps religion writ large. That is uninformative in the extreme.

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  • TagTag Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    @Saggio That still doesn't address my criticism. If no one is able to read or understand the text anyway, then it loses any divine credibility to begin with. If the source of "There is a god" is the text, and no one can either read or understand the text, or ignore most of it, or excuse much of it as out dated, then why does "There is a god" get special protection from this dismissal?

    Saying the book is too hard to understand or everyone just misinterprets the parts that don't make sense or don't gel with modern society is just trying to push out the cracks. And if anything can be changed, even among the highest scholars, who draws the line between acceptable alteration and alteration that changes the divine message, and how do they do it?

    Edit: I had to rush out from work or risk getting stuck there forever, so I didn't get to put as much thought into writing as I would like :P Summed up my argument could have been: how can you get absolute truths (such as the existence of god or an afterlife) from a text you largely discard (intentionally by saying its out dated or factually incorrect, or unintentionally because it is too hard to get the actual meaning)? Why do those absolute truths rank higher than the discarded material? If, say, you dismiss a story as metaphor or parable (like the two versions of genesis), why not the concept of a god? After all, the idea of someone watching over you to make sure you're behaving is a very useful premise to encourage a more moral life.
    Spoiler:

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  • tehmarkentehmarken BrooklynRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I like your words Tag.

    There's a certain group/church that has a theory, and it's a theory I personally like. It basically says that there is some kind of supernatural entity, and it can take many visages. Either as the traditional Abrahamic God, or showing itself as a pantheon like the Greek gods, Hindu, Norse, etc. It can also send prophets, sons, or even physical forms of itself to influence people; such as the burning bush, or Jesus, or the angel that visited Muhammed (I think that's what happened, I'm not to learned on Islam), or Buddha (I think the explanation of enlightenment is that Siddharta manages to make the connection to the spiritual entity).

    At any rate, you can view every major force of all religions as the same universal entity taking on different roles. And it takes on these different roles and tells the prophets,priests,etc commandments and rules that are fitting for that society at the time. And everytime new religions come up and new prophets come up, it's that spiritual entity refreshing the rules that people should live by.


    I find this idea fascinating myself.

  • FiarynFiaryn Omnicidal Madman Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    That seems like a fairly lazy creed if you ask me!

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  • P10P10 An Idiot with Low IQ Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    tehmarken wrote: »
    And everytime new religions come up and new prophets come up, it's that spiritual entity refreshing the rules that people should live by..
    Cults, even? Where is the line drawn between 'legitimate' religions and 'false' ones? Or am I supposed to believe the Branch Davidians were appropriate for the time.

  • DuffelDuffel Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Religious texts are not intended to be used strictly as a textbook or set of directions from which religious practice and belief springs. That's a very common idea in the West even among the non-religious, and is AFAICT rooted in the Protestant belief of sola scriptura (or, more likely, a popular conception of what sola scriptura means).

    A religious text is - in some religions, at least - a source of inspiration that believers can draw from or go to in times of assistance. Again, this isn't the sort of thing that can be reduced beyond a certain point and by its very nature carries a certain experiential quality.

    So, the answer isn't that there's parts of the text that are now discarded and hence useless. Everything is in there for a reason; if it's not "literally" true (and "literal" is a really bad term here with lots of historical baggage) then it obviously means something else. What that something else is and its purpose is up to various groups or individual believers to figure out. Most religious texts are not composed of lists of rules, at at least most of them that I've read. They tell the stories of holy people and the interaction of humanity and the divine and people are supposed to live their lives according to what they take from that.

    This confuses a lot of people because a lot of people generally think of religions as first and foremost a set of rules telling you what you are and aren't allowed to do, or should and should not believe. This is inaccurate; a religion is often first and foremost a way of perceiving and interpreting the world. There's various cultural and historical reasons that people hold the former view but that's not usually how religions are practiced from an emic perspective.

