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Indoctrination

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Posts

  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    You do realize that onomatopoeic expressions of amusement do nothing to actually enhance the substance your argument, yes? Rumor has it that the overall effect is often the exact opposite.

    And I fail to observe anything in that article that suggests Mendel's discoveries were in any way religiously inspired.

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  • SavantSavant Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Glyph wrote: »
    Deeply religious? Or deeply scientific and philosophical, and religious by default for fear of being burned at the stake?

    Man, that's just sophistry.

  • FencingsaxFencingsax Bondage Discipline Spider-Man Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Glyph wrote: »
    You do realize that onomatopoeic expressions of amusement do nothing to actually enhance the substance your argument, yes? Rumor has it that the overall effect is often the exact opposite.

    And I fail to observe anything in that article that suggests Mendel's discoveries were in any way religiously inspired.

    Seeing as that's not what he's saying at all, I'm not surprised. He's saying that religion is not necessarily a detriment to rational thought. It can be, but then again, so can any ideology.

    It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it
  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Savant wrote: »
    Glyph wrote: »
    Deeply religious? Or deeply scientific and philosophical, and religious by default for fear of being burned at the stake?

    Man, that's just sophistry.

    Well not literally "fearing for their lives," but you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone from the Renaissance or Enlightenment Age who was staunchly secular. It's a dubious correlation to suggest that they were critical minds because they were religious.

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  • [Tycho?][Tycho?] Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Glyph wrote: »
    Deeply religious? Or deeply scientific and philosophical, and religious by default for fear of being burned at the stake?

    No, a lot (most?) were indeed devout christians. But back then the whole science/religion divide wasn't as pronounced. All kinds of scientists were researching and experimenting with things using the scientific method, and to them it was basically learning about gods creations and all that jazz. Even guys like Gallileo were religious, even thought the church didn't take kindly to what he had to say.

    Religion is so very strange to me, its like dealing with aliens. It is fundamentally mysterious to me, when I was a kid I thought for a while that everyone was faking just to fit in, that nobody *really* deep down believed these things. And frankly, I still dont understand it.

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  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Glyph wrote: »
    You do realize that onomatopoeic expressions of amusement do nothing to actually enhance the substance your argument, yes? Rumor has it that the overall effect is often the exact opposite.

    And I fail to observe anything in that article that suggests Mendel's discoveries were in any way religiously inspired.

    Seeing as that's not what he's saying at all, I'm not surprised. He's saying that religion is not necessarily a detriment to rational thought. It can be, but then again, so can any ideology.

    Further to that, there's no real way the initial assertion can be adequately refuted, largely because nobody is capable of reading minds, especially those of the dead. Any claim that Pants Man can make regarding scientists who professed to follow a religion can just as easily be brushed aside by Glyph again using the same claim that they had to under pressure.

    Ironic that someone attempting to attack religion should use an assertion which is not fundamentally disprovable, as an attack.

  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Glyph wrote: »
    You do realize that onomatopoeic expressions of amusement do nothing to actually enhance the substance your argument, yes? Rumor has it that the overall effect is often the exact opposite.

    And I fail to observe anything in that article that suggests Mendel's discoveries were in any way religiously inspired.

    Seeing as that's not what he's saying at all, I'm not surprised. He's saying that religion is not necessarily a detriment to rational thought. It can be, but then again, so can any ideology.

    Oh, but you're willing to strawman my argument? I never said being brought up religious makes it absolutely impossible to be a rational human being. Just like being racist doesn't make it impossible to have progressive ideas. But in the same vein, it does make it more difficult because you're having to make compromises between a pre-packaged set of beliefs and your own individual circumstance.

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  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    subedii wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Glyph wrote: »
    You do realize that onomatopoeic expressions of amusement do nothing to actually enhance the substance your argument, yes? Rumor has it that the overall effect is often the exact opposite.

    And I fail to observe anything in that article that suggests Mendel's discoveries were in any way religiously inspired.

    Seeing as that's not what he's saying at all, I'm not surprised. He's saying that religion is not necessarily a detriment to rational thought. It can be, but then again, so can any ideology.

