Reason, Or Ideology?
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16-12-2014, 01:43 PM
Reason, Or Ideology?
Perhaps it is helpful to remind ourselves of the difference between reason and ideology. As a place to start...

REASON: The use of intellectual processes to hopefully inch a bit closer towards the truth.

IDEOLOGY: The use of intellectual processes to promote or defend a particular conclusion.

Ideally, the reasonist doesn't care what the truth might turn out to be. Ideally, the reasonist surrenders to the reasoning process and allows that process to take them where ever it will.

The ideologist cares very much what "the answer" is, and invests their energy in to trying to move themselves and their conversation partners towards the answer they have chosen.

A distinction between reason and ideology seems relevant for "thinking atheists" to consider, given that atheists usually offer reason as their alternative to religion.

No one is a perfect reasoner, or a perfect ideologist, so we are always talking a matter of degree.

When it comes to atheism, or any other subject you may wish to address, to what degree are you a reasonist, or an ideologist?
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16-12-2014, 02:15 PM
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
(16-12-2014 01:43 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  Perhaps it is helpful to remind ourselves of the difference between reason and ideology. As a place to start...

REASON: The use of intellectual processes to hopefully inch a bit closer towards the truth.

IDEOLOGY: The use of intellectual processes to promote or defend a particular conclusion.

Ideally, the reasonist doesn't care what the truth might turn out to be. Ideally, the reasonist surrenders to the reasoning process and allows that process to take them where ever it will.

The ideologist cares very much what "the answer" is, and invests their energy in to trying to move themselves and their conversation partners towards the answer they have chosen.

A distinction between reason and ideology seems relevant for "thinking atheists" to consider, given that atheists usually offer reason as their alternative to religion.

No one is a perfect reasoner, or a perfect ideologist, so we are always talking a matter of degree.

When it comes to atheism, or any other subject you may wish to address, to what degree are you a reasonist, or an ideologist?

If I accept your definitions, it was reasoning that led me to trust Jesus. Why? Because I didn't want to assume Christian ideology! I tried hard not to become a Christian but my reason and reasoning compelled me to do so. If I turned my back on what I'd learned, I'd feel a hypocrite at that time. I knew I had to be saved.

I'm told atheists on forums like TTA are bitter and angry. If you are not, your posts to me will be respectful, insightful and thoughtful. Prove me wrong by your adherence to decent behavior.
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16-12-2014, 02:17 PM
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
(16-12-2014 01:43 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  IDEOLOGY: The use of intellectual processes to promote or defend a particular conclusion.

This definition has nothing to do with the word "ideology". At all.

"Behind every great pirate, there is a great butt."
-Guybrush Threepwood-
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16-12-2014, 02:21 PM (This post was last modified: 16-12-2014 03:07 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
I am a reasonist. I base my life in the real world...not the made up invisible "transcendental one"...using reason, logic and education to ascertain and comprehend the world around me. I don't believe in fairies, bigfoot, venusians, or jesus. Why? Because there is zero evidence for any of them.

Facts like:

The OT was written by a group of judaen priests in 575-550 BCE.

Moses never existed.

Noah never existed.

No one who EVER wrote of jesus met him.

The gospels were not written by whom or when you think.

The global flood never happened.

..Tend to shift a thinking person to preclude that to cling to the three F's that make up religion for example, Fiction, Forgery and Fantasy is an illogical way to live one's life. Truly. As a method of epistemology, as a way to comprehend the world, religion is a failed methodology.

"Belief is so often the death of reason" - Qyburn, Game of Thrones

"The Christian community continues to exist because the conclusions of the critical study of the Bible are largely withheld from them." -Hans Conzelmann (1915-1989)
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16-12-2014, 02:22 PM
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
(16-12-2014 01:43 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  No one is a perfect reasoner, or a perfect ideologist, so we are always talking a matter of degree.

Agreed.


(16-12-2014 01:43 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  When it comes to atheism, or any other subject you may wish to address, to what degree are you a reasonist, or an ideologist?

