Irrationality of faith
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31-05-2014, 12:55 PM
RE: Irrationality of faith
(31-05-2014 11:24 AM)catgoblin Wrote:  
(30-05-2014 12:51 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Christians get very upset with me when I call their belief irrational. In fact they always tell me that their beliefs are more logical than atheism. They say they have so, soooo many rational reasons for their belief.

Now imagine this scenario for a minute, which I would be willing to bet happened hundreds if not thousands of times across the country last weekend. A Christian has been talking to someone for a while, working on them to convert and they invite them to church. At the end of the service they urge their friend to go up during the alter call or whatever it's called (It's been a while since I went to church).

Everyone is clapping and exclaiming and the new person gets down and prays the prayer and eats the cookie or whatever and accepts Jesus as his savior and that the bible is the inerrant word of god and devotes his life to serve God.

Everyone is ecstatic and teary eyed and afterwords they all congratulate him and urge him to attend regularly and make sure he comes to Bible study on Wednesday and ........insert sound of scratching record.....wait, what?

Isn't that something you should have done first before you decided to become a Christian? Shouldn't you have a thorough understanding of the Bible and the tenets of the religion before you dedicate your life and shouldn't the members of the church admonish you to do this before making such a life altering decision? Shouldn't they tell you to check every premise and validate every concept first and then decide?

NOOOOO, that's not the way it works according to Christians. First you have to believe and then comes the understanding. In fact they tell me it is impossible to know the truth of the bible until you accept it as true. Then if you're so inclined you get instructed on the arguments and tactics you can use to covert others. "Pretend to be interested in what the atheist has to say" (I actually saw this quote on a legitimate website for teaching techniques to convert non believers).

It's like one of those time share deals where you go and they get you liquored up and pressure you to sign on the dotted line. What do you do if you start studying the bible and you find stuff you don't really agree with or admire. What if you find blatant contradictions.

Christians, you can't tell me that faith and reason are compatible.



Actually, faith may be more rational than it seems, from an evolutionary perspective.
The human brain may have evolved with a strong tendency to see a "god" or "fate" at work, as a vestigial byproduct of socialization/civilization.

This book covers what I'm talking about:

[Image: 6892157355_9a528ba1bc_z.jpg]
http://www.amazon.com/Belief-Instinct-Ps...sse+bering


Obviously, this doesn't mean that it is *logical* to believe in a creator, just that it is *understandable.*

Definitely not a by-product of socialization/civilization since it precedes those.

No, it is a misfiring of the mind's ability at pattern recognition and of seeing intentionality in nature.
Those have evolutionary advantages, belief in gods does not.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
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31-05-2014, 01:06 PM
RE: Irrationality of faith
(31-05-2014 12:55 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(31-05-2014 11:24 AM)catgoblin Wrote:  Actually, faith may be more rational than it seems, from an evolutionary perspective.
The human brain may have evolved with a strong tendency to see a "god" or "fate" at work, as a vestigial byproduct of socialization/civilization.

This book covers what I'm talking about:

[Image: 6892157355_9a528ba1bc_z.jpg]
http://www.amazon.com/Belief-Instinct-Ps...sse+bering


Obviously, this doesn't mean that it is *logical* to believe in a creator, just that it is *understandable.*

Definitely not a by-product of socialization/civilization since it precedes those.

No, it is a misfiring of the mind's ability at pattern recognition and of seeing intentionality in nature.
Those have evolutionary advantages, belief in gods does not.

Yeah, definitely belief in gods predated civilization, but not socialization.

And in the book Bering argues that Theory of Mind combined with primitive standards for behavior led to an evolutionary advantage in perceiving that one is always being observed, because if one believes he/she is always being watched, he/she will always be on his/her best behavior, and this minimizes destructive behavior like violence.

Well, that's the argument in a tiny nutshell.

Also, I agree with you about the "misfiring of the mind's ability at pattern recognition and of seeing intentionality in nature." Pattern recognition is extremely useful in many areas, but not when an imaginary deity is involved.
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25-06-2014, 07:40 PM
RE: Irrationality of faith
(30-05-2014 12:51 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Christians, you can't tell me that faith and reason are compatible.

I read your post.

Then I came to the sentence above.

How does the above follow from anything that preceded it?
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25-06-2014, 08:38 PM
RE: Irrationality of faith
(25-06-2014 07:40 PM)Ecce Homo Wrote:  
(30-05-2014 12:51 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Christians, you can't tell me that faith and reason are compatible.

I read your post.

Then I came to the sentence above.

How does the above follow from anything that preceded it?

"It is idle to talk always of the alternative of reason and faith. Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all. - G.K. Chesterton Orthodoxy, chapter 3 "


It makes me smile when theists try to denigrate reason by comparing it to their own faith. It lets me know that they know just how little they have to go on.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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25-06-2014, 10:15 PM
RE: Irrationality of faith
(25-06-2014 07:40 PM)Ecce Homo Wrote:  
(30-05-2014 12:51 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Christians, you can't tell me that faith and reason are compatible.

I read your post.

Then I came to the sentence above.

How does the above follow from anything that preceded it?

Because in reason you don't form a conclusion and then seek to understand the facts, you understand the facts and then come to a conclusion. Christians are always telling me that I first have to accept and then the understanding will come through I guess some process of osmosis. It's bass akwards.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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25-06-2014, 10:24 PM
RE: Irrationality of faith
(25-06-2014 07:40 PM)Ecce Homo Wrote:  
(30-05-2014 12:51 AM)true scotsman Wrote:  Christians, you can't tell me that faith and reason are compatible.