    Further to that, there's no real way the initial assertion can be adequately refuted, largely because nobody is capable of reading minds, especially those of the dead. Any claim that Pants Man can make regarding scientists who professed to follow a religion can just as easily be brushed aside by Glyph again using the same claim that they had to under pressure.

    Ironic that someone attempting to attack religion should use an assertion which is not fundamentally disprovable, as an attack.

    Not so. All I'm suggesting is that people make compromises because to do otherwise would be maladaptive. Just as Pants made a compromise that the world wasn't created in a week, thinkers throughout history - religious though they might have been - compromised absolute faith when necessary to suit their respective fields. They didn't just drop every part of their faith because they didn't have all the answers, just as we still don't have all the answers.

    But they knew enough to know that what the evidence was telling them contradicted what they were raised to believe. And they made a conscious choice to trust what was in front of them. If I were to suggest that being blind is detrimental to functioning in a society where most people aren't blind, am I saying it's impossible? No. I see religion the same way, except that instead of dealing with a physical impairment, you're dealing with an understanding of the world that you've been taught to believe since childhood.

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  • durandal4532durandal4532 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    To the OP, One of my earliest memories is going to the local Tall Ships festival, seeing the giant sailing ships... and my dad saying "Goodbye now, son! We're selling you into slavery. Be good or they'll hit you. Your mom and I will pick you up in 5 years."* as I started up the gangplank.

    Sure, I may be a bit paranoid for it, but I'm glad my parents thought teaching critical thinking was more important than bringing me up as their religion. It didn't hurt my moral character any, and if anything made me far more interested in the tenents of their faith than most of the children I knew who went to church because they were forced.

    *He was annoyed that I started crying and wanted to go home, too. God I can't wait to have kids.

  • subediisubedii Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Glyph wrote: »
    subedii wrote: »
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Glyph wrote: »
    You do realize that onomatopoeic expressions of amusement do nothing to actually enhance the substance your argument, yes? Rumor has it that the overall effect is often the exact opposite.

    And I fail to observe anything in that article that suggests Mendel's discoveries were in any way religiously inspired.

    Seeing as that's not what he's saying at all, I'm not surprised. He's saying that religion is not necessarily a detriment to rational thought. It can be, but then again, so can any ideology.

    Further to that, there's no real way the initial assertion can be adequately refuted, largely because nobody is capable of reading minds, especially those of the dead. Any claim that Pants Man can make regarding scientists who professed to follow a religion can just as easily be brushed aside by Glyph again using the same claim that they had to under pressure.

    Ironic that someone attempting to attack religion should use an assertion which is not fundamentally disprovable, as an attack.

    But they knew enough to know that what the evidence was telling them contradicted what they were raised to believe. And they made a conscious choice to trust what was in front of them.

    Again, you're making an assertion which cannot be disproved. In this case, that the practitioners themselves even saw a contradiction between their beliefs and what they were observations of reality, whereby they had to make a break or "compromise" with their religion.

    You say for example, that Pants man "makes a compromise" that the world wasn't created in a week. Even not being Christian myself, I can see how this is not inherently a compromise. It depends for example, on whether Pants Man takes the wording as literal or metaphorical, amongst other things. There is no inherent disjoint there. What's happening there is that the viewpoint of absolute literalist is being placed on Pants Man (and possibly being accepted as the only "legitimate" Christian viewpoint) and then being refuted as having to be compromised in order to accept current scientific thinking.

  • ElkiElki hegemon globalSuper Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2007
    Some of us might have better experiences than others, but the bad experiences convince me that it's just not worth it.

    But what do we think of giving kids political books? Does that count as indoctrination? I read a bunch of those when I was a kid, without any prompting. It ranged from the Communist Manifesto to books about globalization, and I think I turned out ok. What do y'all think?

  • The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited April 2007
    Elkamil wrote: »
    Some of us might have better experiences than others, but the bad experiences convince me that it's just not worth it.

    But what do we think of giving kids political books? Does that count as indoctrination? I read a bunch of those when I was a kid, without any prompting. It ranged from the Communist Manifesto to books about globalization, and I think I turned out ok. What do y'all think?

    There's a huge difference between being allowed to read a lot of political stuff by free choice and living with, say, an outspoken hippy family who'd disown you for eating meat and voting republican. I definitely want my kids to know about religion, but that's a long way from teaching only one in any detail and insisting that its the only correct one.

