Belief versus reality
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22-10-2017, 01:16 AM
Belief versus reality
I've noticed a trend among the religious (and other woo artists) which I want to discuss. I'm not saying it applies to all, and it may be down to the more vocal empty vessels.

I see a kind of child-like approach to reality, where belief itself is considered to be more important than facts and trump them where they differ. I've also noticed what seems like a personal reality view, where everyone's reality is somehow different depending on their beliefs. Of course this is not held consistently, but it leaks through in some statements that are made.

There are lots of examples, but here are a few:

1) [In response to criticism about how immoral hell is] "Well, I don't believe in hell."

It's as if this statement makes hell vanish, thus thwarting the criticism; never mind the fact of whether there actually is such a place or not. And it also seems to be hell not applying to them, while it still applies to people who do believe in it.

2) "Without God murder isn't wrong."

This was some recent nonsense from Dennis Prager I think. This is a very strange statement. Clearly most people, including the non-religious, already think murder is wrong. This is the case whether or not there is a god. If there isn't, then apparently people like him just believing that there is, is sufficient for them to "know" murder is wrong.

3) Different religions!

This is one of the things that always puzzles me the most, especially how it doesn't break through religious peoples' walls. Given that most religions directly contradict each other, at most one of those religions can be true. This means that all the other religions have people worshipping nothing (or doing it in totally the wrong way) yet receiving all the same "benefits" and "personal relationships" as if it was real. The religious people who (at least vaguely) respect other religions as valid are conceding that belief itself is important, and I wonder if they think of these other gods as being real, but only within the realities of the adherents.

4) "If you believe in evolution, then [some undesirable fact is true]." This kind of thing is a dead giveaway, where a belief is linked to a so-called fact. But of course, whether or not the fact is true has nothing to do with anyone's belief in evolution. We either share an ancestor with primates or we don't, but it seems like just not believing in evolution will suddenly make sure that we don't.

This all comes back to one of the big pulls of religions, and that's pretending things are how you want them to be, instead of dealing with them as they actually are. I understand this. Life is hard. Life is confusing. Life is very complicated. Life is absurd.

Do you think I have this right? Do some theists think this way, and if so, do they realize they are doing it?

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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22-10-2017, 01:23 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
Presuming an ontological basis is in and of itself an inherently untenable premise which is anything but self-evident and obvious. ... That said, somebody's still got to wake up in the middle of the night to make the donuts.




#sigh
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22-10-2017, 02:02 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
Sure... Tongue

One of the biggest problems with theistic beliefs is inconsistency. I don't think I've ever seen/head any lengthy discussion with a theist in which I feel their beliefs are consistent. Those that do manage to keep them that way tend to be in total denial of reality to alarming levels.

I feel like they have the rational side of their brain pushing back against it, or at least trying to make it all "add up".

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22-10-2017, 03:05 AM (This post was last modified: 22-10-2017 03:46 AM by M. Linoge.)
RE: Belief versus reality
(22-10-2017 01:16 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  Do you think I have this right? Do some theists think this way, and if so, do they realize they are doing it?

They are probably aware of it, but represses it, much like people with eating disorders repress certain facts. For example; starving oneself will - in the long run - result in organ failure killing you.
It's not that they are too stupid or crazy or comprehend this very simple truth. Yet, for some reason, they stay on track.

I think it's called "tunnelvision".
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22-10-2017, 04:09 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
(22-10-2017 02:02 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  ... I don't think I've ever seen/head any lengthy discussion with a theist in which I feel their beliefs are consistent. Those that do manage to keep them that way tend to be in total denial of reality to alarming levels...

Which one of these would you use to describe me? Cheers!
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22-10-2017, 06:52 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
(22-10-2017 04:09 AM)Ignorant Wrote:  
(22-10-2017 02:02 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  ... I don't think I've ever seen/head any lengthy discussion with a theist in which I feel their beliefs are consistent. Those that do manage to keep them that way tend to be in total denial of reality to alarming levels...

Which one of these would you use to describe me? Cheers!

At the time of your post, you've posted twice on this forum. Literally, two posts

Are you asking us to assume your viewpoints and stances? Wouldn't you rather be judged on your actual beliefs and positions?

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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22-10-2017, 06:59 AM (This post was last modified: 22-10-2017 07:17 AM by Robvalue.)
RE: Belief versus reality
(22-10-2017 04:09 AM)Ignorant Wrote:  
(22-10-2017 02:02 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  ... I don't think I've ever seen/head any lengthy discussion with a theist in which I feel their beliefs are consistent. Those that do manage to keep them that way tend to be in total denial of reality to alarming levels...

Which one of these would you use to describe me? Cheers!

Heya, welcome aboard! Nice to see you here Smile He's a friend from another forum.

I couldn't say, because I wasn't able to understand what your beliefs were. We did have some of the most interesting philosophical conversations I have had though!

PS, I don't think you're in denial of reality, I think you have woven the God concept into reality as far as I could tell. It made it not so much inconsistent as incoherent.

PPS, I do remember a very strange phrase you used that I meant to ask you about. You said, "I know [such and such] is true, through faith", or something similar. I had no idea what that meant, in real terms.

I have a website here which discusses the issues and terminology surrounding religion and atheism. It's hopefully user friendly to all.
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22-10-2017, 07:34 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
(22-10-2017 06:59 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  
(22-10-2017 04:09 AM)Ignorant Wrote:  Which one of these would you use to describe me? Cheers!

Heya, welcome aboard! Nice to see you here Smile He's a friend from another forum.

Gotcha. Thumbsup

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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22-10-2017, 08:05 AM
RE: Belief versus reality
(22-10-2017 04:09 AM)Ignorant Wrote:  Which one of these would you use to describe me? Cheers!

As you're a theist, and share agreement about issues of faith with millions of other theists, I'd say you were one of the "consistent" ones—which means you deny/ignore/refute many aspects of the real world. For starters, "faith" is defined as belief without evidence, so you and a billion other Catholics that have faith that a mythical, supernatural entity created the world 6,000 years ago have zero empirical evidence to support that notion.

Laughably, Pope Frankie hedges his bets: He says evolutionary theory is fair dunkum, and acceptable by the church as such, but nevertheless that it was initiated by his god, and its processes are guided by his god.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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22-10-2017, 10:28 AM
Belief versus reality
(22-10-2017 01:16 AM)Robvalue Wrote:  2) "Without God murder isn't wrong."

I’ve run across this quite often over the years. I find it profoundly disturbing, but not for the reason they intend. The implication is that without
an evidence-free belief in a hypothetical supernaturally deity, the speaker would immediately begin a life of debauchery and mass murder.

I’ve asked believers if that’s what they meant. I’ve never received a coherent answer.

Of course, the proof of the falsity of the conjecture of the amoral atheist is found in an examination of the demographics of the prison system. Far and away the American prisons are filled with Christians and Muslims. Atheists are found in about a tenth of the non-incarcerated population but in prisons that number is about one-tenth of that or one percent.

American Christians are flummoxed by the fact that the prisons aren’t overrun with decadent atheists and prefer their own fact-free reality.
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