I read your post.

Then I came to the sentence above.

How does the above follow from anything that preceded it?

Are your initials Jeremy e. Walker?

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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26-06-2014, 01:17 AM
RE: Irrationality of faith
Faith certainly is irrational. Most people that get saved, know nothing about the bible, prior to acceptance. All the learning (brainwashing), comes after.

Many of the altar calls, particularly Sunday morning ones, cater to emotions. The pianist quietly plays, while the pastor compels people with depression, alcoholism, physical troubles, marital problems, etc., to come down to the altar, give their life to god, and ALL will be right again.

The moment they are "saved", everyone gathers around them....there's hugging, and lots of tears. The victim experiences a rush of joy - their first placebo effect - thus a new convert is born.

Oh, and if they can't get them down the aisle any other way, fear is always a good tool. As a teenager, I went to a youth meeting, where they showed the movie A Thief In The Night. When the alter call came, the kids literally flew down the aisle, scared to death. No




It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. ~Mark Twain
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26-06-2014, 05:50 PM
RE: Irrationality of faith
(25-06-2014 10:15 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  
(25-06-2014 07:40 PM)Ecce Homo Wrote:  I read your post.

Then I came to the sentence above.

How does the above follow from anything that preceded it?

Because in reason you don't form a conclusion and then seek to understand the facts, you understand the facts and then come to a conclusion. Christians are always telling me that I first have to accept and then the understanding will come through I guess some process of osmosis. It's bass akwards.

With all due respect sir, in your attempt to argue that faith and reason are incompatible, you have shown by the very presentation of your argument that you believe faith and reason are in at least one way compatible. Your belief that the deliverances of reason can present us with a true understanding of the nature of reality is itself a matter of faith, not reason. Whenever you attempt to reason about anything, i.e. that faith and reason are incompatible, you are doing so on faith. Thus you have to assume faith and reason are compatible in order to argue they are not compatible. Thus your statement is self-defeating.
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28-06-2014, 09:50 PM
RE: Irrationality of faith
(26-06-2014 05:50 PM)Ecce Homo Wrote:  
(25-06-2014 10:15 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Because in reason you don't form a conclusion and then seek to understand the facts, you understand the facts and then come to a conclusion. Christians are always telling me that I first have to accept and then the understanding will come through I guess some process of osmosis. It's bass akwards.

With all due respect sir, in your attempt to argue that faith and reason are incompatible, you have shown by the very presentation of your argument that you believe faith and reason are in at least one way compatible. Your belief that the deliverances of reason can present us with a true understanding of the nature of reality is itself a matter of faith, not reason. Whenever you attempt to reason about anything, i.e. that faith and reason are incompatible, you are doing so on faith. Thus you have to assume faith and reason are compatible in order to argue they are not compatible. Thus your statement is self-defeating.

Oh, look at all the wishful thinking. Reason is not a matter of "faith" at all -- and your attempt to denigrate reason by comparing it to your "faith" is an admission of just how little you have to go on, as I posted before and you apparently ignored (there really is nothing you can say anyway) -- Our confidence in reason and evidence is based on confirmed confidence. It WORKS, and your faith doesn't.

We have heard this nonsense before from dozens if not hundreds of delusional idiots.

It's Special Pleadings all the way down!


Magic Talking Snakes STFU -- revenantx77


You can't have your special pleading and eat it too. -- WillHop
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28-06-2014, 10:13 PM
RE: Irrationality of faith
(26-06-2014 05:50 PM)Ecce Homo Wrote:  
(25-06-2014 10:15 PM)true scotsman Wrote:  Because in reason you don't form a conclusion and then seek to understand the facts, you understand the facts and then come to a conclusion. Christians are always telling me that I first have to accept and then the understanding will come through I guess some process of osmosis. It's bass akwards.

With all due respect sir, in your attempt to argue that faith and reason are incompatible, you have shown by the very presentation of your argument that you believe faith and reason are in at least one way compatible. Your belief that the deliverances of reason can present us with a true understanding of the nature of reality is itself a matter of faith, not reason. Whenever you attempt to reason about anything, i.e. that faith and reason are incompatible, you are doing so on faith. Thus you have to assume faith and reason are compatible in order to argue they are not compatible. Thus your statement is self-defeating.

No I'm not. Reason does not require faith. Reason requires several things, all of which every normal Human has at his disposal. It requires sense perception, a brain capable of integrating sense perception into units or percepts and a conceptual faculty capable of isolating groups of percepts by their similarities to form concepts and logic to identify any contradictions and fix them. Reason is the faculty which identifies and integrates the data brought to us by the senses. Faith is no part of the process. Faith dispenses with the need to identify and integrate. It is a shortcut to knowledge.

I do not have faith in reason. I have a valid starting point for knowledge, the axioms existence, consciousness and identity. In addition to that I have the axiom of the primacy of existence and an objective theory of concepts to validate reason as the only means of gaining knowledge.

Only a person who equates rationalism (deduction from a priori concepts) with reason could make the statement that faith and reason are synonymous.

Do not lose your knowledge that man's proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. - Ayn Rand.

Don't sacrifice for me, live for yourself! - Me

The only alternative to Objectivism is some form of Subjectivism. - Dawson Bethrick
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