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  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    subedii wrote: »
    Again, you're making an assertion which cannot be disproved. In this case, that the practitioners themselves even saw a contradiction between their beliefs and what they were observations of reality, whereby they had to make a break or "compromise" with their religion.

    You say for example, that Pants man "makes a compromise" that the world wasn't created in a week. Even not being Christian myself, I can see how this is not inherently a compromise. It depends for example, on whether Pants Man takes the wording as literal or metaphorical, amongst other things. There is no inherent disjoint there. What's happening there is that the viewpoint of absolute literalist is being placed on Pants Man (and possibly being accepted as the only "legitimate" Christian viewpoint) and then being refuted as having to be compromised in order to accept current scientific thinking.

    That's true. This is largely speculation regarding what must have been going through their minds. But if it weren't for contradictory evidence, what reason would they then have not to take the wording literally and at face value? The gradual shift from interpeting a religion's beliefs literally to metaphorically would seem in part dependent upon the available evidence to the contrary, as well as how that evidence is interpreted. But it seems reasonable to suggest that being raised with a certain set of presuppositions regarding how the world works makes judging that evidence objectively all but impossible.

    edit: trimmed the tree

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  • Target PracticeTarget Practice Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Thanatos wrote: »
    As far as the indoctrination thing goes, I think the Amish do it right.

    You get raised Amish until you're a teenager, and at some point they say "okay, for the next couple of years, you're not Amish. Go out and do whatever you want; drink, do drugs, use all the technology you can get your hands on, feel free to use the barn to party. After that, when you feel ready, you can decide whether or not you want to be Amish."

    They have crazy-high retention rates, too.
    They have high retention rates because:

    1) Leaving the church means losing your home and never speaking to your family ever again
    2) The education and world experience of Amish children is such that if they tried to leave, there wouldn't be much they could do to make a living.

    Doesn't sound to me like they've got a whole lot of real options.
    Fencingsax wrote: »
    Edit: Obviously things would be different over there, but still. How do we go about doing this without completely screwing over civil rights?

    Whose civil rights are we talking about here? The parents', or the childrens'?

    Does a Christian Scientist have the right to deny their child proper medical care? I think the courts have ruled pretty decisively that they do not.

    Does an African-born Muslim (well, strictly speaking, this doesn't apply just to Muslims or those from Africa, but anyway) have the right to mutilate their daughter's genitalia? Not under U.S. law.

    Does a member of the LDS Reformed Church have the right to force 13-year-old girls to enter a polygamous marriage? Again, no.

    These are all physical forms of child abuse, and as such they are prohibited by law, despite the fact that doing so is technically a restriction on religious freedom.

    If, then, religious indoctrination could be shown to have a deleterious emotional effect on a child's psyche (emotional child abuse), then there is no reason why the same should not apply.

    That said, I am under no illusions that it would be practical to try to enforce such a ruling.

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  • VeegeezeeVeegeezee Registered User
    edited April 2007
    I don't think being indoctrinated as a kid led me to believe anything radically different from what I would have otherwise. Going to a Christian high school made it more difficult to get insight into the rest of the planet's ways of thinking, which meant I was slow to come to my own conclusions. The subtler shunning that went on there was good motivation to play the part of a good believer, too, but it never stopped me from thinking on my own.

    Point being, childhood indoctrination won't necessarily destroy a person's rationality, but it can extinguish their will to use it.

  • TarranonTarranon Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    Elkamil wrote: »
    Some of us might have better experiences than others, but the bad experiences convince me that it's just not worth it.

    But what do we think of giving kids political books? Does that count as indoctrination? I read a bunch of those when I was a kid, without any prompting. It ranged from the Communist Manifesto to books about globalization, and I think I turned out ok. What do y'all think?

    There's a huge difference between being allowed to read a lot of political stuff by free choice and living with, say, an outspoken hippy family who'd disown you for eating meat and voting republican. I definitely want my kids to know about religion, but that's a long way from teaching only one in any detail and insisting that its the only correct one.

    Tricky thing with religion is that, much like we all don't want kids to be raised to be a bunch of bastards, these people genuinely believe that what they are teaching and expecting of their children is tantamount to their being good people. So it's not so much a "This is what I believe so SO MUST YOU" thing as much as it is them trying to raise their kids to be good and of sound character. Does that still fall under the umbrella of indoctrination even when applied to religion?

