Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
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17-03-2017, 12:06 PM
RE: Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
By definition, you cannot be both religious and a free thinker. Following a religion requires the acceptance of certain beliefs, certain dogma, be accepted as true. Holding onto ideas that are unquestionable is the exact antithesis of being a free thinker. A self professed 'free thinking' Catholic is either a shitty Catholic, a shitty free thinker, or both.

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17-03-2017, 12:09 PM
RE: Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
(17-03-2017 12:06 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  By definition, you cannot be both religious and a free thinker. Following a religion requires the acceptance of certain beliefs, certain dogma, be accepted as true. Holding onto ideas that are unquestionable is the exact antithesis of being a free thinker. A self professed 'free thinking' Catholic is either a shitty Catholic, a shitty free thinker, or both.

I think there are free-thinking religious people who reinterpret and question the tenets and dogma of their religion. Why not? Luther comes to mind.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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17-03-2017, 12:20 PM
RE: Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
(17-03-2017 12:09 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  
(17-03-2017 12:06 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  By definition, you cannot be both religious and a free thinker. Following a religion requires the acceptance of certain beliefs, certain dogma, be accepted as true. Holding onto ideas that are unquestionable is the exact antithesis of being a free thinker. A self professed 'free thinking' Catholic is either a shitty Catholic, a shitty free thinker, or both.

I think there are free-thinking religious people who reinterpret and question the tenets and dogma of their religion. Why not? Luther comes to mind.

But he was still a Christian, right? The existence of God, and Christ as his son, was still unquestionable. Luther was a shitty free thinker.

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17-03-2017, 12:31 PM
RE: Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
(17-03-2017 12:20 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  
(17-03-2017 12:09 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  I think there are free-thinking religious people who reinterpret and question the tenets and dogma of their religion. Why not? Luther comes to mind.

But he was still a Christian, right? The existence of God, and Christ as his son, was still unquestionable. Luther was a shitty free thinker.

Yeah. I'm just saying I don't think that religion is necessarily a disqualifying factor for free-thinking. Bart Ehrman was an evangelical Christian while his wheels were spinning. And it depends on context, right. I work with an orthodox Jew who's world renowned in quantum communications. I often see him wandering around the halls staring at his belly button. I ask him what he's doing and he always says "free-wheeling a problem" which I always hear as "free-balling a prostitute".

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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17-03-2017, 12:47 PM
RE: Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
(17-03-2017 12:06 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  By definition, you cannot be both religious and a free thinker. Following a religion requires the acceptance of certain beliefs, certain dogma, be accepted as true. Holding onto ideas that are unquestionable is the exact antithesis of being a free thinker.
I think this is a bit overstated. Believing ideas is not the same as refusing to question them. It's possible to question them and then, in the end, maintain belief in them. I may disagree with someone's conclusions, or with the logic or other means by which they arrived at them, but that doesn't necessarily mean they aren't free thinking. "Free thinking" =/= "thinking like me."
(17-03-2017 12:06 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  A self professed 'free thinking' Catholic is either a shitty Catholic, a shitty free thinker, or both.
This sounds to me a bit like "no true Scotsman."
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17-03-2017, 01:15 PM
RE: Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
(17-03-2017 12:47 PM)John Derderian Wrote:  
(17-03-2017 12:06 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  By definition, you cannot be both religious and a free thinker. Following a religion requires the acceptance of certain beliefs, certain dogma, be accepted as true. Holding onto ideas that are unquestionable is the exact antithesis of being a free thinker.
I think this is a bit overstated. Believing ideas is not the same as refusing to question them. It's possible to question them and then, in the end, maintain belief in them. I may disagree with someone's conclusions, or with the logic or other means by which they arrived at them, but that doesn't necessarily mean they aren't free thinking. "Free thinking" =/= "thinking like me."

If the belief structure has dogma, it is by definition not conducive to free thinking. If you question the the ability for Jesus to absolve you of your sins, you are no longer a Christian. That dogma is core to the belief, it must be accepted to wear the label.

Any label that requires such a belief structure is antithetical to free thinking. You have to partition your free thinking, sectioning it away from certain ideas and beliefs. That makes you a shitty free thinker.


(17-03-2017 12:47 PM)John Derderian Wrote:  
(17-03-2017 12:06 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  A self professed 'free thinking' Catholic is either a shitty Catholic, a shitty free thinker, or both.
This sounds to me a bit like "no true Scotsman."

