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Author Topic: Putting Faith in Its Place  (Read 6033 times)

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Offline Moonhare

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #100 on: October 06, 2009, 09:44:52 PM »
I have never had something like that, thankfully. I am glad you are able to look at it now as something interesting instead of intimidating.

Offline Revolverman

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #101 on: October 06, 2009, 09:50:02 PM »
Sounds like it. You have alot more patients then I do Oniya.

Offline Noelle

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #102 on: October 06, 2009, 10:49:30 PM »
You know, I'm getting rather disgusted with this thread.  Someone question the function of religion.  I gave examples and had my beliefs ripped apart by being told it was all in my head.  I don't remember trying to convert anyone...

I think you're misinterpreting the discussion. I take it you're referring to Jude's posts, and to that, I can give you one quote from him from one of the first few pages that should put it to rest--

Quote
For the record, I do not want to destroy anyone's faith in god.


The point of this thread isn't to convince each other to change their mind regarding faith and religion -- I believe it was all simply a dialogue to get you thinking; you could just as easily fire back your own points, it's an open discussion, after all.
If you really feel threatened and if you truly don't want to hear a dialogue that questions what you believe, then I would caution against posting in threads like these where it's bound to happen.

As for this little bit:

Quote
There are reasons I believe what I do, and I don't appreciate being told over and over again no matter what I say that it's just a placebo effect.  You can't prove that, and when you can, then you can open your mouth.

That's awfully rude of you. It would be just as easy for me to say "you can't prove it's NOT the placebo effect, and when you can, you can open your mouth."

Nonetheless, here's my take.
It's easy enough. Google 'placebo effect' and you'll come up with a plethora of reports (such as this) and research done that acknowledge the power of the right kind of thought and the effect it has on the body, especially in terms of healing and recovery. It's just as simple to carry over the theory that if somebody prays for something positive or believes that something will help them heal or recover, it could very well be a placebo effect that gets them through based on pre-existing patterns.
Scientifically speaking, there is nothing there to prove that any higher power has anything to do with it, simply because science is not a realm in which any higher power is present. Science can tell you how you function and the way your body works and responds, but it does not tell you for what purpose it exists. For some people, religion fills that role. Science does not exist to give purpose, simply to explain.


Do I truly believe religion is one giant placebo effect? Honestly, I have no idea. I'm a solid agnostic, everything is pretty much a giant question mark in my world, but I wouldn't rule it out...but then again, I don't rule out the existence of a higher being, either. I still seek to see both sides of the debate, however. Looking to develop your understanding of other perspectives has little to do with tearing beliefs apart -- you don't have to buy into what everybody tells you, but it's rarely a bad thing to expand your thinking.

Quote
And Noelle, your windshield getting cracked was an unfortunate thing, but not something you can compare to someone getting cancer.

I wasn't comparing it directly, but the similarity is there.
Kid gets cancer, his parents are only doing what they feel is right by praying for their son, and then he dies. It was a good deed in their eyes, doesn't that make it good, by your logic?

I guess my point in bringing up this particular example is to say that good deeds are subjective and what you want done to you is not necessarily what I want for me -- it's akin to trying to convert other people, isn't it? My line of thinking is that I don't want people meddling in my affairs without my permission, but somebody insists because they think I should be grateful and happy about random acts of kindness -- that is a blatant breech of my wishes, despite what their intentions were. My wishes have been disrespected and on top of it, I would probably be labeled as weird or skewed simply because I don't feel the same way.

As I said earlier, I'm not looking to strike down people attempting to do kind things, but I believe it takes a good amount of discretion and the person who wants to do something positive should be aware that they may end up doing something negative in the eyes of the recipient all the same. Even Hitler thought he was doing something positive.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #103 on: October 07, 2009, 01:09:22 AM »
One nice thing about religion is the comfort factor. It's hard to get warm and fuzzy over e=mc2 or newtons 2nd law. I do but I'm weird.



I canít say physics, Newtonian, Einsteinian, or whatever has made me warm and funny, but it does give some comfort that religions can never give, at least not in any other form than an illusion. The same laws of gravity and motion that are keeping you in your chair and your drink in your glass next to you are also keeping galaxies from flying apart all over the universe.

Religion only offers an illusion, because it asks you to take comfort in things it has no supporting evidence for. That will often get them to fall back on faith, but faith is belief in the absence of evidence. Sorry, thatís not for me.


We all wrestle with the fundamental questions; who are we, where is this place, where are we going. Religion offers answers, or suggests that an intelligence loves us, or is watching over existence. That the universe is not a chaotic, random phenomena. That we are special and watched over almost like a great parent taking care of us.


Thatís the problem here. Despite some what some people say, thereís not a shred of evidence to support this. Nada, zip, zero.