  • Target PracticeTarget Practice Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Tarranon wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    Elkamil wrote: »
    Some of us might have better experiences than others, but the bad experiences convince me that it's just not worth it.

    But what do we think of giving kids political books? Does that count as indoctrination? I read a bunch of those when I was a kid, without any prompting. It ranged from the Communist Manifesto to books about globalization, and I think I turned out ok. What do y'all think?

    There's a huge difference between being allowed to read a lot of political stuff by free choice and living with, say, an outspoken hippy family who'd disown you for eating meat and voting republican. I definitely want my kids to know about religion, but that's a long way from teaching only one in any detail and insisting that its the only correct one.

    Tricky thing with religion is that, much like we all don't want kids to be raised to be a bunch of bastards, these people genuinely believe that what they are teaching and expecting of their children is tantamount to their being good people. So it's not so much a "This is what I believe so SO MUST YOU" thing as much as it is them trying to raise their kids to be good and of sound character. Does that still fall under the umbrella of indoctrination even when applied to religion?
    Ironic cliche time!

    The road to hell is paved with... ________________

    Fill in the blank!

    A. Yellow bricks
    B. gold
    C. souls
    D. good intentions
    E. Good, good, good, good vibrations

    sig.gif
  • TarranonTarranon Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Tarranon wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    Elkamil wrote: »
    Some of us might have better experiences than others, but the bad experiences convince me that it's just not worth it.

    But what do we think of giving kids political books? Does that count as indoctrination? I read a bunch of those when I was a kid, without any prompting. It ranged from the Communist Manifesto to books about globalization, and I think I turned out ok. What do y'all think?

    There's a huge difference between being allowed to read a lot of political stuff by free choice and living with, say, an outspoken hippy family who'd disown you for eating meat and voting republican. I definitely want my kids to know about religion, but that's a long way from teaching only one in any detail and insisting that its the only correct one.

    Tricky thing with religion is that, much like we all don't want kids to be raised to be a bunch of bastards, these people genuinely believe that what they are teaching and expecting of their children is tantamount to their being good people. So it's not so much a "This is what I believe so SO MUST YOU" thing as much as it is them trying to raise their kids to be good and of sound character. Does that still fall under the umbrella of indoctrination even when applied to religion?
    Ironic cliche time!

    The road to hell is paved with... ________________

    Fill in the blank!

    A. Yellow bricks
    B. gold
    C. souls
    D. good intentions
    E. Good, good, good, good vibrations

    Well yes but the crux of the question was whether teaching 'morals' also falls under ill-advised indoctrination. If no, does it fall under indoctrination when applied with a dose of religion.

  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Tarranon wrote: »
    Well yes but the crux of the question was whether teaching 'morals' also falls under indoctrination. If no, does it fall under indoctrination when applied with a dose of religion.

    No. But the dose of religion does.

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  • FoodFood Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I just want to point out that I was 'indoctrinated' into Christianity. My parents got me baptized and took me to mass every Sunday until I was 15, and also signed me up for Sunday school classes year-round.

    It was hardly what I would call 'brainwashing'.

    In fact, as long as I can remember I have always dreaded mass and have been skeptical of everything they taught me in Sunday school. I now only go to church on Easter and Christmas, and only then because it would be rude to the rest of my family not to.

    I don't feel hatred towards my parents for trying to expose me to something positive growing up. Also, I think that children are smart enough to make their own decisions. To be honest I am thankful that I was exposed to religion, because it gave me a better understanding of a different way of looking at life.

    In short, I can say from first-hand experience that the notion that indoctrination=child abuse is ludicrous. I also wonder if Richard Dawkins would accept it if his child decided to become a Christian.

  • Target PracticeTarget Practice Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Tarranon wrote: »

    Well yes but the crux of the question was whether teaching 'morals' also falls under indoctrination. If no, does it fall under indoctrination when applied with a dose of religion.

    Depends what kind of morals we're talking about here.

    If we're talking about whether or not it's okay to kill people, or steal from them, then no.