    Fortunately, in many religions there's a few basic and fairly clear ground rules that are hard to mess up, and larger practice is intended to derive from those. Stuff like
    Luke 10 wrote:
    26 What is written in the Law?” Jesus replied. “How do you understand it?” 27 He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your strength and with all your mind.’(Deuteronomy 6:5) And, ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ ” 28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do that, and you will live.”.

    or
    James 1 wrote:
    26 If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

    So, in short, religion is not a system of postulates, an equation, or a set of statements; treating it like one is to misunderstand the essential nature of the thing and how people practice it.

  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    tehmarken wrote: »
    it takes on these different roles and tells the prophets,priests,etc commandments and rules that are fitting for that society at the time.

    Alternately: It tells them all the exact same thing, then amuses itself with the resulting game of telephone that they play out with the people they sought to control.

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  • TagTag Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Duffel wrote: »
    Spoiler:

    This is a good take in terms of rationalization and sane living, but still does not address the one hard fact that (most/all) religious texts refuse to budge on: the existence of the deity and/or afterlife. Specifically I am attacking the vagueness, inaccuracies, and lack-of-timelessness of the major (and minor! including "cults") religious texts. Specifically, if you throw out all but a handful of generic / effortless passages as "fluff", why does the remaining <1% get elevated to holy or absolute status?

    Sure its easy to "love your god" and ignore all the other text. But why? Without the context of that other text, there is no god, or at least no reason to love it. And with the context of the other text you run into my earlier questions.

    Edit: I would like to thank the civility. These are obviously sensitive questions and I love being able to debate them without the normal hostile rhetoric.

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  • DuffelDuffel Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I tried to explain that most people do not, in fact, throw out everything but a few basic rules. I'm sorry if I was unclear. Interpreting a text in a new way is not equivalent to throwing it out entirely, or throwing it out at all for that matter.

    The life of a Catholic is considerably different from a Protestant which is considerably different for a Hindu which is considerably different than an agnostic and on down the line. Not only in beliefs and actions but also in perception. Part of that difference is based on their different interpretations of their religious texts (not just the "basic ground rules", but all canonical texts and why they are considered canonical holy texts). If you ask a theologian or some other trained person they could usually tell you why their particular group considers whatever text/section canonical. It's usually a pretty careful process, although that of course varies depending on the group.

    As far as the question of whether or not there is a deity/deities or an afterlife, those are things that cannot be proven or disproven, so it's all a matter of what the individual chooses to believe. It's not as though people stop believing that God has some kind of role in the world simply because of their different interpretations of the events in various texts. Unless you're something like a Deist or the equivalent thereof.

  • MrMisterMrMister Valuing scholarship above all elseRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    This was up on the leiter (philosophy) blog, and this thread called it to mind. It's a philosopher of religion explaining why he's given up on the field:
    Over the past ten years I have published, in one venue or another, about twenty things on the philosophy of religion. I have a book on the subject, God and Burden of Proof, and another criticizing Christian apologetics, Why I am not a Christian. During my academic career I have debated William Lane Craig twice and creationists twice. I have written one master’s thesis and one doctoral dissertation in the philosophy of religion, and I have taught courses on the subject numerous times. But no more. I’ve had it. I’m going back to my real interests in the history and philosophy of science and, after finishing a few current commitments, I’m writing nothing more on the subject. I could give lots of reasons. For one thing, I think a number of philosophers have made the case for atheism and naturalism about as well as it can be made.....

    Chiefly, though, I am motivated by a sense of ennui on the one hand and urgency on the other. A couple of years ago I was teaching a course in the philosophy of religion. We were using, among other works, C. Stephen Layman’s Letters to a Doubting Thomas: A Case for the Existence of God. In teaching class I try to present material that I find antithetical to my own views as fairly and in as unbiased a manner as possible. With the Layman book I was having a real struggle to do so. I found myself literally dreading having to go over this material in class—NOT, let me emphasize, because I was intimidated by the cogency of the arguments. On the contrary, I found the arguments so execrably awful and pointless that they bored and disgusted me (Layman is not a kook or an ignoramus; he is the author of a very useful logic textbook). I have to confess that I now regard “the case for theism” as a fraud and I can no longer take it seriously enough to present it to a class as a respectable philosophical position—no more than I could present intelligent design as a legitimate biological theory. BTW, in saying that I now consider the case for theism to be a fraud, I do not mean to charge that the people making that case are frauds who aim to fool us with claims they know to be empty. No, theistic philosophers and apologists are almost painfully earnest and honest; I don’t think there is a Bernie Madoff in the bunch. I just cannot take their arguments seriously any more, and if you cannot take something seriously, you should not try to devote serious academic attention to it. I’ve turned the philosophy of religion courses over to a colleague.

