My smart friend believes, despite reasoning.
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30-05-2015, 02:36 PM
RE: My smart friend believes, despite reasoning.
(30-05-2015 12:09 PM)yakherder Wrote:  I've got a friend who is a counter intelligence officer. He specializes in gathering the facts and accurately piecing together the bigger picture. And he's a devout Mormon.

I've also known atheists who are dumb as rocks. Go figure. We all have seemingly random convictions regardless of our levels of intelligence.

Indeed. And precisely because so many of those convictions are not arrived at through intelligent means - which is to say, by any dispassionate rational means at all.

Of course, if everyone who held onto religious beliefs were self-aware enough to acknowledge their own fallacious reasoning, we wouldn't have atheist activism...

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30-05-2015, 07:03 PM
RE: My smart friend believes, despite reasoning.
(29-05-2015 09:39 PM)FlamingFish Wrote:  My friend is extremely smart. He recognizes his belief is flawed, and that there is no reason to believe, but he says he believes because it is comforting. Is this ok? If not, why not?

Of course. It's kinda like the only rational reason to believe. Have you not heard the song of the Gwynnies?
[Image: gwynnies.jpg]

Our own KingsChosen admits to using his belief as a salve and ointment. Perfectly legitimate use.

#sigh
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30-05-2015, 07:42 PM
RE: My smart friend believes, despite reasoning.
(29-05-2015 09:58 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  Martin Gardner said the same thing. To me that means even human minds that give reason high priority aren't always reasonable. We have no conscious control over belief; it is a product of the subconscious, shaped by factors of which reason is only one component. It is possible to believe things our conscious mind rejects outright; the conscious disbelief just can't displace the subconscious belief with a puff of logic because more than logic underpins belief.

That''s why all the hammers of reason in these threads just bounce uselessly off the visiting theists. Factors of human desire must accompany transformation of belief. It's like the old joke about how many psychiatrists it takes to change a light bulb: just one - but it has to want to change.

"That''s why all the hammers of reason in these threads just bounce uselessly off the visiting theists."

And ain't that sad for them!

They are like a smoker who knows the truth about smoking yet gets comfort from his cigarettes... he is ultimately going to pay a price for his habit.
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30-05-2015, 09:06 PM
RE: My smart friend believes, despite reasoning.
(30-05-2015 07:42 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  ... like a smoker who knows the truth about smoking yet gets comfort from his cigarettes... he is ultimately going to pay a price for his habit ...

Then there are always those like Jeanne Calment, the oldest human being ever verified who lived to age 122, who was a smoker most of her life.

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30-05-2015, 09:42 PM
RE: My smart friend believes, despite reasoning.
(29-05-2015 09:39 PM)FlamingFish Wrote:  So my friend is extremely smart, there is no doubting this. We've had quite a few discussions. Each time we discuss, I believe a little less (I'm basically an atheist now, I'm just coming to terms with it). Each time we discuss, he maintains the same point of view. He views every story in the Bible as a metaphor to at least maintain some credibility (assuming any non-flawed idea has some inherent credibility, as it provides no evidence to give it credibility). I have said stuff along the lines of "With you being as smart as you are, can you seriously tell me that this makes any sense?" (It works with most stories in the Bible). He generally replies along the lines of "No, but I believe it anyway, because it is comforting." Is this an ok idea to maintain, and if you believe it isn't, then how do you suppose one would convince him to give up his belief if he takes anything that is unrealistic as a metaphor.

tl;dr
My friend is extremely smart. He recognizes his belief is flawed, and that there is no reason to believe, but he says he believes because it is comforting. Is this ok? If not, why not?

Is it okay by what standard?

I'm not really okay with it. It's part of a widespread trend of faulty epistemology in our culture, of the search for truth and intellectual integrity falling victim to a me-first, feel-good hedonism. That said, would I do something about it? Not much, unless it comes to my front door. There's far more noxious elements out there, and "it's all just a metaphor" isn't bad at all in comparison. As far as priorities go, it's pretty low on the list.