    If we're talking about rules about which consenting adults you're allowed to fuck, or what kind and cut of clothes you can wear, or other such idiocy that people typically talk about when they get all huffy about morals, then yes, I'd call that indoctrination.

    And in either case, using religion to instill them is indoctrination... because you're using religion.

    In any event, I don't really think 'You'll make God angry" is the best reason to give a six-year-old as to why they shouldn't punch their little sister.

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  • TarranonTarranon Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Glyph wrote: »
    Tarranon wrote: »
    Well yes but the crux of the question was whether teaching 'morals' also falls under indoctrination. If no, does it fall under indoctrination when applied with a dose of religion.

    No. But the dose of religion does.

    But in that case you're still pretty much forcing on them a philosophy, instead of a religion. Since I'm pretty sure that's right, doesn't this whole argument pretty much reduce to,"Indoctrination is bad, except when it isn't"?

  • Ain't No SunshineAin't No Sunshine Registered User
    edited April 2007
    One of the difficulties of raising children is that their minds develop more slowly than their bodies do. Until (roughly) the age of seven, children do not have the neurological development to grasp basic semantic logic, and until that point, anything that an authority figure teaches them will be either accepted or rejected on face, and not particularly analyzed with regard to its consistency with other beliefs. You can 'indoctrinate' a child with any number of unusual beliefs, and it's really the only way to teach simple moral behavior and personal safety.

    Parents are obligated to do what's best for their children to the best of their ability, and those in religious paradigms will probably want to impart that, while those who aren't, won't. That's a good thing. I wish public schools required courses on semantic logic as early as kids could grasp it, but not because I feel that children are particularly poisoned by holding any particular choice of unsubstantiated opinion regarding the existence or nature of a deity.

  • GlyphGlyph Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Food wrote: »
    Also, I think that children are smart enough to make their own decisions.

    And that's why statutory rape is such a bogus offense.

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  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Re: the Mendel example earlier. Man, what? That was idiotic, and a weakly disguised straw man. Has anyone in the thread claimed that religious people are incapable of rational thought? Many religious people are capable of going through the more or less rational process of buying a car, aren't they? I'd imagine that most of even the wackiest fundies can survive the rational choice between drinking a bottle of cola or a bottle of battery acid. Nobody insists that religious people are by nature highly irrational in everything they do.

    However, religious ideas are irrational.

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  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Thanatos wrote: »
    As far as the indoctrination thing goes, I think the Amish do it right.

    You get raised Amish until you're a teenager, and at some point they say "okay, for the next couple of years, you're not Amish. Go out and do whatever you want; drink, do drugs, use all the technology you can get your hands on, feel free to use the barn to party. After that, when you feel ready, you can decide whether or not you want to be Amish."

    They have crazy-high retention rates, too.

    Uh, that's obviously a scam. There are some built in safeguards...

    1. Having the kid until they're teenagers is more than enough time to indoctrinate.
    2. Having no experience with modernity, newly "free" Amish tend to binge...and suffer the consequences.
    3. Even if you really like the iPods, leaving an Amish community means you are gone. Goodbye friends! Goodbye family! How many people are going to do that when all it means is that you now have the chance to make it in the real world...a world you have no skills to survive in, no experience, no frame of reference.

    The Amish are nice and all, but it's definitely not an open society.
    In short, I can say from first-hand experience that the notion that indoctrination=child abuse is ludicrous.

    Man, your experience was just like mine- very mild religious upbringing. But our experiences are not particularly relevant, since there are millions of children raised with much, much more severe indoctrination that certainly does seem to be child abuse. Dawkins is talking about that kind- his own upbringing was very mildly religious and he doesn't contend religion was forced down his throat. His point is simple, and has already been made, and I'm so astounded this his hard to grasp. Telling a young child that they will suffer for eternity or that their friends will suffer for eternity, if they do any one of a thousand arbitrary things, is abusive. To take a child too young to think on their own and program them to hate, to fear, to feel guilt, to be intolerant for irrational, wrong reasons and so on...is wrong. Dawkins doesn't care if the parents do things like, "Well, I believe in God, but you'll have to decide on your own, son!" he only cares if they're sending their kids to Jesus Camp.