    This is more or less my sentiment, and why (although I do sometimes bat it around on message boards) I could never do any serious work in the philosophy of religion.

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    So, the answer isn't that there's parts of the text that are now discarded and hence useless. Everything is in there for a reason; if it's not "literally" true (and "literal" is a really bad term here with lots of historical baggage) then it obviously means something else. What that something else is and its purpose is up to various groups or individual believers to figure out. Most religious texts are not composed of lists of rules, at at least most of them that I've read. They tell the stories of holy people and the interaction of humanity and the divine and people are supposed to live their lives according to what they take from that.
    What you are supposed to take from that is usually fairly clear and expounded in the text itself.

  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Tag wrote: »
    Why does the remaining <1% get elevated to holy or absolute status?

    Honestly, I think it can be chocked up to word of mouth. Break the chain of worship and silence the church for 100 years, and you'll find that 1% sounding as feasible as a god of rust fungus.

    There is, I think, this sense of unbroken history that people believe connects to first hand knowledge of the events in the bible. People trust those people, and others still trust those people. Place on top of this the notion of god being unprovable by definition to test your Faith; and you've got a solid recipe for devotion. I really doubt that a man oblivious of religion would pick up the bible, read it out of context, and suddenly be a Christian. Without that church backing it up, (and the bible, in turn, backing up that church), it would be nothing more than tall tales and mythos; having no more relevance than the Iliad or Beowulf.

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  • TagTag Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Duffel wrote: »
    Spoiler:

    Hey again Duffle, thanks for responding:

    The very issue of canonical text troubles me. The basis that a holy text is holy is that it is derived from some divine source (either directly or through a medium). Picking and choosing again leads to my question about how one can alter a religious text (or in the case of most mature religions, a catalog of texts) without altering the supposed divine meaning. The distinction between a person picking and choosing passages and a theologian picking and choosing blocks of text is basically irrelevant to me.

    Put simply, while a Protestant and Catholic may argue the genuineness or divinity of a piece of text, they both agree with the text's overall postulate of divinity, despite readily putting divinity's judgment calls in mortal's hands to choose.

    I guess I should clarify that this isn't about "faith". It is about the origin of that faith. I understand that it is nearly impossible to justify, say, belief in the god of the bible. What my inquiries focus on is why, when you disregard so much of the bible and other associated religious texts, do you take its thesis that there is a god to be so true that you will have faith in it despite a complete lack of observable evidence? What makes the existence of god so genuine that you accept it while rejecting most of the rest of the text? In other words, if you don't trust the handbook that tells you (among other things) that god is real completely, why do you trust its message that god is real?

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  • DuffelDuffel Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Tag wrote: »
    Hey again Duffle, thanks for responding:

    The very issue of canonical text troubles me. The basis that a holy text is holy is that it is derived from some divine source (either directly or through a medium). Picking and choosing again leads to my question about how one can alter a religious text (or in the case of most mature religions, a catalog of texts) without altering the supposed divine meaning. The distinction between a person picking and choosing passages and a theologian picking and choosing blocks of text is basically irrelevant to me.

    Put simply, while a Protestant and Catholic may argue the genuineness or divinity of a piece of text, they both agree with the text's overall postulate of divinity, despite readily putting divinity's judgment calls in mortal's hands to choose.