I would say reasonist, but I could see others feeling it's the opposite. I've met enough creationists that are entrenched enough in their beliefs that they consider my skepticism to be a dogmatic rejection of their truth.

Honestly, I am fine with a god existing, so long as I saw some reason to believe in it. It's entirely possible that there is a god that totally went around doing things in front of people, then decided to go all nonfalsifiable for a few thousand years. The problem is: multiple religions make that claim, and there's no reason to believe in any of them, let alone pick one over another.

I spent 30 years believing, and it was really hard to let go of that, but after a couple years, I did. I'd consider myself pretty open minded, because of that. I have not, however, met a theist that said they would be fine with their god not existing, and I've seen quite a few say that they will refuse to consider any alternative under any circumstances.

The very definition of reason means you have to be open to new evidence, should it become available.
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16-12-2014, 02:24 PM
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
(16-12-2014 01:43 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  No one is a perfect reasoner, or a perfect ideologist, so we are always talking a matter of degree.

When it comes to atheism, or any other subject you may wish to address, to what degree are you a reasonist, or an ideologist?

If you could provide some objective criteria by which one could distinguish between your two proposed end-members then we might be able to give you a useful answer. Since it's all a matter of degrees we'll need a baseline too. I might rate 95% ideologist on your scale but I'd still be miles ahead of the game if the population mean is 99.9%.

Incidentally, your fingers slipped and put "thinking atheist" in quotes. I know how cramped modern keyboards can be but this is the type of faux pas that can make it look like you're less than "honestly objective".

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Flesh and blood of a dead star, slain in the apocalypse of supernova, resurrected by four billion years of continuous autocatalytic reaction and crowned with the emergent property of sentience in the dream that the universe might one day understand itself.
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16-12-2014, 02:34 PM
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
(16-12-2014 02:17 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  This definition has nothing to do with the word "ideology". At all.

Ok, explain why please. How might you explain the difference between ideology and reason?
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16-12-2014, 02:40 PM
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
(16-12-2014 02:22 PM)RobbyPants Wrote:  The very definition of reason means you have to be open to new evidence, should it become available.

Yes, of course. What's interesting is that both reason and faith involve a form of surrender.

Ideally, the reasonist surrenders to a process. The ideologist typically doesn't want to surrender, they want to win.

This might help further define the difference between a reasonist and ideologist. The reasonist is willing to surrender, and the ideologist is not.

The reasonist and the religious believer have something in common, a willingness to surrender to something larger than themselves. The ideologist, not so much.
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16-12-2014, 02:41 PM
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
(16-12-2014 02:34 PM)Baba Bozo Wrote:  
(16-12-2014 02:17 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  This definition has nothing to do with the word "ideology". At all.

Ok, explain why please. How might you explain the difference between ideology and reason?

Trying to find the difference between "ideology" and "reason" is like trying to find the difference between "rainbow" and "psychology".

An ideology is a set of ideas. Reason is using logic.
One is a set of things and the other is way of doing something.
They are not opposites and they do not cancel each other out.

"Behind every great pirate, there is a great butt."
-Guybrush Threepwood-
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16-12-2014, 02:56 PM
RE: Reason, Or Ideology?
(16-12-2014 02:41 PM)undergroundp Wrote:  An ideology is a set of ideas. Reason is using logic.

One is a set of things and the other is way of doing something.

They are not opposites and they do not cancel each other out.

Ok, thanks, good points. That's better.

I'm trying to point to the difference between the person who will follow the evidence where ever it may lead, and the person who is only interested in evidence that supports a particular position.

So, for example, a person could be an ideological reasonist, if they insist reason is the only valid process for examining a set of questions, and they earnestly resist and discard any evidence that doesn't point to that conclusion.

This seems relevant to me, because if an atheist wishes to offer reason as an alternative to religion, ideally they will have to sidestep of the trap of making atheism in to just another competing ideology, that is, a collection of beliefs which must be defended at all costs etc.

To the degree an atheist falls in to that trap, it might be said that all they've done is trade one religion for another.

I realize my words are imperfect, so try to improve upon them please, that's what forums are for.
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