  • Ain't No SunshineAin't No Sunshine Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    Re: the Mendel example earlier. Man, what? That was idiotic, and a weakly disguised straw man. Has anyone in the thread claimed that religious people are incapable of rational thought? Many religious people are capable of going through the more or less rational process of buying a car, aren't they? I'd imagine that most of even the wackiest fundies can survive the rational choice between drinking a bottle of cola or a bottle of battery acid. Nobody insists that religious people are by nature highly irrational in everything they do.

    However, religious ideas are irrational.

    How do you explain rational people holding singular irrational beliefs? If a person is educated and sharp enough to apply Occam's Razor to every other odd idea (invisible elephants, teapots, what have you), why won't they apply it to a religious idea? It seems strange.

  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    The Cat has said everything I would like to have said.

    <3 <3 <3 <3

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  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    How do you explain rational people holding singular irrational beliefs? If a person is educated and sharp enough to apply Occam's Razor to every other odd idea (invisible elephants, teapots, what have you), why won't they apply it to a religious idea? It seems strange.

    Continuum-of-rationality. Everyone has some things they aren't rational about. I like movies with Pirates in them even if they aren't very good movies, just because...hey...pirates.

    There's also force of habit, the desire to be a part of a wider community, personal pleasure derived from faith, etc...

  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    How do you explain rational people holding singular irrational beliefs? If a person is educated and sharp enough to apply Occam's Razor to every other odd idea (invisible elephants, teapots, what have you), why won't they apply it to a religious idea? It seems strange.

    Continuum-of-rationality. Everyone has some things they aren't rational about. I like movies with Pirates in them even if they aren't very good movies, just because...hey...pirates.

    There's also force of habit, the desire to be a part of a wider community, personal pleasure derived from faith, etc...
    You have a lot of pirate-themed porn don't you?

  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    You have a lot of pirate-themed porn don't you?

    No!

    ...Yes.

  • Loren MichaelLoren Michael Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    How do you explain rational people holding singular irrational beliefs? If a person is educated and sharp enough to apply Occam's Razor to every other odd idea (invisible elephants, teapots, what have you), why won't they apply it to a religious idea? It seems strange.

    Continuum-of-rationality. Everyone has some things they aren't rational about. I like movies with Pirates in them even if they aren't very good movies, just because...hey...pirates.

    There's also force of habit, the desire to be a part of a wider community, personal pleasure derived from faith, etc...
    You have a lot of pirate-themed porn don't you?

    Really, all you need is Pirates. All other pirate porn just pales in comparison.

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  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    Re: the Mendel example earlier. Man, what? That was idiotic, and a weakly disguised straw man. Has anyone in the thread claimed that religious people are incapable of rational thought? Many religious people are capable of going through the more or less rational process of buying a car, aren't they? I'd imagine that most of even the wackiest fundies can survive the rational choice between drinking a bottle of cola or a bottle of battery acid. Nobody insists that religious people are by nature highly irrational in everything they do.

    However, religious ideas are irrational.

    How do you explain rational people holding singular irrational beliefs? If a person is educated and sharp enough to apply Occam's Razor to every other odd idea (invisible elephants, teapots, what have you), why won't they apply it to a religious idea? It seems strange.
    Why is that strange?

    I consider myself a pretty rational person and I have no doubt that I hold an enormous number of irrational, often utterly stupid beliefs. For example, I'm terrified of insects (I scream). For the longest time I pronounced Sigmund Freud's name like "Frood," and I even argued with people that that was the right way to pronounce it instead of Froid and I heard it in some scholarly source somewhere (which turned out to be Bill and Ted).

    Raising a child in a religion is psychological conditioning. There is a rational choice element to it, but it's easy to underestimate the non-rational, psychological aspect of the belief, and the strength that aspect has. Being smart and self-aware does not mean you magically have the capacity—or simply, in many cases, the time—to examine all of your beliefs, especially ones that involve psychological conditioning.

  • Ain't No SunshineAin't No Sunshine Registered User
    edited April 2007
    How do you explain rational people holding singular irrational beliefs? If a person is educated and sharp enough to apply Occam's Razor to every other odd idea (invisible elephants, teapots, what have you), why won't they apply it to a religious idea? It seems strange.

    Continuum-of-rationality. Everyone has some things they aren't rational about. I like movies with Pirates in them even if they aren't very good movies, just because...hey...pirates.