    I guess I should clarify that this isn't about "faith". It is about the origin of that faith. I understand that it is nearly impossible to justify, say, belief in the god of the bible. What my inquiries focus on is why, when you disregard so much of the bible and other associated religious texts, do you take its thesis that there is a god to be so true that you will have faith in it despite a complete lack of observable evidence? What makes the existence of god so genuine that you accept it while rejecting most of the rest of the text? In other words, if you don't trust the handbook that tells you (among other things) that god is real completely, why do you trust its message that god is real?
    Like I say, usually you don't reject the text outright, you just interpret it and its purpose in a different way. It's not as though Protestants, for instance, never utilize the Old Testament for anything.

    And, again, religion (or at least a religious worldview) is by and large a matter of perception. A religious person and a non-religious person could interpret identical events in very different ways. A religion is just as much a paradigm through which one views their life and what happens in it as it is a social institution or a framework for behavior or a set of beliefs about God/gods/the afterlife/etc.

    So, for a religious person, there very likely is evidence for their beliefs - the body of events and experiences that leads them to be religious. It is not evidence that can be quantified or measured by a strictly positivist/empiricist worldview, but for them there is more to the world than what can strictly be measured in that sense. Just because something cannot be quantified, doesn't mean that it isn't real.

    Does that make more sense?

  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    There's also the fact that people can get emotional feedback from their religion. It's hard to convince someone who believes that they're having spiritual experiences that those experiences are coming from another source, especially considering how little most of us (and humanity in general) understand about neurology.

    Atheists tend to stick to facts since they have a far better grasp on them, but many of the faithful are going off of emotions instead, and so aren't receptive to fact-based arguments. They know how they feel, so a better way to reach them is to attack what they're feeling.

    Of course, people hate having their feelings attacked even more than they hate having their beliefs attacked.

  • AtomikaAtomika Social Justice Mage + 12 charm/-5 lockpickingRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    jothki wrote: »
    There's also the fact that people can get emotional feedback from their religion. It's hard to convince someone who believes that they're having spiritual experiences that those experiences are coming from another source, especially considering how little most of us (and humanity in general) understand about neurology.

    Atheists tend to stick to facts since they have a far better grasp on them, but many of the faithful are going off of emotions instead, and so aren't receptive to fact-based arguments. They know how they feel, so a better way to reach them is to attack what they're feeling.

    Of course, people hate having their feelings attacked even more than they hate having their beliefs attacked.

    Of course, my answer to that is, why are people so codependent in their relationship with God that the pleasure they derive from doing his will could not be derived from doing it outside of his command?

    Why is charity in the name of God's mandate more spiritually fulfilling than charity of one's own free will? Why is loving thy neighbor and turning the other cheek only a virtue when ordered by divine command?

    Logic would dictate that living a life outside of one's own direction is less preferable and becoming than being virtuous for its own sake. Yet this is demonstrably not so.

    If the personal satisfaction you receive in doing the Lord's work fills you with such a sense of self-worth, wouldn't doing the same thing of your own volition accomplish the same feat many fold over?

  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    emnmnme wrote: »
    DoctorArch wrote: »
    Things like this make me sad, because there are a multitude of people out there when confronted with this bullcrap will go "Well, let's see, you have a good point, but..." when the proper response is "I'm sorry, you're either stupid or willfully ignorant."

    Were you in orbit watching the earth move!? Were you there!? No, you weren't, you're just blindly following your textbooks.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1msS71xL00

    *skip to 21:00*

    Wow that's just so....childish. Its like the scientific equivalent of shouting "NOU" to everything anyone says.

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  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    emnmnme wrote: »
    DoctorArch wrote: »
    Things like this make me sad, because there are a multitude of people out there when confronted with this bullcrap will go "Well, let's see, you have a good point, but..." when the proper response is "I'm sorry, you're either stupid or willfully ignorant."

