Archived

Belief without Warrant

Read 3506 times

iamme

  • *
  • 1 Posts
    • View Profile
Baseless Charges
« on: June 25, 2014, 02:17:45 pm »
I've noticed that atheists who seem very energized and are active with what appears to be a narrative that they feel quite confident in. The tactics used are more or less unoriginal, which indicates to me that it is the result of group think, pooled resources (citation used in arguments, e.g. talk origins, etc.) and a rather nasty tone peppered with pejorative labels and other rather unpleasant and snarky forms of communication. I share this observation to bring us to a point that I odd and interesting when confronted with simple logic and reason minus the theatrics...

People of faith are very often characterized as persons who lack originality in thought and are hapless and dim witted followers who blindly repeat a narrative that lacks reason and logic.

You can push that around from many different angles but the essence of what I am saying is simply that Christians are unfairly, in my opinion, treated like brainwashed fools who believe in things on par with tooth fairies or other imaginary figures or fictional characters. I understand that by definition this is precisely what one would expect to hear from a person who in fact equates said mythical creatures with the deity written about in the Bible and worshiped by the faith's adherents. The rub is that the foundation is most certainly manufactured and in fact quite ignorant of a universal truth common to a vast majority of people who call themselves Christian...

The moment when believers have what we all describe as a brush with God in an epiphany  and an experience that is oftentimes described with such firmness of belief and strength of conviction, that believers are willing to and have with great regularity in the past, died rather simply denouncing. It is by no means proof that God exists,  but to a person who has not the epiphany and experience it doesn't mean that it is the same frame of reference to which he or she can relate to the believer from. In fact the conversion of believers is always describes as very personal, usually difficult to fully share the fullness of the experience and anything but the product of what appears to be how the atheist evangelist forms his or her beliefs in support groups that provide already manufactured narratives and supporting material.

The believer's equivalent the atheist's toolbox (e.g. talk origins, websites for skeptics or that explain logical fallacies) is the Bible and oftentimes the dogma from the church in which he or she is a member of. If you press individuals about dogma though, more often than not you'll see that that person agrees with much of it (ergo why he or she is a Roman Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, etc.) but has distinct opinions when they don't agree; Something that you rarely if ever see in atheists if you stop and think about it. Atheists tend to adopt all of the necessary leaps of faith without qualification, other than if it is what he or she believes does harm to theism of course.

Why is it that believers allow such obvious disparity to go unchecked? Why, when it doesn't take much effort at all to illustrate to the atheist willing to be intellectually honest that it may be what they want to think about themselves and theists, but the facts and obvious and plain truth tell a different story.

1

Jon S

  • **
  • 668 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Baseless Charges
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2014, 03:33:49 pm »
Your last two paragraphs are a caricature of atheists - sort of like what you are complaining about in the rest of your thread.  Here's the first example I thought of where two prominent skeptics have a pretty heated debate
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Qhlp-X3EHA

2

jayceeii

  • **
  • 664 Posts
    • View Profile
Re: Baseless Charges
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2020, 12:20:09 pm »
ia: I've noticed that atheists who seem very energized and are active with what appears to be a narrative that they feel quite confident in. The tactics used are more or less unoriginal, which indicates to me that it is the result of group think, pooled resources (citation used in arguments, e.g. talk origins, etc.) and a rather nasty tone peppered with pejorative labels and other rather unpleasant and snarky forms of communication. I share this observation to bring us to a point that I odd and interesting when confronted with simple logic and reason minus the theatrics...

jc: This may be true about atheists, but it has also been true of the theists I’ve so far encountered in this forum. As you say, there is derision as an undercurrent, as if they feel they are swatting a bug rather than confronting (another) rational person. It is a human fault in other words, not a fault limited to the atheists. Humans are driven by pride and greed. They want to feel they’ve conquered, and the mind doesn’t attend much to details. This is also why debates among humans seldom change minds or lead anywhere. It isn’t really an open discussion. Each mind is twisted by desire, only later claiming it is reason.

ia: People of faith are very often characterized as persons who lack originality in thought and are hapless and dim witted followers who blindly repeat a narrative that lacks reason and logic.

jc: Yes. The religions can be called types of corrals, and the people in there are looking over at the next guy rather than investigating truth originally, that can be called herd thinking or as you say, group think. This is why no one has noticed the religions lack workable mechanisms or satisfying existential paradigms. If anyone notices, the herd rejects him. Your sentence stumbles on the truth of the matter; and yet you presume it to have been a rhetorical remark on your way to making the opposite point. Jesus said the blind would lead the blind into a pit, and He must have had Christian preachers in mind.

ia: You can push that around from many different angles but the essence of what I am saying is simply that Christians are unfairly, in my opinion, treated like brainwashed fools who believe in things on par with tooth fairies or other imaginary figures or fictional characters.

jc: You fault the atheists only here, not myself. The religions are intended to be complex enough to fool minds that only accept complexity as evidence, unable to pierce to the existential heart of things. The tooth fairy lacks this complexity, and so humans reject it.