Where I think it gets dangerous is how some people talk like itís a safety net. That we can fuck the planet up and such, but itís OK because god will catch us if we all fall. Itís a nice thought, but I wouldnít suggest banking on it. It didnít save the dinosaurs, it didnít save the Neanderthals, in fact it didnít save 99% of every species that ever lived here.

But I suppose they were all unrepentant sinners. See how silly that sounds?



This mindset; itís setting the stage for something very tragic and stupid to happen.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 01:17:33 AM by The Overlord »

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #104 on: October 07, 2009, 04:04:29 AM »
Religion only offers an illusion, because it asks you to take comfort in things it has no supporting evidence for. That will often get them to fall back on faith, but faith is belief in the absence of evidence. Sorry, thatís not for me.

No one is saying it is. If you have found what works for you, more power to you. But it's not going to work for everyone.

Thatís the problem here. Despite some what some people say, thereís not a shred of evidence to support this. Nada, zip, zero.

How do you feel about personal experience?

Where I think it gets dangerous is how some people talk like itís a safety net. That we can fuck the planet up and such, but itís OK because god will catch us if we all fall. Itís a nice thought, but I wouldnít suggest banking on it. It didnít save the dinosaurs, it didnít save the Neanderthals, in fact it didnít save 99% of every species that ever lived here.

But I suppose they were all unrepentant sinners. See how silly that sounds?

One particular variation of Christianity is not all there is you know. Not everyone is going to think that way.

This mindset; itís setting the stage for something very tragic and stupid to happen.

People will do stupid things for any number of reasons. Religion is just one of them.

Offline Jude

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #105 on: October 07, 2009, 04:27:38 AM »
I'm not an atheist; as I stated previously.  I'm an agnostic.

My problem is when people compare religion and science, and claim they're both equally plausible (or really similar in any way).  They're simply not, science continues to be verified out in the world every day in ways no particular religion ever has been.

I am not saying religion is untrue, that god does not exist, or other negative statement pertaining to religious beliefs; simply that they are more of a "longshot" than scientific beliefs.  Belief in science does not preclude belief in religion either; you can have both.



Chaotic Angel, the moment you started using supernatural events as "proof" for your religion and a supposed practical application I think it was fair game to poke holes in it.  I would have done the same to a Christian who claimed they speak to god as their proof, or a Hindu who says they have memories of their pre-reincarnated lives.  I don't think you can have a serious discussion on any matter when you start bringing up and accepting the supernatural as valid in the debate.

There has never been a shred of documented evidence that paranormal activity has occurred (or someone would've won the million dollar prize by now, thus was the point of the link).  It's not really my fault that you brought that component into the discussion; I'm sorry you feel attacked, I'm not attacking you.

But we're having a debate here; did you expect me merely to grant you that such occurred and gloss over the point?
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 04:30:23 AM by Jude »

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #106 on: October 07, 2009, 04:52:28 AM »
Bear in mind that peoples beliefs are going to be important to them. How you phrase your debate may be interpreted as an attack, even if that wasn't your intent.

Offline Jude

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #107 on: October 07, 2009, 04:54:39 AM »
That's awfully rude of you. It would be just as easy for me to say "you can't prove it's NOT the placebo effect, and when you can, you can open your mouth."
It's a very basic logical principle anyway that the burden of proof lies on the person making a claim.  I don't have to prove something doesn't exist if you claim it does exist.  You're making the claim so it's up to you to provide proof of its existence, not up to me not to provide proof of its non-existence;  that's not how logical argument works even if it is a clever attempt at putting the onus on others like he tried to pull off there.

I wasn't comparing it directly, but the similarity is there.
Kid gets cancer, his parents are only doing what they feel is right by praying for their son, and then he dies. It was a good deed in their eyes, doesn't that make it good, by your logic?

I guess my point in bringing up this particular example is to say that good deeds are subjective and what you want done to you is not necessarily what I want for me -- it's akin to trying to convert other people, isn't it? My line of thinking is that I don't want people meddling in my affairs without my permission, but somebody insists because they think I should be grateful and happy about random acts of kindness -- that is a blatant breech of my wishes, despite what their intentions were. My wishes have been disrespected and on top of it, I would probably be labeled as weird or skewed simply because I don't feel the same way.
There are plenty of other examples to validate the point, hands on healing in lieu of medical treatment, refusal to accept blood transfusions because it's considered cannibalism, etc.

Bear in mind that peoples beliefs are going to be important to them. How you phrase your debate may be interpreted as an attack, even if that wasn't your intent.
That's true, but at the same time, if you can't handle criticisms of your beliefs and opinions, it's probably best not to put yourself in a position where you have to.  i.e. coming to a subforum called "Politics and Religion."

As I said earlier, I'm not looking to strike down people attempting to do kind things, but I believe it takes a good amount of discretion and the person who wants to do something positive should be aware that they may end up doing something negative in the eyes of the recipient all the same. Even Hitler thought he was doing something positive.
Way to kill the thread.