A Catholic who doesn't believe in god and doubts everything in the Catechism isn't a Catholic, they're a heretic. People get excommunicated for less. A person who accept all of their dogma (transubstantiation?) most certainly is not a good free thinker. Plus I don't define what a Catholic is, the Pope does.

I don't believe in god and I reject all of the dogmas of Catholicism. If I were to claim to be Catholic with a straight face, I would be a shitty Catholic.

But while we're at it, the Pope is also a shitty free thinker. Drinking Beverage

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17-03-2017, 01:32 PM
RE: Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
(17-03-2017 01:15 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  If the belief structure has dogma, it is by definition not conducive to free thinking. If you question the the ability for Jesus to absolve you of your sins, you are no longer a Christian. That dogma is core to the belief, it must be accepted to wear the label.

Any label that requires such a belief structure is antithetical to free thinking. You have to partition your free thinking, sectioning it away from certain ideas and beliefs. That makes you a shitty free thinker.


This doesn't read like free thinking to me. Or are you trying to make that very point?

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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17-03-2017, 02:16 PM
RE: Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
(17-03-2017 01:15 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  If the belief structure has dogma, it is by definition not conducive to free thinking.
"Not conducive" is very different than saying it prevents free thinking. My work environment is not conducive to napping, but I manage it sometimes.
(17-03-2017 01:15 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  If you question the the ability for Jesus to absolve you of your sins, you are no longer a Christian. That dogma is core to the belief, it must be accepted to wear the label."
You've built "No free thinking allowed, period" into this definition of Christian. By this definition, there would be no Christian free thinkers. But this definition seems grossly overstated to me. Actually, the original claim was that it's impossible to be *religious* and free-thinking, not Christian or Catholic as defined by the Pope.

(17-03-2017 01:15 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  A Catholic who doesn't believe in god and doubts everything in the Catechism isn't a Catholic, they're a heretic. People get excommunicated for less. A person who accept all of their dogma (transubstantiation?) most certainly is not a good free thinker.
This seems overly black and white. These two positions, accepting either nothing or everything, are the two extreme ends of the spectrum. What about all positions in between? Can none of those be considered Catholic (or otherwise religious)?
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17-03-2017, 04:34 PM
RE: Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
(17-03-2017 02:16 PM)John Derderian Wrote:  
(17-03-2017 01:15 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  If you question the the ability for Jesus to absolve you of your sins, you are no longer a Christian. That dogma is core to the belief, it must be accepted to wear the label."
You've built "No free thinking allowed, period" into this definition of Christian. By this definition, there would be no Christian free thinkers. But this definition seems grossly overstated to me. Actually, the original claim was that it's impossible to be *religious* and free-thinking, not Christian or Catholic as defined by the Pope.
I was originally in a pretty conservative branch of Christendom and even we had people who had doubts or struggled with certain teachings, and we did not accuse them of not being One of Us. We might warn them not to continue down certain paths of thought lest they become "deceived", etc. We might mark them as immature or weak or in need or remedial instruction. But we wouldn't excommunicate them.

And it depended on the specific doubts, too. Feeling guilty / unforgiven was very common, predictably, in an environment where there is so much emphasis on the doctrine of total depravity. I'd say we'd have much bigger issue with doubting the divinity of Jesus, the justice / righteousness of god, or certain shibboleths such as considering proscribed sexual practices to be icky and disgusting and evil. Honestly, wearing a purple mohawk would have been more upsetting to most of us than feeling guilty. Heck, when I was very young, we were just getting over the notion that having facial hair was a Bad Thing.
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17-03-2017, 06:20 PM
RE: Was Religious yet Free Thinking?
(17-03-2017 01:15 PM)EvolutionKills Wrote:  Any label that requires such a belief structure [religious dogma] is antithetical to free thinking. You have to partition your free thinking, sectioning it away from certain ideas and beliefs...

Agree totally. Blindly accepting the absolute dogma of religion immediately diminishes one's capability of thinking freely. If you accept the actuality of paranormal phenomena and supernatural entities, then you've partially blinded yourself to the the full gamut of the sciences.

Even genetic scientist and "serious" Christian Francis Collins can only—when backed into the inevitable corner—proclaim that it was the guiding hand of "god" that provided the catalyst for the evolutionary process. What a cop out LOL.

—So one of the world's top geneticists truly believes in fairy tales and mythology. Oh dear.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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