Willingness to believe
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20-03-2016, 08:12 PM (This post was last modified: 20-03-2016 08:15 PM by goodwithoutgod.)
RE: Willingness to believe
(18-03-2016 02:17 PM)debna27 Wrote:  As a rationalist and a skeptic, since my deconversion I've always said that if the right evidence was there I'd 100% admit that there was a god. I do still feel that way, but something else has changed.
I used to say that I wished I could believe in God, and that I would like him to show me he was real so I could have the comfort of that belief system. But now that I've spent more time away from religion, I don't think I want that any more. I've stopped looking for God, not because I'm sure that he couldn't exist, but because a big part of me really hopes that he doesn't. Don't get me wrong: I'm still a rationalist and I will accept evidence of God if it's legitimate. But I'm not going to actively go looking for it right now.
I'm scared that I'm acting like a theist in that I only want to find things that support my worldview, and that I'm being closed minded. However, I'm cognitively willing to accept evidence, just emotionally unwilling, which seems like an important distinction.
Do any of you feel this way? (Sorry if it sounds convoluted, these kinds of topics never translate as well into words as I would like them to)

First let's look at a commonality with people on both sides of the theology debate.

confirmation bias - is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms one's beliefs or hypotheses, while giving disproportionately less consideration to alternative possibilities. It is a type of cognitive bias and a systematic error of inductive reasoning. People display this bias when they gather or remember information selectively, or when they interpret it in a biased way. The effect is stronger for emotionally charged issues and for deeply entrenched beliefs. People also tend to interpret ambiguous evidence as supporting their existing position.

It has long been my experience that people who sit on both sides of the theological debate, have this to some degree or another. Understanding that it is natural to do so, and crafting individualized methodology to mitigate this common issue opens one up to neutrally considering new evidence, before shoving it into the "yes, I believe this information is true", or the "this is BS" mental file. This is still my biggest challenge. Now that I have made up my mind after exhaustive research into the matter, and long term introspective analysis of my life experiences, it is easy to quickly dismiss anything that comes out which tries to validate a bible story, or a miracle etc. I would think if we are all real honest with ourselves, we will probably admit we all have a bit of confirmation bias. Even as we love to thump the theists with that definition, as I do with gusto.

I think it is good you have stopped looking for santa claus, ooops i mean god. That is usually the shift from a version of agnosticism to atheism, although that line is very blurry for many people. There are so many different versions of atheism I can't keep them all straight. The important thing is you have come to the realization that faith is a false method of epistemology. Once someone can throw that broken and disproven tool into the trash they can explore the quest for knowledge without the blanket and blindfold of the belief in something without evidence (faith).

It is okay to stop looking over your shoulder for the invisible boogeyman who watches your every move, and keeps tally of your every thought....sounds like some made up BS doesn't it? Because it is. The creator of all gods was man, and usually made in our own image. That can be traced through our history, and judicious application of compare and contrast of ancient god stories shows a common thread through them all.

I often tell people who validate their faith due to a "personal experience", that if you look for something long enough, and believe hard enough, you will find it, whether it really exists or not.

Live free, live wise, and be grateful you were smart enough to evolve beyond the myth.

"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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25-03-2016, 05:25 PM
RE: Willingness to believe
And yet again, Call_of_the_Wild has chosen not to respond to my posts directed at him:

#23 on 20-03-2016 @ 04:20 AM and

#21 on 20-03-2016 @ 03:47 AM.

I've noticed that this bloke only responds to comments when he apparently thinks he's got half a chance of mounting some sort of defense, or semi-feasible counter-claims. He invariably shies away from addressing any atheist posits that he instinctively knows he'll be at a loss in responding to with any sort of convincing argument. A classic intellectual coward hiding behind constant obfuscation? He'd actually make a good politician LOL.

I'm a creationist... I believe that man created God.
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25-03-2016, 05:30 PM
RE: Willingness to believe
(18-03-2016 02:58 PM)Tonechaser77 Wrote:  Many people are probably in the same boat.

It's good that you've stopped looking and better that you start living!

I'm open to evidence as well but even if I was on the receiving end of some evidence that supported the biblical god, i probably wouldn't worship it because I can't subscribe to a deity that I am morally superior to in almost every aspect. Arrogant? No...just honest. I'll pit the morality of my life against the god of the bible any day of the week. Now if this deity opened up full epistemology of why and how it did everything and i saw a bigger picture that made sense....maybe, I would say ok. But I don't expect that anytime soon, if at all.

I'm with you, long before the realization that God didn't exist I declared that if He was as He is described in the Babble He had no allegiance coming from me.
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