    There's also force of habit, the desire to be a part of a wider community, personal pleasure derived from faith, etc...

    But those are questions of subjective opinion, which - at best - are based on a tremendous mishmash of prior personal experiences, but at least they're justified. Religious belief doesn't seem to be justified, and it's not typically a subjective claim. People seem to really believe this, in a way that implies they really looked at whether their belief was justified or not, and concluded that it was. The latter reasons are good reasons for claiming the belief, but not good reasons for believing it.

    Here's the point where I state that I am one of them, so as to not be a troll...why do you think I don't get the obvious?

  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    How do you explain rational people holding singular irrational beliefs? If a person is educated and sharp enough to apply Occam's Razor to every other odd idea (invisible elephants, teapots, what have you), why won't they apply it to a religious idea? It seems strange.

    Continuum-of-rationality. Everyone has some things they aren't rational about. I like movies with Pirates in them even if they aren't very good movies, just because...hey...pirates.

    There's also force of habit, the desire to be a part of a wider community, personal pleasure derived from faith, etc...

    But those are questions of subjective opinion, which - at best - are based on a tremendous mishmash of prior personal experiences, but at least they're justified. Religious belief doesn't seem to be justified, and it's not typically a subjective claim. People seem to really believe this, in a way that implies they really looked at whether their belief was justified or not, and concluded that it was. The latter reasons are good reasons for claiming the belief, but not good reasons for believing it.

    Here's the point where I state that I am one of them, so as to not be a troll...why do you think I don't get the obvious?
    Any number of possible reasons. What was your upbringing like? If you had a powerful conversion experience, what was that like?

    Really, there's a huge number of reasons why an intelligent person could convince himself or herself to believe in Christianity (or whatever crazy moon religion you happen to believe in :) )

    Of course, what you're really asking is "why do you guys think I disagree with your conclusion about religion?" Ultimately, the person who knows best why you disagree with us is you. So why don't you tell us?

  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    Re: the Mendel example earlier. Man, what? That was idiotic, and a weakly disguised straw man. Has anyone in the thread claimed that religious people are incapable of rational thought? Many religious people are capable of going through the more or less rational process of buying a car, aren't they? I'd imagine that most of even the wackiest fundies can survive the rational choice between drinking a bottle of cola or a bottle of battery acid. Nobody insists that religious people are by nature highly irrational in everything they do.

    However, religious ideas are irrational.

    How do you explain rational people holding singular irrational beliefs? If a person is educated and sharp enough to apply Occam's Razor to every other odd idea (invisible elephants, teapots, what have you), why won't they apply it to a religious idea? It seems strange.

    This baffles me as well. Applying Occam's Razor myself, I'd blame... indoctrination?

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  • Ain't No SunshineAin't No Sunshine Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Qingu wrote: »
    Bliss 101 wrote: »
    Re: the Mendel example earlier. Man, what? That was idiotic, and a weakly disguised straw man. Has anyone in the thread claimed that religious people are incapable of rational thought? Many religious people are capable of going through the more or less rational process of buying a car, aren't they? I'd imagine that most of even the wackiest fundies can survive the rational choice between drinking a bottle of cola or a bottle of battery acid. Nobody insists that religious people are by nature highly irrational in everything they do.

    However, religious ideas are irrational.

    How do you explain rational people holding singular irrational beliefs? If a person is educated and sharp enough to apply Occam's Razor to every other odd idea (invisible elephants, teapots, what have you), why won't they apply it to a religious idea? It seems strange.
    Why is that strange?

    I consider myself a pretty rational person and I have no doubt that I hold an enormous number of irrational, often utterly stupid beliefs. For example, I'm terrified of insects (I scream). For the longest time I pronounced Sigmund Freud's name like "Frood," and I even argued with people that that was the right way to pronounce it instead of Froid and I heard it in some scholarly source somewhere (which turned out to be Bill and Ted).

    Raising a child in a religion is psychological conditioning. There is a rational choice element to it, but it's easy to underestimate the non-rational, psychological aspect of the belief, and the strength that aspect has. Being smart and self-aware does not mean you magically have the capacity—or simply, in many cases, the time—to examine all of your beliefs, especially ones that involve psychological conditioning.