    Were you in orbit watching the earth move!? Were you there!? No, you weren't, you're just blindly following your textbooks.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1msS71xL00

    *skip to 21:00*

    Wow that's just so....childish. Its like the scientific equivalent of shouting "NOU" to everything anyone says.

    mouth agape . gif

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  • -Loki--Loki- Don't pee in my mouth and tell me it's raining. Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    You know what I love?
    Ezekiel Bread. By which I mean, the food items made following the instructions from the book of Ezekiel.
    "Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself.
    Oh man, that sounds wholesome and delicious.
    Eat the food as you would a barley cake; bake it in the sight of the people, using human excrement for fuel.
    D:

    Man, you'd get a nice, smoky flavour from that.

  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Apparently he was there when his other friend wrote the bible which says his friend was there.
    jothki wrote: »
    There's also the fact that people can get emotional feedback from their religion. It's hard to convince someone who believes that they're having spiritual experiences that those experiences are coming from another source, especially considering how little most of us (and humanity in general) understand about neurology.

    Atheists tend to stick to facts since they have a far better grasp on them, but many of the faithful are going off of emotions instead, and so aren't receptive to fact-based arguments. They know how they feel, so a better way to reach them is to attack what they're feeling.

    Of course, people hate having their feelings attacked even more than they hate having their beliefs attacked.

    Of course, my answer to that is, why are people so codependent in their relationship with God that the pleasure they derive from doing his will could not be derived from doing it outside of his command?

    Why is charity in the name of God's mandate more spiritually fulfilling than charity of one's own free will? Why is loving thy neighbor and turning the other cheek only a virtue when ordered by divine command?

    Logic would dictate that living a life outside of one's own direction is less preferable and becoming than being virtuous for its own sake. Yet this is demonstrably not so.

    If the personal satisfaction you receive in doing the Lord's work fills you with such a sense of self-worth, wouldn't doing the same thing of your own volition accomplish the same feat many fold over?

    When you do charity work as a hobby you are helping your community. When you do it through your church you are helping god. Doing the same amount of work in that context is just going to feel more rewarding.

    That said, I'm having a hard time seeing a scenario where a spiritually inclined volunteer would opt to do charity work outside of the church (of their own volition) and not consider it god's will anyway. I know a woman who think's she's doing god's work pouring people coffee. Basically, if it gives her purpose/satisfaction: God's work.

    With her, I don't see it as a co-dependency issue as much as a "dial goes to eleven" issue. She is probably equally as fulfilled with her charity work as a similarly community-minded atheist, but her fulfillment dial goes all the way to 10+God.

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  • DuffelDuffel Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Well, according to Christianity (or at least the kinds I'm familiar with) even the most devout person can't attain a state of true virtue through their actions; being "virtuous" (ie, selfless or generous or forgiving or whatever) is simply the standard to which they are obligated. So, there's nothing wrong or unvirtuous about the good samaritan helping others with no expectation of reward, it's just that for believers, such behavior is not just a good thing to do, but a duty. If they don't do it, they're not living up to the standard they're supposed to be.

    I don't really know about other religions, though, and we're getting into specific territory here.

  • DuffelDuffel Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Also, IIRC the Ezekiel bread thing was a form of political protest. I don't think you were actually supposed to eat it regularly as a meal.

    Although dried cow/buffalo dung does burn, so...

  • AtomikaAtomika Social Justice Mage + 12 charm/-5 lockpickingRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    When you do charity work as a hobby you are helping your community. When you do it through your church you are helping god. Doing the same amount of work in that context is just going to feel more rewarding.

    Of course, that goes right back the age-old omnipotence issue. Why would God need your help? There's only two possible answers: either God isn't impotent, which opens up a huge can of worms that most zealots aren't ready to actualize, or that God is a petty bitch who spends his time testing people's faith.


    I do love the video, though. I would love the opportunity to meet someone like that who tries to use the Bible as a scientific resource and say, "were YOU there?"

  • ElitistbElitistb Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I would love the opportunity to meet someone like that who tries to use the Bible as a scientific resource and say, "were YOU there?"
    You and I both already know the outcome to that, and it is far less rewarding that it would seem.

    For it to be rewarding, the individual in question would have to be reasonable and rational in regard to the bible. Which if that were true, the individual would never had made such a case to begin with.

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