... of course, he IS coming to your front door, so even if he's not on the top-ten most-wanted list, there's something to be said for targets of opportunity.

If your goal is deconversion (and I'm not saying it should or shouldn't be), this guy just placed a huge spotlight on where you need to sight your big guns: The fact that the religion is a comfort to him. Stop focusing on truth and evidence and stuff that isn't as critical to him and bomb that sucker back to the stone age. One question to pose to him might be, "I am supposedly due to suffer eternal torture, metaphorically referred to as a lake of fire, for not adhering to this metaphor as you do. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being a vague warm fuzzy feeling and a 10 being the most sadistic delight at another's suffering humanly possible, how comforting do you find that?"
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30-05-2015, 10:23 PM
RE: My smart friend believes, despite reasoning.
Perhaps you should just call him your friend. It would be less of a mountain for him to climb.

Atheism is NOT a Religion. It's A Personal Relationship With Reality!
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30-05-2015, 11:58 PM
RE: My smart friend believes, despite reasoning.
(30-05-2015 09:06 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  
(30-05-2015 07:42 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  ... like a smoker who knows the truth about smoking yet gets comfort from his cigarettes... he is ultimately going to pay a price for his habit ...

Then there are always those like Jeanne Calment, the oldest human being ever verified who lived to age 122, who was a smoker most of her life.

Smokin Tongue

That kinda sounds like pascals wager or something.

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I'm. Also homophobic in the same way I'm arachnophobic. I'm scared of spiders but I'd still fuck'em.
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31-05-2015, 05:48 AM
RE: My smart friend believes, despite reasoning.
(30-05-2015 07:03 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  Of course. It's kinda like the only rational reason to believe. Have you not heard the song of the Gwynnies?
And while it is comforting to contemplate Her Paltrowness, to contemplate her curves and imagine ... whatever comes to mind as a result, the reality is that she is in fact a controlling, paranoid, narcissistic nutjob who from what I can see leaves a trail of savaged men behind her while pontificating about extremely fringe health fads like vagina-steaming.

I never know what to think about religion, romance, and the other illusions we "comfort" ourselves with. They say for instance that romantic relationships start out with cathexis all around but if it's going to last you have to come to a place of "giving back your projections" and dealing in reality, and woe to you if the original infatuation was just some beer glasses-like haze from which emerges a person you don't actually respect.

That's what happened with me and Christianity, she was a comely wench who promised me paradise but when the glasses came off she was a cranky hag who just wanted to hector me day in and day out and sat back and cackled when life happened to me.

Still, when it has come to religion and human relationships, I had to go through them and experience the BS personally before I could let go of them. I envy those who see through the BS right out of the chute. It saves a lot of time and struggle. Few be they, and far between, though.
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31-05-2015, 07:00 AM
RE: My smart friend believes, despite reasoning.
(31-05-2015 05:48 AM)mordant Wrote:  l reason to believe. Have you not heard the song of the Gwynnies?
And while it is comforting to contemplate Her Paltrowness, to contemplate her curves and imagine ... whatever comes to mind as a result, the reality is that she is in fact a controlling, paranoid, narcissistic nutjob who from what I can see leaves a trail of savaged men behind her while pontificating about extremely fringe health fads like vagina-steaming.
[/quote]

Ohmy
Isn't disparaging Her Gwynniness one of the few bannable offenses around here?

It feels so heretical.

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31-05-2015, 07:34 AM
RE: My smart friend believes, despite reasoning.
(30-05-2015 09:06 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  
(30-05-2015 07:42 PM)Mark Fulton Wrote:  ... like a smoker who knows the truth about smoking yet gets comfort from his cigarettes... he is ultimately going to pay a price for his habit ...

Then there are always those like Jeanne Calment, the oldest human being ever verified who lived to age 122, who was a smoker most of her life.

Smokin Tongue

Talk to me about this after visiting my cancer ward.

“lung cancer is a nasty business. This is why we are so against smoking.“

My professor.

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