    Well, when you make it obvious. As in, when a religious person reads the core atheist argument and says, 'no, I don't buy that...' and proceeds to level a criticism at one tenet or another. The thing is, you recognize something about your irrational beliefs - that they aren't justified. This means you've applied some rational fire to them and know where they sit in your mind. You wouldn't weigh your fear of spiders rationally against other things in your life, but the religious can and do weigh God against participating in certain behaviors.

    I understand quite a bit about psychological conditioning, but assuming I can rationally evaluate my own faith by using the tools I use on everything else, what does it entail if I don't find that belief lacking? I think there are many people in this situation, and I never understood why atheist thinkers didn't find it at least passing strange.

  • Professor PhobosProfessor Phobos Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I understand quite a bit about psychological conditioning, but assuming I can rationally evaluate my own faith by using the tools I use on everything else, what does it entail if I don't find that belief lacking? I think there are many people in this situation, and I never understood why atheist thinkers didn't find it at least passing strange.

    Well, you may be exaggerating the degree of rational evaluation you are capable of. I like to think that my atheism is contingent on evidence, but who knows? Maybe I couldn't bring myself to believe in God even if I had compelling reason to do so.

    You may also be ignorant of evidence, arguments for or against, etc- i.e., you're correctly and rationally evaluating the situation, but with imperfect information.

    (Generic "you", not you, mind)

  • QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    I understand quite a bit about psychological conditioning, but assuming I can rationally evaluate my own faith by using the tools I use on everything else, what does it entail if I don't find that belief lacking? I think there are many people in this situation, and I never understood why atheist thinkers didn't find it at least passing strange.
    Okay. I'd like to hear your rational reasons for believing in your religion. Maybe you're right. If they're logical, you'll convince me. What do you say?

  • Ain't No SunshineAin't No Sunshine Registered User
    edited April 2007
    Qingu wrote: »
    How do you explain rational people holding singular irrational beliefs? If a person is educated and sharp enough to apply Occam's Razor to every other odd idea (invisible elephants, teapots, what have you), why won't they apply it to a religious idea? It seems strange.

    Continuum-of-rationality. Everyone has some things they aren't rational about. I like movies with Pirates in them even if they aren't very good movies, just because...hey...pirates.

    There's also force of habit, the desire to be a part of a wider community, personal pleasure derived from faith, etc...

    But those are questions of subjective opinion, which - at best - are based on a tremendous mishmash of prior personal experiences, but at least they're justified. Religious belief doesn't seem to be justified, and it's not typically a subjective claim. People seem to really believe this, in a way that implies they really looked at whether their belief was justified or not, and concluded that it was. The latter reasons are good reasons for claiming the belief, but not good reasons for believing it.

    Here's the point where I state that I am one of them, so as to not be a troll...why do you think I don't get the obvious?
    Any number of possible reasons. What was your upbringing like? If you had a powerful conversion experience, what was that like?

    Really, there's a huge number of reasons why an intelligent person could convince himself or herself to believe in Christianity (or whatever crazy moon religion you happen to believe in :) )

    Of course, what you're really asking is "why do you guys think I disagree with your conclusion about religion?" Ultimately, the person who knows best why you disagree with us is you. So why don't you tell us?

    You're right, sorry for belaboring, I was more interested in your perception than in talking about the argument (which has been done on the boards a bit before). It's this:
    MrMister wrote:
    Allow me to attempt a reconstruction of your argument:

    1) Hume demonstrated a basic point about induction--that it is circular to use induction to demonstrate induction.

    2) Induction is generally considered indispensable. Thus, we need a reason to believe in induction. (This is where you depart from Hume, who thought there was no good reason to believe in induction, and that the only reason we do is because we're genetically hardwired to).

    3) One reason induction could be true is that there is a God, and God has decided that causes and effects shall interlink regularly.

    4) The explanation given in three preserves induction, and is not in principle differentiable from other explanations preserving induction--since induction is required to test whether the principle in three works. Therefore, believing in God is on equal footing with believing that induction is a naturalistic property, and belief in God is justifiable.

    We can talk about this if you want, but I think the general point is a bit more thread-relevant, being that occasionally theists are using rational arguments to find their way instead of being dumbly led into their decision when they are young and helpless.

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