ia: I understand that by definition this is precisely what one would expect to hear from a person who in fact equates said mythical creatures with the deity written about in the Bible and worshiped by the faith's adherents.

jc: Yes, the atheists are shallow, failing to notice why their theistic brethren are drawn in, when they are all one bunch of humans sharing the same fallibilities. Substantially the atheists are largely a negative reaction to theists, not really an independent phenomenon. The atheists are not in a position to throw down religion. They are still susceptible to it, as we hear of many atheists converting, relating how religion’s complexity got to them.

ia: The rub is that the foundation is most certainly manufactured and in fact quite ignorant of a universal truth common to a vast majority of people who call themselves Christian...

jc: This is a lead in to a discussion of Christian spiritual experiences, with which I take serious issue because I never see goodness emanating from these claimed experiences. Valid spiritual experiences are transformative, not just that you’d start attending church. I see no Christians manifesting superior states, which for instance, might make them friends of Christ. I see a lot of pride without merit as well as the persecution of real merit.

ia: The moment when believers have what we all describe as a brush with God in an epiphany  and an experience that is oftentimes described with such firmness of belief and strength of conviction, that believers are willing to and have with great regularity in the past, died rather simply denouncing.

jc: Yes, to say a “brush with God” is indiscriminate and uninformative. I’d have to say the best of these states, which could be called “genuine,” are of exactly the same character as the satori states claimed by spiritual aspirants in the East. Christianity gave no context to interpret these states except that the Holy Spirit is yanking the mind around.

Don’t forget humans are all too eager to die in wars too, so we can be leery of the martyrs. Patriotism does indeed seem linked to fervent religions beliefs in humans. It is the same type of glory they perceive, and the same type of reward they expect. Men hold their lives too cheaply, I’d say. Jesus said to give up the life for a friend is great, but it is actually far more challenging to go on living, to work every day serving the friend’s joy. The latter is a far greater love, plus the entities are not just “checking out,” continually.

ia: It is by no means proof that God exists,  but to a person who has not the epiphany and experience it doesn't mean that it is the same frame of reference to which he or she can relate to the believer from.

jc: Yes, those who experience satori states are slammed into religious and spiritual beliefs, but it should be noted these states are universal and are being interpreted differently depending on the context in which the individual finds himself or herself. I too have been noting the atheists are generally from a class of humans to whom these states are denied. For them aesthetic states, the appreciation of art or nature, seem to be enough.

ia: In fact the conversion of believers is always described as very personal, usually difficult to fully share the fullness of the experience and anything but the product of what appears to be how the atheist evangelist forms his or her beliefs in support groups that provide already manufactured narratives and supporting material.

jc: Well, why not? This is interesting, because spiritual states can be described, as we see in St. John of the Cross or St. Teresa of Avila. Why aren’t more theists citing these states against the atheists? I have not seen this argument on this forum or elsewhere. My guess would be most “conversion experiences” tend to be trivial and slight, often partly influenced by peer pressure and the “fifteen minutes of fame” from swooning at the preacher’s hand. Those who do have deeper experiences, have trouble repeating them.

ia: The believer's equivalent the atheist's toolbox (e.g. talk origins, websites for skeptics or that explain logical fallacies) is the Bible and oftentimes the dogma from the church in which he or she is a member of.

jc: Yes, only the Catholics accept there can be a mysticism for man. The Protestants deny it, more eagerly industrial I guess, i.e. satisfied with consumer goods instead of inner light. The Protestants are left with the Bible alone, and the Psalms for instance only describe peaceful states, not elevated mystical states. In any case the states can hardly be studied, because they can’t be reproduced confidently, like a wave washing over once.

ia: If you press individuals about dogma though, more often than not you'll see that that person agrees with much of it (ergo why he or she is a Roman Catholic, Methodist, Lutheran, etc.) but has distinct opinions when they don't agree; Something that you rarely if ever see in atheists if you stop and think about it. Atheists tend to adopt all of the necessary leaps of faith without qualification, other than if it is what he or she believes does harm to theism of course.

jc: No, it is the same on both sides of the border. There are brands of atheists just like they are brands of Christians. But you should stop to notice that admitting Christians are not entirely agreed, you are providing an example of what the Bible said, “Man is born to trouble as the sparks fly upward.” The schisms in the churches are the sign that even when given a unified doctrine, men will interpret it differently, craving opposition instead of harmony and one truth for all. To be honest, self-esteem is tied up in feeling different.

ia: Why is it that believers allow such obvious disparity to go unchecked? Why, when it doesn't take much effort at all to illustrate to the atheist willing to be intellectually honest that it may be what they want to think about themselves and theists, but the facts and obvious and plain truth tell a different story.

jc: Well, you’ve admitted the Christians aren’t unified, so how can this unify atheists or convert them into Christians? Isn’t the fact Christians don’t agree a sign to avoid them? And if you can find any theist or atheist who is intellectually honest, I’d like to meet them. I find duplicity and dishonesty everywhere, shouting like Jesus against hypocrisy.