Godwin's Law.  </thread>
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 04:58:06 AM by Jude »

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #108 on: October 07, 2009, 05:11:16 AM »
How do you feel about personal experience?


I understand that people have a Ďreligious experienceí or whatever you wish to call it. Is it touching something godly or divine, or something else? I donít know, truth is that canít be universally proven or unproven.

I would say that personal divine contact isnít nearly as important as global contact, and if thereís a god out there thatís benevolent and cares about us, then what the fuck is it waiting for?

Now, the religious will jump on the Free Will Defense for that remark, but that falls apart right away to rational argument. For starters thereís the glaring oxymoron if free will includes the free will to eliminate free will for other humans or other species?


One particular variation of Christianity is not all there is you know. Not everyone is going to think that way.


No, not everyone across the board, but we HAVE GOT to get out of this fucked up mindset that weíre some privileged species in the universe. If the universe sent a galactic sized bitch slap like a 20 mile asteroid or a gamma ray burst straight at us, if a giant cosmic hand just reached out and stopped it, then fine, Iím a believer.

But if youíre sitting around banking on that, you best get your head out of the sand.


People will do stupid things for any number of reasons. Religion is just one of them.

Religions isnít the only reason, no, but itís one of the worst offenders. People can find ways to justify some heinously crazy shit when they believe theyíre playing for Team God.

Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #109 on: October 07, 2009, 07:39:30 AM »
I can't believe that people in this thread are considering sending a person a prayer to be the same as refusing to get your child treatment.

Case 1: Person, without telling the other, says a prayer (casts a spell, sends light and love, meditates and visualizes, whatever). The recipient carries on with their life as usual. They get medical treatment if they want it, or don't. They have no knowledge of the prayer/visualization/light. The person saying the prayer for the best to happen to the other person thinks they are doing the right thing.

Case 2: Parent decides that god decided it was time for their child to die, so they go into the child's bedroom and smother him with a pillow. They think they are doing the right thing.

Yeah, both of these bastards should be put into prison. They're such evil, horrific people. Hell, forget that, STRING THEM BOTH UP!!

Come on, now. If you're honestly comparing people who do random acts of kindness like cleaning a neighbor's window or saying a prayer for someone, with what amounts to child murder...

Then I think you're the one with the problem.

Because you're purposely taking oranges and calling them apples for the sake of comparison. Not a one person here has said that killing someone through negligence is a good thing. Nor do I appreciate being told that praying that someone experience the highest good for themselves is comparable to infanticide.

If you really think that, then again I say... I think YOU have a problem, and might want to take some time to seriously evaluate just WHY you think that random acts of kindness are so horrific that they are akin to murder.

Offline Jude

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #110 on: October 07, 2009, 07:48:52 AM »
No where did Noelle ever say that she thought the two were the same.  She even said she wasn't "directly comparing them" just trying to point a similarity in good intent turning bad.  It was pretty clear she was trying to draw the logic out to its most extreme conclusion, in hopes of trying to make absolutely certain what sort of objection she has.  No one ever stated or even attempted to imply a moral equivalency.  I suggest you re-read the comments and look at all of the caveats she employed; otherwise you're just straw-manning her so that you don't have to argue on the points she made, resorting instead to a caricature which is far easier to refute (as was with the case with your seemingly self-righteous, incredulous post aimed at repudiation).

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #111 on: October 07, 2009, 08:03:04 AM »
Phoenix, chill out.

Offline Phoenix

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #112 on: October 07, 2009, 09:15:04 AM »
No where did Noelle ever say that she thought the two were the same.  She even said she wasn't "directly comparing them" just trying to point a similarity in good intent turning bad.  It was pretty clear she was trying to draw the logic out to its most extreme conclusion, in hopes of trying to make absolutely certain what sort of objection she has.  No one ever stated or even attempted to imply a moral equivalency.  I suggest you re-read the comments and look at all of the caveats she employed; otherwise you're just straw-manning her so that you don't have to argue on the points she made, resorting instead to a caricature which is far easier to refute (as was with the case with your seemingly self-righteous, incredulous post aimed at repudiation).

I have already argued the point.

Quote
I wasn't comparing it directly, but the similarity is there.

It's very clear that she IS equating them as being SIMILAR in morality. It's not remotely SIMILAR in morality.

Now, I have argued the whole point of not praying for me to 'get saved,' and I didn't need to use baby killing comparisons to do it.

It is a form of threatening. The person is threatening to try to convince their god to coerce you against your will. The moral problem with this should be obvious, especially from a religion that supposedly values free will.

The argument can easily be made without resorting to such extreme comparisons and claiming a similarity that is obviously offensive. In fact, I struggle not to assume that it is intentionally offensive to equate someone who prays for a healing to be equal to someone who kills their children by refusing them medical help.




And by the way, part of why this bothers me so much is the general atmosphere in the USA against kindness. You can be sued now for doing something to try to help someone. She no doubt would have won a lawsuit against the person who tried to help her.

People walk past little old ladies lying prostrate on the ground and crying out for help. Why? Because if you help, if you reach out in kindness, you can be sued for it.

Equating kindness with baby killing is a serious thing, and a serious issue. It's awful that people are so hateful towards people who try to do kindnesses. This is only one aspect of it... a random act of kindness is SIMILAR to gross negligence that costs a child's life?

No, sorry. I cannot let that stand.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2009, 09:37:22 AM by Phoenix »

Offline Noelle

Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #113 on: October 07, 2009, 01:20:01 PM »
Come on, now. If you're honestly comparing people who do random acts of kindness like cleaning a neighbor's window or saying a prayer for someone, with what amounts to child murder...etc.

This whole post of yours is irrelevant and the way you speak just goes to show that you've missed my point entirely. You have argued A point, not the point. It's funny that you are willing to sit and say "IT'S VERY CLEAR" when obviously it's not since you missed my original intent where somebody else (Jude) got it.

My point was questioning Chaotic Angel's reasoning that any good deed is good. It was NOT to directly compare scraping windshields to kids with cancer and it was most certainly not to make you blow it out of proportion and claim you know what I mean better than I do.

It's actually quite insulting of you to INSIST that I truly believe that a child dying from medical neglect is on the same level as a crack in my windshield. Take the time to actually read and think about what's being said  instead of coming in swinging at what you think is there and spewing your self-righteous claims.


The argument can easily be made without resorting to such extreme comparisons and claiming a similarity that is obviously offensive. In fact, I struggle not to assume that it is intentionally offensive to equate someone who prays for a healing to be equal to someone who kills their children by refusing them medical help.

READ READ READ READ READ READ READ READ.

Do you get it yet?

READ.

Quote
Of course, I'm not railing against performing good deeds, but there's a pretty fine line, especially with regard to the recipient's own preferences.

READ

Quote
As I said earlier, I'm not looking to strike down people attempting to do kind things, but I believe it takes a good amount of discretion and the person who wants to do something positive should be aware that they may end up doing something negative in the eyes of the recipient all the same.



Quote
And by the way, part of why this bothers me so much is the general atmosphere in the USA against kindness. You can be sued now for doing something to try to help someone. She no doubt would have won a lawsuit against the person who tried to help her.

There's also a general atmosphere in the USA about personal rights. I have the right to say no to a million dollars. I have the right to say yes to a slap in the face. I find it funny that you're arguing against that.

In terms of suing, is it the system or is it the person? Or maybe both? I certainly didn't sue the people whose intentions were good over my windshield even though I was extremely irritated. I'd like to think a great number of people have that much sense.

I also hope that "she" and "her" isn't in reference to me. Personal attacks really aren't necessary.

Quote
People walk past little old ladies lying prostrate on the ground and crying out for help. Why? Because if you help, if you reach out in kindness, you can be sued for it.

If you let said "little old lady" die while being willfully negligent, you can also be punished for not interfering, as well. It goes both ways.

Also, I'd like to see a case where this has happened after said "little old lady" has clearly asked for/given consent to help. Seriously, I'm not being sarcastic or anything. I'd truly like you to find a story where this has happened.

Quote
Equating kindness with baby killing is a serious thing, and a serious issue. It's awful that people are so hateful towards people who try to do kindnesses. This is only one aspect of it... a random act of kindness is SIMILAR to gross negligence that costs a child's life?

I'll requote myself yet again, since you have trouble reading sometimes, it seems. I will even bold it for you. That is my act of kindness; too much, I know.

Quote
Of course, I'm not railing against performing good deeds, but there's a pretty fine line, especially with regard to the recipient's own preferences.

Quote
As I said earlier, I'm not looking to strike down people attempting to do kind things, but I believe it takes a good amount of discretion and the person who wants to do something positive should be aware that they may end up doing something negative in the eyes of the recipient all the same.

I will even restate it a third way:

I AM NOT AGAINST ACTS OF KINDNESS.
I simply believe that a level of discretion needs to happen and that not all good acts end up with good results. Not everybody has to accept acts of kindness. They have a right to choose what happens to them and their personal property, and to argue against that argues against some very, very basic principles of human freedoms.

That doesn't make a bad person and it doesn't mean they're going to go out and sue if something happens regardless just as much as being a person who performs what you perceive as acts of kindness doesn't make you some kind of saint.

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Re: Putting Faith in Its Place
« Reply #114 on: October 07, 2009, 01:28:50 PM »
Ok folks, time out.

Tempers appear to be getting frayed here, so I'm locking the topic for a little bit to let them cool down.

If you going to debate, do it reasonably.